Category Archives: Healing

Are We in “The Sedona of the Midwest”?

Sedona of the Midwest, U.P. as midwestern metaphysical hub, U.P. holistic wellness publication

Perhaps you’ve heard talk of Marquette or the U.P. in general being referred to as “The Sedona of the Midwest.” Over the last four or so decades, Sedona, Arizona has become widely known for the healing power of energy vortexes found in nature there, drawing healers, those seeking healing, and those simply curious about it to the area. Is it just idle talk that something similar is happening here in our northern climes, or is there something more to this idea? We spoke with some U.P. residents and asked them to weigh in on the topic.

Dar Shepherd: I’ve heard that before. Sedona is Sedona, and Marquette is Marquette. Both are so strong in the beauty of the natural elements. When I was living in Sedona, I’d go in the grocery store, and come outside, and take a breath, just because of being in this bowl of the red rocks. It’s gorgeous. It’s stunning. Here, I can see the lake right out my window, and then, of course, there’s walking Presque Isle. For me, they’re equal in the energy of the beauty.

The energy is palpable in both places. The feeling I get in Sedona—it’s wonderful, big energy, and the same is true of my experience here in Marquette. The people who are drawn to that are artists, writers, and people who are drawn to nature. And it might be easier to feel that inner being in places like these.

I spent two-and-a-half years in Sedona, and the majority of the last 40 years here in the U.P. and there are definitely more yoga classes, more healers, more natural medicines, more galleries, more focus on the arts and authors now than before….” As for the vortexes, “The vortex is within you.

Mary Alice Silverthorn: I moved here about two-and-a-half years ago from Eugene, Oregon. I really didn’t know what to expect, coming from the West Coast. When I came and started investigating all the holistic offerings and spiritual offerings in the community, I was beyond surprised! This is a community that has people doing cacao ceremonies, which I had never even heard of before, 5 or 6 acupuncturists, 3 or 4 cranio-sacral therapists, channeling… Per capita, this place has more in terms of holistic, complementary care, and alternative, metaphysical groups. So, I was and am still in awe of what we have here relative to the size of the area. I would compare it to Sedona because of that holistic metaphysical interest in the area.

Some of the deciding factors for my move were this very nice, huge co-op, and picking up Health & Happiness there and seeing all that’s offered here. It’s amazing. It’s a very healing environment. Looking at Health & Happiness’s directory, seeing just the sheer amount of people doing holistic, sacred work—this might be the place with the greatest number of healers per capita. I don’t say it lightly, having lived in over a dozen different places, and traveling as well. You don’t necessarily expect holistic offerings all the time in a smaller city. We have so much here. I didn’t want to go somewhere where I didn’t have access to holistic healing, integrative healing. Even the doctors here—there are Doctors of Osteopathy working with herbs. That’s not common for a place of this size.

The other piece is the land itself.

Coming from the West Coast, where I’d see the ocean about a couple of times a month, there’s something about Lake Superior, especially the southern shore, that I think is very sacred. I think the exposed rock, the Black Rocks, perhaps the oldest exposed rocks in the world? There is something very special and grounding about them. And going and seeing them, but also just being on the shores of Lake Superior. In this area, unlike where I lived in northern Minnesota, you can go, you can swim. There are sand beaches. It’s not only beautiful and wild, it’s also accessible. It’s welcoming. Of course, you have to be respectful of Lake Superior, just as in Sedona you have to be respectful of the mountains. This wild, sacred, grounding energy—every time I leave and come back, I just give this sigh of relief. And Lake Superior is here, and Mother Earth is exposed.

I’ve not been to Sedona yet, but I’ve lived all around—Lower Michigan, South Carolina, Colorado, Oregon, California, Minnesota, and in various locations throughout those states, as well as Moscow, Russia. The people here are the most welcoming and heart-centered that I’ve ever experienced. There’s definitely major heart energy in this area.

I’m in awe of it, and I could see it being the Sedona of the Upper Midwest with the benefits of it not being commercialized, as I hear Sedona is. It’s still very pristine and sacred.

When I visit cities, I always check out the co-op, libraries, thrift stores, holistic businesses, and rock shops. I think we could even compete with some of the bigger, more well-known cities. In Eugene, I couldn’t find a reflexologist. We’ve got three or four here. We should be known not only for our nature, our trails, but also for the healing arts.

I would also say eventually, and maybe sooner than later, this will be a hub for healing where people can come from afar for a week or two for deep spiritual healing from the nature that we have.”

Cindy Engle: I think it’s the draw of the Lake, and being nestled in the kona dolomite (a pinkish local rock), and the rock cuts, and the Black Rocks—it’s all part of why it’s pinpointed here, I believe. I definitely enjoy talking with NMU students who come up here, and get attached to the lake, and can’t leave. I was thirteen when we moved up here. I got out the car, walked into the little cabin we were renting, and said, “I’m home.” I knew immediately that this was my place in the world.

I think we definitely have a huge conglomeration of talent drawn to this area, drawn to the lake…

Jake Hulce: I haven’t been to Sedona, but if you’re looking for a place with a lot of different energies to it, the U.P. is an amazing place. It’s extremely unique. We have a good diversity of minerals that’s kind of unique to the entire world. The copper in the Copper Country is specific to it—there is no other copper in the world that has the same chemical make-up. That’s why you find places like the Keweenaw vortex and stuff like that up there.

The U.P. has a lot of magic spots in the forests…. It’s a very interesting place energetically. You also have the Great Lakes. The entire Lake Superior shoreline is amazing.

The Keweenaw is one of my favorite places. With work, I was able to get to every corner of the Keweenaw. The copper gives the Keweenaw a very unique energy signature. Copper is a conductor—it holds energy, draws energy, transfers energy, moves energy. If you travel up the west side of the Keweenaw on M-26, you’ll hit a few little towns—Eagle River, Eagle Harbor. If you spend some time on that road, go to the roadside parks there, and face out over Lake Superior to the west, you have all the copper in the ground behind you, the energy of the lake in front of you. That whole west side of the Keweenaw is an incredible place.

Then there’s Kitch-iti-kipi near Manistique with underground natural springs that have formed a small lake of pure clean, clear water coming up at 500 gallons/minute. That place holds a lot of significance to it energetically.

Groundwater is purified by Mother Earth. It’s a natural life spring, life well.

Even in the Bible, the living waters are mentioned. Jesus talks about their being energetically clean because they’ve been purified by the earth. A lot of them have been untouched by man.

Menominee County has a huge vein of gold in the ground. Gogebic County has uranium, which only a few places in the world do.

There’s dense forest up here. Many animal spirits reside in these woods, in state forest and county forest land. Communing with nature out there is absolutely amazing. We have thousands and thousands of acres that nobody touches. The footprint of man in some of these places is actually extremely small. If you want to get out, commune with nature, the U.P. is the place to do it.

From a metaphysics standpoint, lots of these county and state parks are the most energetic.

They hold the most spirit to them. That’s why even those who aren’t consciously spiritually in tune are still drawn to them because their spirit knows this.

As for crystal mineralization, the Seaman Mineral Museum at Michigan Tech is open to the public five days a week. It’s all minerals from the U.P.—there’s dozens and dozens and dozens of examples of quartz and fluorite. The U.P. has an immense amount of clear quartz, and white quartz, and some low-grade amethyst.

Then there’s Lake of the Clouds toward Ontonagon. You can go up on some of the big hills we call mountains, and there’s incredible views. The Copper Country has Brockway Mountain. You can see for miles, and miles, and miles. On a clear night in the summer, the stargazing is phenomenal. You can see the whole heavens. Anyone who wants to commune with nature, commune with stars, that’s the place to be. And it’s already a park.

The rivers talk in the U.P. The water spirits up here are amazing. There are so many waterfalls and streams that are so energetically charged.

Roslyn McGrath: Having been fortunate enough to visit Sedona, Arizona, as well as Machu Picchu in Peru, and some other incredible spots in Southern France, I have to say the U.P. definitely has its own magic, with places where the movement of subtle energies is every bit as vital and wonderful in its own way. You know an energy vortex is simply a swirling movement of energy. Our bodies have them (chakras or energy centers) and earth has them, with some definitely more palpable than others. There are places like Craig Lake State Park, spots along the trail at Wetmore Landing, areas in the Keweenaw and Ottawa National Forest, and I’m sure others I haven’t visited yet, that are truly special. And if you make the effort to approach them mindfully, you might just be amazed.

I think this, and the energy of Lake Superior is an important part of it, is a big factor in why so many healers and creatives have been drawn up here, or have lived here all their lives and become sparked to express themselves this way. The amount of artists and healers here has grown substantially since I moved here in 1994. Holistic wellness fairs, such as Marquette’s 21-year-old Spring Annual Holistic Health Fair, the People’s Fair, now held north of Calumet, and newer ones, such as the Keweenaw Summer Celebration in Calumet, Escanaba’s Mind-Body-Spirit Wellness Event, Marquette’s Spirit of the Solstice, and others held at Algomah Acres in Greenland, are blossoming. Holistic complexes are beginning to sprout up, such as Be Well Marquette. And I expect this trend will only continue as part of this nationwide pattern.

Excerpted with permission from the Spring 2020 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2020, Empowering Lightworks, LLC.

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Working with Medicine Wheels: East Direction (Part 4 of 4), Jude Catallo & Scott Emerson

Medicine Wheels, U.P. holistic wellness publication

Know this. The actions of the molecules in your body are influenced by the status of your energetic biofield.

If you’ve read the first three parts of this series, and more importantly, if you have begun working with Medicine Wheel ceremonies, you can understand their simple yet timeless quality. They have been used by many generations of indigenous Americans for thousands of years over wide geographic areas.

They have great power to bring healing and spiritual growth to the individual as well as communities at large. When something works, it persists. If you have not yet done so, we advise you now to read these articles about the first three directions on our or Health & Happiness’s website before reading this last one of the series.

The realm of Spirit is associated with the East direction. For most indigenous people of North America, Eagle is recognized as the archetype of the East. The Lakota Sioux word for the East is Iwiyohiyanpata and is associated with morning, spring, and childhood. The Lakota color of the East is yellow like our sun rising into the sky each day. The language of the East is energy resonance.

When we connect with Eagle, we experience the place of becoming, and reality reveals its underlying true energetic essence that is 99% consciousness, and only 1% matter. With their large powerful wings, eagles soar high above the mountains, rivers, forests and lakes, yet with their keen vision can spot fish in the water 2,000 feet below.

The ability of Eagle to see the big picture and the small details simultaneously urges us to rise above the mundane battles occupying our lives, and gain the view from the heavens close to the Great Spirit. When facing any difficulty, the closer we can get to the energy of Spirit, the less energy we need to effect change, and the universe seems to conspire in our behalf.

The four teachings of the East provide a portal to the way of the sage “who transcends to become resonant with Spirit, bringing wisdom, healing, and beauty into our world.”

The four teachings of the East are: Mastering Time, Owning Your Projections, No Mind, and Indigenous Alchemy. Understand what the sages and the scientists know—that beyond cause and effect, coincidence and synchronicity are also qualities of time that operate in a circular and simultaneous fashion from future to present to past and also all at once. This is what quantum physicists call temporal entanglement.

Develop a regular meditation practice to silence your mind, and become familiar with your luminous energy field and its projections. Resonate with Spirit, and see infinite possibilities to bring beauty, balance, and grace into yourself and all our relations. Embark on a sacred journey.

Spirit is a fundamental property of the universe. It is an expansive, infinite, creative, matrix of resonating energy, a consciousness that keeps the cosmos evolving and renewing itself. You can trust in Spirit’s power and wisdom. This is brought into focus by creating your Medicine Wheel and gaining awareness of your energy body within a sacred space.

Open sacred space and create a Medicine Wheel honoring the East and the Eagle archetype, preferably with an eastward vista.

As you create your Medicine Wheel, ask, “Who is making this?” Then ask, “Who is asking this?” Stand on the East side of your Medicine Wheel. Begin the 4/7/8 breath (4-count inhale, 7-count hold, 8-count exhale) for seven cycles, extend your arms, and look at your hands. Now close your eyes, and feel your hands as vibrating energy. Next, with eyes closed, rub your hands together briefly, extend them apart, and slowly bring them together. Note any subtle tingling or vibrational sensation changes as you bring your hands toward each other. Do you feel any repelling or resisting force as they come near each other? Try to sense this same sensation in your shoulders & chest.

Repeat this exercise often to become more aware of your underlying energetic nature. Experiment with something that triggers anger or fear as well as gratitude or love, and feel the different effects on your energy body.

Focus only on the roles or beliefs about yourself and the teachings that you moved from the North into the East quadrant of your Medicine Wheel last time. Have you been successful in relinquishing into the fire the roles that are no longer valid? Have you become those teachings as you walk on the Earth?

If so, find a role stick(s) to hold with the object(s) representing the teaching in your hands, along with your essence stone. Powerfully blow these new energetic patterns into the stone. Place the stone into the center of the Medicine Wheel. If no transcendence is experienced yet, also blow that into the stone. Leave, and return the next day.

Meditation is absolutely essential for work in the East, and is greatly facilitated by opening of the eighth chakra, and heart presence breathing.

Meditation has been found to disrupt the default mode network (DMN) in the brain that creates repetitive thoughts focused on the self or ego. The DMN wastes energy and leads to depressive and anxious states.

The eighth chakra is a glowing sun-like sphere just outside the body above our crown, and is known by ancient medicine women and men as the place where the divine resides within us–our soul. To expand it to form a sacred, healing bubble surrounding you for your personal work, thrust both arms together up over your head, expand this sphere with your hands, and use your arms to slowly pull this energy down over your entire body to your feet. Then slowly return your hands to the mid-chest over your heart.

Feel how this feels and then begin the 4/7/8 heart breath. Stand on the East side of your Medicine Wheel facing east. Close your eyes and inhale with the in-breath feeling to come through the front of your chest wall over your heart. Let the breath expand briefly as a light within your heart as you remember anything of beauty you’ve experienced in your life. Exhale out through the front of your chest over the heart. Repeat several cycles, then stop the counting, and retain only the pattern of breathing for several minutes. Heart breathing has been shown to create strong resonant coherence within your energy body. Also, in our experience, resonance with Spirit is felt through the heart more than the mind.

Now repeat the exercise from yesterday for experiencing the energy body. Retrieve your essence stone from the center of the Medicine Wheel and hold it next to your heart. Call to the Eagle archetype to come and wrap her wings around you, and allow you to experience the world of Spirit. Journey safely with Eagle, and let go. Feel yourself dissolving into the energetic field state, into the place of becoming. This is the world of an infinite, conscious, energetic matrix of wisdom where everything everywhere is intertwined. It is timeless. Resonate with this immensity for a few moments, and then return to your Medicine Wheel with Eagle. Allow this experience to move down into your body. Embody it. This is indigenous alchemy.

Your essence stone now has become a medicine stone storing your new energetic resonance pattern.

It is a power object you can hold and consult at any time to help preserve what you have accomplished, and store future changes and personal course corrections as you complete future cycles around the Medicine Wheel.

Destroy your East Medicine Wheel, close sacred space, leave, and walk upon the Earth in beauty until your next Medicine Wheel ceremony honoring the South direction.

Jude Catallo and Scott Emerson, MD of timelesshealing.org are both graduates of The Four Winds Society: Shamanic Energy Medicine Intensive Apprenticeship 2017 – ongoing;   members of the Oklaweva Native American Church 2016 – ongoing; & Andean Cosmic Vision Apprenticeship, Don Theo Paredes 2003 – ongoing.

Excerpted with permission from the Spring 2020 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2020, Empowering Lightworks, LLC.

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Inner Nutrition: How Can We Best Cope with Health Challenges? Roslyn McGrath

natural living, holistic wellness, U.P. wellness publication, holistic health

You do everything you can to eat right, exercise regularly, and make healthy lifestyle choices. Or you’ve thought about doing so, but haven’t quite followed up with this very much yet. Or you feel like you should, but really don’t want to. Or sometimes you do these things, sometimes you don’t. You’re young. You’re old. You’re somewhere in-between. Regardless, it’s likely you’ve had, or at some point will have to deal with a significant health challenge, something beyond a stubbed toe or head cold, something that may be painful, limit your capacities, and/or threaten your survival.

Frustration, fear, anger, grief, sorrow, self-pity–any or all of these reactions may well up in dealing with your situation. It’s normal and it’s natural. And trying to stuff these emotions back down is likely only to increase your suffering sooner or later. More and more, research has shown how our mental and emotional state impacts our physical health. So what might help you to authentically cope with your situation in the most positive and effective way?

In speaking with and observing friends, family members, and clients, as well as considering my own experiences, a number of suggestions arose. Below is what our lay experts have to say. What might it be like to use these suggestions? What suggestions do you have of your own?

Don’t dwell on your health challenge too much. You are not the illness or injury; you are simply dealing with it. Be sure to pay attention to the other parts of your life as well. You’re likely to feel better emotionally, and more like yourself.

Consider with whom you’ll discuss your health challenge, as well as how often and in what ways. The fears, past experiences, and sympathy or pity of well-meaning others can drag you down because they focus upon your challenge as a negative. Who will be a compassionate supporter? Who will hold a positive space with and for you?

Don’t label your health challenge with its medical term, which can have many negative associations to it. Instead, see it in symbolic terms. This may help loosen up your view of it, bring you a greater sense of positive potential, and envision and work toward more positive outcomes.

Let your supporters know what form of support you’d like. This may be different at different times, so keep communicating. Are you seeking advice? Feedback? Cheerleading? Neutral listening? Help with tasks?

Have patience. Time as well as tenacity may be required for your healing. Trying to push the river may be pointless or even produce negative results, extending your healing time, so accepting where you’re at while continuing to envision your positive outcome is important.

Trust your gut in making decisions. Information-gathering in itself is unlikely to provide one 100% guaranteed “correct” choice and ultimately your healthcare choices are your own. So give yourself what you need to line up with a choice and then follow through on it.

Don’t give up. If the approach you’ve been going with has been given a good try and isn’t working for you, open to exploring other avenues.

Don’t expect to feel positive all the time. Emotions come up. Don’t judge yourself for having them. So long as we don’t hold on to them or feed them, they are temporary states. Accept your feelings for what they are, and return to your positive focus when you’re ready.

Trust. To the best of your ability, let go of worries, fears, and resistance, surrender to the universal flow, and watch the magic unfold. Remembering this may help lessen some of the suffering in the moment. 

Focus on what you can do more than on what you can’t, and do those activities that bring you joy and fulfillment.

Do something creative that you wouldn’t otherwise. Your current limitations may even help inspire the form your creativity takes. For example, when a very physically active friend was laid up in recovery from a hip replacement, she danced with her toes, developing the strength and coordination of her ankles, feet and toes.

Think about how you anticipate feeling when your healing is complete. Do your best to really feel how that feels, perhaps even imagining you’re breathing this feeling in from every direction, or it’s being poured into you by angels.

Pay attention to, and to the best of your ability, stay actively engaged in the lives of your loved ones, and with the world around you.

Spend time in nature. Sunshine can be very healing. Take time to slow down and appreciate the life around you. Breathe in the freshness of the earth. If you can’t get outside, play recordings of nature sounds and surround yourself with plants and flowers. Imagine yourself in a beautiful forest or meadow. 

Cultivate gratitude. This allows you to release negative emotions that no longer serve you. Taking time each day to practice gratefulness, whether in a thought, prayer, affirmative statement, meditation, or simply looking around for things for which you are grateful is healing. It’s particularly helpful to include yourself, and also the many ways in which your body is working well. Given the human body’s complexity, no matter your health challenge, likely there are many things functioning well, so this is a more balanced, accurate view. Gratitude allows us to receive more love and joy, and bathes the very body cells in a positive charge, relaxing us.

Special thanks to Joshua Alan Brown for his assistance with this article, and also to numerous friends, clients, and loved ones.

Roslyn Elena McGrath is an observer, participant, visionary, and implementer of life as it is and can be. She supports herself and others to shine their light through personal growth and vibrational healing sessions, workshops, books, recordings, art, and this magazine. Visit http://www.EmpoweringLightworks.com and HealthandHappinessUPMag.com.

Reprinted with permission from the Spring 2019 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine, copyright 2019. All rights reserved.

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Can I Really Heal? by Joshua Brown

I want to share something here specific to my personal experience and perspective over the past seven years since sustaining a spinal cord injury from a car accident that left me quadriplegic.

 
It is difficult not to take on a condition as an identity. We sometimes start to identify with our issues until we develop a form of apathy and entitled victimhood.

 
And when we are in deep physical pain and emotional suffering—feeling helpless, we expect others to cater to that, and they often do, enabling us to continue our dream of suffering. I realize this will trigger some folks, but again, this is my personal perspective. Please hear me out if you will.

 
There is a way out of your suffering, or at least a way to lessen it. And if you must suffer, then at least there is a way to find peace with it.

 
If you really want out of suffering, or at least to become functional, open your heart, open your mind. Be willing to move outside of your comfort zone. You could call it a leap of faith. Be willing to let go, and release old conditioning, habits, beliefs, relationships that aren’t serving you.

 
Be willing to ask questions—Is there a way out of this pain (other than dying unless it’s your time)?

 
Do I have to wait until some miracle cure comes along so I can feel better, or walk, or whatever?

 

Do I have to wait decades upon decades hoping?

 
Can I allow myself to believe that I can find the answers and healing in my own life, right now, today, rather than being in agony waiting for someone to produce the magic fix?

Am I attached to this suffering? Afraid to lose this suffering self, even as I say I want it gone? Am I afraid of who I can become if I let it go? Am I afraid to rise to the responsibility?

 
Yes, there is a way out of this pain. No, I do not have to wait for a miracle cure in order to make my life better today. No, I don’t have to wait decades to do something about improving my life today. I can empower myself, rather than waiting for others to find the answers. I have found many of the answers that work for me, and many are still unfolding.

 
Ask and it is given. Seek and you will find. Knock and it will be opened to you.
With spinal cord injuries and physical paralysis come a host of issues. A few of these are intense, debilitating neuropathic and inflammatory pain, impaired bowel and bladder function, inflammation, swelling/edema, skin sores, lung congestion, loss of bone density, muscle spasms, low and swinging blood pressure, urinary tract infections, ingrown toenails.

Those in my situation are prescribed a host of pharmaceutical drugs early on, and while they are useful to a degree, I have seen them overused. They mask symptoms, suppress systems. To me, it’s as if plugging your ears when your body is screaming at you to listen. For example, with the use of opioid drugs, when the body receives up to a maximum prescribed dosage, the nervous system creates new pain receptors so it can feel.

 
What does that tell you? Your body is giving you messages, over and over again! And what do we do? “Shut up! Just go away!” we say. We are not addressing the root causes. We are just avoiding, suppressing, ignoring until the dysfunction can no longer be ignored.

 
I still use pharmaceutical drugs sometimes because they can be useful for managing some symptoms while you’re on your way to improvements.

 
My body is a complex organism, a very intelligent organism. And my tiny mind, the part of my brain that thinks in words and is educated, would do best to learn that that system is perfect. It knows what is needed, and I must reconnect to its language to discover its solutions.

 
Your journey is not going to be like mine. You may find your remedy through a different process than mine. But I am here to tell you that you do have options. The answers exist. Healing is real.

 
I have eliminated much physical pain through natural and non-invasive means. Now I am more functional. I know how to keep my bowels healthy even with paralysis. I rarely ever have a skin sore. My lungs are improving getting stronger, with very little congestion. Muscle spasticity is minimal. (I like some to keep muscle tone.) My blood pressure is more balanced. I very rarely have a cold or flu (though I do believe they can be good for us).

 
Is it all perfect? No. But life is so much better than two or four or seven years ago. I expect it to get better. I will keep going. Why? Because I like feeling good. I like feeling free. I like being at my best for the humans around me.

 
Joshua Brown suffered a broken neck caused by a severe car accident seven years ago, leaving him paralyzed from the chest down. This has led him on a healing journey, learning how to heal in his own way, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Reprinted with permission from Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine, Winter 2017 – 2018 Issue, copyright 2017. All rights reserved.

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