Friday, July 3, 2015

I remember that I wanted to post about the owl. Yesterday, I was standing outside at the front entrance. I was thinking about everything that has come together. I was feeling it with a sense of wonder and gratitude and suddenly I see an owl among a few other lovely birds fly past me. I have never seen an owl fly past me before. It was so close.

Owl, what are you telling me? I think that you are telling me that I will succeed. I think that you came to celebrate this gathering of forces with me.You came like a vortex, to strengthen me. To encourage me. To tell me that I am strong and that I can do it. You came to tell me that you have faith in me.

Thank you for your message owl. Thank you.

I am going to paste here information about owl symbolism and meaning that I connect to.

'It represents something that is not easily found but through a struggle and great search.'




I want to write a bit about the good things that are coming together now. It started like this. A few weeks a go a fellow pain warrior posted a photo onto my timeline. There they were, the angels, Project Angel and my name. I was pleasantly surprised. Wendy Evered, a fellow activist and pain warrior wrote about Project Angel for the magazine PainPathways. I was excited and immediately thought that I would love to contribute my story and more of my art to the magazine. So, I called PainPathways and sent them some of my poetry, my six page story about surviving PN and I invited them to take a look at my website. Last week, Amy North, editor of PainPathways called me to tell me that they would like to publish my 'Faces of PN' on the Inspiration Page of the Sept. issue. Amy told me that September is Pain Awareness month and that it is also IC Awareness month. She didn't know if September had officially become Chronic Pelvic Pain Awareness month but she knew that there were CPP advocates that were trying to make that happen. Amy asked me to put together a resource list for people with CPP that would be put alongside my art. But it was more than that. She asked me to write a group e-mail to my resource list explaining that I was partnering with PainPathways to raise awareness about CPP and that I wanted to put them down as a resource.

And that is how my love affair began. I called the IC Network. Jill Osborne, founder and president of the IC Network answered the phone herself. This was a pleasant surprise. I told Jill about my partnership with PainPathways and that I would like to put the IC Network as a resource. I asked Jill if she knew if Sept. had officially been declared CPP awareness month. Once again I was pleasantly surprised when Jill told me that she was the one that was pushing hard to make this happen! When she told me that, I knew that I had reached the right place! I love when people get that it is about all of us together.

I was happy! Then I got even happier when Dr. Echenberg's name came up. I mentioned to Jill that I had created a short video of Dr. Echenberg and she immediately knew what video I was talking about. She had seen it! Then I mentioned Project Angel and Jill was very excited to discover that I was me :) She had been to my website a few weeks ago and loved the angels and their mission.
I was moved by her enthusiasm. She was genuinely excited to know that she was talking to me.

Now, you ask why all of this is so meaningful for me. Well, in the beginning I was sure that I had endometriosis. After the laparoscopy that came out clear I was sure that I had IC. I was already scheduled to have bladder installations. Last minute, I decided to have a hydrodistention. That was clear too. That is when I diagnosed myself with what I was really suffering from, PN. I had read about Jill and how IC happened to her. I was in profound suffering and grief but reading her story and seeing that she was leading a meaningful and inspired life despite IC gave me hope.

Jill asked me if she could write an article about me and about Project Angel for the IC magazine. She said that what I am doing can inspire other women. So there I was being asked by one of my hero's if she could write an article about me. Humbled, honored and excited. I felt that something beautiful and powerful had come full circle for me.

Then I called the National Vulvodynia Association. I spoke to Lisa Goldstein, executive director of the NVA. I told Lisa about PainPathways and that I would like to list the NVA as a resource. We spoke for a long time and at some point we started talking about the lack of education on CPP in medical school. This brought us to The American College of Obgyn (also known as ACOG).

 I have known for a very long time that someday somehow we (the cpp community) were going to have to reach them. I had no idea how this would happen. Dr. Stewart had talked about them in her interview when I asked what we (all of us survivors) could do to get CPP into the medical school curriculum. I think that she said that we could write letters to ACOG. It has been a long time since I watched the video. It has been ready for months but I have been waiting for Dr. Stewart to finish her website so that I could include it in the video.

Lisa Goldstein explained to me that we should find out what material ACOG does have about CPP so that we can know exactly what we want to ask for. She told me to speak with Katelin Phelps from ACOG. Katelin staffs the committee of The Dep't of Gynecologic Practice. I called ACOG (1-202-638-5577) and asked for her. I was angry and I immediately 'attacked her' with the devastating and enraging truth. How could this be happening? How can it be that millions of us are being told that we are crazy by gynecologists...that gynecologists are graduating med-school without ever having heard of PN, V, IC, PGAD...I was angry, very angry and she hung up on me.

I am planning to call her to apologize. It isn't her fault. But I couldn't see her. I just saw how ACOG was failing us miserably. I saw the thousands of gynecologists that were kicking us out of their offices with the 'its in your head'....I saw my suffering, our suffering....and the rage of all of that...is something that I will have to work harder at curbing.

I think that it is the rage that kept me from reaching this point sooner. But it is also the rage that fuels my passion and my drive and that has brought me to where we are today.

We are here. Jill Osborne, Lisa Goldstein, Dahri McFaline, Dr. Echenberg, Pat Onorato, Amy North, Katherine Clement and many many more. They all have so much experience and I am learning from them. They are helping me control my anger. They are teaching me. I am grateful to be in their company. Grateful that we have all made it here together. Grateful that together our voices will be heard!!!

Yes, I believe it.




















Love,

Atara

And I bought my own domain. I am now officially ataraschimmel.com.

Progress is pretty.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Yesterday was a hard day. What makes it even worse, as usual, is my difficulty in accepting that it was so hard. It seems like every week I the 'fall apart' day. I am sick and tired of these days. Last week I went to the pain clinic to get my second lidocaine infusion. Guess what? It was my perfect lucky day, concocted especially for me. The fire alarms. Yes, the god-damn fire-alarms went off while I was recovering my lidocaine cocktail. The fire-alarms were so excruciatingly loud that I jumped off of the bed, pushed my way into my sneakers and started running out with the sweet nurse running after me. I really felt like the fire alarms were in my head and all i could think of was of how cruel it is do this to someone with hyperacusis and that my hyperacusis was going to get worse. I ran down the stairs and out of the building with my fingers plugging my ears. In the stairway I see two people that are literally standing around carrying on a conversation. That freaked me out even more and I shouted out loud to the nurse "Oh my god, see, something is really wrong with me. Look at them.." When I finally reached the front door I realized that I must look like a freak to all of the people that had found their way outside. There I was running out of the hospital with my fingers stuck in my ears and .....I started to scream at the top of my lungs....did I think that I was explaining to my audience why on earth I looked the way that I did. They were all clearly looking my way. So, at the top of my lungs I shouted about hyperacusis and about how cruel it is to put someone with hyperacusis through this. My audience was clearly engaged and so I took the opportunity to tell them all about Pudendal Neuralgia and about nerve pain that affects the VAGINA (i said the word, my god, so some women started to laugh)...there laughter didn't get me off track...I shouted at the top of my lungs that there are millions of us and that doctors are telling us that the pain is in our heads.

The combination of a fire-alarm and a lidocaine infusion brought me to a glamorous place. Of course, I felt crazy afterwards and realized that I had totally lost control and that I must look like a 100% freak to all of the patients and doctors that had spilled out of the hospital before me. There must have been at least 200 people. When I realized what I had just done, I thought to myself 'okay, atara, this was your first attempt at public speaking. You passed it with flying colors. If you could do this than think how easy it will be to speak in a controlled and precise manner to a group of 200 or for that matter a group of 1000 people. A cinch.

Hyperacusis sucks shit. That is the truth. And yesterday was a really difficult day. What could be so difficult about going to blick's art store to get so me supplies. Everything! Everything was difficult. It started with the music. The music annoyed the hell out me. It was so loud and abrasive and it made me angry. I have to get myself to the doctor. I will ask Helaine to take me. I feel invaded and assaulted constantly. Traffic and the 'normal' noise of the city was so difficult for me to bare.

Today I stayed home and did my art. I am finally combining the angel ladies with mixed media backgrounds. I think that they will be lovely. I continue to feel so inspired by Kelly Rae Roberts. I collaged the ladies dresses, skirts and blouses today and realized that I want to leave the paper exposed. The paper is so beautiful. So, I am happy to be inspired and also happy to see that my artwork remains unique and distinctive while clearly inspired by Kelly's beautiful ladies. I like learning m voice. I continue to be surprised by what comes through me. I could have never imagine the angels had I not discovered Kelly's work. I feel that I am being guided and encouraged by the beauty and the love that Kelly has put into her work.

Hyperacusis sucks shit. Shit. Shit. Shit.

On a positive note. Amy North from Painpathways contacted me today to tell me that I will be featured on the inspiration page in the Sept. issue. She told me that September is pain awareness month as well as specifically pelvic pain awareness month. She asked me to gather together all of the pelvic pain resources (excuse me, I have to stick my fingers in my ears now, someone is using their electric saw or something...will there ever be peace for me???)...she wants to have a list of pelvic pain resources to put with my art.

I just got up to get my ear-plugs. This is hard. I need help and I have to get myself the help now. I promised myself that today I would do my art and that tomorrow I would make an appointment to see the Hyperacusis specialist that I need to see.

A woman that just started an on-line soul-sister empowerment magazine called soulsister contacted me and invited me to write an article for the next issue. She said that she saw my angels and thought that they were so beautiful and wanted to have them be in the magazine. She told me that each issue has a theme and that the next issues theme is beauty. She invited me to write about my transition from painting tortured faces to painting beauty and about the healing power that I am finding in beauty. I really appreciate the vision of the magazine and I am excited to begin writing.

If only, if only, if only...my ears, my nerves would heal. Please, I need some peace. I am doing my work and I am grateful to be recognized and called upon. Very grateful.

The earplugs are useless. The minute I stick them in the ringing in my ears takes over.

I want to shout at the top of my lungs: STOP  STOP STOP torturing me. Give me peace. Let me rest.

Love,

annoyed, irritated, frustrated ANGRY, i hate machines, leaf blowers and loud trucks, airplanes, squeaking trollies......I HATE that everyone eats the flesh of tortured and abused animals and that when I go out of the house, like yesterday, it is so hard to find something that isn't a tortured animal or the stolen milk and eggs from tortured animals.

My Vegan angel is totally ignored by my facebook friends. Every other angel that I posted and I have posted many was liked by between 25 and 45 friends. My Vegan angel received one like.

Why? Why? Why are we so cruel and heartless? Why can we see our own suffering but we cannot see the suffering that we are creating? Why? Why? Why?

That made me angry yesterday as well. The salad bar that I like to go to moved. I went looking for food. VEGANS HAVE A RIGHT TO EAT TOO. WE HAVE A RIGHT TO EAT FOOD THAT ISN"T SERVED WITH UTENSILS THAT ARE USED TO COOK THE FLESH OF TORTURED ANIMALS.

And another thing. Sometimes I just want out. Out of this body. Out of this cruel world that makes no sense to me. I have so many friends that are beautiful people. They have compassion in their hearts. Why can't they extend that compassion to animals?

It feels so weird to watch my friends eat dairy. What am I supposed to do? They see an ice-creme cake and I see an exhausted beaten down grieving cow that has had her calf stolen from her after 9 months of pregnancy. And then she is hooked up to machines, turned into nothing but a production unit. She is in pain. She is trapped. She is used, abused, tormented.

It is all on that plate that my friend is eating right next to me.

I want to scream. I want to scream at the top of my lungs. I want to shake the selfishness out of people. I want to stamp out the indifference and the denial...

I do not come from here. I have always been from somewhere else. This is not my world. I also make mistakes. I have only been vegan for a year. It only sunk in after being told that milk is 9% puss. Maybe I should try that one. It worked for me. It made me take a closer look. I think that there are a lot of people that will go vegan once they take a closer look.

I will post about the puss.

We are drinking and licking puss. That could change the way you see a milk-shake, an ice-creme or an ice-creme cake forever.

Please pass the puss,

love,

atara





Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Share your joy. My challenge for today is to share my joy. I posted angels in Newton Centre today. How does it feel? This time around I understand better how it feels. It feels like I am expanding, opening myself up wider. It feels vulnerable and also spiritually potent at once. I am sharing my energy, putting it out there...I like the fact that my name is not on the angels. I am still hidden from view and that is how I want to stay for a bit longer. I know that I will be diving into deep waters soon and that scares me but also excites me. I know that things are going to be changing quickly and that I have to stay centred and focused and aligned with my highest vision. I am prepared to receive. I am preparing to receive in abundance. It feels good to know that I am deserving.Thank you guidance for showing me this truth. Thank you guidance for helping me receive with gratitude all that is waiting for me.

Monday, June 8, 2015


The reception for the exhibit Healthful at the Honan-Allston Library was delightful. On Friday I spent the day at Webster House getting the angels ready to be photo-copied. From Webster House I went to Jamaica Plane. I taped angels onto posts, pillars, mail-boxes and nice-looking garbage cans. I hung them on bulletin boards and put one at Nahar Shalom on the table among inspiring articles. The angels began working immediately and they were so quick to report back to me :) They knew that I would be delighted in their success and they truly did delight me, deeply.

This delight keeps me going, even now, as my body has fallen back into fibromyalgia fatigue and pain. It is uplifting to know that my work is recognized. My leaf blower article should be appearing in the Tab and in the Metro-West Daily as well. This delights me as well. So, even though the fibromyalgia scares me and leaved me feeling drained and anxious... I am uplifted.

Thank you heavenly angels for hearing my cry, for recognizing my work and for honoring me with your time and your blessings. There are beautiful people that are helping me, kindred spirits that can hear and see and feel me. I am not alone and this makes it easier to bear the burden of my illness.

The art reception with Unbound Visual Arts was delightful. Beautiful souls came up to me to thank me for Project Angel and to encourage me in my work. One woman showed me her phone and asked me if my angels were in JP. Her friend that lives in JP sent her a photo that she took of 'You are deeply valuable'. It was a powerful and moving moment for me when I realized that the angels were already networking. The fact that they came back to me so immediately touched my heart to tears. They had only been up one day and night and they were already travelling through hearts and finding their way back to me, back to Project Angel, back to faith and hope and gratitude and love.

I have so much to be thankful for, so much to be grateful for. There are so many women that are helping me along this path and  I know that we will grow.

Align
Ascend
Inspire
Grow
Heal

Project Angels will grow. Even while I lay awake at night, sleepless and exhausted, Project Angel will grow and it will spread healing. I can feel it and it moves me. It makes life worth living.

And still, i want to complain. I am so tired of being sick, I want too cry because I am so tired of feeling sick. That is the truth. I hate being sick. I hate how one day I can be okay and then the next day I can fall back into pieces of this broken body. I am tired of living in a body that is sick. But I have no choice. So, I am trying to do what I can. I hate my limitations and hating my limitations makes me feel worse. There is so much that I want to do. There is so so much that I want to do. But I have these limitations. Even if I was one hundred percent healthy, I would still be limited. I wouldn't be able to end factory farming or to convert everyone to veganism. I wouldn't be able to educate all gynecologists and urologists about Pudendal Neuralgia.....but there is something infuriating about knowing what my next step is and not being able to take it because I am totally zapped. I have so much drive and motivation and inspiration and this god-damn disease sucks it out of me with a ruthlessness that surprises me each time anew. The rains will be coming in tomorrow and I have been in bed since yesterday.

I need help with my website. I want to keep up with Project Angel. Is there an angel out there that can help me? Angels, please hear me calling. Please help me with this.

I also want Project Angel to have its own website where our artwork, stories and photos can be viewed. Angels, I need your help with this too.

I have to grow but my body feels like its dying.....

Angels, I know that you are there. I can feel you you in my life.

Thank you angels.

Thursday, June 4, 2015





Intuitive energy healing. Maybe that is what I can call what I do. Intuitive energy healing. That sounds soft and embracing. Gentle. Sensitive. Touch. And crystals. Specific ones that I feel connected to. And the breathe, focusing on the breath through it all, always bringing it back to the breath. And water. I suck at that. Water can be incorporated into the healing. I wish that I drank more. Going to get some water even though I don't feel like drinking. Water can be part of it. On the forehead, on wet fingers on the face, warm water and maybe for grounding a cooling water. Spirit-guides, visualizations...
healing soul journey's
none of it is scary, it isn't like taking power over someone else or proclaiming myself as powerful, it is just working with what comes to me naturally...sharing it because that is the next step in my own healing...

Yesterday was a rough day. Today I was soft and gentle with myself. I gave myself nourishment, listened to Yemima, communicated with Katherine, finally visited Tammie's beautiful website. That is where I found the words 'intuitive energy healing' and felt just right with them.

It is good to be surrounded by women that are spiritual in this way. They are highly creative, so much like me in their orientation towards healing and guidance. It reinforces me. And the connections happened so naturally...this becoming...together...the angels have done so much work for me. And they have only begun.

There are the vegan angels that are preparing to come through. And I would like to paint a painting of a tree and the moon and the leaves with Pat.

There was the disappointment of not having my article published in the Tab. And the fear that I won't be able to survive here with the leaf-blowers everywhere. Yesterday was rough. Today I was wise. I was able to give myself what I needed so much. Rest. And spiritual replenishment and connection.

I can feel that I am ready to give more. I have to be careful to not push myself to achieve more and faster. I have to breathe into today, into now, and recognize this very moment as the perfect ultimate moment....that race for more, more paintings, more videos, more create this and do that....it does nothing good for me. But I guess that it is a fine balance that I always have to stay in tune with...on the one hand wanting to create, feeling called, feeling driven, feeling that i have something to give....and on the other hand the chastising, the self-criticism, the frustration with the fact that manifesting these desires takes time...

Well, at least for today, I succeeded in replenishing what was completely drained out of me yesterday. And the draining was so immediate. The newspaper. The expectation that my article would be published, the belief that others would read it and understand how lethal leaf-blowers are and the hope that the new ordinance would get past. I went upside down instantaneously when I saw that not only was my article not published but the editor wrote his own article ...

Upside down. Lost all of my peace and inner stability.

And regained it all back today.

That is progress.

Thank you for helping me Spirit.

Monday, May 25, 2015




So, here we are. It is me and the angels. We are getting to know each other and it is a beautiful journey. I can see my angels spreading their wings and I am ready to set them free. They are eager to fly, they are eager to do their work. I can hear them flapping their wings in gentle excitement. They know that they will succeed in their mission and they are ready to meet all of the beautiful people that are waiting for them to enter their lives. Their entrance into my life has brought me faith, love, hope, friendship and healing. I am eager to watch them fly into their life mission and to witness their beautiful and spiritual ways.

I can sense the spirit in everything that i do. Sometimes i feel as though i am no longer embodied, floating on a realm that is no longer physical. The pain and discomfort grounds me. What can I do other than accept this grounding. After all I am still here, living and breathing in this physical realm and my work is here.

I worked all of Shavuot, seeking pathways which I found. I bought the crystal quartz merkaba just in time for shavuot. What did I discover? That on Shavuot we read Ezekiel's vision of the merkaba. Somehow I wasn't surprised. This type of synchronicity is manifesting itself again and again, through all time.

On Friday, at Webster house, Sarah gave me a beautiful square-shaped piece of Labrodorite. I was mesmerized by its beauty and full of gratitude for having been given such a beautiful gift. I spent much of the day walking through JP admiring the stores and galleries, seeing my angels inhabiting them, soon. I went to Nahar Shalom for Kabbalat Shabbat and held onto my stone throughout the prayers. And I prayed with my heart and with my soul and felt my prayers being poured onto the women that I am praying for. I could feel my prayers enveloping them and I felt supported and welcomed by all of the souls that were praying alongside me.

I lost my stone. I hope that I forgot it in the bathroom and that it will return to me. When I came home and opened the book on crystals, guess what page the book opened up to? Yes, to labrodorite.

This is what I read : "Descended from galaxies and reflecting wizardry within, I'm the stone of internal connection. I link communication from the solar plexus to the brow, engaging you in new levels of contact with the Divine. Work with me with your eyes closed (which is how I prayed, eyes closed, feeling the women that i was praying for), as your body relaxes into its natural state. My energy allows safe access to wisdom, so you can travel to new dimensions; and my strength is bold, so be prepared to move quickly with increasing rhythms. Summon me when you are ready to journey beyond the confines of what is known, and when you are prepared to expand your consciousness."

I am prepared. I know that my mission is a mission of kindness and of compassion. I know that it is pure and of the light. I am ready to move with increasing rhythms and I am prepared to expand my consciousness.

In the past, fear held me back. I am no longer afraid. Living through Pudendal Neuralgia has left me with pin-point clarity. I know exactly why I am here. I know that I will fulfill my mission in this lifetime. I know that I am receiving and will continue to receive divine guidance.

Shavuot was powerful for me. The angels are everywhere. The animals are in my heart and they are part of this movement. The leaf-blowers and my exhausted and hurting body will only bring me closer and faster to the pathways of healing.

The crystals are a part of this pathway. They were from the very beginning when I lay on the floor of this room for hours each day, distracting myself from the pain with the beautiful gem-stones that made their way into earrings and necklaces that still inhabit my little room. I couldn't sell them. They meant too much to me. They were keeping me from going crazy from the pain.

The crystals are calling me to recognize and to accept their healing powers anew. They want to assist me on my healing journey. They know that I am and will continue to be called upon to help and to encourage healing. They know that I am ready to give guidance and assistance to the many people that will call upon me. I feel that I will be called upon for assistance by more and more women and men too. I need to protect myself and to empower myself so that I can do the god-given work that is my calling. I can and will take the crystals with me. Thank you crystals for sharing your light, your wisdom, your beauty and your power with me.

Power for me is the healing power. I will remain open to all possibilities. I will remain open to all of the wisdom and I will seek and find a new clarity.

I work the way that shamans work. I work through animals. I work through water and nature and trees. I work through leaves.

"Their leaves will not wither nor their fruit fail; they will yield new fruit every month because the water for them flows through the temple. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing. " Ezekiel, ch 47, vs. 12

I work through angels and sacred texts, through kabbalah, poetry and visions.

"Vayehi Ratzon Milfanecha Adonai, Elohay Avraham, yitzchak ve-yaakov, ha-el hagibor ve-hanora, el elyon, ehiyeh asher eyiheh, shekol hamalachim shehem mealaye tfilot yaviu tfilati lifnei kise kevodecha, veyatzigu otam lefanecha, baavur kol hatzadikim ve-hachasidim, hatmimim ve-hayesharim, ubeavor kvod shmecha hagadol vehanorah, ki atah shomea tefilot amecha yisrael berachamim. Bruch ata shomea tefillah."

I work through art, music, poetry. I work through the goddess. I am the divine feminine and I believe in you. I will always be with you. All you need to do is to call upon me for guidance and I will guide you. I am compassion, loving-kindness...I work through the animals...

My heart opened. Frostie did it. Somehow I understood through him and through Edgar's Mission that I was going to succeed because I finally let go of the anger and of the fear and I could see the compassion in most people's hearts. And I could see that all I needed was to touch that compassion, to lightly and gently awaken it from its slumber.

We are all eager to protect the animals from suffering. All I have to do is continue working through love. The pathways are opening. It was a special Shavuot. The Torah was clear and generous. My body was aching part of the time, my legs hurting. My soul crystal-clear.

Dear body,
I love you. Thank you for working with me despite your pain.

And that little female elf that has no offense but a strong defense backed by a powerful mystical force. I think that she is guiding me all the way to the public hearing and to the aldermen, all 24 of them.

Its like I have been initiated into a plane where the spiritual is exponentially more potent and all that I have to do is accept it and follow its guidance. The illusion of time and of cause and effect is almost funny. It isn't funny only because I know that so many of us are encapsulated in timelessness. Timeless suffering. And that my work needs to get done and that I am the only one that can do my work.

Bob Dylan: three full years, become comfortable with your 'becoming' and don't let anyone pin you down :)

I am not sure how I feel about the three full years but it does make sense, there is a lot of work that needs to be done and it will take time to manifest... three full years isn't that long considering that I get to watch the process as I create it. It is hopeful.

What about ego? I wouldn't worry about it too much. Being in touch with profound suffering distills the ego instantaneously.

Love,

Atara