"My Story Lives is a cornucopia of hope and optimism in the midst of challenging and sometimes dark circumstances. You're doing great work!" Dr. Mel Waldman, Psychologist'

"In my opinion, this is one of the BEST LITERARY sites ever created!!" Camincha, San Francisco Bay Area poet and writer

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Please Make a Donation: Help Rescue These Dogs!



By Michelle Burawski

Those of us who are animal lovers would find it very difficult to imagine a community where there are hundreds of unwanted animals literally abandoned like trash at dumpsters and in the streets, simply because there are no shelters or animal welfare services whatsoever!

One such community is in Burke County, Georgia, a mostly rural area with a population of about 23,000 people. The county is the size of Rhode Island.  Concerned residents and animal rescuers have pleaded with the county commissioners, the decision-makers in that community, for many years urging them to allocate funds for a desperately-needed shelter and animal control services, but their pleas always fall on deaf ears!  It is very well known and visible in that community that unwanted animals (dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens), are abandoned daily, struggling to survive!


Ironically, that community refers to itself as the “Bird Dog Capital of the World,” and even has a cemetery for bird dogs.  However, many residents say it is more like the “Stray Dog Capital of the World.” 

Old Fella Animal Rescue, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, one of only two in that community, has a handful of very dedicated volunteers who have taken in hundreds of abandoned dogs and puppies.  (No rescue group exists for cats; however, people often leave food for them). Old Fella, founded in 2008, provides veterinary care and places the dogs in foster homes. When ready for adoption, volunteers arrange transportation (with Puppy Pipeline of Georgia, Inc.), to a wonderful shelter in Salem, Massachusetts called Northeast Animal Shelter. This particular shelter takes in all of the animals that are rescued by Old Fella! http://www.northeastanimalshelter.org/ 

Donations and local foster homes are always needed. Although Old Fella does receive a small grant from the county for their spay and neuter program, it is often a struggle to keep their rescue going. 

Jimmie Jenkins, a retired teacher and volunteer liaison for Old Fella, participated in rescuing animals in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Jenkins said, “I have heard and seen a lot, but volunteering with Old Fella was certainly an eye opener. In some respects, this situation is worse than New Orleans after Katrina! I know that’s hard to believe, but when you get call after call about animals inside or around a dumpster, it just blows you away! Just to be a part of that kind of rescue is a feeling like no
other.”

Part of Jenkins’ role is to handle donations, provide information about the spay and neuter vouchers program, take cruelty calls, and along with other volunteers, arrange for dog food to be delivered to pet owners who fall on hard times.

One dog that Old Fella rescued from a dumpster in 2009, appropriately named Bingo, turned out to be their 2000th rescue, and he found a loving home up north! Since then, Old Fella has rescued countless more, and there seems to be no end of animals that need saving!


“The most rewarding thing about rescuing animals is seeing them get their forever families and knowing the suffering has ended," said volunteer Margie Riggs.  

So while residents wait anxiously for the county to provide animal welfare services, saving the animals is left up to rescue groups like Old Fella, as well as kind-hearted souls who cannot bear to do nothing.

There is currently petition created by South Carolina resident and animal advocate, Lisa Floyd. The petition, on www.change.org urges Burke County Commissioners to step up and approve funding for a shelter and animal control services. Please sign and share!

Finally, please visit our Facebook page, created for the cause, at the link below:
https://www.facebook.com/Animaldumpburkecoga. A GoFundMe account for the rescue groups is available there. 

Michelle Burawski is a Georgia-based writer and animal lover. 


















Sunday, February 15, 2015

BLANK It

Just how white
out
side
can it get.
Outside the window
the wind whips
and whips so hard
it sneaks through
the door.
Outside there is clearly
enough ice
and
snow
to bury us
the garage
the porch
are already
BLANK
it
and still
it falls
and
it falls
and
it falls and
still it
falls
and
it falls
down and
down and
down and
wait, I SWEAR I JUST SAW A PATCH OF SUNLIGHT FAINT YES, BUT
the white is brighter
is it possible that there is
an end in sight?

Thursday, February 05, 2015

For Medical Issues, Some Seek Advice From Clairvoyants


On August 6, 2003, I had a medical intuitive reading that blew me away. Ever since I wrote a Huffington Post piece on that amazing reading, I have received numerous requests from readers asking for the name and contact information for Karin Newhouse, the woman who did the reading. Unfortunately, she is no longer doing readings, and until now I didn’t know of any other medical intuitives to recommend. Now I do, and I am happy to pass them along.
When I had my reading, I was in California and Karin Newhouse was in Vermont.
She knew absolutely nothing about me, not even my last name.

At the time, I had just been told that my Hodgkin’s disease (diagnosed in 2002) had reappeared. I got that very bad news from an oncologist at Sloan Kettering in Manhattan. This doctor told me that I would need a stem cell transplant, a major medical intervention. Meanwhile, I made an appointment to get a second opinion from a Hodgkins’ specialist at Dana Farber in Boston.

So back to the medical intuitive reading. When I called Newhouse, she told me to “go lie down. You will feel all of your limbs get very heavy. When that feeling passes, call me back.”

As she predicted, my body felt like a sack of wet cement. And then, after about 45 minutes, the feeling lifted. I called her back.

“Did your mother have lung cancer?” Newhouse asked.

“No,” I said.

“Did she have a serious lung ailment?”

“Yes, she has had asthma most of her adult life.”

“Well that is the main issue you need to resolve. You need to stop resenting your mother.” Newhouse went on. “You have one spot of cancer, it’s on the left side of your body, below your ribcage and above your diaphragm. You will be cured of this spot, but you will need some more chemo and radiation.”

I almost dropped the phone. How could she possibly know the precise location of the cancer? The only two people who knew its location were my husband and my doctor!

I was still spinning when I got a phone call a few minutes later from the doctor at Dana Farber. The spot of cancer was NOT a new tumor. Rather, the doctor at Dana Farber told me that the Sloan Kettering team had failed to radiate my chest thoroughly, essentially saying they missed a spot in the first round of treatment.
Ever since I wrote that article on my medical intuitive reading, I have had numerous email requests for Karin Newhouse’s contact information. I wasn’t able to supply other names.

About a month ago, however, a young woman named Michelle Burawski, who lives in Georgia, contacted me about Newhouse. As always, I wrote back that I couldn’t help her.

But it turned out that Burawski herself had already consulted with at least two other medical intuitives.

I phoned each of the intuitives and had a nice chat with Charley Castex, a medical intuitive in Asheville, North Carolina. Castex is celebrating his 20th year as a clairvoyant spiritual counselor (the term he prefers.) He has done readings on more than 40,000 people on six continents, and his readings are not just regarding health and medical issues.

Castex knew at a very young age that he was spiritually “very sensitive.” At the age of ten, he was already meditating, and he was having dreams and visions. He was an altar boy, and was drawn to the mysticism of the Catholic Church. Coincidentally, his father died about that time, and Castex thinks that may explain his deepening connection to the spiritual world.

Later on, he studied with two different medicine men on the West Coast. He began taking clients when he was in his mid-twenties. He had some misgivings about doing readings, however: “I wanted to help people,” he said. “But I’m not a doctor. My reading shouldn’t supplant a visit to the doctor.”

Just how does he do the readings? Castex says “I look, listen and feel;” from these observations, he gets visions, feelings, impressions and images. To prepare for a reading, he may do automatic writing. He quietly sets an intention that the session will provide a “healing beyond words.”

Some of Castex’s impressions are symbolic. For example, in one reading he had an image of a washing machine. From that impression, he correctly surmised that the client had kidney disease.

In other readings, he might directly “see” that a person has high blood pressure or a nutrient deficiency.

Half of his practice is over the phone; his rates are $125 for a 45-minute reading, $150 for an hour, and $175 for a more comprehensive reading. He makes his living doing readings. “It’s been fascinating,” he says. “I consider myself really blessed.”

Michelle Burawski, who supplied Castex’s name as well as the names of two other psychics, has worked with Castex several times since. “He's truly gifted and one of the best. He has given me numerous readings about health issues and is always on target. Charley’s readings cover a wide range of topics, he’s really able to see what’s going on physically and emotionally. He is also a very kind, gentle soul.”

Caxtex’s phone number is (828) 251-5043 and his website indicates that he has been spotlighted by The New York Times, as well as by ABC and NBC national news. His clients include people from “all walks of life,” including Fortune 500 companies.

The other two other intuitives Burawski supplied are:

A Colorado-based intuitive named Julie Cobb. Burawski says she had a phone reading with Cobb and was pleased. Cobb’s prices are reasonable, too. “She talks fast, but she packs a lot of information into the reading and provides a recording, an mP3 download, via e-mail, afterward. She told me several things that were accurate and rang true. After I hung up, I felt really inspired and energized.” The following comes from Cobb’s website:

“We all have a spirit/soul that wants to be heard. It's sometimes hard to hear that spirit, through all of the fears that we carry on top of it and all of the ‘noise’ that we create for ourselves. My psychic readings and healings simply channel for your spirit and validate what you are carrying in your energy. I see energy and have the ability to translate the ‘story’ of why that energy may be stagnant or blocked in your body. All energy has a story and all pain is a form a of communication. 

“A true spiritual psychic is not about telling you the future. The present moment and energy you carry is the only thing that matters. We identify the origin of the fear or blocked energy you may be holding, giving you the ability to release it. As well, We can see where your energy flows freely and help you see your gifts. “

A third psychic, trained by the legendary medical intuitive Carolyn Myss, is Elizabeth Thorson. Thorson’s prices are reasonable. Burawski has not had a session with Thorson but plans on contacting her in the future. Thorson’s phone number is (207) 712-9495According to her website, she includes a video of herself explaining each type of reading that she offers, which helps to clarify her services.

To all those seeking a medical intuitive, I wish for you the very best outcomes!

Monday, January 26, 2015

FOR THE BIRDS

It occurred to me as I stared out at the feeders today,
that there are way too many bluejays,
and too many chickadees,
scarfing up the black-oiled sunflower seed.
They are both so common and they eat so
darn much of the pricey feed that I have a hard
time appreciating them.

Meanwhile, the visit from an amazing red-bellied woodpecker
this morning made my bird feeder day.

So here is my question:
if the red-bellied woodpeckers
were as plentiful as
the bluejays and chickadees, and the bluejays and chickadees
were as rare as
the red-bellied woodpeckers...

You get the picture.
I'm pretty sure I would be delighted with blue jays and
chickadees.

Realizing this, I try to remind myself to be grateful for all of the
birds that visit. Every single thing in nature is a miracle.

P.S. Meanwhile, bluejays have rich symbolic meaning. Check it out.

Friday, January 09, 2015

To Reduce Stress Try Chanting the Chakras!

Maybe you know all of this already. But for those of you who don't, the chakras are energy points in the body.  There are seven  of them. Says Wikipedia:

"Their name [chakra] derives from the Sanskrit word for "wheel" or "turning", but in the yogic context a better translation of the word is 'vortex or whirlpool'."

Chanting the sounds associated with the chakras is like giving your energy body a kind of vocal massage up and down your spine (each chakra is associated with a different color light.)

It's easy to chant the chakras, and it doesn't take long at all. If you have five minutes to spare in the morning, set a timer and then make these sounds one by one (taking a big breath in before chanting each chakra):

Chakra one, corresponding to the Crown Chakra at the top of the head and the third eye in the middle of the forehead: Say "EEEEEEE" 

Chakra two, corresponding to the Throat Chakra: Say "AYYYYYYYY" 

Chakra three, corresponding to the Heart Chakra: Say "OHHHHHHH" 

Chakra four, corresponding to the Solar Plexus Chakra: "UUUUUUU" 

Chakra five, corresponding to the Lung Chakra: "AHHHHHHHH"

Chakra six, corresponding to the Reproductive System: "MMMMMMMM"

Chakra seven, corresponding to the Base of the Spine: "SSSSSSSSS"


Try making each chant as long as you can. Over time, you will find that you go on and on with the vocalization!

If you do this chanting daily, you will be amazed how much they help reduce stress. One artist friend of mine, Barbara Beach, says she chants the chakras "to tune herself up in the morning."

Thanks to my energy healer and long-time friend Denise for instructing me in chakra chanting! I hope it works for you as well as it has for me!

Good luck with this, and have a good day!


Thursday, January 08, 2015

Winter Scene From the Window



Grey ice below a thin layer of snow.
A single black crow, its wings writing,
lifts into the towering pines.
The sun throws elephant shadows
over the hillside.
The crystal sky is so blue.


Monday, December 22, 2014

The Corner Store, Where the Cookies Came in Two Sizes...


 By Camincha  

The corner grocery store of Alba’s childhood -- she recalls being nine -- was very special. It took the role of today’s Community Service Centers: if you were not at home when a package was delivered, they would accept it, and hold it for you. They would take messages. They would let you know when that special brand you were waiting for came in. If you didn’t have a phone they would let you use theirs. Some charged una peseta, twenty cents, or if you were a regular they would just let you borrow it. Saying, “No. No charge for you,” they would slide back the peseta that you had placed on the counter, perhaps adding with a smile, “you are a preferred customer.”

Alba’s grocery store at the corner of Porta and San Martin in Miraflores, in the same block as her house, was owned, like most small grocery stores in the area, by Chinese. Two Chinese men. Both tall, good-looking. One was called Lin Lin. Alba never knew if that was his real name or not. She just accepted it, the way children often take some things for granted. Lin Lin was friendly and helpful to his clients. He smiled whenever he saw Alba. Often he saw her from his post, sitting behind the counter, before she saw him. As she approached, all of a sudden, his eyes would be visible, then his smile as he rose from his chair.

Lin Lin’s store was spacious, clean, with a large counter and a high ceiling. Its walls were lined with drawers. Little drawers. Large drawers. They went all the way up and down the walls. The drawers contained all kinds of merchandise. On one side, they held a well-organized rainbow of threads, ribbons, small pieces of yardage. Next needles, thimbles, measuring tapes. Another group held writing paper, pencils, erasers of all shapes, sizes and colors. An entire side had make-up, tiny perfume bottles and First Aid items. Other drawers held rice, all kinds of beans, noodles, wheat, coffee, tea. But the drawers Alba always zeroed in on were the ones that held the cookies.

In fact that was why this grocery store was so very special to her because of the cookies that were sold there: butter cookies. Flat. They were plain on one side and on the other, they had a clown’s face outlined in brown. They came in two sizes, one the size of una peseta, twenty cents, the others the size of a silver sol, un sol de plata. These cookies were so thin that she wondered how they held their shape. When she put them in her mouth they felt sturdy. Ah! but soon they cracked into tiny little pieces and their delicious flavor spread through out Alba’s slim, little body. 

And she did get a lot of cookies for one or two cents, since Lin Lin was most generous. He measured the sale with his hand. And to Alba’s delight  he had a large hand with long fingers.

Camincha is a California-based writer and a frequent contributor to MyStoryLives. To find a good recipe for sugar cookies, go to MyEdibleMemories.net
                                                  

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Meet the Red Birds!

Finally I got the cardinals on film. I had no sooner sat down to meditate this morning when the bright red male started strutting his stuffon the window sill. He hung around so long that I decided to pick up my camera -- the focus already set -- and shoot. A few minutes later, the female, a greenish yellow belly with pale red head and orange beak, appeared and I photographed her as well.

The last post and the one before that discuss the weird appearance of these birds. A friend contends that cardinals appear when there is something to celebrate (or grieve over.) So here we are now with photos, proof that they actually have been visiting.

Perhaps you can understand how distracting these birds can be.  As much as I love seeing the cardinals, it's getting more and more difficult to meditate.

Another little cardinal story happened yesterday. I was looking to buy a tray for underneath our toaster, as there are always crumbs pouring out onto the counter. My husband suggested that I look in a nice gift shop in Chatham, N.Y., the closest shopping district to Spencertown.

"They won't have a tray like that," I said to him. But I told him I would look anyway.
A young woman showed me several ceramic trays that were both too small and too much money. I turned those all down.

"We have one more tray in the back room," she said, and she produced a plastic tray that was the perfect size.

Guess what was pictured on the tray?

Yes, you got it. A pair of cardinals against a winter scene.

This has been a wild bird week. And I am still trying to piece together what exactly is going on here. Clearly there is no simple answer.

Monday, December 15, 2014

WHY ALL THIS CRAZY STUFF HAPPENING?


The cardinal was back this morning, and this time it was the red male batting at the window. I was busy  meditating.

What I want to know is why do these cardinals keep trying to pull my attention away from meditating? (They have been coming since I wrote the last post, last Wednesday.)  That day my head was swimming and I could hardly concentrate on writing.

Since then, I have talked to two writer friends about this situation. When I told my writer friend Peg --  who has read 1,000,000 pages of my writing, including the novel-by-blog Sister Mysteries -- she got confused. "You mean like cardinals in the church?" she asked.

HA, I responded, it never occurred to me that someone would s thinking I was talking about the
high priests of the Catholic church.

But then, Sister Mysteries -- which I finally finished the other day in Chapter 70 called "Finale" -- was all about the Catholic nun, Sister Renata, who back in 1883 was falsely accused of killing her cousin.

Renata, finally and officially, went free in that chapter, and so, reasonably enough -- I thought I was done writing Sister Mysteries. But oddly enough the book continues and maybe that is because the book that I am really writing is the story about me and how I discovered my faith in the divine. (More on that another time.)

Anyway, when Peg said that about Catholic cardinals, I had to explain to her I was talking about the birds and how a female cardinal came crashing into my window and batted her wings against the glass as I sat there with my mouth hanging open. And all the while I was trying to meditate. My therapist in New York City, who has been teaching meditation for 20 years, says that when you meditate you open yourself up to divine energies.)

My other writer friend -- a superb poet named NANCY DUNBAR -- says that cardinals appear "in times of grief and in times of celebration." In my case, I have been celebrating the OFFICIAL ENDING TO THE BLOG TOME I HAVE BEEN WRITING SINCE NOVEMBER 10, 2011. Actually, though, as Peg knows so well as she has read all the 1,000,000 pages I've written, this book has been brewing and steaming and overflowing for 20 years (I wrote the first chapter of the Renata story in Janury 1995). Understandably I have been more than frustrated with this novel. I have tried to write it so many times I can't count. And then I have tried NOT WRITING the novel just as many times and it refused to be put away!)

So the last few days I HAVE BEEN CELEBRATING! Like Renata, I am FINALLY FREE. I am no longer trapped in this novel and I am so happy I can hardly tell you.

I guess that is why the CARDINALS have been coming to my window. It makes me believe in miracles -- so maybe you want to visit my brand new blog called Mysteries and Miracles.  I hope you will read it.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Miracle Morning!


Miracles are
happening to me
this morning
the first was just
moments ago the
most amazing bird story I have ever
seen
I saw it 
while in 
meditation.

I had been sitting for
about half an hour when
my husband brought the 
puppy downstairs so she could
go outside.

My husband came into
the living room and said a few things to me
I resumed meditation
and then
and then
the puppy came in and sat down
to the right of me  
I looked over my right shoulder

I SAW A COUPLE OF CARDINALS AT THE WINDOW ON THE BLACK BRANCHES
AGAINST THE WHITE SNOW IT WAS A CHRISTMAS CARD FRAMED BY MY
LIVING ROOM WINDOW I GASPED AND COULDN’T LOOK AWAY I WOULD SAY THEY WERE THERE FOR A HALF HOUR BUT ACTUALLY NOT  NEARLY THAT LONG
THE FEMALE DISAPPEARED BUT THE
MALE KEPT KEPT KEPT KEPT KEPT AT THE WINDOW BATTING 
HIS WINGS FLUTTERING MADLY TRYING DESPERATELY TO GET THROUGH THE GLASS AS I WATCHED MY MOUTH HANGING OPEN THE BUSH THE BIRD THE THOUGHT CAME TO ME THE BURNING BUSH AND MOSES SEEING IT AND

ME WATCHING A SMALL MIRACLE RIGHT
THERE
RIGHT HERE NOW NOW NOW AND 

HOW CAN YOU POSSIBLY GO BACK TO MEDITATION WHEN
THE BIRDS HAVE TAKEN YOUR BREATH AWAY?

So I stopped 
to write this.
It's a mystery
I needed a camera but didn’t move.
Some miracles
you just can’t photograph
in words.

P.S.

OMG THE RED CARDINAL THE FEMALE JUST RETURNED
SHE IS SITTING OUTSIDE THE WINDOW IN THE ROSE OF SHARON 
HOW IS IT POSSIBLE THAT THESE BIRDS
I HAVE NEVER WITNESSED ANYTHING LIKE THIS NEVER
NOT EVER AT THE BIRD FEEDER I NEED TO GET MY CAMERA
I AM SITTING HERE I WILL TRY TO GET UP TO GET MY CAMERA
I AM CERTAIN SHE WILL FLY AWAY BUT WHAT THE HECK I MIGHT
AS WELL TRY...

AND I ONLY GOT THE WINDOW.



But now that we are on the subject of mysteries I might as well
tell you the candle story again
once again
today a candle won't stop
burning bush
won't stop
won't stop
the wax
the wick
I had a tricky candle once before in my Sister Mysteries blog


That time it wouldn't stop burning
It lasted and lasted and lasted
Way way past a candle should.
A long long long long
time after the wick
just kept burning
and burning and
burning bush.
I am now finished reporting on morning miracles.
(But the candle is still burning and I will time how long 
before it goes out.)

p.s.s. The candle burned for four and a half hours!