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Finding Sanctuary: My Healing Journey Book Excerpt
For 60 years I have lived on this beautiful planet called Earth. For over 35 years I have been a healer, which positions me in shared intimate emotional spaces with others. Additionally, I meet and talk to thousands of people out on the road while teaching and counseling, giving me societal perspectives. Personally, I have faced a death call during a ten-year healing journey from neurological Lyme disease and misdiagnosed autoimmune illnesses. At the harrowing threshold where I looked death in the eye, I chose to live, but it meant I had to embrace a daunting, arduous passage of personal transformation. It was frightening and yet, I had a little boy to still raise with no husband or family at my side.
I felt a Spiritual presence as I hovered outside my very own sick body and I said ‘yes’ to the god-force near me. Honoring my intuition and the words I heard the angel of mercy beside me communicate, I accepted that I needed to create an entirely new grid to live from, if I was to heal and recover. This meant letting go of all my American emblems of success; my prolific career, income, savings, home, marriage, and identity, and surrender to an inner faith that I would be guided and somehow survive. This was frightening and surreal, but with so little left in my life to be hopeful about, I let go and surrendered to the angel and the message he communicated to me and lived simply and in humility.
I do not regret my choices and my return from ‘the other side’. I healed fully and moved forward in the world from bedridden and wheelchair bound, to touch the lives of millions. Yes, I was guided, and I listened to what I felt from my intuition. That is how I was healed and how I got here.
The books I birthed, the skyrocketing ‘Lyme Light Radio Show’ I launched, the thousands of hours traveling to speak at support groups and teach at higher education institutions were a far cry from the small New England hamlet I housed my homeopathic practice in for decades. I never dreamed a decimating illness would propel me on a mission to help a world in crisis, nor guide me to become a spiritual healer and leader. Many miracles are born to us. Our job is to remain open and receive. Not to push and over achieve. But I did not learn all this until I was 50 years old. In other words, it is never too late.
My lessons learned on the journey of personal transformation have been the most profound discoveries of my lifetime. What I discovered about the resiliency of the body, the mind, the spirit and our innate powers within, plus the access to the divine conduit to eternal love, changed me forever and put me on a path as a messenger and spiritual teacher. When I returned from the near-death experience, I was gifted with more healing energy than I even embodied before and the clarity of deeper perception and desire to live beyond my ego.
What I also know from my many years in healing work, is that as a society we are in a state of spiritual need. Many of us, no matter our age bracket, are confused or a bit ‘lost’ on how to feel more harmonious within our relationships, personal self, and life work. Basically, many of us feel ‘burnt out’ or not at peace.
What I suggest is that society’s pace of living has ramped up so fast in the past few decades that we are living ahead of the human being’s natural tempo, which is supposed to be in sync with nature and a slower vibration rhythm in tune with the seasons, tides and the celestial bodies. We are also very over extended and dependent on outside ‘fixes’ to soothe us when stressed or ill or unhappy. Life does not have to be this way. We each have much more control and personal resource within than we fathom. The time has come for us each to become conscious about our daily lives. That is why I wrote this small but instructive book.
What I share in these pages are some of the essential ‘lessons’ life brings to us on the road we each walk toward our personal evolution. A significant portion of this writing came through me one winter, when in a very steady and deep meditation practice. For many years after meditating in silence each morning, I have been writing. Some of my musings are personal realizations or poetic passages. But, one season deep messages came through me so cleanly on the page. I never knew what to do about them until I was teaching Mind-Body-Spirit Medicine at the Omega Institute one summer and needed a passage to illustrate the meaning of Intention to my students. When combing through my leather-bound journals I realized that these ‘life lessons’ lay there so succinctly. They were meant to be delivered to others, not just me, for they are teachings, and we never stop learning.
We all need guidance and resource in life. We are not designed to go it alone. Yet, we do need alone time. Only by being with our self can we find out who we are and what we need. And, most importantly, our greatest revelations happen on the inside, when we distill our thoughts and feelings. Not in the middle of a run-on sentence or a texting flurry. It is in the pause that we find meaning. It is the ‘in-betweens’ that are most important. Those moments of reflection bring awareness and attunement, and actually are the first steps on our pathway of enlightenment.
In many cases the process of enlightenment is guided through journeys of sickness, divorce, bankruptcy or deep loss. These crises are actually pivot points that bring us in concert with our truest self and kinship to our heart’s calling. For we are meant to grow until it is time to die. And, the in-between spaces, the pauses, are where we assimilate and learn. So, I encourage you to embrace the pauses. To catch your breath. To listen within. To cultivate stillness. To feed your spirit. To not be so driven by the external world, but to instead value the inner realms. We bear great wisdoms. But it is your job to claim them.
These passages in these pages are here for all of us, of all ages, whether in crisis or merely those of us curious about how to proceed towards your own growth and personal empowerment. I highlight these teachings as helpmates to you. They are star points of guidance in the disoriented nights of your life.
Read them slowly, maybe even more than once. Give some thought to these concepts. They are hard earned lessons I too faced. I share them with love and ask that you embrace willingness, faith and courage as your grounding rods. These are universal messages that stand the test of time and most cultures of the world. They are my gifts I bring to others and were delivered to me for the sake of all.
In sharing pieces of my life story, woven within these pages, I hope to show the practical side of these lessons. We need to embrace the stillness of contemplation or find a meditative moment, to shift the runaway overthinking of the critical mind, towards the more peaceful “knowings” of the intuitive mind. When we find this internal balance, this translates to our comportment and process in the outer world and daily ways, including our relationships and brings us to a centered still point.
We are all one and none simultaneously. Like a butterfly in flight or a sunbeam dancing on the water, life brings us endless metaphors and sign points of guidance. Be open to your future, it is unfolding before you and you must stay alert. Do not fear change. You are being called upon, please answer.
Katina I. Makris, CCH, CIH
A Soulful Journey
Lyme disease is our spirit’s calling for ultimate full-life change. All of our bodily systems, energy chakra and emotional fabric are being asked to transform. You can no longer run on your old “grid.” That pattern was not as healthy and productive as you may be perceived it to be, even if aspects of your life felt rewarding or fulfilling.
I was a homeopath with a thriving practice in a quaint New England village. I sat on the national board and wrote the national exam. I was a wife, a mom, a great neighbor and caring friend. I thought I was doing everything right and Lyme took me down- way deep down- and asked me, forced me, to change. This illness is powerful and asks you to summon your own powers.
Our life steward- the wise guide- our connection to the divine reaches us no matter what our circumstances, no matter how fixed we are in our lifestyle or defense postures. When it is time to change, our life steward presents the opportunity- it is more deeply understood as personal transformation.
Personal transformation is a deep, soulful journey, akin to Persephone’s descent into the underworld and hell fires of personal demons and treacherous obstacles, even what some call imprisonment. But, ultimately, if we listen within, and we learn how to let go and with the ability to find faith, trust, balance and self-love, we can recalibrate, receive divine guidance, and grow in vastness and depth, we return to the land of light and the living refreshed and graced with creative outpourings and ultimately an open channel to the Divine.
The Gifts of Rebirth
I recall the exact day my world changed in what I consider to be traumatic proportions. A day seared in my memory forever, for its tender breaths of love and also for its portents of devastation. My young son and I picnicked in our sun splashed backyard, playing catch and collecting stray balls from the deep fern glade. I still hold this day with a certain reverence, for it marks the beginning of the end of the world I once loved. A world I worked very hard to create.
However, nothing lasts forever. Little did I know winds of change were in the air. In the end, every shred of my cherished existence would be ripped away, leaving me shattered, shaking and forlorn, deep on the ocean floor of life. It would become a trial in loss, fortitude and profound lessons. And, most amazingly, it would also become a passageway through transformative changes and rebirth that I could never have willingly conjured.
Lyme disease stripped me of everything: my career, income, home, marriage and health. My journey to the underworld of life was akin to Persephone. The months and years of isolation, floating bereft on my sofa detached from the world and it social happenings, lost from my children’s school activities, instead forced me into personal retreat from life and brought me into a very mystical place of stillness. My inner journey of healing was as profound as all the physical ministerings we tended to.
As human beings we are remarkably elastic, evolving and adaptive. We can re-frame our thoughts and cells and our vibration, as well as our health status in so many different facets. Lyme disease forced me to change, to dig deep, to reflect and grow into a person of greater wisdom and clarity and now infused with passion and mission to end the suffering too many of thousands, like myself, endure. Renewed and well, I live with deep respect and gratitude for the many miracles each day presents and the beautiful synergy of compassion I meet in the faces of everyday life. I feel honored and am blessed to have a second chance at life. May the sun and stars and gifts of rebirth guide and protect my journey and yours.
I Will Heal Myself
Holiday Season is a Time to Cherish
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON DECEMBER 26, 2012
As always, I value the kinship and closeness my family and friends mean to me at the season of gift-giving. These days of sharing our time, gifts and meals is an ingrained ritual in our Judeo-Christian cultures. I like it, as a chance to draw near and be attentive to each other, and for many to show reverence to their faith.
These past few days I have been observing how much healthier and balanced I am from 7 years ago, when Lyme disease had me bedridden and bereft. I was forced to sell my treasured, wonderful home in the woodlands to pay my treacherously steep medical bills. I had lost my vital career years prior, along with my marriage and well-being. My mind was shot, my heart vulnerable and my hope for recovery slim. Yet, so desperately I did not want to be an invalid forever. With the help of a savvy Clinical Nutritionist and Integrative Medical Doc I was starting my healing journey. It took 5 years, and I am well and thriving again! I am deeply grateful and also proud of my tenacity and perseverance.
With this in mind, I wanted to share a passage from my memoir, OUT OF THE WOODS, which helps to remind me and show others that personal inner healing tools are invaluable when moving through chronic illness. Please enjoy this portion of a chapter titled “Moving”.
Near Christmastime, Eli, Hunter, and I venture out to buy a tree. This is a first for us, as I’ve always cut a Charlie Brown hemlock from our woods in years past, adorning the tender finger-like limbs with the Delancey Street market, Hungarian ornaments of my childhood. Now, we mount a generously stout fir, its needles feeling brush-like and full, the wintergreen aroma filling our dollhouse in minutes. Hunter strings up colored lights, weaving the mass through the fragrant branches as Bing Crosby croons carols on the stereo. As woozy as I still feel, my energy dipping and rising with no rhyme or reason throughout the days, I feel a warmth of gratitude within.
After a very long struggle I sense that I’m marking progress in my healing. Three months on cat’s claw and I’m climbing up from the worst of its clutches. Small signs of improvement bolster my hope: a clearer mind, less stomach upset and a faint glow of strength in my limbs. The tune from “The Wizard of Oz” has been tumbling through my mind for weeks now: I’m out of the woods, I’m out of the woods, I’m out of the woods….
Santa arrives, leaving a slew of boxes. Eli’s eyes are star filled as he rips off the vibrant paper, new board games and ice hockey sticks cluttering the room. The quarters are so close we have the Christmas tree placed on top of the coffee table and pushed up against the wall. Teaspoon size snowflakes drift down outside the windows. Lucky is festively attired, coyly wearing a brown velvet antler headband.
“Mommy, Mommy, get the camera!” Eli chants. “Take a picture of Lucky and me.”
It is a moment of perfection.
We close the day with a banquet of food, family, and chatter at Hunter’s sister’s home up the hill. Children, grandparents, and adults with cocktails in hand gather around the burgeoning oak dining table, our number swelling to over twenty. There are smiles and warmth, the feeling of generous embrace from a clan other than my own. There is love.
Today, I take my first steps into tomorrow. I reach way deep down inside into the core of my being. From the pit of my belly I draw forth my formerly sagging will. Making a personal pact of intention, I close my eyes and see myself standing upright and strong like a broad-reaching copper beech tree. I’m smiling and radiant. I look and feel healthy and strong, confident and happy, successful and powerful.
I will heal completely, I tell myself. I will beat the Lyme disease. I will regain my health, strength, and stamina and be be whole, happy, and successful. Starting now I leave the past behind and step into a new and better future. I will be guarded and protected.
From today forward I begin to recite my pact of intention each day in my morning meditation, at first prone on the sofa, then sitting, and eventually standing. I refuse to slip back into the downward spiral of all the cataclysmic tailspins over the past five grueling years. I’m determined to heal. No one will stop me. It will be.
May your healing journeys bring you to the close concert of inner resources I discovered. Willpower, intention, faith, self belief, love and openness can create room for change and healing. I send you strength and grace.
Diagnosing a Rampant Epidemic: Lyme Disease
At the peak of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the early 1990’s the annual cases contracted were 104,000. The CDC acknowledged in August 2013, that over 300,000 Lyme disease cases are contracted annually just in the USA (Australia, Norway, Germany, Canada are stricken perhaps even more densely). That is 3 times higher than the AIDS peak and climbing. Practitioners and researchers in the Lyme trenches estimate the reality is that over 1,000,000 Americans are infected annually with less than 5% being properly diagnosed and fully treated due to poor diagnostic tests and lack of physician education and public awareness. Everyone is at risk; children in tall grass, a hiker in a national park, gardening in your own yard or your pet carrying a tick indoors. Every USA state has Lyme disease and certain regions show over 50% of the ticks carry the dangerous bacteria and other pathogenic infections. Individuals must become proactive in their treatments.
Lyme disease can be a complicated and even deadly tick borne infectious illness. It affects every person in a unique way beyond the initial feverish, flu-like pains and malaise of the acute phase. Lyme morphs and lingers, disseminates and moves its way into the tissues, joints, organs and the central nervous system. Fibromyalgia, MS, Bells Palsy, Lupus, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, bipolar, migraines are all too ugly misdiagnoses when Lyme is not ‘caught’ quickly enough. This illness can NO longer be brushed off as a mild short term infection that the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Infectious Disease Society (IDSA) initially labelled it as back in the late 1970’s. What we are facing is an exploding public health care crisis akin to AIDS in the ‘80s and polio in the 50’s. Billions of dollars are needed to crack the code. Lyme receives a mere fraction of NIH funding or attention, however.
Prevention is essential, as well as more accurate earlier diagnostics, and Integrative Medicine treatments for chronic cases. Some excellent studies are being done to figure out the persistent nature of the illness in certain people, and the reasons why it triggers ‘auto-immune’ style states in so many. Dr. John Aucott of the Lyme Disease Clinical Research Center at John Hopkins Bayview Medical Center is pinpointing some of the genetic predisposing factors.
Also, private sector research is honing in on more rapid, accurate diagnostic tests being developed instead of the only 30% accurate, 40 year old outdated ELISA test or CDC standard surveillance Western Blot test that the average doctor and commercial lab use. Coming from Ceres Labs research is now a cutting edge antigen (not antibody) Nanotrap test. This could identify cases in days versus weeks, and help direct immediate effective early antibiotic usage. There is an indicative marker test to ‘follow’ a patient’s progress when under treatment by Neuroscience Labs, called the iSpot. IgeneX Labs in California is considered the premier Lyme diagnostic test, with their four-in-one ‘initial Lyme panel’. Insist your doctor order the testing with them. Many insurance companies do cover IgeneX.
Most all health care professionals agree that a new acute Lyme disease infection needs to be immediately treated with aggressive antibiotic and anti-malarial medications (tetracycline family), when the organism is still located in the bloodstream. But, borrelia burgdorferi bacteria are corkscrew shaped and whirl their way into tissues, joints, organs and glands, setting off painful inflammation, deep fatigue and eventual ‘autoimmune’ style triggers. The bacteria feed off the fatty layers of our organs, glands, brain, causing fibromyalgia, migraine, or RA or MS symptoms (as the muscle and nerve sheaths are eroded- seen on MRIs often) . The condition can be confusing for patient and physician alike without full training. See ILADS.com for physician training programs.
Clinical findings reveal that the best rates of recovery from chronic forms of Lyme disease are best achieved when Integrative Medicine protocols are woven together. Killing off the infection is one part of the equation, while addressing the major nutritional depletions, mitochondria disregulation, endocrine gland damage (adrenals, thyroid, pituitary, etc) and helping detoxify the body from the ammonia endotoxins the microbes release are all critical. Naturopathic doctors (ND), Clinical Nutritionists (CCN), Functional Medicine doctors, Homeopaths (CCH), Acupuncturists (LaAC) are trained in detox procedures and specialty lab testings to ascertain the rampant systemic depletions such a amino acids, essential fatty acids, neurotransmitters, cortizol malfunction, gut flora imbalances, mineral loss, or heavy metal toxins or mold damages many also suffer as ingredients related to chronic Lyme cases. Dietary and lifestyle changes come into play, too, as gluten from wheat and sugars accelerate the growth of the microbial infections.
Besides antibiotic use, antimicrobial herbals are considered to be quite helpful and even curative when the disease has progressed to systemic tissue status. Dr. Stephen Buhner’s “Healing Lyme Disease Naturally” or Dr. Richard Horowitz’s “Why Can’t I Get Better: Solving The Mystery Of Lyme and Chronic Disease” outline herbals and Integrative Medicine use. The suffering for so many with long term Lyme cases has been frowned upon as ‘imaginary’ or hypochondriacal, or shuffled off as stress problems or even learning disabilities in kids and teens. We have learned the hard way that the climate changes, high EMF overloads in our environment, antibiotic resistant borrelia strains and unusual over population of ticks has festered a public health care crisis. The epidemic’s swath is enormous with migrating birds dropping ticks off all over the world.
Please do not sit on the sidelines regarding Lyme disease. If you are suspicious of infection contact a local Lyme disease support group for practitioner recommendation. If you are a health care practitioner, start learning about Integrative Medicine. If you are curious, go to LymeGlobalAlliance.org, ILADS.org or LymeDisease.org. Seek out Lyme Literate practitioners using the newer testing labs. Global Lyme Diagnostics, out of research triangle park in NC, brings us the best sign of hope in 20 years of research; an annual screening test kit for all of us, to see if we have been exposed and can receive early antibiotics before the infections does damage. Practice prevention!
Finding An Inner Priest
“ ‘Dhammapedia’ is the path of Dharma, the right path of life, of light and of love that leads to enlightenment. Turning the wheel of Dharma is a way of saying that as Buddha began to speak he gave the wheel of evolving consciousness a new turn, and so began an age in which Buddha turned humanity toward himself and religion became a deeply personal experience ungoverned by an outside priest.” – from Buddha by Manuel Dunn Mascetti.
Buddha was teaching his followers how to move within themselves, to find inner resource and comfort. His own evolvement and path towards enlightenment illuminated the awareness that people, things, practices outside oneself are not necessarily the way to find fulfillment.
I sit with this reading now, in my quiet moments after meditation. This was the page I randomly turned to. It rings true to me on so many levels. Most exquisitely, these words mirror my own personal path of discovery during my years of critical illness with Lyme disease.
The hours, months, years I spent alone, in stillness, on my sofa or bed, in contemplation, brought me to this very same awareness- “religion/spirituality became a deeply personal experience ungoverned by an outside priest.” I am a fuller,wiser, more aware and evolved being now, after my 10 year Lyme journey.
It is remarkable for me to actually say, that because of my Lyme disease experience, I have grown in spiritual depth and breadth. I have created my own internal sanctuary.
I learned how to successfully move within, toward my SELF. The inner riches and skills I developed, which in turn prompted a healing at a deeper, more energetic and cellular level, happened ONLY because of this path I took towards my soul’s center. It is with great reverence, I now personally care for this treasured space within, and the energy that is exemplifies.
It is a tricky juggling act, one I manage with alert consciousness daily, to avoid being drawn, pulled, stretched excessively by the busyness, demands, schedules, details of the exciting and sometimes overwhelming opportunities of the outer world, we so rampantly work and play in. I like it out there, I admit. As an extrovert, people lover and excitement “junkie” of yore, it is easy for me to be seduced by the amazing colors, feelings, events swirling around me constantly; the internet, media activities fueling it all exponentially. Plus, the PR phase of “Out of the Woods” has been so deliriously fulfilling for me, meeting and sharing with others. Sometimes I just have to say NO, to doing more.
And yet, I KNOW how essential it is I nurture and preserve my inner spiritual life. To be full (and healthy), I need to tend to the wellspring. Meditation, alone time, gratuities, creativity, beauty, personal blessings and intentions are my daily gestures for renewal, helping me follow Buddha’s message of life, light, and love. I am not a practicing Buddhist, per se, however, his messages that I read or glean, often resonate with a certain truth I just “get.”
I hope you can take this offering of mine today as a reminder to honor and nurture your own inner wellspring and sanctuary. You are too precious to neglect.
Intuitive Healing and Gateless Writing
If you are a writer or a hidden creative; are healing from a season of illness or recovering from long-held trauma of any kind; if you have a deep desire to re-imagine your life, this workshop is for you.
Join world-renowned intuitive healer, homeopath, and bestselling author Katina Makris, an internationally-acclaimed author and founder of Gateless Writing, Suzanne Kingsbury, for an experience that will change your life. Katina and Suzanne will show you how to open the seven sacred energy systems of the body so that you can access an astonishing creative wellspring that has the power to heal the energetic body and move a crowd.
You will receive daily Reiki and Thai head massage; guided intuitive healing sessions; a deep dive into an energetic-based model aligned with the pioneering field of epigenetic and the mind-blowing experience of writing from a place of limitless creativity.
This workshop resets your inner coding and opens curative and creative portals in the mind, ceasing activity in the centers of the brain associated with self-criticism and accessing deeply stored memory and high imaginative potential. Feedback is supportive and encouraging and will illuminate your unique talent and the incredible patterning of your internal stories.
You will experience:
- Increased immune function
- Restored sleep
- A faster rate of healing from trauma and illness
- The firing of “feel good” neurotransmitters
- …and access the incredible power of the creative mind
Participants who have taken this workshop have reported spontaneous healings, became spirit channelers, started successful businesses based on their creative work and transformed their lives.
This workshop will is for anyone who wishes to become their own intuitive healer and is interested in the written word as a conduit to the higher self.
To register, go to: https://artoflivingretreatcenter.org/event/intuitive-healing-and-gateless-writing/