Life Lessons in Unexpected Places

I loved the movie Galaxy Quest.

 

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I loved it in all its cheesy glory. I mean, we all know what it wasn’t, right? It wasn’t exquisite art or high drama. It wasn’t an Academy Award contender. It was quite unashamedly escapist entertainment.

Every cliche, every nod to some other sci-fi production, they all generated that warm fuzzy nostalgia. It was supposed to make you feel good, to laugh. But could there be something more hiding within?

Never give up, never surrender.

That’s been my mantra for the last few years. I finally got the surgery I needed for an on the job injury. So now I’m sitting at home with my left arm in a sling, off of work for a few months, and about to dive into what is sure to be an excruciating course of physical therapy. With voice to text and the WordPress app on my tablet I may never type again.

Quick word of advice. If you are about to have surgery on a joint like a shoulder or knee, take the pain meds. Take them around the clock. Don’t try and be a tough guy. Do what the doctor says, even set an alarm for the middle of the night. Trust me on this one.

But this was a fight every step of the way. Ultimately one I couldn’t fight all on my own, I had to hire an attorney. I did question myself all along. Was I doing the right thing? Why did I have to fight so hard for treatment that was so obviously necessary? Was there something I wasn’t seeing?

Sometimes life throws situations at us for a reason. Sometimes we are supposed to struggle because we are supposed to learn something.

There were lots of points where I could have walked away. And that is exactly what the companies opposing me wanted, because it would mean they didn’t have to spend money and fulfill their obligations. They worked very hard to try and convince me that my pain and my injury were not worthy of their consideration. They marginalized and minimized me.

Giving up would have meant a lifetime of pain and increasingly restricted physical abilities for me. That’s not high drama or exaggeration. After being injured my activity level, my ability to enjoy my hobbies gradually degraded. I went from being an active person who gardened and exercised to one who sat around most of the time. I gained weight. I became depressed. For the first time in my life I could not exercise or physical therapy my way out of an injury.

I did a lot of soul-searching and did a lot of meditation. I realized I had a choice. I could give up. I could walk away. That was certainly the easiest path at least in the short-term. At several points along the way my obstacles seemed almost insurmountable. My challenge, my lesson was to overcome those obstacles and take that harder path.

I refused to compromise on my quality of life. I fought for me because nobody else would. When I had exhausted all the options I could see I had to know when to ask for help. I won’t deny there was a certain gritty satisfaction in shoving all their marginalizing and minimalizing bullshit right back in their faces.

It was not an easy lesson. But it was a valuable one. It’s also one that is still evolving, but I am already stronger for it.

Never give up, never surrender. Not on yourself. Not on your dreams.

What have you had to fight for? When have you had to overcome insurmountable odds?

How Do You Like Me Now?

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Hi there! Notice anything new? I know, I know, I let this blog just sit for a very long time, but it’s time to get it up and running again. If you’ve been with me for a while, you know I kind of bounced around on topics – animals, training, ghosts, conspiracies, gardening. Yikes! It was a mish-mash of everything I love, but I figured it was time to give my writing and blogging better focus and direction.

I’ve given the blog a whole new look, and I’ve activated my Facebook Page – go ahead and give me a Like.

Now, here goes. I hope you’ll stick with me.

Serena Dracis is all about the paranormal. Supernatural. Spiritual. Whatever name or label you like, if it’s strange or unusual, I’m going to write about it. Hold on, it’s gonna get weird in here. But you like that, don’t you?

You can expect to see posts about UFO’s, alternative histories, conspiracies and ghosts, like this one:

I like how the apparition just casually walks right through the gate. And how appropriate is it that this spirit is walking away from the Haunted Mansion? Maybe it’s break time and the ghost is off to see other parts of the park?

I used to work at Disneyland and heard about the ghosts supposed to haunt the Happiest Place on Earth during my two summers there back in the ’80’s. I never saw or heard anything personally but I heard about the ghost on Space Mountain that would open doors and the guy that died swimming from Tom Sawyer’s Island. Speaking of the Island, I always got a creepy vibe in those fake caves.

If you loved the posts on dogs, training and gardening, check out my “sister” blog here. My new look and focus should make it much easier to find the posts you love.

How about you? Do you love the paranormal? Have you had a ghostly encounter? Have you seen a UFO? Do you know there’s more to this life than what we see with just our eyes? You are definitely in the right place. Let me know what you’ve seen and experienced in the comments. I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

Well, Hello! Yeah, It’s Been A While…

Do you remember this song?

I always loved this song and the hopefulness in the lyrics. Listening to England Dan and John Ford Coley gives me this happy, nostalgic feeling. Like a homecoming, warm and familiar, and oh-so-glad to be back. That’s what it feels like to come back to this blog.

Hi! Do you remember me? Almost 2 years ago I wrote this post. Yeah, 1 or 2 weeks became almost 2 years. I’ve missed you guys! But it’s been a really incredible time, and I wanted to share some of my adventures with you.

I hurt my shoulder. Still hurts, but still writing. Working on it.

I put my (mostly) completed novel on hold, and finished a first draft manuscript for a non-fiction book. This one even has a publisher! More on that later.

I lost a good friend.

HaHaHaHa!  Your accent is terrible!

HaHaHaHa! Your accent is terrible!

I made a new one.

X071814bThe seasons changed, my garden grew and ebbed. My chickens still peck and scratch in my yard.

Overall, life is good. I’m looking forward to getting re-acquainted and hearing all about your adventures and life stories.  I’ll be touring around Blogville – checking in on all my favorite writers – I’ll see you there. And you can find me on Facebook too!

Happy New Year to all of you. Here’s to making 2015 great!

Reiki, Reiki, No More Achy!

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I need to say a little bit now about Reiki, because it really has transformed my life.  Reiki is amazing, Reiki is healing, and Reiki is simple.  About 4 or 5 years ago I took a class in Reiki, and received my level 1 attunement.  It was truly a life-changer, but I didn’t know that at the time.  Last year I completed my Master/Teacher training; Reiki is something I’m still discovering.

What is Reiki?  You can find it defined all over the web as ‘universal life energy’ or ‘life force energy’.  It is a form of spiritual energy healing, or you can think of it as a very intensely focused prayer.  Reiki energy is said to flow through the practitioner and into the recipient.  Reiki can promote healing on 4 levels:  emotional, spiritual, physical and mental.  Practitioners and clients both claim to have experienced various physical sensations during a treatment, including; heat, light, cold, pain relief, nausea relief, muscle relaxation as well as energetic flows, emotional releases, a sense of deep peace and stress release.

Reiki is generally thought to be energy, universally accessible to all, channeled through a practitioner to a recipient.  There is some question as to whether a formal Reiki attunement is necessary to be able to channel Reiki.  The practitioner does not generate Reiki from within; rather she acts as a channel for the energy to move through her to the recipient.  Reiki is offered, not given or otherwise imposed onto another; acceptance of Reiki and its potential to heal is strictly at the choice of the recipient.

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I’ve used Reiki personally to control chronic pain, offered it to friends who were suffering the same, to spirits to help them cross to the other side, and to animals that were distressed or in pain.  I’ve felt its effects personally, heard them echoed by the people who’ve received it, and watched animals visibly relax, even fall asleep, under its influence.

More than the immediate pain relief or relaxation, Reiki provides me with deep, personal satisfaction, and an abiding sense of peace.  I use Reiki every day, and over the years I’ve found my attitudes changing on certain issues.  I find that things that used to irritate me before:  too long a line at the grocery store, whining, crying kids, or petty, mean spirited people, now I find it much easier to step back, and see people and situations with greater compassion.  I stress less about the little things, and the bigger things too.  I used to be a hardcore conservative and now I’m a complete lefty liberal.  Go figure.

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Reiki encourages it practitioners:

At least for today:

Do not be angry,

Do not worry,

Be grateful,

Work with diligence,

Be kind to people.

I am very far from perfect when it comes to accomplishing all of these every day, but I try, every day.  I am constantly astonished at how very good it feels.

Have you ever had a Reiki session?  Are you a Reiki practitioner?  Let me know what your experiences with energetic healing have been!

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All pictures in this post are taken by and under copyright to ME!  Please ask permission.