Dr. Debra's Blog

Journeying Together for Healing

Morning Coffee Walks

October 7 2018

The salty mist on my face, the shore breeze messing up my hair, coffee in hand, and I couldn't be happier!  The shoreline holds a place-card for my arrival whenever I can get there on Sunday mornings.  With each step on the path, I contemplate the events of the past week, plan for the upcoming week, and let nature grab my attention to something new which seems to happen every time!

Today, it was "Paths." The gray, cloudy sky became the backdrop for highlighting all the different options of walking along the shore.  As each path emerged, it reminded me of the Paths of Life.  A door opens, and we choose whether or not we want to walk through it.  Sometimes the straight well-lit one is attractive because it is safe, tried, and true, and sometimes the gnarly, weedy, rocky one draws us in because it will test our grit and perhaps we will discover something new that can't be known at the outset.

Remember to leave yourself some breadcrumbs along the way.  If your path gets to gnarly or bumpy, you can turn around and find safety on the paved path.  If your path gets too boring or stagnant, you can always forage your way through the briers and come out stronger because of it. Keep your faith either way, because neither of them are wrong.  God bless you on your paths.

Gaining Perspective from on High

November 4, 2018

 When we sprain our ankle, it is ingrained in us from childhood to rest with it elevated, splint it with an ace wrap, put on ice and wait it out.  But when we suffer human emotional hurt, we forget that these basic first aid principles can also be applied.  We can do this for ourselves and we don't have to limp around and suffer in pain.  Animals instinctively stay still and lay on their injured part to keep it from moving for the few days it will take to heal.  I recall a day when I found my cat laying at the door having been injured badly enough to not walk.  The vet diagnosed a pelvic fracture and recommended surgery.  My experience working with animals over the years gave me the wisdom to know that cats will heal their own pelvic fracture given time.  No surgery required.

The same goes for our lives.  We don't need whopping doses of medicine for emotional hurts, but instead need to find our peace in nature and with God.  The deeply satisfying experience of walking among the grasses and trees, looking up at the sky or to the horizon.  

Today, I took my hurt to the marsh.  The bright green grass of summer giving way to the coolness of fall turning a hue of amber.  And from the lookout tower, I could see far into the marsh, down on the marsh, the entire marsh.  I could see all of it and had new perspective that I couldn't have on the ground, on the trail or in the trenches of life.  Normally I would have taken myself to the top of Sleeping Giant, but that is no longer possible and only added to my sadness.

At the end of the day, I am more restored than when I started.  I am reminded of how simple the first aid can be.  I have earned my tiredness instead of just feeling weary.  I am strengthened by having depth of character knowing who I am, what I believe in and what I know to be true.  Faith and Truth, the all prevailing healers.  I experienced them today from the lookout tower.  God Bless--Dr. Debra



Lenten Journey through the Desert (Not dessert!)

March 4, 2019

 Waking to at least a foot of snow blanketing the landscape, covering all the vegetation, and blocking the path out, I remembered that I forgot to fill the bird feeder.  My usual morning display of fluttering feathered friends is stark white empty under the weighted juniper branches.  My footprints will break the smooth surface of the snow right after I feed the chickens so that they can all stay warm and not freeze.  

And, then there's images in my mind of Venezuelan's starving in the streets being shot at to get away from the only humanitarian aid available.  These disturbing thoughts and images serve to stabilize and motivate me for true fasting this Lenten season.  

Our meditation of Lent is that of walking with Jesus through his 40 day trek in the desert.  I was blessed to have schooled under Peter Bigfoot who shared his amazing 40 day trek in the Arizona desert living off whatever the land would provide to him for food and medicine.  This time of year can be profoundly transformative if you take the time to participate.

Shedding the luxuries of life, making atonement or penance, and almsgiving are the underpinnings of Lent.  Beyond just giving up chocolate and the like, the deeper experience is to give up yourself.  Apply the concept of truly forgiving others, try getting over yourself, start being charitable & kind, and begin sharing your authentic self with others.  This season is not just about yourself!

Starting this Wednesday, take the next 40 days to fast, forgive, repent and give.  I will share with you my menu, experiences and opportunities as they arise on my facebook page dranastasio.  What will be your version of walking through the desert?  The dessert is the sweetness of improving someone else's life.  God bless you on your journey!--Dr. Debra