Category Archives: Metaphysical/Spiritual

Intuition

After 43 years of injecting insulin and surviving I can tell you that your most important and useful tool in your “bag of tools” is your intuition.  It takes time to develop but as those of us know who have been dealing with this physical condition and the daily minimum requirements needed to stay here, the “math” does not always work.  There are times when I am in the 200’s and I can do a correction according to the numbers and I can check 2 hours later and I am 25 points higher.  Too many factors at play for the numbers to work the same all the time.  It’s kinda like playing whack-a-mole all day long sometimes.  I realized about 20 years ago that I could develop my intuition.  Make it stronger.  Bring it more into play.  I understand it.  That’s why, after being introduced to yoga, I continued to inquire into it, practice it and even went to a 30 day intensive 200 hour yoga teacher training.  I use to be a corporate trainer; hiring and training sales people and managers.  I think I will make the yoga room my new training room. 

It is my experience and my current working assumption that what is within is what is worth seeking.  Having to live with T1D is like turning up the volume on needing, wanting.  We now need insulin, a way to deliver it and a way to continually check where our blood sugar is at.  The focus is put on us.  There is a saying or quote you may come across when exploring Chinese Medicine.  ….  “The bigger the front, the bigger the back.”  SUDDENLY, upon diagnosis we are confronted with a bigger front; tremendous work to stay healthy and alive.  I am here to tell you it is doable and it is made more doable when you cultivate your intuition.  This is not a condition to rely on the Doctor, Nurse, or CDE for.  They are excellent in introducing you to the “game” and monitoring your “results.”  But they can’t do what you have to do.  And knowing the math and the grams of carbs and your stressors is important.  More important is you connecting to, inquiring into, awakening and growing your intuition.

We all struggle with the daily grind of this dis-ease.  All of us.  I have always seen it as a curse.  And I am not here to tell you it was a blessing in my life.  It freakin sucks a#@.  However, there is an opening that appears with this struggle that I am saying is worth, at least inquiring into.  And this opening can lead to a tremendous blessing.  It is the opening of going within and knowing thyself.  There are many ways to do this.  Stay safe today.  

FLY the plane

We all want to “fly.”  I use to play soccer and hockey as a kid.  We would talk about being “in the zone” and how it felt like we were flying.  As parents, we want our children to “fly.”  A diagnosis of T1D is a tremendous shock to life.  Those of us who really understand it know that it has a lot to do with energy in the body.  We need energy to fly.  As a teenager I often felt “grounded” because of all that I had to account for in order to participate and compete.  As I would find out later…..T1D would require me to become a marathon pilot.  There was no landing the plane.  I could crash! I often did not feel well.  When I was too high I was tired and apathetic.  When I was low I was uncertain and reactive.  My behavior in these times affected everything around me.  My mother was my co-pilot when I was young.  I had others along the way willing to get in the cockpit with me but they could always leave.  Not me.  I needed to stay and “FLY THE PLANE.”  Why?  Why this experience?  

It’s not easy.  It doesn’t feel good.  If God is all powerful, all good and all that then why this suffering?  I think I know why.  We live in a world that is a world of duality.  Anything that arises can only do so with its’ polar opposite.  Type 1 Diabetes is, in the physical world, a major challenge that causes much suffering.  There are a lot of other things that cause just as much suffering and more.  But T1D is definitely up there on the Opponent’s favorite physical curses.  But, for every curse there is a blessing.  Or, at least a lesson.  And, perhaps, lessons are the highest blessings.  

None of us knows the Big Picture.  Maybe we got caught in traffic and missed our flight because, in the big picture, it saved our life.  I don’t know.  However, living with diabetes for over 42 years now has awakened me to a TRUTH that is apparent, at least to me.  Every thing is made of energy.  And if it manifests in the physical world then it has a deep root in the non physical.  And we are here to find and to journey upon a quest back to Source.  Ok.  I might be getting a little metaphysical here, however, think about!  If you are reading this you know what I mean when I use the metaphor of “Flying The Plane.”  Food is the fuel, our body is the physical plane itself, checking our blood sugar levels is like checking the altimeter and insulin and the delivery of insulin is our acceleration system.  If we are too high we need to step on the accelerator.  If we are low we need to “take our foot off the gas pedal”.  Can’t go too low our we could crash.  Can’t stay too high for too long our else the environment gets too thick to stay in the air.  There are a lot of things we need to account for that are our “turbulence.”  Thinks like stress, hormone levels, being sick, quality of insulin, exercise, infusion sites.  We learn as we go.  There are three rules to flying a plane:

1,  FLY THE PLANE

2.  FLY THE PLANE

3.  FLY THE PLANE

NAMASTE…….MICHAEL

A Spiritual “Map” of the T1D “Territory”

Yoga is a map of everything. Most think yoga is a physical exercise. Asana (The Pose) in yoga is but just one “limb” of the eightfold path and Hatha Yoga (The Poses put together in a typical yoga class) is but a sub group of the four paths of yoga: (Karma Yoga (Action), Jnana Yoga (Knowledge), Raja Yoga(Self Discipline) and Bhakti Yoga (Union with Source through Devotion)).

Yoga is a spiritual map because the destination is ‘union’ with source and the journey is revelation.

T1D is an interesting challenge looked at from a spiritual perspective. Each one of us is different and unique so, therefore, there is, practically, infinite perspective. This is but just one. And to do this I am going to draw from how yoga perceives the “I”; “The Self” in its totality.

According to yogic philosophy, we are composed of five ‘bodies’ called Koshas. The five Koshas are described as “sheaths.”

I should stop here and tell you why I am drawing from yoga as the metaphor. I started practicing yoga 22 years ago. In 2006 I wanted to deepen my practice. I went to a month long (200 hour) Yoga Teacher Training and Certification at The Kripalu Yoga School. I have completed an additional 150 hours towards my 500 hour certification.

When I was at teacher training one of the master teachers had an interesting response when I told her I have been living with Type 1 Diabetes since age 14.

She must have known more about the dis-ease than most.

She said……….

”Now, THAT is a YOGA POSE!”

in front of a class consisting of 65 women and 8 men.

There is another reason yoga is an appropriate and powerful metaphor…

Yoga defined means “Union.” I’ve heard yoga defined as “union of body and mind in pursuit of the soul.” I see it more as “Soul uniting with Source through body and mind.” Yoga is about energy; Prana ; Life Force. Think about T1D….The physical body is not capable of producing a critical component to the system of processing the food we eat (our external fuel source/carbohydrates/energy) into internal fuel/glucose molecules in the blood/energy.

To be a bit more accurate, we are missing the “key” that opens the cell door for the glucose molecule to enter.

This DIS-EASE is about Life Force itself. Without injectable insulin we would not be able to stay on this physical plane. So, the challenge becomes one of learning about the “Key.”

The journey can be very revealing.

The five Koshas are:

1. The Physical Body: The Anamaya Kosha

2. The Mental Body: The Manomaya Kosha

3. The Energetic Body: The Pranamaya Kosha

4. The Wisdom Body: The Vijnanamaya Kosha

5. The Bliss Body: The Anandamaya Kosha

Here is a short 5 minute youtube video introducing the Koshas:

The Koshas describe the “Self” in five aspects.

Confronting, Understanding, Integrating, Mastering and Aligning these 5 aspects of “The Self” is the journey and the destination is union with Source/Bliss so that it may permeate all of the sheaths.

I was diagnosed in November of 1976 at the age of 14. My physical body was “broken”. All I wanted to do was find a way to fix it. I am still searching.

How does one align a broken body to the mental, energetic, wisdom and bliss bodies? I mean this is horrible. Over time, I am understanding how the physical is the last manifestation. Source is Bliss and Bliss is Source. Start there. “But why would Bliss want to create a physical body that doesn’t work; That is broken?

There is Truth and then there is your perspective. A spiritual map like yoga is only that….a map. A map is a representation, a perspective.

Diabetes can be a catalyst for an amazing spiritual journey. The Adversary’s name is imbedded within the name of the condition itself and has many of his characteristics; insidiousness, thirst, deep falls, dangerous heights, victim consciousness, anger, resentments, shame, self-pity…..I could go on.

The Physical Body needs a lot of attention when living with T1D but once a safe “flying” altitude is established we can choose to explore the other aspects of our self.

It is true…..

”Now, that is a yoga pose.”

I hope this brief outline of ‘a’ spiritual map of diabetes has been of value to you. It is but just a small piece of the puzzle, I think.

Dream

I have a dream.

I’m in my 43rd year of living with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D).  

My new endo told me that I will get some kind of medal from the Joslin Institute when I reach 50.  Really.  Who cares?  They get a chip after 30 days in AA, NA, GA and SA.

17 years ago I made a “push”. I was 39 yrs old, broke, in debt up the wazoo, out of shape, not taking care of myself…..I figured if I did not make a change I wouldn’t make it to 42.  Over a 2 year period I started inquiring into several “things”, like…… writing, reading, yoga, meditation, running, acupuncture, massage, eating well, cranial sacral therapy, and more.  It was slow at first. Then stuff began happening.  I got a job, I was getting in shape, feeling better about myself.  Life changed.  I got out of debt, started making good money, got in shape, blood sugars starting coming down/better control, I was happier.  

During this time I had a three month period of time where I took off from work and really connected with my current “edge” and began to “push” against it.  I reduced insulin requirement up to 50%, at times.  I mean long period of times (week or so).   Since that time the roller coaster reached the top and started its’ descent.  What goes up is going to come down.  It’s a long story and I will spare the details, for now.  It can be summed up as this. I went from A1C’s in the 9’s, broke, in debt, depressed, feeling hopeless and helpless, not working out, addicted to things I need not be addicted to…..I went from this to In top physical shape; I could run 5 miles under 50 minutes.  I could do 2 Bikram yoga classes in one day.  My weight was ideal.  I felt strong.  I made enough money to buy a cool condo in Boca Raton, Fl within walking distance of my Bikram Yoga Studio.  It was a 5 minute drive to the beach.  I had a lot of free time.  Things were good.  

I got on the pump and I changed my attitude about testing my blood sugars.  I wanted to know.  I tested 10-15 times a day and loved the flexibility of the pump.  With the combination of getting in super physical shape and having the pump, I got my A1C’s in the low 6’s. I ate anything I wanted.  I wanted to eat good.  

I have often compared managing blood sugar as a type 1 to flying a plane.  The physical plane itself is the physical body.  I had transformed my physical body into a stealth fighter jet.  It wanted. It needed good fuel in the food I was eating.  I needed to inject insulin but the insulin seemed to be working better.  I needed less.  I was personally experiencing one of the most profound yoga principles;  “LESS IS MORE.”  I was getting this at so many levels.

My dream is to share this experience with others who are challenged by type 1 diabetes.  Whether that be the person with diabetes, a parent, a sibling, a friend, a healthcare worker (that includes you doctors).

This is how I want to share it.  I want to “host” an intensive retreat like program where I demonstrate and guide others into an inquiry of what I did, how to do it and why.  It is an immersive training which will be based on the principles of yoga and Natural Law Principles.  I have a support “team” in place right now.  It includes a CDE, an acupuncturist and cranial sacral therapist, a Bio-feedback specialist, a massage therapist, a life coach and a few yoga teachers including one who is a Bikram Certified Teacher.  

Each day will consist of:

*2  yoga classes/day

*Meditation

*Walking

*1-2 hours classroom meeting discussing many topics including yoga principles and applying to diabetes management, spiritual     metaphysical “map” inquiries.

*Great     Food.   Will, of course, accommodate for vegetarian.

*Some     form of body/mind work.  Could be acupuncture, light therapy,     massage, cranial sacral therapy, bio-feedback, life coaching….and     a few more.      

*There will also be a few opportunities to do a few other things like go to the beach or an excursion to Captiva or Sanibel Island.

I visualize the retreat being in South Florida around the Fort Myers area.  I want it to happen in November of 2019.  I want to keep this initial one small (8-12 participants).  And my dream doesn’t end there……..

In a way, this is my new five year plan.  I’m turning 57 in 2 weeks. Still here.  No complications (knock on wood).  I think that what I did 17 years ago is a huge factor in why I am still here.  I’ve come to realize that it is best done in “spurts.”  Interval like. And an intensive retreat where we are focusing on where our edge is and working on expanding can be a profound “spurt.”  It’s kinda of like intuitively knowing to do a combo bolus.  The body wants to receive it in spurts some short and some a bit longer. At least, this is my experience.

I want the initial retreat participants to be those who want to not only personally experience pushing their edge but also have a desire to help others with our condition.  T1D is like a yoga pose.  It is like walking on a high wire.  And it is like flying a plane.  So, my dream is that from this initial retreat we plan a second one and then some will qualify to lead their own retreat.  

I have so much more I want to say and if you are interested in it let me know or visit the link to my blog site where I have been writing about all of this for the last 10 years.  

I will write a future post called My Dream 2.  Where I can expand on some of this.  It’s awesome for me as well because I am creating something which provides me an opportunity to do this work more and more.  I have done it with others but not people with diabetes.   I have worked with a few people who were depressed and addicted.  There is a close parallel to these conditions and diabetes.  A few of these people wrote client reviews and I posted them in my blog section as well under Client Reviews.

The Path……

I’m tired.  I know….no one wants hear that from someone else.  It’s ok on this site because there is an “upfront agreement” that it’s appropriate to ‘vent’ or express hardship because we all share a similar challenge that few others can even begin to relate to.  I’m in my 43rd year since becoming aware that I “had” T1D.  I’m 56 years of age fast approaching 57.  . . .  Boy, could I tell you some stories……But that’s not the point of this post.  What is the point?  

I don’t have any complications other than the naturally prevalent and evolving Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  A few years ago I told my doctor that I was feeling increased anxiety and the blues.  He suggested I sit down and chat with someone.  I did.  After three sessions I got my diagnosis.  Now….I completed one year of graduate school in psychology so I was somewhat cognizant of the many possible psychiatric disorders that have been invented including the 10 personality disorders.  Yes, it was 1995 when I learned all about this stuff and, therefore, I was not completely up to date.  And the field of psychology has been, is and will probably continue to be in a state of constant “flux.”  Therefore, I was surprised to find out that I was diagnosed with a new personality disorder called “Adjustment Disorder.”  My first reaction was …. DUH.  Then I laughed.  I said to my “counselor:…”Of course, half sarcastically, it makes perfect sense!  How does one really adjust to T1D?  Because, to be honest, it’s a clusterfuck; an impossible task.  Yet, I am still here.

The therapist went on…..It is like “Cognitive Dissonance.”  I said, “Of course it is.” Then I said….”What do you suggest I do?”  All of this……The diabetes, the adjustment disorder, the cognitive dissonance, the left vs. the right, good and evil, Light and Dark, YIN and YANG…..is the duality of our lives.  

I am tired of this interplay between my physical body, and my maladjusted mind and injected insulin.  This dissonance.  This adjustment disorder.  This dysfunction.  This DIS-EASE.  Results in such UN-EASE at times.  It’s Exhausting.

What’s the point?  Is it just survival?  Because, at times, that is the way it is……Crawling to the fridge at 3am with a blood sugar of 28….downing a pint of lemonade and eating a bag of chips with french onion dip…disconnecting my pump because just the thought of more insulin dripping in is deeply alarming….passing out as the blood sugar begins to elevate….waking up at 7am with a mouth so dry I can’t talk….Headache. feel like I ran into a brick wall…check bg…412…..get out the syringes…pump it up!

You can do it Michael, says my family, friends and supporters.  Most don’t even know the battle, of course….and those that do …….know that I can do it…at times.  At times..I am just tired.  

What do I do now?  It does feel like I am in the season of “End Times.”  Kinda coincides with all that’s happening in our world.  Things are about to change.  It doesn’t look good or maybe it does?  Because you can’t have anything in this life without its polar opposite.

Here is my point……There has to be a blessing to this curse.  This sucks.  There must be a reason.  I know through my yoga practice and other studies of a TRUTH that keeps me going even though I am tired.  I know that “This too shall pass.”  I’ve been through a lot with diabetes.  Been low and been high.  It is more difficult for us to find the middle path than with someone with a normal physical body.  Or maybe not!  I believe that the blessing of diabetes is in the lesson it teaches us about the arising of the polar opposites…of the duality….of the interplay between yin and yang and the battle between Light and Dark.  

The Buddha would put it this way….”It is equanimity and awareness.  Like the wings of a bird.  Or the two wheels of a cart.  When practiced together they lead to liberation from suffering.  If either is weak or lacking, it is impossible to progress along the path.” 

Buckminster Fuller says….”Total Accountability and Total Feedback Constitute the minimum and only perpetual motion system.”

Kripalu yoga instructs.. ..”First Proper Alignment …Second..Find and explore your edge.”

While my physical body and mind grow weary….my heart and soul are beginning to awaken to the “hope” that there is more to this than surviving.  I won’t get religious.  But allow me to inject a spiritual perspective to inquire into if so inspired.  If easily triggered by this topic please stop reading here.

The Kabbalists……And btw, Kabbalah is not a religion.  It is more like a spiritual map or decoding program of the “spiritual world.  Trigger alert!!  Jesus was a Kabbalist.  Anyway, they would say that the purpose of life comes down to an understanding of The Creation Story itself and the “Why” behind it.  And, without expounding on those things at this time……We are here because of the need for, In Hebrew everyone…… TIKUNE.  TIKUNE, defined, means “Fixing” or “Rectification.”  What needs to be fixed?  What needs to be rectified?  The answer is our VESSEL TO RECEIVE THE LIGHT OF FULFILLMENT;  THE LIGHT OF THE CREATOR.  Why does it need to be fixed?  Well…that’s the questions isn’t it?  Kinda like Jeopardy.  

Again, I am not writing this to promote a faith or a dogmatic system of understanding our existence……There are many “maps” of the territory.  I have referenced several in this post already….Yoga, The Buddha, Chinese Medicine, Kabbalah.  Bucky Fuller …… But for a moment suspend your disbelief and consider Diabetes…….

We are missing the “key” that opens the “door” to the cells (vessels) of our body that permits glucose (energy, light) to flow. ….. It is said that the opponent always attacks through the immune system.   It must.  Why was our immune system comprised?  

Ok.  I will wrap up for now…..I feel a little better.  Thanks.