man

Weaving the golden path of integration

While the transformative fires of love may never feel safe, it is only through tender kindness to your immediate experience that you will know the mysteries of lover and beloved, broken and whole, and separation and union. You can slow down. There is no urgency. You need not answer any questions, scramble back to clarity, or resolve anything… for now.

There is so much intelligence moving within you. You are okay. Nothing is wrong and nothing need be fixed. … [click on title to read and view more]

healingdarkemotions

Healing through the dark emotions

Fear, grief and despair are uncomfortable and are seen as signs of personal failure. In our culture we call them “negative” and think of them as “bad.” I prefer to call these emotions “dark,” because I like the image of a rich, fertile soil from which something unexpected can bloom. Also we keep them “in the dark” and tend not to speak about them. We privatize them and don’t see the ways in which they are connected to the world. But the dark emotions are inevitable. They are part of the universal human experience and are certainly worthy of our attention. They bring us important information about ourselves and the world and can be vehicles of profound transformation. … [click on title to read and view more]

brain-injury

It gets better: Neuropsych doctor confirms psych drug iatrogenisis, PTSD, brain injury

Indeed, I do not consider myself ill anymore. I consider myself HEALING which is a vibrant state of movement and change. My limitations do not mean that I am sick. Learning to make boundaries for my well-being has been one of the healthiest things I’ve learned to do. Deeply respecting the needs of this body/temple is one of the most wonderful achievements of WELLNESS. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

A neighbor's goat

The exiled scapegoats, the black sheep, the nonconformists and creative maladjusted…

Exiled scapegoats can, thus, return to serve the collective as agents of its deepest and most difficult needs…. But they are also a community unto themselves.

They form a loose society of nonconformists. It is one devoted to transpersonal processes underlying the individuality and secular collectives.

Those in this society listen for the guidance that comes from the intersection of life and death, joy and pain, love and wounding. They are more or less willing to feel its paradoxical and raw nature. Since they struggle to continually accept that intersection in their own hearts, they can work with inevitable shadow projections, not as a prelude to scapegoating and splitting in order to attack, but as a means of life long personal growth and ethical actions. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

flute

Native American flute to meditate by…

I’ve been listening to Native American Flute lately. I can feel both dance and music and sound changing and healing my brain’s neurons. Seriously. We can change our brains and I’m doing it. Neuroplasticity. Everything else in my healing protocol takes part in this movement of healing as well. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

magnolias

What does it mean to heal?

I also like to say that being healthy (in both body and mind) is simply about living well and this illness has allowed me to learn how to do that in a profound way, for which I am very grateful. Being mindful of all that I do moment by moment throughout every day is a life lived in conscious sacredness. That is the healing path in my mind. One that never ends. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

choice

We need a smorgasbord of mental health options

This is the idea behind all my advocacy around mental health…we need a smorgasbord of options available to folks. I used that line (smorgasbord of options) in this radio interview I did recently…it was the first time I’d used it…it just popped out spontaneously while I was talking…but I’ll be using it more. It’s exactly what we need and it’s how a sane infrastructure must look like if it’s going to support meaningful healing options for real people in the world. Not only do different people need different things to heal…the same people need different things at different times. Healing is about evolving and recognizing change as much as anything else. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

leap

Learn to come back, to return to being present over and over again

The primary focus of this path of choosing wisely, of this training to de-escalate aggression, is learning to stay present. Pausing very briefly, frequently throughout the day, is an almost effortless way to do this. For just a few seconds we can be right here. Meditation is another way to train in learning to stay, or, as one student put it more accurately, learning to come back, to return to being present over and over again. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

probiotic

Gut bacteria play a role in mood and emotion

“All disease begins in the gut.” – Hippocrates

What Hippocrates knew way back when is finding a resurgence today. There is a lot of talk of the importance of gut flora in the science media these days. Unfortunately the conclusions they come to generally involve excitement of new possibilities for pharma. Pharma is not the answer and there are people who know how to go about systematically healing the gut right now with information that’s been available for a long time but not utilized. I have been learning how to do this for myself now for close to a decade as well. It’s a fascinating adventure to come to intimately know the workings of the body/mind. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

earth20

WHAT’S POSSIBLE: The U.N. Climate Summit Film

There are no other causes as important as this one because without a healthy planet and environment, well, we won’t have to bother fighting for the rights of human beings anymore, will we?

This is it. This is the most critical issue of our time.

Presented to world leaders at the United Nations Climate Summit in New York, this short inspirational film shows that climate change is solvable. We have the technology to harness nature sustainably for a clean, prosperous energy future, but only if we act now. Narrated by Morgan Freeman, it calls on the people of the world to insist leaders get on the path of a livable climate and future for humankind. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

michpretty

Mindfulness an effective way to heal trauma: study

This has certainly been my experience as meditation and mindfulness both are foundational in my healing practices. Body based practices are critically important for me as well and often neglected in clinical circles it seems. In my experience it’s necessary in that many with trauma histories need to have a sense of embodiment before it’s possible to really be in the present and mindful of that which is happening now. It seems doing both more traditional meditation and body oriented mindfulness practices helps create that capacity. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

healing

The most alive sadness in your heart

As you wander through this world, you might become aware of the most alive sadness filling your heart. This is not the sadness of the mind, where something is felt to be missing, but is a reflection of how precious it is to have a human body, senses to make love with everything around you, arms to touch and hold another, and words to speak kindness. Just this is none other than a wild miracle. … [click on title to read and view more]

monica cassani fall mountains

Fall equinox today…energy shifts underway….

The longer I am psych drug free the more amazing my connection to all things becomes apparent. Not just the seasons, but the cycles of the moon, the weather, sun flares and everything in my environment matters. Yes! Everything matters. We are deeply holistic critters and we are part of all of life and the universe.

I’m so glad to now understand this wondrous process so that I might choose to ride the waves rather than suppress them or otherwise try to run away from my very nature. There may be a time and place to hide from and/or slow down the process, but that, too, should be a choice. For me now, drug free, all these shifts and changes provide data — information — that I might continue to learn to live well and my healing continues to amaze and humble me. It is through this amazing life that I am healed and changed. Life is energy and love that gives us all we need if we are open to receiving it. … [click on title to read and view more]

birds

It gets better: This is what it’s like…

And to be clear — It’s not like this anymore. It’s gotten a whole lot better.
(from) MARCH 19, 2010
This is an email I wrote to a friend who asked what it was like to experience the post benzo withdrawal. I don’t write much anymore, even emails to friends and family, so I figured I’d be economical and use this on the blog.
I began the description:
Have you tripped before? I often feel like I’m having a bad trip and it’s the part in which one is coming down…strange sensations and terror…as well as semi-psychotic thought processes. … [click on title to read and view more]

coffee

Caffeine Doesn’t Work in Psych Drug Withdrawal

By Russell Baugher
Three weeks ago, I was taking shortcuts to increase my energy because I wanted more from life, and two weeks ago—I crashed. I was enjoying one cup of coffee each morning and sugar-infused edibles throughout the day, but I realized after seven days that I just can’t handle stimulants and, to a lesser extent, sugar while in psych drug withdrawal. It’s tough, too, because my caffeinated thoughts are unequivocally precise, and swift. … [click on title to read and view more]

borderline

The Scarlet Label (Borderline Personality Disorder)

By Brent Potter PhD
The diagnosis Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) strikes fear and loathing in the hearts of most mental health providers. It is unquestionably one of the most stigmatizing and overused diagnoses in existence. Often diagnosing someone with this label is a clinical punch in the gut to the client and also a means of communicating warning to other clinicians. It is the 21st century version of the scarlet letter. … [click on title to read and view more]

feelings

Can you stay with that feeling?

You never remain with any feeling, pure and simple, but always surround it with the paraphernalia of words. The word distorts it; thought, whirling round it, throws it into shadow, overpowers it with mountainous fears and longings. You never remain with a feeling, and with nothing else: with hate, or with that strange feeling of beauty. When the feeling of hate arises, you say how bad it is; there is the compulsion, the struggle to overcome it, the turmoil of thought about it.Try remaining with the feeling of hate, with the feeling of envy, jealousy, with the venom of ambition; for after all, that’s what you have in daily life, though you may want to live with love, or with the word love. Since you have the feeling of hate, of wanting to hurt somebody with a gesture or a burning word, see if you can stay with that feeling. Can you? Have you ever tried? … [click on title to read and view more]

prosad

I am free

Saturday Mellow music…Jerry Katz ended the interview we did together the other day with this song. It’s really lovely and so appropriate for what the interview was about, so I wanted to share it here. And to be clear much of the interview was about becoming free of pharma and psychiatry and why that is difficult for anyone who would like a life free of psych meds once they’ve been on them. . … [click on title to read and view more]

flower

Why “stabilizing” people is entirely the wrong idea

By Ron Unger
If human beings were meant to be entirely stable entities, then “stabilizing” them would be an entirely good thing; a target for mental health treatment that all could agree on. But it’s way more complex than that: healthy humans are constantly moving and changing. They have a complex mix of stability and instability that is hard to pin down.

All this relates to one of my favorite subjects, the intersection of creativity and madness.

It is a curious fact that people seen as “psychotic” or “schizophrenic” may show sometimes more creativity, and sometimes less creativity, than “normals.” … [click on title to read and view more]

aspartame

Aspartame, diet drinks etc #foodie friday

Coverage of this issue is in the New York Times again…so I’m sharing a post I did on it a while back because it includes how it’s particularly significant to mental health. Artificial sweeteners are problematic in multiples ways…

In her piece: BIPOLAR off meds success, Jazz traces her experiences with mania that led to a bogus bipolar diagnosis to consuming large quantities of diet soda. I’ve talked to others who have made this connection with their own “mood-disorders.”

From Jazz: In my reading, I also came across some information about the artificial sweetener Aspartame being implicated in mood disorders. When I thought back over my own history, I realized that my mood swings had started in college, soon after I’d turned to diet soda as a study aid. I’d never liked coffee or tea, and didn’t want the calories in regular soda, so Diet Coke became my drug of choice. More importantly, those mood swings had stopped when I’d stopped drinking Diet Coke. … [click on title to read and view more]

devi

The Sacred Chants of Devi (adventures in healing pain, trauma, iatrogenic injury)

(a wonderful piece of music and commentary on how I use healing tones)

I’d like to underscore that when these chant like pieces of music have been helpful for acute pain that it’s not in the way western medicine has come to expect. Western medicine aims for getting rid of the pain. It aims for avoiding all suffering. I’m learning that healing, real, deep and complete healing, sometimes hurts. And for me, that’s meant creating containers in which I can deeply experience the pain safely. These chant like pieces when used for pain create such a container. A space in my psyche where I can deeply sink into the pain and experience it. I’ve learned that pain has information. We miss out on what it might teach if we do all we can to avoid surrendering to it’s lessons. This does not imply masochism. It’s a process to get to this place. Early on when my pain was insanely acute I would only practice surrendering to it for 30 seconds at a time. (Yes, a conscious diving into it…to experience it. I called it being curious about my experience… … [click on title to read and view more]

radio

Nonduality radio interview with Monica (listen or download here)

For a track by track breakdown in text (so you can find what you’re interested in the audio) visit Nonduality Radio

Jerry Katz says: We talk about the possibility of living without psychiatric medications, the implications, and Monica’s personal story of withdrawal from meds.

Many thanks to Jerry. … [click on title to read and view more]

rural roads

By and large, we have to find our own way

As individuals on the spiritual journey we may continually meet with steps not described by anyone else, for our journey is unique to us. It is inconceivable that all along we merely fit into the footsteps of those ahead; no one’s foot print will be a perfect match – we must be under no illusion in this matter. Our experiences and milestones will strike us as different. Sometimes we are lucky to even find any similarity, or enough to tell us we are still on the path. … [click on title to read and view more]

rai

Rachel’s recovery from psychiatric labelling and unnecessary treatment

After suffering abuse as a child Rachel began to hear voices while a teenager and went to a psychiatrist for help. Years of hospital and drug treatment followed. However Rachel only recovered once she rejected psychiatry and began to embrace her ‘symptoms’ as a meaningful response to childhood trauma. … [click on title to read more]

human

The normal modern human being

In the modern man, partly owing to his abnormal education during his preparatory age, and partly owing to influences due to certain causes of of the generally established abnormal conditions of modern life, the working of his psychic centres during his responsible age is almost entirely disconnected, therefore his intellectual, emotional and instinctive motor functions do not serve as a natural complement and corrective for one another, but, on the contrary, travel along different roads, which rarely meet and for this reason permit very little leisure for obtaining that, which in reality be understood by the word “consciousness”, wrongly used by modern people today. … [click on title to read more]

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