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Monthly Archives: August 2012

Speaking to me in a grand magical way.

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No limits to the possibilties, this says to me!  And it arrived with words from one of my life time ‘soul connected’ songs..

Mmm.. magical

And It Stoned Me To My Soul…

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Huh. I actually created something during kemo the other day. It’s a curious thing…..

“And It Stoned Me To My Soul…”
by Janet L. Whitehead 2012

My creative play healing sketchbooks.

One or the other or both of these sketchbooks go with me most places. One is mostly full of Evalee and Lainey’s artworks.  How healing is that to watch the little ones fill your sketchbook?  The other is full of quirky thank you cards in process, stories as I sit on a curb with my bald head, crazy thoughts. Somedays I wonder if I’ll ever actually finish anything… but mostly I’m thankful that I know of this secret and wondrous place of creativity that can reveal magic, insights, or simply lift my spirits, just by my ‘showing up’ and even doing the most crappy of doodles.  I was actually a little surprised looking back at “And it stoned me”… cuz man, I was pretty stoned. It’s a curious sketch, that one.  And yes, the sign on the door does say, “Jelly Rolls.”

Part III: My Tall Ship Escapade – A Fine Ship She Be.

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“When we believe what we imagine is true,
the universe conspires to acknowledge,
so we can believe even more.”

Janet L. Whitehead


Last year I got to climb the mast during a brief excursion on the Tall Ship “Lady Washington”. More recognized, perhaps, by it’s infamous role as HMS Interceptor on PIrates of the Caribbean

Preparing for Round 4 of chemo happened in bits and spurts and random check-ins with my Tall Ship.  Well, no, it’s not just about preparing for chemo and preventing allergic reactions. The random check-ins with my Tall Ship are about checking in with my body, mind and soul and feeling assured that the healing needed is happening.

But chemo is a strange thing…it’s unpredictable. This past 3 weeks was in many ways better than the previous rounds. Less tummy flu-ish feeling, and less ‘everything tastes like metal”  which is yucky. More weakness, some pain, definate lack of energy, and my mind can’t seem to think past my nose… but that’s all still more do-able than the yucky flu-ish stuff.

So, I am glad that over the years of my learning, one of my key beliefs is that the magic that can happen is soooooo much simpler than what is often taught in certain traditions.  Soooo much simpler. We are very very powerful beings. It does require us to know that. And it is through just noticing the signs, the feelings, the affirmations, the synchronicities,  over and over again… and finally giving credit where credit is due,  and then, trusting… that we can do this.

This was such an exhilirating, dream come true, event!

It doesn’t have to take years of learning. I hope my story helps others get there quicker, and affirms for those already there, that they are not alone. We all have the gift of what I call magic. Others may call it something different, but for me, it’s pure magic to have aha’s, epiphanies, the imagination, and witness the ‘so much more than we can see’ playing a part in our lives, our story and our ability to find intuitive answers.

Good thing I know this, because all I had energy for, or heck, the mind for, was the occasional random check-ins that happened by this past few weeks.  Peeking in on my ship, I saw the Masts spending a lot of time at the refitters… sanded, polished, stained, refreshed, renewed, reset, and carved with what looks like the faerie writing that appears on my pottery and paintings.  The Masts slept through all of this.  I had an aha moment around this when I realized I, too, was sleeping some 16 hours a day for a couple of days.  (By the way, for this to make any sense, you might want to read Tall ship Part I and Tall Ship Part II )

One day,  I came across an old painting of mine that, for whatever reason, was a ship without masts. It looked very lost in the storm it was placed in.  Likely, at the time, I wasn’t happy with the sails and had planned a redo.  It was set aside, though, until now, when it probably served it’s purpose: triggering a longing for my masts and sails. (I’ll post that painting sometime here. But for now, I give myself permission to do these posts imperfectly or they may never get done!)  I’ll add here though, another part that helps one recognize the magic around them is to know time is not linear. This painting done a long long time ago, was meant for now. If I spent time questioning the logic of that, I would not have recognized the importance of its presenting itself to me now.

And then one night as I lay in bed I wondered how the ship and the masts were doing. I opened my eyes, and noticed the framed photo on my wall… it had a gentle glow around it.  So that made it rather hard not to notice. It’s a photograph my daughter took in the Maritimes and framed for a Christmas present a few years back.

This one I AM posting here!

A very fine ship with amazing strong masts.

Do you know that feeling.. the momentary feeling that says “all is right with the world?”  I had that feeling.  The masts were back, strong, proud, aligned, ready to support their ship on any and all adventures.  Like a quick little movie, I had a peek at the process of crew, cranes, hub bub, hoists, and magical dust during the re-assembly.  Crew cheering. Ship aglow. Like the photo on the wall. Really. A glow.

See? The universe will do the wildest things to help you notice, perhaps even more so when your mind, body and soul are too tuckered to consciously do it themselves.

Me and Masts are going to be THIS HAPPY during kemo, we decided!

I went into round 4 of kemo.. (yes I like that spelling better) confident, and not feeling at all anxious. Yes, I was also drugged to the hilt with steroids and benadryl and ranitidine to prevent reactions.  But, then I do believe in the power of combining western and magical more ‘eastern’ medicine. After all, I’ve been  analyphylactic.. I’d have died without the western medicines when stung by wasps. (Although I’m starting to guess that I just might not be anymore, what with all that work going on on my Tall Ship. Whoo hooo.)  And I don’t yet have the ability, or shall I say the trust in the ability,  to remove a cancer by psychic surgery. I was downright delighted that a doctor could do that surgery.  I also don’t think my trusting some western medicine discredits my trust in magical healing.. and vice versa.  If you play in both methods, there are those who will say you are on the fence and not giving ‘eastern’ philosophies the chance to work. They will trash other traditions and techniques that don’t fit with their beliefs. But really? That’s just more things being taught to create both fear and limitations.  Oy. We are so much more than that. And so much more unique than that.

Okee dokee, that’s the steroids in process… definately hypes me up in my talking, and apparently my writing, with truly ‘didn’t mean to go there’ tendencies!!!

Anywayyyyyy… round 4 of chemo went well. No allergic reactions at all. One false alarm… leg pain.. and no doubt the nurses are quick to hit the emergency light given my history. Better safe than sorry.  It was rather entertaining when the doctor arrived, quickly assessed and said, with humour,  “Everybody step away  from the patient. She is fine. Not a reaction. Back away.”  Ha!

And today, my spirits are good, my body rightfully tired.  I know my Tall Ship is feeling whole and healthy and capable of managing this healing adventure well.

Phew. Life is good.

My life has been teaching me that all of these magical connections aren’t about making life ‘perfect’:  perfect health, no chaos, no tragedies, ideal financial flow…etc. etc.  Often those are goals for doing self-development and spiritual explorations.  But Life brings us challenges. Finding strength and wonder and curiousity and ‘what’s good’ in the process of making it through is what this all about, I think. And believe me, there have been times where this has flailed for me… for instance, when it’s someone I love affected, and then I struggle to truly feel the magic. I’m mentioning that, I think, so if this has happened to you, it doesn’t mean your ability to connect is gone. It’ll be back. ~smile~

Coreena McBurnie,  Mel Van Mol, Courtney… thank you for being my kemo buddies. I thought I’d do this last one alone, but you know, having one of you there.. well, the energy and comfort you’ve each  given me is as powerful as the drugs and the visualizations.  Love ya all.

Paddling and Nudie Padoodie

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This was just plain funny… sharing here for those who many not have seen it yet.

My facebook post today:   Dear darlin’ daughters, Megan and Courtney,     Don’t worry I’m home safe and sound from the wee little excursion on the river. So when you see my number on your phones to let you know that, don’t think you have to drive to Savona to rescue me. Wait a sec, didn’t I mention please answer your phones in case you have to drive to Savona to rescue me?

Jody Tippett, Arden Grier Dunfield and 6 others like this..

Janet Whitehead: Ha ha.. turns out they decided to go to an ‘island’ and my daughter with ‘unique’ concepts of directions thought they’d see me there. Well, yes, if I’d paddled much longer, I would have been too tired, (plus the wind came up), the current would have floated me all that way and they could have rescued me before I hit Kamloops Lake, after all.

Janet Whitehead: Even funnier, they went to ‘nudie padoodie” beach. I asked Evalee about it (Megan had told me to call Evalee and ask her the name of where they went. hee hee)   and she said there was a family there nude. Before my girls went up the beach (guess they weren’t planning to nude up) Evalee told me about the beach and the family and added, “Mommy said ‘try not to stare’, but that’s hard.”

Oh, the honestly. Love it

Megan Unruh-Oswell:  miracle was I convinced Court to go to the Nude beach!!

Janet Whitehead: No kidding!!!!!!!!

Anatasia: Oh my soul. This dialogue is hilarious!

Gwen H: You wild woman — you definitely “Run with the Wolves”

Gwen R: it is hard not to stare 🙂

How “Nothing” on a Sad Day can Create Magic.

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“Do something” I say to myself.

‘What’ crashes around me, crashes.

So much spiralling, out of my control

Into a splatter of dreams gone awry.

A “Hey! Wait a sec! That was my dreams!”

Has no effect.

“Do something” I say to myself.

No energy to plan, to map out new dreams.

Niggling shadow whispers, ‘That might crash, too’

Bright side says, “So what shall you do?”

Her smile almost annoying.

Some pouting is normal.

She repeats, “What, in this moment, can feed your soul?”

I ponder homemade ginger beer.

A sketch or a doodle or a splatter of mud.

A tidbit of the novel. Some nature commune.

A visit. A phonecall. Some little kid play.

My body is sore. My mind is too weary.

“Do something” I say to myself.

“Can you do nothing. Just nothing. And that be okay?” Ms. Bright has her say.

“Whatever.” I pout.  And I wonder, “Where’s the magic today?”

So nothing I do.

“Wild Horses couldn’t Drag Me Away”
Photo by Susanne Kriwtschenko
Outlining what I see: Janet L. Whitehead

But an image catches my eye.

I doodle its outline. I hear a whisper of song.

“Wild Horses couldn’t drag me away..”

And all of me smiles; shadow, bright and just me.

It is the spirit of my brother that whispers.

Now I know he is still near.

The magic has happened.

The struggles become minute placed beside such a connect.

I shall do nothing more.


ps. “So shall I” announces Shadow

Animal School.. Watch if you have a child or have ever been a child.

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Animal School. Sharing once again. Watch if you have children. Watch if you’ve ever been a child. Watch  if you  wonder about your passions and gifts… perhaps this will help you’remember and understand why they went astray. It’s short, sweet, memorable and thought provoking.


Being Genie.

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“Being Genie” by Janet L.Whitehead © 2012

I put on hoop earrings. Instantly, I felt like a genie. I want to grant wishes.

And so, inspired by friends on facebook when I commented about feeling like a genie, I played with the concept of sharing my genie-ness.

Which was perfect because I needed something to play with. In the morning, I was rather sad that my weekend plans couldn’t happen, due to low blood counts.  I had to pass on a long awaited opportunity to go the Sechelt Writers Fair with Richard Wagamese and Debra Powell.  I was a bit surprised that my blood counts were that low, but knowing the risk – because I’ve seen first hand how dangerous infection and low blood counts can be by watching my daughter go through several critical situations while she was on chemo – this was not a situation where my optimism and somewhat risk-taking spirit would say, “Oh I’ll go anyway.”    (Low white counts happen during each chemo cycle, and will rebuild on their own by the next cycle, but when low, a person does not have the ability to fight viruses, bacteria or anything that may cause an infection.)

At the time then, I thought “Fine, thenb. How can I make today fun?” (Hmmm, I think the extra ‘b’ came from the way I talk with small sores in my mouth? )  It’s a question I ask often these days. It’s one thing right now that I can usually find an answer to.  Doing even the smallest thing that feels fun, creative, playful  lifts my spirits.  I can’t seem to get to doing my taxes. Or even remembering important appointments. But I can usually  find something, even a little thing, that feels good.

Because my adventurist spirit had also been squashed by not being able to go to Sechelt (I was even hoping for a little paddleboarding on the ocean!) I asked my adventurist self, “what is one thing you could do today that scares you?”

I  soon forgot about the questions, but then I randomly thought, “Wonder what you’d look like with hoop earrings?”  and voila! With this bald head, I actually feel like a genie with those hoops.

Creating the image I’m sharing here was fun for me.  (Image began with a pottery sculpture I made, that also turned into Page 2 of my book, The Demise of Noshud Hafta)

And let me tell ya, it’s scary.  It was scary taking photos of me in my genie-ness. Well, the scary part was looking at the photos. Of course I see myself constantly in the mirror, but a photo? Hadn’t happened.

It was so scary sharing my bald.. I mean.. my genie look on facebook.  I was shaking as I pressed ‘post.’  Seriously.

(Isn’t it delightfully curious how my original questions of the day evolved into being answered by a ‘random’ thought about hoop earrings? It seems questions like to have answers… especially if we get our logical selves out of  the way)

The comments from friends have been so heartwarming!!!  And sharing my genie-ness, has felt soooo freeing.  I even answered the door last night without running to find something to cover my head.  Phew.

In gratitude for all the support and encouragement by so many of you,  (and because it’s what genies do) I decided, wishes are being granted.

Feel free to share a wish.  The whole thing, or a whisper “I have a wish.”

I’m tossing those wishes in my wishpot. Heck, I’ll even toss in wishes in the wishpot that are wishes you want wished for you, that may have been left unsaid.

In they go.. Genie now at work.

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