Undones, Do You Have Them?

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Having faced death several times myself and recently experiencing the deaths of two very special people, I find myself preoccupied with loss.

Adoptees tend to do that of course. Our beginnings in utero had already started the prewiring necessary for our survival which was begun with loss of our mother.

Of course, I’d like to be thinking of sunshine and rainbows, but the reality for all of us is that death is inevitable. It could be tonight even.. It will come whether you’re ready or not. That is a certainty and we don’t have many of those in this life.

My life has been filled with loss as most adoptees are. The loss of our mother, our family, our heritage, our genetic markers, our family dynamics. Each future loss such as the recent losses I’ve mentioned open that old wound.

Then of course you add in the numerous losses one tends to accumulate over the years and suddenly life appears to hold nothing but darkness, silence, the sound of tears dropping, emptiness, loss of health. Living with an illness that could at any moment take my life brings it all to the frontline.

Being a practicing Buddhist I’m well prepared for the inevitable. I don’t fear death at all and in fact, at times would welcome it. Most people living with Mast Cell Disease can attest to that when you’ve spent days in excruciating pain, vomiting into a pail, fighting the anaphylaxis demons with epinephrine.

That in no way means I want to die. It means I believe one has to prepare for their own death in order to live. A close encounter with death can bring a real awakening, a transformation in our whole approach to life.

The Nature of everything is illusory and ephemeral,

Those with dualistic perception regard suffering as happiness, Like they who lick the honey from a razor’s edge. How pitiful they who cling strongly to concrete reality:

Turn your attention within, my heart friends.

The above is a verse of a poem by contemporary master, Nyoshul Khenpo. It clearly outlines the need to reflect deeply on impermanence. It’s very difficult to turn our attention within and so easy to allow our old habits, our set patterns to rule us! To reflect on this, slowly brings us wisdom. Watch how you repeatedly fall into the same old habits that always bring you suffering. Again, and again, and again. With observance and practice we can slowly emerge and change.

Your Undones…

Your undones are that persistent, niggling, feeling that is sent to you from The Universe, Your Higher Self, how ever you think of what is “out there”. It’s telling you that you have unfinished business. Business that will pester you, stress you and take your energy until you complete it. Mental nags are undones. They remind you that you have broken agreements with yourself and time and time again you’ll notice they rob you of your self respect. Creativity…gone. True joy…gone. Internal peace…gone. You are able to get back all of those things if you complete your undones.

Right now in your mind I’m sure you can identify several. I know I can. They could be unresolved conflicts, withheld forgiveness, appreciation not mentioned, love not given, goals not met, promises not kept. Your life is probably full of many more not mentioned. They come in every size, shape, and in each and every area of your life. Check your basement. It’s probably full of undones.

Let this sink in…You won’t find peace until these undones are completed. Just remember, life is short and very unpredictable.

About a Horse

ABOUT A HORSE

excerpt from

FINDING HEART HORSE

 

I always wanted a horse. I’ve wanted a wild horse, a Palomino horse, an Appaloosa horse, a racehorse, a pony horse and even a miniature horse. I would have settled for a rocking horse, a stuffed horse or even just a picture of a horse when I was a child, but even those small pleasures were prohibited. And so it was that when I was eight years old, I gave myself my own horse, my imaginary Heart Horse.

I’ve had this strong attraction to horses for as long as I can remember. Like a magnet, they have always pulled me in and held me close. They appear in my dreams and on blank pages in my sketchbook. They calm me when I’m disturbed and excite me when I’m bored. My nose longs to inhale their warmth and my fingers crave the feel of their soft wet nuzzle. My eyes are drawn into their own dark, all-knowing eyes and I immediately feel an inexplicable connection.

This must be what it feels like to be loved

  I think, whenever a horse looks into my eyes.

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Where did you go?

“I seem to myself, as in a dream,

An accidental guest in this dreadful body.”

Anna Akhmatova

The reality of asking that question is you didn’t go anywhere, I  wasn’t here.  I’ve missed you. I’ve missed being able to sit up and write.  I’ve missed being able to see clearly the words I want to write.  I miss sitting on my meditation cushion as I write..yes, I really do that!  I’ve missed knowing you are still connected and care.

My absence has been controlled by my misbehaving mast cells wrecking havoc within my already depleted encasing.  In the last 10 days I have been in the hospital, pumped full of drugs and released, feeling worse than I went in.  Wednesday I began a drug trial of injections that may, yes may, in 6 months or more help control my mast cells.  May…If I can tolerate the side effects.  It left me in a cold sweat, unable to move without retching, with horrid pain, electrical currents striking in various areas.  My bottle of water tastes like metal.  My toast like cardboard.  Well that might be the bread actually.  My throat is sore, head pounding, face swollen, everything from a normal mast cell day quadrupled.  Still, I may consider another next month.

Dr.Afrin’s Paper:

http://http://www.wjgnet.com/2218-6204/pdf/v3/i1/1.pdf

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The only way I can get thru this is to fall back on the beliefs that even this, is not permanent. This is just my life, nothing more. There is nothing wrong with it even tho’ I feel  sick in this moment.

 It will pass.

Resurfacing….

Love seeing the blank writing space before me!

 My fingers shake and my eyes are prednisone blurry.  Slowly, I’m resurfacing.  As most of you know, I’ve been hospitalized most of the last several months dealing with Mastocytosis reactions/complications which I will write about next.  Today, I’m just dipping my toes in to the cool word stream.

I want to relaunch, review, revive

 Finding Heart Horse

I also want to let you know that the second memoir,

 The Wall of Secrets

waits patiently in the wings to be born as my strength allows..

It’s good to be back

I’m home

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Book Signing..Toronto Hay House I Can Do It Conference

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I have been slow to blog these past few weeks as you would have seen in my recent Mast Cell blog I’ve been down for the count.  Yes, it was worth it!

I have many thoughts about my experience at the book signing being as it was my first and it still feels surreal that it was actually me sitting there signing a book that I had published!  I really just wanted to touch base with you and share a few pictures.  The best moment of the experience was when I was grabbing a few mouthfuls of lunch outside of the lobby and a couple of women came out after buying Finding Heart Horse to ask if I would sign it for them.

I was stunned!  Me?  You want me to sign my book?  You mean me?  To have purchased it and then sought me out was beyond my realm of being a newly published author.  Both were adoptees and yearning for more information and we spent some time discussing options that could be found online and in books.

Those moments I discovered, are the reason I’ve spent over eight yrs crafting my stories and putting them between the covers of Finding Heart Horse and The Wall of Secrets.

Those moments..are what it’s all about.  Those moments make every tear, every minute of reliving traumas so worthwhile.

For those of you writing, or thinking about writing, don’t ever stop.  Don’t give up no matter how many times you feel your words aren’t important enough, no matter how tired you get doing rewrite after rewrite.  Your stories will change people’s lives.  They will validate others and allow them to speak their truth.  Best of all…you will heal during the process and be free…finally.

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Setting Heart Horse Free

ImageSitting on my table for the last few days has been the story of life until age 20.

I’ve held it, opened it, moved it around, read a line or two, shed a tear or two and felt very vulnerable.

I’m finally, after 8 years of writing, setting the first part of this journey free.  Into the world Heart Horse goes, and I’m ready.  Bring it on.

Bring on whatever you have to say, in fact, I really want to hear it.

I want you to convince me adoption doesn’t have ramifications.

I want you to convince me abuse doesn’t leave scars.

I want you to convince me that the Primal Wound and  In Utero Learning doesn’t exist and create a lifetime of ingrained belief systems that make it so difficult to know and feel loved.

 I would love to know that all those things mean nothing and the slate will be wiped clean with a bit of therapy.  I know better.  The damage is done.  The scars are deep and the pain unrelenting, affecting everyone around us.  All we can do is learn to “manage” these beliefs.

Brene’ Brown’s interview with Elizabeth Gilbert was inspiring.

 Elizabeth said, “I live a creative life, and you can’t be creative without being vulnerable.

 I believe that Creativity and Fear are basically conjoined twins;  they share all the same major organs, and cannot be separated, one from the other, without killing them both.  And you don’t want to murder Creativity just to destroy Fear.”

FINDING HEART HORSE is my journey of search and survival.  There are things in  Finding Heart Horse that will make you squirm in distaste and repulsion.  There are horrors described by a 16 year old that no one should ever endure.  The raw life of living on the streets in the late 60’s when drugs and peace were the norm.  Unfortunately it quickly turned into wars and violence that spilled into my world.

 Looking back I now see that my entire life has been spent in the never-ending search.

The search for where I belonged.

The search for acceptance and love.  The search for my tribe, my family, my roots.

The only thing that kept me alive was “Heart Horse” and the dream of someday catching a wild horse.  Without him, i wouldn’t be here to write.

It’s only one part of the journey.  The Wall of Secrets will be out soon and is part of “the all”.  Without The Wall filled with drawers to store my many traumas and secrets, I would not have survived.

As I hold my book and feel it’s energy…..books do have energy you know…a sense of peace, a vibration of knowing and acceptance radiates from the pages.  As Heart Horse  is being set free, so am I.

Mark Epstein in his book “The Trauma of Everyday Life” says;

By not fighting with his internal wounds, by not insisting on making them go away,

by not recruiting everyone in his intimate life to save him from his feelings of abandonment,

by simply resting with them the way we do in meditation, he could learn,

as the Buddha did, that he already was the love he thought he lacked.”

FINDING HEART HORSE is now available on Amazon, Chapters.Indigo

It will be a brave journey you take when you enter my world.  Please leave and honest review.

Learn what adoption does to a person, what abuse creates and together we can and will make a change.

A portion of the proceeds from these books will go to Covenant House, Vancouver

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FINDING HEART HORSE Pre Release Review

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Finding Heart Horse will break your heart, then stitch it back together with hope, gumption, and something we fellow adoptees like to call “adoptee resilience.” Although the first installment of Claire Hitchon’s memoir isn’t specifically about her adoption, we can see the fallout from a flawed institution that left her to be raised by an abusive mother and an emotionally impotent father. Claire knows deeply that something is wrong with them, but incorrectly believes in her young adult years that the fault ultimately lies with her-self.

But there exists something deep within her, a strength, an awareness of her basic goodness that allows Hitchon to survive living on the streets, prison and debilitating abuse of all kinds. The author uses her raw creativity and considerable artistic talents to find solace from her own personal demons, ultimately allowing her to connect with that enlivened horse spirit that she knows is buried under layers upon layers of trauma, self-hate, and utter confusion as to how to live life.

Hitchon leaves no holds barred in relating the exciting, yet devastating lifestyle she leads while coming of age in Toronto. I cannot wait to read the second installment of her memoir, The Wall of Secrets.

Laura Dennis

 Adult Adoptee in Reunion

Author of Adopted Reality, A Memoir

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Finding Heart Horse …Cover Reveal Soon

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Congratulations to the winners of the 2013 Hay House Insights Nonfiction Writing Contest. Each of our entries was carefully reviewed by a panel of judges who made difficult decisions in choosing the Grand Prize, First Place and Second Place winners.

Winners of the 2013 Hay House Insights Nonfiction Writing 

 I was going to reblog my book post from July but decided to just fill you in on whats been going on since then.  

The process of self publishing has been such a learning curve and also exhausting at the same time.  Trying to work it all in along with my mast cell disease has been a challenge but I’m almost there.

I don’t think I posted about the above contest.  I’m quite shy in the self promotion department and actually found it hard to believe myself, so I’m going to practice, right here, right now.  Scroll down the blog and click on “Like” for my writers page.  If you haven’t read the post “Finding Heart Horse-Memoir of Survival” have a read and it will give you an idea of what the story is about.

I’m going to reveal the cover on my writing page first so come on over and say hello and watch for the big reveal.  The galley text has had it’s final corrections and soon will be off to print.  Exciting!

Next in line is The Wall of Secrets a sequel to the first book.