Update: Graduation&Restoration

herbalist certificate

Wow! I did it! I actually graduated and am now an herbalist! I fantasized about sharing the journey along the way; but, my life was spinning ever since I began my plant journey in April. I was swept up in a tornado of magic, self discovery, and the growth and pain that accompanies it.

With the very first drumbeat of opening circle at orientation class, something deep within me stirred, emotions welled up and burst forth in my heart. I knew I was home. I had returned to my sacred self. The part of me that carries inner wisdom of healing, intuition, and magic.

The journey along the way only continued to prove this path I had begun. Our very first class we learned about flower essences and herbal extracts/tinctures. I sat in the rain next to a plant and ‘spoke’ with it for a good amount of time. Then I asked for it’s essence and proceeded to make medicine with it. I unlocked the part of me inside that believes in communing with nature.

I am amused by the irony that years ago, a state psychologist evaluated me for a program that offered permanent disability assistance. There was a question that asked if I believe flowers talked to me. I had a really hard time knowing the right thing to put down. I honestly thought, of course they do, just not in a language we are familiar with; but, I knew if I wrote that, they would think I was more crazy than I’d already been labeled. So, I simply wrote no. I smiled remembering my mother and how she taught me EVERYthing had feelings and how magical she made my world; but, I was too broken to find it on my own at the time.

I was soon to realize that I am no longer as broken as I thought I was. The fact that not everyone graduated, made me realize how capable I really am. I found over 110 plants in the wild and pressed them for my materia medica. I completed 60hrs of physical labor in the gardens, where my deep love for the plants blossomed even more. I made it to all but one class, made herbal products and kept up with piles of homework. Then I successfully presented my final project with a 17pg paper!

As the course proceeded, I came head to head with every inner saboteur that lied within me! Every self doubt I had seemed to manifest in some sort of way. Either chaos surrounded me, grief enveloped me or good old fashioned panic attacks that kidnapped my breath and logic. There were times my heart pounded and pain radiated in my arms convincing me this was it, the big one! I should just give up, I can’t do it, I am not good enough…With every step, I pushed through another personal barrier.

With every barrier I crossed, I built a deeper relationship with the plants, nature and myself. Much to my surprise I developed relationships with the staff and classmates too! With my social anxiety I never dreamed of being able to be comfortable in my skin long enough to make (shall I dare say), friends! Wow!

I waited 18 yrs to take this apprenticeship, and I now know that I was there exactly when I was supposed to be, with those particular people in that moment of time. We helped each other through and now share a forever bond and journey. Though our paths may be separated, the goal is the same. To use our gifts and of nature to help heal ourselves, others and the planet.

This course gave me my mojo back; reconnecting me with not only the magic of my mom; but, helped me find my own unique magic that I never believed I had. This journey renewed my relationship with nature and helped me heal myself and offer healing advice to others. It gave me a community, a tribe, a home. 

What now? Restoration!

As much as my enthusiasm wants me to race off and begin again, I have finally respected the value of rest. I am tired and worn.

The weekend before my graduation I had a reunion with some girlfriends to celebrate one’s 50th birthday. It was a wonderful time and a beautiful realization that while we are no longer the ‘hot thangs’ we once were, we are indeed incredibly beautiful in a wise and empowered way. It was the first time seeing some of these women in about 25 years! I was deeply grateful that I had come far enough to attend.

Then, my final presentation and graduation was an all day event, that my best friend and my daughter shared with me. An incredible ceremony that left me in simultaneous shock, contentment and elation.

The weekend after my graduation, I was in Pa for a huge family reunion, which had its pros and cons. The joy of seeing us all together, for some of us it has been many years, crossed with the emotions and stressors that are expected with holidays and mental illnesses, depleted my system, and I became slightly ill.

These were three life time events all back to back. I learned that even good emotions are overwhelming and I am at a point of much needed resting and regrouping. Nurturing my health with herbal remedies and taking time to process all that has occurred. 

My car is broken down and I am not sure how to get through the month; but, if it’s one thing I have learned, is that I WILL make it! I am taking advantage of down time and catching up on cooking and cleaning. Two things that went mostly undone for a long time now. 

Last winter I started my antidepressants to prevent seasonal depression. This winter, I am using herbal adaptogens and nutritive plants to sustain balance. I have found a tiny bit of inner peace that take all my effort to maintain. Yoga helps. I am trying to stay grounded with herbal roots and root vegetables. Staying in the moment and returning to writing are my focuses. 

I am so grateful that I have this blog to come home too! I want to share details on everything I have learned. I want to tell you about my experiences, my conversations and even my crazy dreams that I had along the way. I want to put my knowledge to use and make some medicines and self care products. I want to revamp my blog and then begin to share ways that will help my readers heal too!

My course may be over but another journey begins ❤

Right after some well deserved restoration! 😉

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Hearts As One Drum Beat Award

Thank you my dear Amity for passing this award to me. I am terribly sorry that it has taken so very long for me to post it. It sat in my drafts for a whole year! However, it does NOT mean it isn’t special. It is an absolute honor to be viewed as a blogger who shows empathy and speaks from the heart.

This award was created by Sue Dreamwalker. Thank you so much Sue for creating such a lovely award. It is my belief if we all spoke our truth more often, we could develop compassion and understanding for one another, and prejudice and judgement would be unknown words.

love

The rules for passing this award on:

“Within their posts whether if be through Poem or Word

Caring for others is a must for this Award

Be it through laughter or Humour

Photograph or Story

Love and Compassion 

Are 

Mandatory” 

I’d like to share my Love is post here. It was an exercise that my writing sister Krissy invited me to participate in a while back. The challenge was to write about Love in ten sentences. Here is what I wrote:

1. Love can be illusory; but, it is seen with the soul.

2. Mislead people think love will make them whole.

3. Self love is the highest of good.

4. Love is often misunderstood.

5. Love is not obsessive or out of need.

6. Love should not make your heart bleed.

7. Love is meant to be given unconditionally.

8. Money can’t buy love; because it is free.

9. Whether it’s family, friends or a lover;

10. Love is an emotion like no other.

Spreading the love and passing the drum onto a few of my lovely blogging peers:

  1. https://visionariekindness.com/
  2. https://spiritualdragonfly.wordpress.com/
  3. https://therabbitholez.wordpress.com/
  4. https://randomsbyarandom.wordpress.com/
  5. https://teleportingweena.wordpress.com/

These and so many others here on wordpress have reached out to me and share their innermost feelings. I love you all!!! 

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The Dragon’s Loyalty Award

Thanks so much Ms. Ethel Duck! Your blog Diary of a Recovering Codependent is truly inspiring. I am honored to receive this award from you.

This award isn’t like the others and is special to me because it acknowledges being a loyal fan and reader. I do pride myself in trying to keep up with reading the blogs of my peers. It’s challenging at times; but I feel it’s so important to show my respect and support.

If it weren’t for the support of my readers, I am not sure I’d be blogging still. It’s their loyalty that keeps me sustained.

Here are the rules to accepting the award:

1) DISPLAY THE AWARD CERTIFICATE ON YOUR WEBSITE
2) ANNOUNCE YOUR WIN WITH A POST AND LINK TO WHOEVER PRESENTED YOUR AWARD
3) PRESENT 15 AWARDS TO DESERVING BLOGGERS
4) DROP THEM A COMMENT TO TIP THEM OFF AFTER YOU’VE LINKED THEM IN THE POST
5) POST 7 INTERESTING THINGS ABOUT YOURSELF

I apologize for bending the rules; but, it was impossible for me to list only 15 and very difficult to stop at 20. Whether you frequently like my posts, or comment in times of need; I thank each and every one of you that has stopped to read my words.

Here are but a few of you:

1) https://poemsandpoemes.wordpress.com/

2) https://alittlecolorneverhurtsblog.wordpress.com/

3) https://kneal1.wordpress.com/

4) https://aunnielauren.wordpress.com/

5) https://ultimatesolace.wordpress.com/

6) https://mariabrinkley.com/

7) https://postcardsfromasemi-madwoman.com/

8) https://dianereedwiter.wordpress.com/

9) https://randomsbyarandom.wordpress.com/

10) https://meredithlbl.com/

11) https://knockedoverbyafeather.wordpress.com/

12) https://myambivalentexistence.wordpress.com/

13) https://inspiredstoriesandpoems.wordpress.com/

14) https://learningat40.wordpress.com/

15) https://theexceptionaleveryday.wordpress.com/

16) https://livinglearningandlettinggo.wordpress.com/

17) https://triumphantwings.wordpress.com/

18) https://cherished79.wordpress.com/

19) https://andrewmferrell.wordpress.com/

20) https://indelibleme2.wordpress.com/

The next part of accepting this award is to list 7 interesting facts about me. I’m not sure what constitutes interesting; but, here goes:

  1. My name: I am named after the Virgin Mary. Maria is the greek version of Mary. I also don’t have a middle name, because it’s greek tradition to use your father’s name; but, my mother protested. My greek last name is Kritos; however, when my grandparents came to America it was misspelled in translation and became Kriton. I use my mother’s maiden name Fairbrother. I always thought Maria Fairbrother would be a great name if I had made it as an actress.
  2. When I was 8yrs old, I decided I wanted to be a movie star. A dream I carried well into my adulthood.
  3. I attended both Modeling and Acting school. I worked as a model for many years, hoping it would lead me to an acting career.
  4. When I was 22yrs old, my movie star ambitions derailed; and I became an exotic dancer. I climbed this career ladder for 16yrs, and worked as a burlesque style showgirl traveling across the country.
  5. I was 25 when I moved to Hampton Beach, Nh. to perform in a Hypnosis show based on Star Trek. My hypnosis partner would later become my daughter’s grandfather. We also traveled to La to perform in Star Trek conventions where I had the oppurtunity to meet some of Star Trek’s cast members! Seeing Hollywood disillusioned my movie star dreaming heart. It was not as glamorous as I pictured.
  6. When I moved to Hampton Beach I also opened up a new age shop with my mom. It was called Mystic Visions. My mom did psychic readings and I made and sold candle, soaps, jewelry and more. These were very happy days.
  7. I met my (hypnosis show) partner’s son and fell in love. At 29 yrs old, I moved to Alaska in hopes of beginning a new phase of life. My relationship didn’t work out but a week after I came back home I found out I was pregnant! A new phase of life indeed!!!

None of these intriguing tidbits beat the fact that at 38yrs old, I lost my mom and had my nervous breakdown, leading me through the most interesting journey of my life. I am grateful you are all here with me. 🙂

 

The Sunshine Blogger Award

Thanks so much to Charitha Subramanyam for nominating me to receive The Sunshine Blogger Award! Please visit her blog to follow her “adventures.”

The rules for accepting this award

1) Thank the person who nominated you.

2) Answer the questions from the person who has nominated you.

3) Nominate some other bloggers for this award.

4) Write the same amount of questions for the bloggers you have nominated.

5) Notify the bloggers you have nominated.

Here are Charitha’s questions :

1) Given a chance what is that one thing you would change about yourself ?

I’d like to say that I wouldn’t change a thing, because it has taken me an entire life to try and accept myself the way that I am. I guess it would be to change my lack of self love. 

2) What is that one thing you are proud about yourself ?

For most of my life I’ve beat myself up; but, I’ve learned to be proud of myself for even just being here on this earth still. After all I have survived, it is a miracle that I am intact.

3) What is the reason behind the name of your blog ?

Labeled Disabled represents not only the fact that I am on disability; but, the feeling of being labeled (&forgotten). I hate the fact that we humans label and categorize everything and everyone! It’s part of my journey to break free from the labels and move beyond the disability.

4) Which is the last movie that you watched ?

Frances, Excellent movie portraying the story about Frances Farmer, starring one of my favorite actresses Jessica Lange.

5) While answering these questions which site is open on the other tab of your browser?

Yahoo Mail

6) What is that one thing… if you loose ..will drive you crazy ?

My compassion

Here are my nominations;

1) https://andrewmferrell.wordpress.com

2) https://acuriousmind2013.wordpress.com

3) https://diaryofarecoveringcodependent.wordpress.com

4) https://indelibleme2.wordpress.com

5) https://kneal1.wordpress.com

6) https://dobetteralways.wordpress.com

7) https://lunareport.wordpress.com

8) https://christinastrigas.wordpress.com

9) https://eyewillnotcry.wordpress.com

10) https://proudlybipolar.wordpress.com

11) https://kelzbelzphotography.wordpress.com

12) https://cherished79.wordpress.com

These are my questions:

1) Who is the person you admire most? This person can be anyone; dead or alive, known personally or a celebrity, superhero, etc.,

2) What has been your most difficult challenge in life?

3) What has been your biggest accomplishment thus far?

4) What motivates you to blog?

5) What annoys you most?

6) What brings you joy the most?

 

The Premio Dardos Award

A big warm Thank you to Amity for this nomination!

Please visit their blog, Amity Out Of This World for some incredible poetry.

Premio Dardos is a Spanish word for “Prize Darts.”

It’s an award given “in recognition of cultural, ethical, literary and personal values transmitted in the form of creative and original writing.”

I am deeply honored to have my writing recognized in such a manner.

The rules for this award:
1.  
Accept the award by posting it on your blog along with the name of the person that has granted the award and link to his or her blog.

2. Include the image of the “Premio Dardos” in the post.

3.Pass the award to 15 other blogs that are worthy of this acknowledgment.

Here are my 15 nominations:

https://kneal1.wordpress.com/

https://lesliemeeks.wordpress.com/

http://hughsviewsandnews.com/

https://darrenscanlon.wordpress.com/

https://dcardiff.wordpress.com/

https://therabbitholez.wordpress.com/

https://randomsbyarandom.wordpress.com/

https://otrazhenie.wordpress.com/

https://terminatingreconstruction.wordpress.com/

https://tylerpedersen02.wordpress.com/

https://jmlysun.wordpress.com/

https://dizzywithfeetplanted.wordpress.com/

https://hillsofherchastity.wordpress.com/

https://deanneworld.wordpress.com/

https://homoestmachina.wordpress.com/

The Encouraging Thunder Award

My friend Darren Scanlon of The Pen And The Page nominated me for this award last month. I had been feeling pretty down and this news helped lift me back up.

Thanks so much to you Darren! If you haven’t checked out his blog, you really should. From poems to protests, his blog always entertains!

Part of accepting this award is to explain why I blog. Initially, it was just to share my story and hopefully inspire a few people along the way. The mission is the same, only more pronounced.

It took me two years and a blogging course to move beyond my About page. My journey has been overwhelming at times; but it’s led me to finding my authenticity, and believing in who I am.

This award and the continued encouragement I receive helps me get through the tough times and persevere. I am determined to really open up and share what I’ve been through and where I am going; because now I know for a fact that I am inspiring people. That is why I blog; to know that my words helped another person.

Mental illness still has such stigma and people who suffer with it have an impossible time to believe they are good enough and strong enough to survive. I am here to tell them they can!

I have met many wonderful peers here and by reading their stories of survival, I am inspired. Here are my nominations for the Encouraging Thunder Award.

https://kickingstrokesassinwords.wordpress.com/

https://hastywords.wordpress.com/

https://diaryofarecoveringcodependent.wordpress.com/

https://thissickfoundation.wordpress.com/

https://hopeworkscommunity.wordpress.com/

Thank you for reading and sharing!

Rules for accepting the award

Post it on your blog.
Add the Encouraging Thunder logo.
Grant other bloggers the award.
Mention your purpose in blogging.
Thanks the person who nominated you .

You like me! You really like me!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve had a pretty dry spell lately, blogging wise. There were complications after my surgery, and I was in too much pain for awhile. My depression kicked in and kept me down. When I finally felt well, the words didn’t come. Hence, my blogger’s block post, and adding to the frustration, I spilled a drink on my computer and had to get a new keyboard.

Feeling pretty discouraged and dispirited, I needed an emotional boost. Suddenly something exceptionally special happened! My wonderful peers have nominated me for four awards in three weeks! I can hardly believe it! I am deeply honored and extremely grateful for this acknowledgement. Each meaningful award arrived at a time when I desperately needed a cheerful thought. Sharing my inner emotions and memories is a challenging task at times; but, when I am informed that I have inspired, I am brought to tears. It is the number one reason I am here.

I’ll be busy for the next week or so writing my individual “acceptance” posts. Meanwhile, I just have to give a shout out and big loving thank you to The Pen and the Page, Amity and Charitha  Subramanyam, for not only renewing my inspiration; but, for your beautiful words as well.

I believe we all have a unique story to tell and in sharing that story, we all connect not only as writers and bloggers, but as human beings. Thank you all for being a part of my journey.