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My Spiritual Yin and my Political Yang

Recently, Furrow wrote a limerick about me. It is one of my most prized virtual possessions (links mine, not Furrow’s):

This new-agey blogger named Lori
Has insights that make me cry, “Glory!”
But she hides a surprise:
Though she writes of third eyes,
She’s Republican down at her core, see?

To fully appreciate my ongoing balancing act, start by reading this post, where I explain my political development.

As for my spiritual emergence, here’s the scoop.

I grew up with asthma and severe allergies.* Family lore has it that when I was a baby, my mom was baking chocolate chip peanut cookies in one end of the house while I was napping in a closed room in the other. I swelled up like the Michelin Baby, and erupted like Vesuvius from all ends. Further investigation revealed allergies to everything. Every single one of the 44 stick tests that pierced my skin at age 5 showed over-reaction by my hyper-vigilant immune system.

Fast forward through several near-anaphylaxis episodes. In my 20s, after spending a year in Japan, I returned with a rare condition in my lungs (aspergillosis, if you care to look it up)which was a reaction to a common mold. The choices the Dr Pneumo offered me were:

  • (1) stay on steroids for the rest of my life
  • (2) try an experimental drug that had not been approved in the US; or
  • (3) have a lobectomy, partial removal of my lung.

Options 2 seemed too risky, Option 3 seemed too drastic, and Option 1, well, in a fit of cosmic irony, I didn’t choose #1 because I was worried about its effects on fertility. Ha!

About this time, when things looked particularly dire, I met Ethel. I was hired to be her replacement as Program Director of an adult learning network. She was leaving, well, just because.In my interview, I remember asking her, “So what are you going to do?” “I don’t know,” she replied. “Travel?” I pressed. “I don’t know,” she answered, again. “Will you look for another job?” I began to feel as if one of us was very dense. “I don’t know,” said my new personal koan, with a patient smile.I kept pushing and asking because I just didn’t “get” her degree of living in the moment and her willingness to allow inspiration to precede movement.

She did not travel and she did not find another job. She lived in her little crystal-filled cottage, an oasis of grace in a bad part of town. She offered energy-healing sessions and taught energy-work classes. She honed her skill of watching patterns — in people, in societies, in the stock market, in nature. She grew her own food, tended her flowers. She embodied, to me, an earth mother.

And she offered me Door #4, which allowed me to eschew all three doors offered by Dr Pneumo.

During the next dozen years, until she finally did begin to travel, Ethel showed me another way of looking at health and wellness. She became my teacher, and is the closest thing I’ve met to an ego-less person.

With her guidance, I healed my lungs. I brought up and released issues of sadness. I released my immune system from its Rottweiler-style of defense. I released and released and released.And I am much better. Physically, emotionally, and energetically. What that really means is that I am more conscious, more mindful and less fearful.Later on, Ethel helped me deal with infertility and adoption, as well as my ongoing release of victim issues (boy, do they seem to come from a bottomless well).

So that, my friends, is how the curse of my lungs led to the blessings in my life.

I mentioned in part 1 of this post that my two sisters join me in the very small club of New Age Republicans. We took different paths to the granola-crunching (no nuts, please), but we each got there. Sheri and Tami, I invite both of you to guest post an entry here on your own journey (double-dog dare you!).


* Energetically, the lungs are the place where we hold sadness. Allergies are defense systems gone haywire. And speaking of defense systems, I once figured out that my mom was pregnant with me during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and I wonder if I carry some of the collective fear engendered by the Cold War.

Lori Holden, mom of a young adult daughter and a young adult son, writes from Denver. She was honored as an Angel in Adoption® by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.

Find Lori’s books on her Amazon Author page, and catch episodes of Adoption: The Long View wherever you get your podcasts.

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12 Responses

  1. Thanks for sharing this wonderful story. I love that you’re so honest about your balancing act.

  2. I loved this post! Isn’t it amazing how stress, emotion and fear can impact our health? Although I haven’t followed the same path as you, I have discovered that a lot of physical wellness has to do with spiritual and mental wellness. Yeah for you that you’re doing so well now!

  3. Fascinating. I’m a long-time allergy and asthma gal myself…methinks there’s more to it than dust, mold and animal dander. I’m guessing sadness, stress and a few others things rolled into one are contributing culprits. Thanks for sharing your transformation. Let’s talk more in SF! 😉

  4. I’m so glad you like my limerick. What can I say? you inspire me. I love finding what seem to be contradictions in a person. It reminds me how stupid it is to stereotype.

  5. Lori,I just learn more and more lovely, wonderful things about you — and I also just LEARN…thank you for this post.XOPam

  6. What an ordeal! Oh, and there are others like you. I have two married friends who have based their entire “green” business on the wife’s very similar experience to your’s. They have to keep their political persuasion quiet or risk being tarred, feathered and run out of business like “greenies” are trying to do to John Mackey right now.

    I think there are probably a lot more New Age Republicans than we know because who would dare expose themselves to a community whose ownership has been claimed by liberals? Lori! That’s who! It’s just not easy being green when you’re red at heart. 😉

  7. Incredible story. I have dabbled in different alternative healing methods and I am completely smitten with herbs, crystals, etc. Thrilled to have found your blog through #FF.

  8. Oh my. What an incredible story. I’ve never been to a healer but have known so many people that have. I’m just waiting for the right time/person in my life. I never knew that about the lungs carrying sadness. Wouldn’t you know in the bout 2 years I’ve been suddenly stricken with bronchitis about 3 times a year?

    Also, my grandma was named Ethel and I got chills when I read this.

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