A Healthy Approach to Cannabis & THC

My introduction to marijuana was not early, and my experiences kept changing throughout my life. My first time was unfortunately at the top of a steep rock climb. I was probably around 18 years old. I enjoyed the relaxed feeling and the camaraderie it seemed to create in the group, but looking down from that height was not reassuring! I survived and in the process realized that the effects from THC can be subtle and friendly.

deaths from alcohol vs marijuana

I’ve never really liked the effects of alcohol at all. Nope, I’m not looking to a depressant to cheer me up, plus it mostly just made me feel stupid and then very sleepy. Then there’s always the fact that alcohol can cause cancer.  I know! Why is a substance that is highly addictive, definitely causes cancer and kills thousands on the roads every year considered legal and OK in this country, while various forms of THC are considered so bad for you? THC has a number of proven medical uses, not true for alcohol. Alcohol is just very addictive and a liver killer.

In my experience, I rarely smoked marijuana in my adult life, only when someone around me had some. I never bought it because I didn’t know where one got it and I wasn’t all that crazy about it. I generally got a small high from smoking and I coughed too much.

I have NEVER gotten high in public places or while driving.

Then in 2000 Colorado started allowing the legal sale of marijuana for medical purposes. I’ll never forget the first time I walked into a marijuana dispensary in Fort Collins. I said, “Now I’ve seen EVERYTHING!” I started smoking a bit more after that, but still wasn’t convinced that it was a good thing for me. I hate smoking anything!

Koala Bars new Shum-Met Bars 2018

It was only recently, with my introduction to the highest quality of chocolate bars with THC, that I understood what all the excitement was about. Now I can eat the smallest piece of excellent chocolate and about an hour later feel WONDERFUL, in a very positive and thoughtful way. This high makes me happy, and my thought process goes wild with ideas I could have never thought of while normal. I have to write down these ideas to remember them for later. I have always believed that drugs accentuate your present state of mind. This one helps me see how happy I truly am, and how much I love my life. Lucky me!

I did have one BAD experience with lower quality edibles a few years ago, and that is why I caution everyone to start out with miniscule amounts at first. Too much can make you feel terrible and it goes on for hours! With high quality chocolate it takes about one hour to feel it, I feel great for a few hours and then I feel sleepy. This works better than any other drug I have ever tried.

Advertisements

Counseling: Ready for a new leap of faith?

Stair way to heaven or nowhere in Huerfano County

I constantly meet individuals who could benefit from counseling from a competent, caring therapist. Unfortunately most fear too much what they might need to confront in their psyches and so resist, even though most would benefit if they had the courage to dig deep, re-experience their traumas in a safe, caring environment and then move up to a much higher level of consciousness, and a better life.

If you change nothingHow do I know this? I had five years of counseling in my early thirties from a marvelous woman. I was a poor person back then and paid cash for all of my counseling. I still say that was the best money I have ever spent. Through that experience I was able to actually see myself change, and eventually move on to being a much healthier human being. Not that I didn’t make many more mistakes in choosing the wrong people to be with, but I could at least see why I chose badly and then choose better next time.

I then took counseling psychology training at Naropa University. Such an amazing and fascinating journey that was! Deeper and deeper understanding of my own psychic processes followed. Understanding where my fears come from and then realizing I no longer need to live in fear is such a blessing! It’s one thing to know that you have made mistakes in your life, it’s a whole new process to understand why and then forgive yourself for it all. Finally seeing where you are coming from in your decision-making process changes everything.

Self-love and compassion for the rest of your life can be your best reward from a few years of excellent counseling….

Is there some leap you need to make right now? First try to get past all the crazy reasons why you shouldn’t or “can’t” seek counseling now. There’s always the “I’m too old to change” and the “People can’t change” argument. Please don’t say you can’t afford it. Can you afford to live a crappy life and then die? I am proof that we can all change and grow and find a much better life, but if you do wish to truly change you must totally commit to this entire process, once you find the right counselor for you.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, and sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

Is it now time to discover the best parts of yourself before it’s too late? You can be all that you believe you can be and have the life YOU CHOOSE this time. And, by the way, there are also great benefits when you finally face death. Stephen Levine, one of my counseling heroes, counseled only those with life-threatening illnesses for most his life. He had seen that the direct threat of death is often when the greatest healing occurs. Don’t believe me? Read his book:  “Healing into Life and Death.”

I have spent the last ten years of my life writing about how midlife can be a great time to change everything, especially your own beliefs about yourself and your potential to change your life.

garden scene outside my bedroom door

My own best changes came after age 49, and today I cannot imagine having a better life! You can too!

How does change & trauma help us grow?

Carl Jung another we do not know

Less than 2 years ago I wrote this about my own life goals.  Back then, I didn’t mean what needs to happen in the next year or two, but what needs to happen for me to feel satisfied in the long run. I wanted more love, acceptance, appreciation, access to pure silence and to be surrounded with solar warmth,  natural beauty, music, wildflowers, peace, contentment with ever increasing relief from guilt and shame.

So what’s different now? I would say my greatest achievement has been acknowledging how much built-in shame and guilt I have lived with for years, and also how clarity and awareness can help me let that go. I used to think I was probably stuck with this feeling, and unable to free myself from its grip. But with time and introspection (and much encouragement from Mike!) I have found my way out of most of my guilt about just enjoying my life and feeling good. I do whatever I choose everyday now, and that my friend is a gift.

To what do I attribute so many changes in my internal dialogue?

brain puzzleI spent years studying the way our minds work, both through personal counseling and graduate-level training at Naropa University. What a gift to understand so much about the human behavior we are surrounded with everyday. Nothing like a higher level of “people skills” to help you understand the true motivations of yourself and others. I would add that my traumatic brain injury in 2008 has played a role. Shaking up so many brain connections really does change you, and it takes a few years to fully experience and get comfortable with your mind’s new openness.

Sunflowers on a county road

With a major change in lifestyle from city busy to rural quiet, I have changed immeasurably. Now, with the luxury of so much more time to myself in nature and the quiet, I continue to learn more about myself and my apparently endless capacity to learn and grow. Moving out of the city was key to seeing beyond the limitations of urban life. City life can keep you so busy worrying about the next thing, that you don’t have time to be present with anything that’s happening right in front of you. I had to leave the city to learn about living in the present.

first view of Spring Fire Wed. towards Mt Mestas on June 27th

My first view of the Spring Fire on June 27th from our home

I am still processing the results of our recent trauma here in southern Colorado, when some complete idiot one county west started the Spring Fire, which consumed over 107,000 acres near us. The evacuation was shocking. Talk about a sudden life event that makes you consider all of your past decisions and future plans! The randomness of it all confounds you. Is it really simply weather and wind direction determining whether I have a house still? I found there came a time when I lost all composure. I could no longer pretend this was not happening to me and my home. This experience I did not choose, offered me new opportunities to explore deeper levels of that old “illusion of control” we think we maintain over our life.

NICE view of sunflowers in garden and Spanish Peaks summer 2017

I have been transfixed by a quote from Arthur Rosenfeld recently. Perhaps you will also find his words insightful:

“…we all know how this ends, so rushing through life is senseless. As our inner life grows ever more luminous, the chatter of the speed-and-greed world slowly fades, leaving us with greater peace, tranquility, quiet and contentment.”  

Finally online again & wondering what’s next…

pretty purple rocks

A funny thing happened this afternoon, we finally got online at home again after two full months without. Yes, since we were evacuated for a local wildfire the end of June, we have searched high and low for any provider who would connection us up and they all refused. Our only alternative was a satellite connection through VIASAT and that seems to be working. This leaves me wondering what to do next…

The stats on this blog are down, of course, since I stopped writing for a while. Surprisingly my books sales stayed about the same without keeping my blog up-to-date. I feel lost in cyberspace now that I can finally share my thoughts online again.

Freedom of the press is only available to those who own one!

This blog has been my place to express myself, my private printing press, but now that I have had quite a bit of time to think about it, I don’t know whether I want to share my life with others anymore. I’m toying with the idea of writing a short e-book instead or perhaps not writing at all for a while.

Either way, I will let you know what I decide.

Climate change, aging and control issues

coyoteA few days ago I awoke to the sound of coyotes laughing at us for believing that we control the earth. Oh that illusion of control, it truly is laughable, especially in light of our recent wildfires, floods, droughts and heat waves.                                                                                                                                                Climate change seems to be nature’s way of saying, “Control this!” If you have ever lived near an out-of-control volcano, hurricane, wildfire or flood, you know exactly what I mean.

Mike and I have been experiencing various health problems lately, most related to aging, that and the fact I still don’t have Internet access from home, is the reason why I haven’t been writing here. It seems to me that new aches and pains, gut problems, etc. are also nature’s way of saying, “Control this!” Needless to say, we are not “controlling” aging all that well…

IMGP7191

I’m beginning to think the sooner we can let go of that pesky illusion of control, the better off we’ll be!