What Did I Do To Heal Ulcerative Colitis?

One thing I am always careful of when I talk to people about healing ‘disease’ is this. No two people are the same, there is no one magic bullet that heals all people of all diseases, and thus what worked for me may not work for someone else.

Once we really understand that we have a choice to take greater responsibility for our own predicament. It is not always easy being both the sufferer AND becoming the investigator and researcher. But that is what must happen. Of course we will always need experts and professionals to guide us, support us and test us, but part of the healing itself is for us to become actively involved in making sense of our situation and becoming our own healers. That process creates new energy within us that becomes part of the journey.

So with all that said let me share once again some insights into my own healing path and what it involved.

When I was diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (in particular Ulcerative Colitis) I had no idea what it was or what to do. But my first instinct was to investigate more rather than just accept the medication and prognosis the consultants and doctors offered me. I figured (intuitively) that my body was in meltdown with an overload of toxicity so to just load it up with more pharmaceuticals was heading in the wrong direction.

The professionals thought I was irresponsible and just plain wrong. I walked out of the hospital. I believe I was right, and the proof is that I never took any medication from that day to this, and those same professionals were emphatic that I would be on meds for the rest of my life. It just goes to show some of what is possible. They are not always right by any stretch of the imagination.

So that was important for me. I didn’t load my body any more than it was already loaded.

And then I went full-on detoxification. I could no longer eat properly anyway, suffering at times 20 bowel movements a day, losing a lot of blood and becoming increasingly weaker and more anaemic day by day. I went to India for two more detoxification panchakarmas, and I shifted slowly to a raw food diet. Raw food is inherently cleansing, but also pretty rough on the colon and very cooling, so there was a positive effect but also a negative effect and pretty soon I think my immune system was all but shut down, leaving me vulnerable to other issues like Raynaud’s disease, possible scleroderma and thyroid problems.

I spent two years 90% housebound and lost in confusion, fear, anger and physical suffering. It was tough. But I worked and worked on myself. I left no stone unturned, and even when I gave up I didn’t really give up. I hit rock bottom but somehow hung on in there and trusted that something deep was happening. I learned that healing is not a linear movement, it works in a spiral. And that means sometimes we feel worse when we are getting better, and at times we must revisit old traumas and scary places in order to assimilate them and/or let them go.

I learned that healing is PROFOUND. The healing call, if and when it calls, is not some little voice that just wants everything alright again. It is bigger, much bigger than that. The healing voice is shouting at us to change everything, to change fundamentally. It is huge. It wants TRANSFORMATION.

It took everything for me.

But here is the most extraordinary thing that changed for me, and for which I am still grateful and still amazed.

I saw and healed the dysfunctional relationship between my mind and my body. I came to understand what part in my illness, and wellness, in fact my whole life, my mind played. It was a HUGE revelation and one which still reveals itself over and over again.

I don’t think we have yet fully grasped the power of mind to influence body, both negatively and positively. I am so glad I worked on it, and I always advise those who are in any way suffering, to inquire for themselves what is going on.

I like to think of it like this. There is a mutual relationship going on between mind and body. Mind affects body AND body affects mind. It is a bio energetic feedback loop. And it can get very stuck in one mode of operation, that of negativity. It doesn’t matter where it started, in the body or in the mind, who cares! What matters is intervention in the endless loop. Intervene as deep as possible on the body level and things will slowly change on the mental level, which will then affect the body level. Intervene on the mental level and it will slowly have an impact on the body level.

But intervene on BOTH the body level AND the mental level and transformation of the whole organism may well happen.

It was tough for me. It lasted at least ten years and it took me to every part of myself. It was slow. It was scary. Like all huge journeys it challenged me, called me to step up to the plate, but eventually things started to change.

Clean up the body. Clean up the mind.

As you can read, I’m not talking about the details of what I did to heal. I haven’t mentioned any foods, herbs, protocols, supplements, exercises, meditations or anything. That is the challenge we all face.

The people who I have met who have healed have all got one thing in common. They have activated their inner power, their inner guidance system. They have taken massive action to heal. Of course it doesn’t always lead to healing in the way we understand it. Some people heal their hearts but lose their bodies. There is no rule that says if we do this action we will get this return. Life is mysterious and we really have no idea what is happening. All we can do is love ourselves and the world as much as possible, heal our wounds, our bodies and our minds and leave the rest to God.

That is what I did.

If you are on this journey I apologize for not offering you anything that feels definite but I always hope this gives you cause for optimism and encouragement. The healing journey was the greatest experience of my life. It helped me, no it forced me, to confront myself, let go of old grievances, heal my wounded heart and mind, change addictive patterns and come into the full bloom of my being. I have become very grateful to what happened, and even though it was not something I would have chosen, by embracing the journey and the experience I allowed it to heal through the power of divine intelligence.

Human beings are extraordinary and our capacity far outreaches our current knowledge or belief systems. Stretch your beliefs, stretch your imagination, stretch your actions and sure as heck something will happen.

Four powerful steps I took.

  1. I supported my body in the healing journey. I didn’t suppress symptoms. I navigated them.
  2. I took massive action to learn about my experience and apply my learning.
  3. I healed my toxic thoughts and beliefs through meditations, visualization, therapists and healers.
  4. I developed a deeper trust and resolve and power.
  5. I NEVER gave up.

With great love Kavi

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Brain Health – It Matters More Than You Think

I have come to believe that our brains are probably the most overlooked organ in the whole body, until they go wrong!

We are more likely to notice, or get tested, or even feel, an issue with, say, our liver, kidneys, or thyroid, than our brains.  Because our brain and our mind are so entangled our experience is always totally subjective, which means we have no real way to tell if something is up, until it reaches the critical zone.

But maybe some of our ill health, stress, and mood inconsistency has more to do with our brains and what they are doing, or not doing, than we think?

Ask some chiropractors and they will say,’ Almost all imbalance (disease) comes from the brain-body communication system going wrong.’ Brain connects to nervous system in a bio-feedback relationship. It compensates and regulates. It operates via your conscious mind but, more importantly, via your unconscious mind. You have billions of processes, actions, complex activities taking place without any awareness from you whatsoever. Yet you are not a machine as such. You are a bio-electrical-organic-organism that interacts with the environment, constantly making adjustments and changes in order to survive and thrive. Everything that happens below the level of conscious awareness still depends on some aspects of its environment to help it. It is as alive as you are, and always adapting to its environment. That environment is you, your thoughts and beliefs.

What does that mean?

It means that if you carry trauma and constant stress, or pent up anger or fear, it affects some of your primary systems, namely your nervous system and immune system. Thoughts affect reality, and they affect matter. That interprets as, your thoughts, concepts and beliefs affect your body on the deepest levels, and the effects may well, over time, begin to impede the function of some of the unconscious actions that must take place for health and wellbeing.

That is where brain will become imbalanced and the bio-feedback relationship between body and mind may begin to break down.

If it’s not at ‘optimum’ then its always in ‘compensation’ mode.

In my opinion, by the time some of the very dramatic brain meltdown diseases happen, there has already been serious fragmentation of the brain-body relationship, but it has been hidden from conscious view.

That is why I favor a strong argument for brain and body detoxification, and a program of relaxation and sleep reprogramming, meditation and spending time calming down. If we take responsibility BEFORE things degenerate we may save ourselves a lot of trouble and money.

The bottom line is help your brain to maximize it’s ability to regulate and communicate. It will serve you well as you age. Here are some ideas.
1. SLEEP. This is probably the most important. In the deepest of sleep, known as ‘delta‘ sleep, the brain detoxifies. Your brain has lymph nodes in it and when this state of sleep is reached the channels of detoxification open and the brain is effectively ‘cleaned.’ It needs to happen regularly. The problem is most of us are living lives that are way too stressful and over active, and our sleep patterns are all over the shop, exaggerated these days by the amount of cell phone and computer use before bed time. Think of delta as the battery recharge time.

And it is not just sleep hours that matter but when you sleep. Ayurveda suggests that for optimal wellbeing we need to go to bed when the sun goes down and get u when the sun rises. Most people I know go to sleep very late after eating a big meal in the evening. For myself, I go to be about 8pm! and get up at at least 5am. That rhythm works well for me. And yet still at times I have to deal with erratic sleep patterns. So I use visualizations and sleep programing visualizations to help with it. They work. In the next few weeks/months, I hope to be able to offer you a new brain entrainment system that will help. I have been trying it out and so far it is working well. Stay tuned!

2. RELAXATION. When you relax, really relax, it has a profound impact on your body and brain health.  Just as sleep helps heal you, so does relaxation. We are designed to be relaxed, to deal with stress, and to return to the relaxed state as quickly as possible, like most animals. But as modernization has enveloped us we have lost the sacred and natural art of deep relaxation. So we spend much of our time in a hyper vigilant state. That means our ‘fight or flight’ mechanism is always switched on and we are prepared for danger. Unconscious mind can not tell the difference between what is real and what is imagined, and so it responds to anxious thoughts, thoughts of the future, thoughts of the past, fear of imagined events, in the same way.

What I am saying is that most of us don’t reach true relaxation even when we are asleep. So we have to create ways to help us. Get off your phone and get outside into nature. Meditate. Breathe. Do yoga. Do nothing at all. Practice stillness and just silently sitting. 

3. EXERCISE. A vital component of brain health ad mind body wellbeing is exercise. Just a little regularly keeps the whole system active and moving.
‘One project found that women over 65 who walked 30 minutes a day slowed their cognitive decline. When measuring mental acuity, the researchers found that the people who exercised appeared several years younger than those in the control group, who did not exercise at all.’ Huffington Post.

4. HERBS, SUPPLEMENTS AND DIET. Fruits and vegetables, anti oxidants and Omega 3 fats from natural sources are all helpful. Heal your gut and it will heal your brain. Stop processed food and toxic sugars. Here is a good article to help you:
https://drjockers.com/the-3-most-important-steps-to-boost-brain-function/

The purpose of this short blog is not to give you the definitive answer to this issue but to prompt you to think about it some more and to begin your own investigation. Believe me, it matters. The brain is not as fixed as we think. Research now is suggesting that it can be repaired, that is is much more ‘plastic’ than we imagine, but we need to really take care of it else we begin to lose function. We have seen the rise of dementia and alzheimers, motor neuron ailments, nervous system related problems, depression and insanity. We don’t have to go down that route, but we must intervene and take responsibility for our own brain/body health.

Most doctors are not going to help with this. They are symptomologists and will only respond to what you present. It is really up to you to dive into this area and figure it out.

Sorry to end this early but I really must go and relax in nature! Thanks for reading!

 

 

WHOLENESS IS OUR NATURAL STATE

How ‘whole’ are you? It is an interesting question most people have not, nor will ever, contemplate. I have and I do, all the time. I don’t think this is just a spiritual question, I actually think its a health question, and a very important existential question. It matters. A LOT. Here is a post I just wrote on my ‘Holistic Life Facebook Page.’

“I have spent 15 years attending to my wellbeing and to the relationship between body, mind and spirit.

In that time I have experienced a 180 degree turn around in how I live, what I focus on and how I relate to life itself.

It has been, and still is, a profound transformation.

Both simple and complex. And my awareness of the divine running through everything only increases day by day.

At first I thought it was just the body that was faltering with all its angry symptoms.

That took me directly into my emotions, which were tangled up, fearful, old and also angry.

That took me to all my thoughts and beliefs, the fundamentals of my everyday life, some of them very toxic and negative.

And finally I arrived at my spiritual essence, the nature of truth and love and reality itself.

Each step of the way my eyes opened as did my heart, until everything melted into the same thing.

You don’t choose wholeness.

You arrive at wholeness. It is a place not a thought or belief. It is a tangible frequency of frequencies.

It is where and when everything comes together, no longer separate.

It is when we, as human beings, become greater than the sum of our parts.

Wholeness is our natural state, and seems to be rare in this ‘techno-modern-superficial-separation-believing’ society.

I am forever grateful that illness came into my life to show me the way home. And I am grateful to my past self to have the wisdom to hear the call to go on the journey of healing, even if it was scary, lonely, mysterious and long.

Sometimes the longest journeys are the best.”

My advice is to take the journey. However the invitation comes, its always there. Be brave, be vulnerable, be open, step into the unknown. The benefits are incalculable. You don’t have to completely turn away from medical systems, you simply have to become your own authority, your own guru, your own advocate. Its about inner discernment as much as anything.

When you find out who you really are, through being very honest with yourself, it changes everything.

The Need To Heal Old Wounds

From my personal experience, my research and coaching lots of clients I really have concluded this one simple yet profound truth:

When we deny old emotions and/or present difficult feelings we put an increased stress on our body, on our nervous system, immune system, and important organs like heart and thyroid, and our brain. Whether that actually ’causes’ illness or not is academic, because the bottom line is it really doesn’t help.

My holistic principle is to understand that which puts extra tax and burden on a delicate and finely balanced system (the human organism) is ultimately destructive, and will assist in early degradation of healthy life. As we age it gets harder and harder to bounce back and regenerate. Which means that as we get older we must get wiser and get MORE relaxed and more FREE of old burdens. Old burdens will rigidify us physically, mentally and spiritually unless we consciously release them. They might even kill us.

This point is not as nebulous or subtle as you may think. The river is meant to flow. If it doesn’t flow it stagnates. If it stagnates it becomes toxic and allows disease to happen. It is exactly the same with us. Energy is meant to flow through us. Old emotions and toxic thoughts impede this flow and become somehow ‘trapped’ in our cellular body. The same stagnation can happen. 

Thus detoxification is useful on the physical level AND the emotional energetic level. This proposition might annoy some people and even be dismissed as new age but I have experienced it and see it everywhere, and it is a self evident truth.

In my own healing journey, healing a huge auto immune condition (inflammatory bowel disease) it really wasn’t long in my detoxification process that I was propelled into the fury and powerful world of my pent up, hot, acidic and generally volatile emotions, the ones that I had buried and denied for years and years since the traumatic break up of my parents when I was 16 years old. I held on to the trauma for decades but could never access the pain and therefore never receive any healing. Make no mistake, trauma in the body, just because its not present in everyday experience, is powerful and dangerous. It’s not inert, meaning it doesn’t just sit there in a neutral state doing nothing. 

No, it has a negative power. It influences decisions, it can drive addictions and lifestyle choices. It ramps up stress response into hot stuff like rage or scary stuff like fear and anxiety. It may play a huge part in depression. It creates havoc with the nervous system and immune system, both of which have a DIRECT effect on health. It is known, for example, that stress has a direct impact on the gut micro biome, reducing healthy gut flora and allowing the ‘bad guys’ to gain the upper hand.

I truly believe that my healing had plateaued until I dived into my emotions. And then it catapulted into an increase in healing. It’s not the magic bullet but it is incredibly powerful.

I would go as far as to say you can’t truly heal without it.

If you are on the same journey that took me over 10 years, please listen. Do the emotional stuff. Find a way, find a resource. Follow your instinct for what your body wants, listen to your own inner voice, and get guidance from others who know this territory, and then fully embrace your healing. Even when it is difficult because dragging old stuff up hurts, still press on. It is far better that you meet the pain, and it hurts, and you release it, than you don’t meet it and it kills you.

I wish you love and blessings on your path.

Thanks for reading!

 

What Is Health?

I visited my chiropractor this morning for my regular and ongoing treatment (I’m having a series of treatments to realign – fantastic) and, while I was on the coach, he asked me a question, ‘What does health mean to you?’

After the session we dived in to the question between us and tried to unravel it a bit. Because its actually quite complex in its answer.

Sure, ‘health’ can mean no illness, as in ‘I’m ok and feeling pretty good.’

But when you dive into what it really could mean you find all sorts of issues.

To the ancient cultures of India and China health means an inner harmony between mind, body and spirit. They are holistic by definition. But the western mind has grown up with a largely different mindset. That mindset is founded in separation. It means that we innately think of everything as separate from everything, and independent of everything else. That means we can easily think of the body as separate from the mind and spirit. And western medicine almost without fail follows this model.

Eastern health systems recognize a natural intelligence that informs everything, and their practices attempt to align us with that natural intelligence. Chi, Prana, Lifeforce are some of the terms used.

Western mind and western medicine has no particular term for this intelligence because it doesn’t recognize it exists.

Yet even western medicine and health understands there is a connection between mind and body. What is stress if not evidence that emotions and thoughts have a physical impact?

And of course we as human beings are implicitly interconnected with our environment, as much as the goldfish is connected with the water in its bowl. Sadly our society paradigms are built on a belief in separation and the prowess of mental accomplishment and all it signifies. Inner harmony has little credibility in today’s world. There is no time for it.

So we have problems when talking about what health means.

But we arrived at some conclusions between us. Let me list them a bit and see if they resonate:

  1. Health is a state whereby the natural intelligence of the organism is free to flow.
  2. Health is inner and outer harmony.
  3. Health is the absence of dis-ease, a natural state of easiness.
  4. Health is a state of peace.

To me the ultimate state of health is spiritual peace, because in that state of deep acceptance there is only love, and in that love the body is free to follow its own course. We are all finite beings and everything has its day, it rises and then it falls back into the earth. Peace is the acceptance of this, and there can be no greater health that this.

I am only scratching the surface here but I wanted to open the door to a deeper conversation with you. I wonder what health means to you?

Please let me know in the comment section below..

What Happens If You Turn Your Back On The Conventional Medicine Paradigm

I talk with many people along the path, and when they discover my journey with chronic illness and what I have done to heal it, almost everyone becomes intrigued and can relate to it.

In the circles I move in, which are mostly the spiritual circles, the holistic circles and the ‘evolutionary movement’ circles, everyone without fail is frustrated and feels let down by the conventional medical model. Everyone sees through its efficacy and ability to be truly holistic. And everyone without fail is experimenting with alternatives, exploring what healing actually means, and stepping outside the conventional matrix in their search.

That makes things pretty exciting, but also pretty scary. Because in so many ways THERE IS NO MAP.

And I have to say there is more of a map than there used to be. And here is the most important point to understand on the healing path.

The map only shows the way. Like all journeys, it is the DOING of it, the STEP BY STEP actuality of it, that changes anything.

That is a totally different mindset from conventional medicine. This mainstream approach does not involve you, does not demand any participation from you other than taking the meds or turning up for the operation. Please remember I am not talking about acute emergency treatments here, but mainly lifestyle caused chronic conditions.

But many folks are very scared of taking the unknown ‘path less trodden.’ And from what I see many are stuck between a rock and a hard place. They are caught between the mainstream medical model and the alternative ‘find your own path’ model. And so they don’t embrace either one.

To those people I say, ‘Don’t sit on the fence. Commit to one way or another. Or find your balance between the two. But find your own heart, find your own authentic path, find your power somehow. That will be the defining ingredient in your actions.’

The key is to finding your own inner authority, intuition and intelligence.

My ‘healing’ was about reaching a state of inner harmony and wisdom in which I learned to accept the things I could not change and change the things I could.

Wellbeing is about adaptability and flexibility. Too often we are reading that wellbeing is only achieved through rigorous training, exact exercises and punitive diet. That is not wellbeing. Thats self punishment.

Sure it all has its place, and discipline is a vital component in self mastery. But the key is inner wisdom and ‘warrior-like’ poise. Self knowledge and knowledge of the natural law is key to everything.

And the ultimate healing principles are found, not in the body, or even in the emotions, but in the inner sanctum of the heart and soul. The ultimate healing is that of making peace with everything within and without.

If you can resolve everything into love’s deepest acceptance, come what may, then you are ‘home’ and it will not matter what happens. It is not easy, and it is a path that unfolds, but it is a practice that brings depth and conscious awareness to your life.

And from that divine place you can work in a relaxed and forgiving way with your own body, loving it back to health, or letting go of it as we all must ultimately do.

Be well.

What Place Does HOPE Have in Healing

We can live with hope, and avoid despair, if we learn to surrender our attachment to what we think our health outcome should be, and instead be present to the healing journey as it unfolds  –  Joanna Garritano

I had a long conversation about health with someone yesterday. He had health issues and I told him of my journey, the short version, but it did include the bit about my diagnosis results and the prognosis handed to me by the consultant in a London Hospital. I go into detail about this encounter in my book http://a.co/duWS3Lu but suffice to say it was a pivotal moment in my journey.

For your benefit, this is a short description. The consultant was aloof and, dare I say it, arrogant. That was my feeling, subjectively of course. He sat in front of me and said 3 things.
1. What you have (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) is incurable.
2. You will be on medication for life.
3. You may well have to have some, or all, of your colon removed.

When I questioned him he added a 4th blow.

4. There was nothing you can do, no diet would help, no natural medicine would work, nothing.

Honestly, it makes my blood boil right now just thinking about it.

It makes my blood boil because he was WRONG, and because many people who are not as feisty, rebellious, or informed, as I am (and was even then), may well believe him, throw themselves into his hands and GIVE UP ALL HOPE.

That makes me furious.  Because I seriously don’t believe it to be true. And I am living proof of it.

12 years since that diagnosis and prognosis and I never took ANY medication for it. I have NO SYMPTOMS of IBD at all, no ulcerations, no blood, no mucus, and when I’m tested there are no signs of inflammation. So, as we like to say these days.

What!

Sorry to be dramatic and animated but I think you can understand how it feels to me.

I could have had my colon removed, for no good reason. I could have started taking steroids, anti inflammatories etc etc and been dependent on them for the rest of my life..And so on. It could have been the end of me. As it turns out it was actually the beginning of a long and deeply transformative journey.

When I reflected on this experience I realized why I was so angry. Because what was at stake here was HOPE.

Hope is a fundamental part of healing. Its not some by-product, some throwaway part of the human condition. It is an integral part of us.

I don’t think you can heal without hope. Hope creates an energy that drives or pulls us forward. If you take hope away you don’t, in the case of illness, create acceptance, you create resignation and despair. You cannot heal or transform if resignation or despair are the dominant energies in your system. We are not mechanical robots, we are subtle, complex, mysterious life forms that have unique and powerful abilities to change things simply through the power of our beliefs, our attention, and our consciousness itself. 

We are not mechanical robots, we are subtle, complex, mysterious life forms that have unique and powerful abilities to change things simply through the power of our beliefs, our attention, and our consciousness itself. 

Whatever positive feelings and emotions you can muster in the face of illness are welcome. Be they joy, laughter, hope, love, or peace, they all help by flooding the body with helpful and healing hormones that uplift the whole organism and give it life force.

Conversely whatever negative feelings or emotions flood the body, the opposite may well happen. they depress and downgrade us. They slow things down, they deflate us and allow for negativity to flood the body.

If you sit for a moment and consider this, feel the energy of joy, love and laughter and how they FEEL in your body, and then you consciously consider despair or resignation and how it feels in the body you would have to agree with me. They are very different. So hope is  a valuable part of the healing process. 

BUT BE CAUTIOUS. Remember the words at the start of this blog.

“We can live with hope, and avoid despair, if we learn to surrender our attachment to what we think our health outcome should be, and instead be present to the healing journey as it unfolds.”

Surrendering attachment to the way we THINK it should look, or the way we want it to look, is so important. I really got this key point somewhere down the path. I actually had a profound moment  during a very dark period when I fell into despair. I was tormented and suffering physically, I had no idea what was going to happen and I was at the end of my tether. I walked into some local woods by myself and lay down among the leaves and fell into what felt like a deep well. I desperately wanted an end to my suffering, mainly from my emotional and mental suffering.

I then found myself speaking to God…whatever that means..And I said, “God, I no longer care whether you take my physical body or not, I hand that over to you, but I want love in my heart, and I want an end to my trauma, to my anger and to my emotional pain. I want some peace.”

It was as though I had realized that, although ultimately I had no power over whether my physical body would heal or not, I DID have power to decide whether to let go of my emotional baggage once and for all, willingly.

And something happened that day, and it has always been with me. What happened was, by just being willing to die but keeping my heart open, I surrendered attachment to outcome. That’s the quote at the top of this blog. To live with hope but surrender attachment to the outcome we think we want. I did that, and it created FREEDOM for me. It released so much healing energy in me it really contributed to my long term recovery and subsequent health.

The truth is, when we get ill, or even when we don’t get ill, we don’t know whether we will live longer or shorter time, or whether we will recover or not. But we can fix our broken hearts, our resentments and grievances, and we can do that now, and now and now. 

Hope, in this context, is a beautiful energy, a powerful energy, and thus a healing one.

If anyone tries to steal your hope away and can’t replace it with something better, turn away and run. Don’t believe them. While you are alive there is some hope.
When its chronic illness and not acute, there is hope.
When you, or they, don’t really know what it is, there is hope.
Act on that hope without fixed attachment to how it should look, and bring all your vibrant intelligence, wisdom and power to take whatever action ‘feels’ right.

Choose ‘hope without attachment,’ over ‘resignation without any power.’

Thanks for reading!

References:
http://joannagarritano.com/impermanence-hope-and-healing/#comment-4330