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Sonoma Valley Fire Diaries: 10/18/17 (Home)

It's important that we share our experiences with other people. Your story will heal you and your story will heal somebody else. When you tell your story, you free yourself and give other people permission to acknowledge their own story.

- Iyanla Vanzant (motivational speaker)

This is the final post for the Sonoma Valley Fire Diaries. I'm so grateful to those of you who read, shared and supported these posts!

I truly believe it is important to heal with others during tragic events and I hope my stories will inspire others to share their own. I decided to write the Sonoma Valley Fire Diaries after a friend said she would have liked to have seen my daily posts and realizing I was dealing with "writer's block." I couldn't seem to move past the hurt of my neighborhood. I knew I had to share what I went through and share what I could of what other's experienced in order to heal. I also decided to slowly roll out the Diaries in my own effort to show how healing takes time: it can't be rushed (although my ego still says it can!) and the hurt is never forgotten. In this American society, we seem to see yoga as only a modality for decreasing stress and increasing flexibility and strength, but it is much more than that: it encompasses community and healing.

Now that I've completed the Diaries, I'll be introducing an annual theme inspired by one of my dear teachers, Stacey Rosenberg. Stay tuned for the roll out next week!

The process of self-healing is the privilege of every being. Self-healing is not a miracle, nor is self-healing a dramatization of the personality as though you could do something superior. Self-healing is a genuine process of the relationship between the physical and the infinite power of the soul. -Yogi Bhajan, 10/7/94


Wednesday, October 18, 2017


I'm home! Well, one of my homes. I've realized even more so during this week (Mon, 10/9 - Tues, 10/18) that I have MANY homes. My home is small and has just enough room for my belongings, my home is where I lay my head safely such as in a hotel, my home is where I know my dog Nilla is taken care of, my home is when a good friend opens their door to me, and my home is still in Texas with my dear friends and family there.

During the fires, I've since seen a friend lose her home of 30+ years and belongings yet stay positive during her healing. During that time she found safety in a hotel and all she could need through the giving of her community. She's since purchased a new home and is having a great time (albeit she confessed TOO good of a time) shopping to replenish her home! I admire her strength and resiliency. She is just one of the many stories of people recovering and rebuilding what they've known as "home".

Home means having a place to feel safe, to heal and to rest, and in this case, home is really where we CHOOSE to make it. Nature has a way of deciding its course and so we have to change our own course to learn and sometimes deal with loss. By healing with our friends and community, we can begin to find moments of security and solace and deepen the connection with the home in our own heart.

I'm grateful for my HOME.



DAY 10

Sonoma Fire Updates: Hi Everyone! This past week for me and Nilla was a whirlwind. I spent 2 days in Petaluma (thank you Jes Williams-Resneck!), came to Sonoma to collect more clothing on Wednesday, spent 2 days in Santa Cruz with Abbie Coe, 2 days in Burlingame (many hotels were booked), and then 1 final night in Santa Rosa (thank you Sabin Cloud MacPhee & Danielle Estrada DeMone!) to wait for Sonoma’s all-clear. I have to admit that after 1 week of living fearfully that it was scary to come back. The BBQ smell seeps in at night and creates a bit of PTSD. Now that it’s Wednesday I’m feeling a bit more settled and figured out where the leaks are and know now that an air purifier does wonders! I’ll be able to start work on Monday and am thankful my workplace wasn’t impacted by the fire except for loss of power and smoke infiltration. I’ve discovered this new work family is incredibly supportive and I’m looking forward to meeting them. In Sonoma, the smoke seems to clear in the evening and it’s rather hopeful for some normalcy to return although we are all scarred in some way. Many folks are still trying to put the pieces back together and my heart goes out to them. The fires are still going yet containment is on the rise. Sonoma as a town is grateful for all those firefighters, first responders, etc. that came to our rescue as well to our neighbors for constantly sharing information: I’m really grateful and amazed. Real heroes are among us, or, as I like to call them, Earth Angels. 🙏🏼

Love this picture:

Say hello to Sonoma’s little friend!!! 🎉🎉🎉🎉 Thanks James Rath!!!

REPOST: Smoke Detox (one version). Stay healthy my friends! Information about Smoke Detox - from a presentation in Windsor .....

"Smoke Detox presentation notes -- October 16, 2017 The doctor made some attempt not to be alarmist, but also said there is very little statistical re search out there about the long-term effects of exposure to the quantity of chemicals that have come out of this event; the only comparable experience is 9-11. As with all alternative medicine, you have to make your own choices in accordance to your ability and resources.

  • #1 Rule: Prevention. Get the best mask you can find/afford (R95 mask is higher quality than N95) and keep wearing it at least until other people in the community stop getting sick! You can tell if the mask is fitting properly if, when wearing it, you spray an aromatic in front of your face, and you can't smell anything.

  • Our bodies will react to the toxins by trying to get rid of them, and we should not fight this natural process. We should expect cold-like symptoms, headache, fever, runny noise, stomach problems in the next week. Don't take a fever reducer unless fever gets dangerously high; don't take decongestants or cough suppressants. Keep well hydrated and moisturized; use a neti pot and coat the inside of your nostrils with coconut oil every night before bed.

  • Silica water (filtered through volcanic rock) is good for removing aluminum from the body … Fuji and Starkey brands.

  • Forgetfulness is also normal. Get into your body. “Heart remedies” include St. Johns Wort and meditation. Also limit what you are looking at, hearing and tasting; take a sensory break. Let go of your cell phone at night (if you feel you must stay connected to be safe, at least take turns at “minding the phones” with a family member).

  • Sunlight, not a blue screen should be the first light you see in the morning; it sets all our rhythms. Apple phones have a “night shift” setting; use it because blue light halts the production of melatonin. Stop looking at blue screens at least two hours before bed.

  • Breathe deeply. Doing so massages the lymph system -- the body's “garbage disposal.”

  • Shower daily to remove the toxins from the air that accumulate on your skin. If possible, remove your clothes as soon as you enter the house. Cleaners specializing in mold abatement would be best to contract to clean your home, if this is feasible.

  • Remember the toxins in the a air will also be in our water, soil and food (acid rain). Avoid the produce in the shelves for a month. Go with frozen food or chose produce from Mexico or well out of the area.

  • Avoid a lot of raw foods and instead steam them. Good choices include onions, garlic, celery, beets, apples, pears, carrots, celery, cauliflower and broccoli. If you can buy a half side of beef now and all the bones you’ll need for a long time (if you make bone broth), do so ASAP as the animals in the coming weeks will become tainted -- and all the toxins collect in the bones.

  • Don't start an intense “cleanse” detox right now. Instead, use more gentle, “binding” methods that trap the bugs and carry them out -- snail, frequent doses of bentonite clay or diatomaceous earth, lots of fiber, epsom salt baths, tulsi tea (a lot of teas are good).

There was more, but these tips were the most accessible and least esoteric. (I'm withholding her identity from this document at the request of the host)."

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