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A Simpler Life..
   A Waste of Time


When I was a kid (she said with a doddering grin), we were required to focus - yet it's the inability to focus that seems to be one of the major problems of today, which is why we see so many "dis-eases" such as attention deficit disorder, social anxiety disorder (one of my favorites), and FAD (failing algebra disorder). Doctors like to tell us it's not our fault, but I'm not so sure that's true in most cases. And let's face it, the doctors have something to gain by pinning these labels to our asses. The pharmaceutical companies don't thrive on cure, but depend on dis-ease. And if it doesn't exist in the first place, they are perfectly capable of creating it - just watch an hour of t.v. and count how many drug commercials cross your path.

I probably have less faith in the medical profession these days than I would have in some crackpot's prediction of a UFO landing on the white house lawn. The medical profession may be the cause of a lot more dis-eases than they are actually curing. They're pretty good at fixing a broken bone or sewing up a gash in one's birdie finger, but it truly appalls me how many strangers I meet who start rattling off a list of their ailments and their diagnoses, when I am looking at them and can See in a shamanic sense, without even trying, that 99.999% of their problems are a direct result of their lifestyle and belief systems, and have zilch to do with organic disturbances in the body.

 What troubles me is why doctors don't See this, and why the patients themselves are so eager to fall in line with the diagnosis and get on this pill or that potion, rather than doing anything to move toward a real cure (which could only be brought about by a change in lifestyle - and therein lies the problem). I'm not talking so much about more hardcore organic disturbances such a diabetes, arteriosclerosis, cancer, and so on - but the more phantom dis-eases which have become so common and, on many levels, "popular" in today's society. Before anyone sends me hate mail, let me say that I do think there are a few rare instances in which some of these phantom dis-eases (ADD, RAD, ADHD, FM, CFS, and on and on and on) may be real and have organic roots, but for the most part, I just don't see it as being as much of an epidemic as it certainly appears to be. Every mother I meet tells me she has "a RAD child." Being an old hippie, I thought for a long time that the kid was like totally kewel - rad, ya know, dude?

The more I work privately with folks who come to me for healing (not even my specialty), the more I realize their dis-ease is a symptom of their life rather than a symptom of their body. No one can heal their life but themselves - and because they don't want to take responsibility for that, the medical profession has turned it into a major cha-ching industry with a pill for every ill, and new ills being labeled every day.

Scary stuff. Real scary. We are programmed to be sick, and it's almost reached the point that when I meet someone who says they're healthy, I have to ask, "What the hell's wrong with you?"

I know a lot of us have talked about longing for a simpler life. Wendy speaks often of her dream of "a cabin in the woods" - that mythical, magical place in all our hearts where life is lived at a slower pace, without all the complications that seem to be part and parcel of the world as we know it today, that place where there is always time to tend the herb garden, or sit in the autumn leaves, or curl up in front of the fireplace with a good book.

Is it possible for someone who still has to earn a living, pay the bills, feed the kids or the kitties? How is the world we live in making us sick? How can we make ourselves better? I don't mean these questions on any trite level of new age mumbo jumbo. I want to get real here - because this topic keeps coming up, and that tells me there's a reason.

To what extent are the currently popular ailments real in any organic sense? For example, are doctors & pharmaceutical companies actually programming us to be unwell so as to serve their own greed? It's a radical thought, admittedly, but I'm not sure how far off base it is, considering that every other commercial on the tube is telling us to "Ask your doctor." ...yup, ask your doctor, who is programmed by the pharmaceutical companies to tell you exactly what they want you to hear. Prozac. Lipitor. Zoloft. Mydixadroopin. Myhedzaspinnin. My bullshit detector's a blazin'! Your liver may fall out or you may bleed to death as a side-effect... but those toenails will look great in your coffin!

When I was growing up, kids got the measles and the mumps and the chicken pox. Occasionally, one of us even threw a tantrum in K-Mart, which was usually cured by a good solid swat to the back-side. We weren't rushed off to the doctor to look for some phantom dis-ease on which to blame our behaviors. Our parents dealt with it, one way or another, and took responsibility for teaching us how to behave, and the consequences that might occur if we didn't. Can't help it, but when some mother tells me she has a ADD child or RAD child or a SAD child or a BAD child (bad attitude disorder)I have a hard time not wanting to ask about the role they are playing as parents, and what kind of lifestyle they have allowed their children to exist in. Meaning: if the kid is sitting in front of the tv from the time s/he gets home from school until the time s/he goes to bed, while simultaneously surfing the web, talking on the phone to friends, and playing video games on the split screen of the flat screen, it seems a pretty good bet that kid is going to have "attention deficit." And it isn't going to be curable with a pill or a beating or a good talking-to. It's going to be cured by a change in lifestyle - which brings me back to the point.

Even as spirit-warriors, I get the feeling that a lot of folks here may be dealing with these issues, so I want to bring it all out in the open and ask some hard questions. How can we simplify our lives? Is simplifying our lives even the solution? If we do simplify our lives, what are the financial, emotional and marital consequences? What would be the definition of "simplifying"?

"Does the cabin in the woods really exist, or is it only an archetype in the mist?"

As I was writing the post about a simpler life, I heard a loud smack against my office window - which I have come to recognize as the sound of a bird wiping out. So, in the midst of everything I have to do in order to get ready to leave tomorrow morning for our next business outing, I went outside and picked up the poor hapless critter, and just sat on the lawn chair for awhile holding him in order to assess the damage. At first, I thought he would certainly die - mouth open, gasping, non-responsive.

The thought occurred to me that perhaps I should simply place him at the base of one of our large trees and let him die in peace. For certainly, I thought, he must perceive me as some gigantic predator come to eat him whole - for he was only a tiny little sparrow or something similar. Pretty little thing - primarily brown, with some dull yellow markings at the tips of some of his feathers, and yellow veins running down his flight feathers.

It also occurred to me, "I don't have time for this."

That thought grabbed my attention. I took a look at my morning routines, considering all the things I needed to do. Load the truck. Load the van. Hook up the trailer. Tidy up the house. Go to 3 different stores. The list was endless, while I sat immobile on my lawnchair holding this injured bird. There really wasn't anything I could do for the poor critter, I thought. Holding him in one hand, palm flat, he was still limp and dazed, but at least he had opened his eyes and was looking at me. I didn't see any blood. He hadn't moved. But suddenly he let out a loud squawk. Fear, I thought, but I talked to him gently nonetheless.

So me and the bird sat there for several minutes while the world went right on by at its crazy pace and all those things I needed to do were left undone. By now, the little fellow had wiggled his wings a bit, and was trying to regain the function of the percher-muscles in his tiny little feet. I had some major trepidation about one leg - for he couldn't seem to unfold his foot at all. Again the thought came to me that I should assist him into a tree, and then leave him to find his fate. After all, I thought, if I hadn't interfered in the first place, he probably would have died of shock on the ground underneath the window; or else he would have just lain there and recovered... or been eaten by a road runner. I had interrupted his journey.

Hmmm. By this time, he's squawked a few more times, and stretched out his wings. That one leg is still a problem, but suddenly he flies out of my hand and goes to land in a sapling I just planted over the summer - a scraggly white birch that's also been struggling for life. They seemed like perfect companions, except the bird was hanging upside down like a bat, obviously unable to use that one leg to perch properly. By the time I got to the tree, he had fallen out and was lying on the ground with his delicate underbelly exposed, and I had the thought that we were both wasting our time.

But I picked him up anyway and took him back to the lawn chair, and sat there with him for a few minutes longer. Finally, he flew again, with the same disastrous results, though now he landed in a chaparral bush and flopped upside down in a tangle of brambles at the base. The trailer is sitting there unloaded, a few feet away. Seeing the car reminds me I have to take it in this morning, 'cuz the a/c was making a weird racket yesterday. Nothing is getting done, and this bird seems hell-bent and determined to die anyway. And I can hear Orlando (my higher-self, double, teacher) laughing somewhere in the background of the infinite, asking, "What difference does one little bird make in the grand scheme of things?"

Being a stubborn bitch, I wriggled underneath the chaparral bush, dug through the brambles, and picked the little bastard up for what I had said to myself would be the last time. He's squawking and protesting, still having trouble with that leg, but at least he's got a fighter's heart and is telling me he wants to live. So we walked a short ways together, and then he suddenly flew out of my hands and made it to a more distant tree. Hung upside down like a bat for a bit, flopped on the ground, fluttered like a leaf in the wind, then finally picked himself up and flew to another tree.

There, he landed right-side up on a branch, shot me a dirty look, and made a motion that was probably the sparrow-equivalent of The Bird Finger with his bad leg.

I felt a lot better about the whole waste of time.

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