Some peace while putting the pieces together

I am creating this at the new coffee shop in town. The owner and I just talked about a concept we're calling a "bright ripple". The bright ripple starts with one, builds to two, and keeps growing. It's positive action growing exponentially until it creates a tsunami of bright beauty and chases off the dark. Everyone get your boards and surf the ripple!

Sunday, January 30, 2011


The problems we encounter in life seem magnified when dealing with the symptom set called Morgellons. If life is simply a spiritual obstacle course, then it is important to understand The Creator would not give you a hurdle you cannot overcome. My last entry had to do with faith; simply said, have it. Along with faith I recommend another tool of importance—sanctuary.

My current setting and situation required me to establish some peaceful place I will call sanctuary. Sometimes it is not the easiest place to find. In hindsight, I am glad I took up the space in my backpack for my hammock as I packed for Tanzania some six months ago; this is one of my primary sanctuaries.

In interviewing for my current work position, I was told there was “plenty of hiking” and “The air quality is good”. Of course, as one cleans out their system of toxins, they do not want to replace with other toxins. So, I wanted assurance I would have clean air to breathe; instead I’ve been inhaling diesel fumes and smoke from burning trash. Hiking is a key piece of who I am. If I can go for an hour long hike each day, I find I feel much better than without. While I have found some dirt trails to hike along the river, I have been told it can be a very dangerous setting (not exactly what I had in mind for my hiking addiction). Add the stress of a several layered dysfunctional situation and you have severe stress. It hasn’t been pleasant.

Besides swinging in my hammock, I have relied heavily on my background of using the 12 Steps of A. A. utilized in the A. C. O. A. meetings I’d attended for many years. In fact, I had a coin given to me at one meeting with “To thine own self be true” on one side and The Serenity Prayer on the other. I carried this with me and repeated the prayer at least a dozen times each day until I lost it last month. I have replaced my lost coin with a pebble given to me by a new friend which she called a “Gratitude” reminder. Both have been helpful tools.

I mention my sanctuaries as examples; yours may be different. You know what they are.

So, in assisting to take on this hurdle in life, I list some suggestions which are likely repeated somewhere else in my writing.

1) Find sanctuary- You know what this looks like for you. Whatever this place or action is, as long as it doesn’t harm you or another, do it!
2) See symptoms as symptoms- I know how the symptoms feel. I know they are all consuming. I do believe they are primarily the result of toxins. See them as simply symptoms and nothing more.
3) Exercise- Whether it is a walk in the park or some simple yoga stretches, exercise has significant effect. I highly recommend at least one hour of walking each day. Quiet stretching exercise is good in assisting the body with removal of toxins, so yoga, tai chi, and such are great pursuits.
4) Jump the hurdle in front of you- Just like anything, if you don’t visualize it happening it won’t. See yourself healing.

As always, I wish you peace and good health. Happy trails, Joe

Monday, January 24, 2011


I’ve had a couple of strangely reflective days.

Yesterday was Sunday. I felt inspired and needing a place of worship. Maybe I wanted more. Maybe I wanted to connect to people too.

I got up early and followed a dirt path along the highway to the church on the far side of town. While I’m not much for singing and preaching, I felt it was what I needed. I have to admit it didn’t inspire me. I didn’t feel connected. In fact, I left the church and followed the dirt path back to my residence. I reflected and, while I mean it not to sound judgmental, it felt like a political setting and, if there is one form of human interaction I suck at it’s being political. I got home down and depressed.

As it is my nature, I’ve discovered trails in the jungles within Arusha. I went out for an afternoon walk. It felt good to be closer to nature. The trees and birds lifted my spirit. I decided to walk over to an ancient Catholic church set on a hill a short walk away. I got there and could hear a service in Swahili going on. It was towards evening. I must have looked strange in my dripping clothes; the Catholic school kids filling the pews kept glancing back excited by my visitation.

I walked out in the mist and chill to find a beaten pew under a broken stained glass window. Alone I sat silent and listened to the children singing inside. It had the kind of beauty making life such a good journey. I needed it and felt much better by the time I’d started my walk back in the misty twilight.

My work setting has been challenging. I’m thankful for the kids; they seem to have grown greatly since my arrival. I’ve found it more relaxed and sincere with the Tanzanian coworkers. The present challenges come from others who, for their own reasons, find comfort in causing me distress. I wish it wasn’t so.

Riding home on the “Workers’ Bus” I asked the lady next to me about her Bible. “It helps me when I’m down,” she said. We share some more.

I have read the Bible once through; it was when I was in the thick of things with Morgellons. It did bring me comfort. I won’t say I’m a Bible thumper, but I do enjoy reliving some of the stories from my religious education from so long ago. Tonight I read Joseph’s story. It reminded me of a regularly visited mantra in my life—have faith.

So, as I know so many of you are suffering from Morgellons and its symptoms, have faith. In the end, it may be the greatest form of detox we have. Peace- Joe

Friday, January 14, 2011

Toxic Stray or Finding Balance

Last night I had four beers. I hadn't meant to. I was handed one on the bus ride back from Moshi. The ride from Moshi to Arusha takes about an hour and a half, so I got a second beer from the school stocked cooler. Two beers was plenty, but when I sat down to visit some friends and was offered another...I felt obligated. Finally, getting home my landlord was waiting for me...of course he really wanted to go out for a beer. Anyhow, I had four beers and four beers was plenty.

This morning I am dragging. I do not drink often. I'd say I average once every other week or less. It is something I can live with or without. My family history of alcoholism is always at the front of my mind. I don't like to feel off balance.

Spiritually, I envision a path going directly to the light. When I'm off balance, I am straying from the path. Sometimes it is my ego, sometimes it is a need not getting met, sometimes it is too much food, sometimes it is too much to drink, I make bad choices--what is key is it puts me off balance.

I am starting to understand toxins this way. A toxin is something which puts our life off balance. It is possible to have life off balance physically, spiritually, or mentally. Bringing our life into balance and keeping it there, is our challenge. I am trying.

Sometimes it takes sitting in quiet to find clarity. I will take some quiet this weekend. I will focus on balance and build upon what I know.