Blog

Trans March & Our Allies

I have to share my truth, and it’s uncomfortable for me.
I am having a hard time with cis allies marching alongside trans & non-binary folks in the Trans March.

Yes, our allies are loving and supportive people who are giving support to the community with the best of intentions. And still, there’s a problem …

On the one day a year that both celebrates and acknowledges the struggles trans/nb folks have gone through, I am feeling unseen and invalidated.

I used to love the trans march as part of the Pride celebrations, but starting last year, I couldn’t find my trans/nb friends in the crowds marching. In previous years, supporters on the sidewalk would be offering supportive banners and clapping us joyfully on along the route. I couldn’t feel their love as much last year, as I was often on my own, looking for friends lost in the huge throng. I don’t know if I can do that all over again this year.

The dyke march has very few men in it, which is so important where there are so few dyke only spaces; supporters of the Dyke march cheer from the sidewalk. For me, this is what the Trans March needs a flavour of.

If you are marching with us as an ally, I prefer you identify yourself with a supportive banner or T-Shirt. If you haven’t been asked to be a trans/nb persons support, consider checking out with them if they want you in the March – they might prefer you support from the sidewalk.

I couldn’t voice my discomfort last year, and I have greatly struggled to voice my concerns this year. It’s way more complicated than the viewpoint of one person. We are a complex and diverse community with many voices, all of which need to be heard.

Mind over Matter

I recently heard on CBC’s Quirks and Quarks that a study in the USA has proved that your beliefs about yourself are as important as your biological disposition (DNA), in some peoples cases, more so !

To me this scientifically proves the success over hundreds of years, of the use of hypnosis to make personal change.

More recently professional athletes have used hypnosis to visualize themselves perfecting techniques, for example in golf.

The book “The Brain That Changes Itself” is filled with examples of folks who have used creative techniques to take advantage of the brains natural neuroplasticity, literally rewiring their minds !

When you work with a well trained and certified hypnotherapist, you can make changes in your life that become permanent !

Don’t dream it , BE IT !

What is Gender Dysphoria?

My gender dysphoria was probably always with me. I first was aware if it very young, for sure; when I was around 5 years old I wrote an innocent note in my school diary, “When I grow up I want to be a boy …”

I assumed that everything would work out fine, and that when puberty hit I would grow my own penis and a few years later a magnificent beard. When puberty finally came, there was no dick and balls for me, instead I started to grow breasts; I was honestly surprised and utterly horrified. It wasn’t supposed to be like this !

I continued to dress as I always had, jeans and t-shirt, but now family and societal pressure increased. As I grew older, well meaning folks would impose gender stereotyping on me, suggesting a wore a skirt, or I should grow my hair to be more attractive to guys ! This was a long time ago …

I knew that my breasts and genitals didn’t fit who I was, but I didn’t know that I could make a change. Then I suppressed my desire to be a guy, and got on with life, numbing those parts of me I couldn’t accept. I used alcohol from the age of 10, and when I turned 18 and was at University, it ramped up and stayed that way until my early-thirties, when I became pregnant and almost instantly stopped.

Fast forward through a painful divorce, into my second marriage, this time with a lovely woman. My problems and drinking are still with at this time, and then I have a dream. I dream I am a man, I have a gorgeous beard, I’m dressed well, and in a group of people, smart, witty and entertaining; I felt wonderful ! It was this dream and the feelings I got from it that led to my consciously accepting my desire to be a man, through supportive therapy I bought a binder and put it on when no-one was home …  I felt so at home looking at myself in the mirror with a flat chest ! It was in that moment that I knew that this was ME, that I needed to transition.

Not Feeling Good Enough ?

thinker

As I was walking home the other night, I found myself walking along Bloor St W, past all the ritzy stores. I noticed all the adverts, the beautifully clad dummies, the expensive watches and bags, I came to a realization. Now my realization might not be your Truth, it might not resonate with you, and that’s ok. If this does resonate with you, it might contribute significantly to your own healing journey, as it did mine.

We live in a post-colonial capitalistic society. The cogs of society run for the generation and spending of money; in its’ most basic function, we earn money in order that we can exchange it for things we need to live. In this capitalistic society corporations that sell us goods believe growth in their business is a huge measure of success, better shares, happier shareholders. To make more money, they have to sell more product or reduce costs, or both.

My theory is that in order to motivate us to want to buy more stuff, to get us to want to line up excitedly for the latest dodad when the current dodad is doing a fine job, they needs us to feel as though we or what we have are somehow less ! 

Around us the advertising, the latest products,  nudge us into feeling that we are not good enough the way we are. So many of us in Europe and North America, areas where capitalism has had a stronghold for several generations, feel that we aren’t as good as that other person, too fat, too old, too dark, etc. The endless subliminal messages that surround us reach deep inside, and we who have been programmed since we were young, don’t even notice the bombardment.

Did you know that in Asia, they don’t have levels of systemic self-hatred anywhere near cultures like this one we are drenched in ?

The good news is you can unplug from this. Know that this is a game and you don’t have to take part. Know that you are perfectly fine as you are, in fact you are the best version of you that there is. From time to time, check in with yourself and ask yourself, ‘how do I feel right now?’, ‘how is this effecting me?’, ‘what’s the message for me here?’ Remember the things that have value for you, perhaps family, friends, music, dance, nature and spend more time in those environments. By doing more of what makes your soul sing, you are living authentically, and you are helping to heal our society simply be being you.

You are good enough. In fact, you are Divine 😉

 

 

 

Tired in Toronto ?

5 Ways for a Naturally Improved Sleep

bed sleep

So you’ve just got back from a concert, the gym, evening classes and it’s late. You’ve got to get up early in the morning, but you’re too wired to sleep. Sound familiar ?

We are usually over-stimulated and under-active; in-fact most folks in western societies, and especially big cities, have a hard time falling asleep.

Are You Sleep Deprived?

If you wake up naturally at the same time every day then you are getting enough sleep … not you ? The average adult today gets 6 to 7 1/2 hours of sleep a night, in the 1960’s it was 8 1/2 hours, and in 1910’s 9 hours was the adult populations average length of sleep.

Problems Created by Lack of Sleep

You may not realize it, but in missing out on your snooze time, you are:

  • more likely to gain weight
  • feel more anxious, stressed
  • harder to learn, focus
  • memory loss
  • you are more likely to become ill
  • you can age more rapidly

Naturally Improving Sleep

Here are a few top tips on how to improve your quality and depth of sleep.

  1. try to finish your evening meal at least 3 hours before your intended bed time
  2. refrain from using electronic devices for around an hour before your intended bed time
  3. a soak in the tub, with epsom salts for 20 minutes to relax your muscles
  4. a soothing natural tea, such a chamomile or a tea mix for sleep, can work wonders
  5. get yourself well supported and comfortable in bed, and settle in with a good book

Hypnosis CDs and self-hypnosis are excellent tools to support you with all habit changes. If you decide to come and work three hypnosis sessions with me to improve your sleep, you will receive a complimentary CD or mp3 of my ‘Guided Meditation for a Deep and Natural Sleep.’

Benefits of a Past Life Regression Session

In a Past Life Regression session, we journey backwards in time/space, for you to experience a previous lifetime. The aim of your journey is individual to you; some folks want to get to the root cause of a repeating theme in their life, others to investigate a strange fear or phobia, some to resolve health issues or blocks in this life. There are infinite reasons for investigating the past, and each journey brings healing and empowerment in some manner.

Below are a few examples of how a Past Life Regression session can help you in this  lifetime:

  • You may receive a message of inspiration or guidance from your past life self, that can help you in this lifetime
  • You integrate the lessons of that past life, and become more self-empowered
  • Our past lives often have a theme, such as being a healer, teacher, a warrior – this embodied knowledge can help you to explore your chosen life direction today, and can steer you towards your life purpose
  • We journey with around another dozen souls, and you can learn who you have lived with before, gaining more of an understanding of your relationship
  • With the emotional and physical knowing of your previous lifetime(s) you can let go your fear of death
  • With the knowledge you’ve lived before, you can reduce your need to achieve and allow yourself to flow in the rhythm of the universe

Natural Pain Management

Pain, in it’s many forms, it one of the banes of people’s health today. With our high stress lives we often have rigid neck and shoulder muscles; stress, along with headaches and migraines, can cause many days off from work.

Chronic pain originates from an injury, where the nerves send a message to the brain saying “I’m hurt.” This signal usually stops when healing has progressed sufficiently, but with chronic pain, the nerve signals keep firing even after you’ve healed. Chronic pain is often managed with addictive opiates, can cause depression, poor sleep, poor memory, fuzzy thinking and anxiety.

I work with my clients with whatever tools I have that I am being intuitively guided to use. Sometimes hypnosis, sometimes a healing energy transmission comes through, other times I am guided to use visual imagery and words that speak very deeply to them.

One client had been unable to travel due to chronic pain, and meds were causing side-effects she disliked. When we met at her home, I assumed that we would be doing a form of hypnosis for pain management. Soon into the session, the energy kept ascending and I found myself connecting with higher energies, connecting with the Divine healing vibrations. It felt like healing was coming from my body and words into my client; I was filled with so much love and expansiveness, it was almost too much at times. We continued like that for what seemed like an eternity, and at the same time, no time at all. At the end of the healing, we both had tears of bliss running down our faces. When she had fully come back into the room, she was grinning from ear to ear and almost entirely free from pain; My client was flabbergasted, she told me this was the least amount of pain she had experienced in the last 20 years !

Hypnosis is a more conventional holistic way of managing pain. As I said before, pain is a perceived discomfort in the brain, sent by electrical signals from the nerves and sometimes the brain is perceiving pain, when the area is healed or has been removed, in the case of amputated limbs. With hypnosis I have helped folks to manage their pain using imagery and wording that is tailored to their own language and life experiences, making it a powerful, portable resource.

Our minds are very powerful, and with the latest research on neuroplasticity, it’s been proven that we can make changes. Below are a couple of resources for more information.

Additional Reading

Is Pain Always Real?

The Brain’s Way of Healing

 

World No Tobacco Day, A Good Day to Quit

The theme for World No Tobacco Day, 31 May 2017, is “Tobacco – a threat to development.” I am sure you already know the of pros and cons for smoking, such as health, finances and odours.

Did you know about the environmental impact of smoking?

  • Tobacco waste contains over 7000 toxic chemicals that poison the environment, including human carcinogens.
  • Tobacco smoke emissions contribute thousands of tons of human carcinogens, toxicants, and greenhouse gases to the environment.
  • Tobacco waste is the largest type of litter, by count, globally.
  • Up to 10 billion of the 15 billion cigarettes sold daily are disposed in the environment.
  • Cigarette butts account for 30–40% of all items collected in coastal and urban clean-ups.

If you are choosing to quit smoking today, you can know you’ll be helping yourself as well as the environment!

Transitioning in later life

transformation

It wasn’t until I was 50 years old that I realized I was a man in a woman’s body, and what a revelation it was ! The first time I wore a binder, I felt free, amazing, and very scared for how much this was going to impact my family. At the time, I was married to a wonderful woman, who was and still does, identify as a lesbian; I knew it would be the end of my marriage.

This July will mark my second anniversary of taking testosterone, and when I look back, the changes that seemed painfully slow for me at the time, have passed so quickly. When I look at my photographs, I see a massive change from my pre-everything photo (May 2015 and 6 months after I had worn a binder for the first time), to 1 year on hormones (and very soon after top surgery), then finally after 18 months on hormones.

Now I have an Adam’s apple, I sing in the Baritone section of an LGBTQ choir; my face, muscle and skin structure has shifted and everywhere I go I am called “Sir.”                                              This feels miraculous to me.

I see a lot of sadness when I look into the eyes of my earlier photos, and such joy in my most recent one, an aliveness that was absent before.

My message to you is, follow  your heart. It’s never to late to become the person you know you truly are !

My Top 5 Weight Loss Discoveries

This is about my weight loss discoveries and what has worked for me.

Many moons ago I was an automotive design engineer, my degree was in Mechanical Engineering, so please bear with me a moment ! Imagine a machine for a moment, let’s say this machine is a black box;  it has an input and an output. Does it makes sense that whatever comes out of the machine is a result of whatever was put into it? Taking a real world example, we know a car engine (the machine) receives fuel and air (the input) into its’ combustion chamber, this is ignited, creates a controlled explosion which forces down the piston (which turns the crankshaft then ultimately ends up as rotation at the wheels), plus water and carbon monoxide come out the exhaust. If we put maple syrup into the engine instead of gasoline, the output is going to be very different, namely a gummed up engine and a large repair bill !

Now imagine a living machine, YOU ! Imagine yourself eating food that is fresh, still containing its’ life force … how do you imagine that feels to your living machine of a body? Next imagine yourself eating food that is essentially dead of life force, like those overly processed foods … and how do you imagine that feels to your body?  My experiences have shown me that food that still has natural life gives life force, whereas food with a lack of life force often creates stress, sadness, low energy and pretty quickly, more hunger !

Here the my top 5 actions that helped me shift and become slimmer:

  1. Eating more natural, fresh food
  2. Not too much
  3. Drinking plenty of water
  4. Avoiding eating later than 6pm
  5. Drinking less alcohol