White Spirit Bears (Nov 1999)

The mother bear and her two cubs on the front cover reminded me of a time that we fed a black bear cub. The mother was killed nearby and Grandad decided we would help the little guy out. Twice a day we would warm up some milk and leave it in an old pot. When the cub was hungry it would scurry down the tree and slurp up the milk and then hurry back up the tree. If we were nearby, fear overcame his hunger and he didn't come down, so we learned to let him be. One day the Conservation Officer showed up and took the animal away and we were told that officers knew what to do with hurt or abandoned animals.

Terrace, the town near where I was raised, is well known for the special white bear called the Kermode. My Mom has done lots of research as to why some black bears have white cubs. She discovered that the Kermode originated on Princess Royal Island where they are isolated so they inbreed and the recessive white gene becomes dominant producing one white cub in every ten born. On the mainland only a few are born white. When I lived In Terrace I saw one at the garbage dump.

My Mom has spent the last four years researching and gathering photos and now has her book ready for publication. It is a good project to create awareness about the Kermode's habitat so that the logging companies don't go in and strip their native forest of logs. She has a video made by Sue and Jeff Turner, that is a BBC production titled Island of the Ghost Bear and is quite impressive and shows how friendly and curious these bears are because they have never been exposed to humans and have no fear. They play with the camera and love to pose. If you would like details about Mom's book The White Spirit Bear, please see the centre pages.

As children we had lots animals in our back yard. I remember picking berries about two hundred yards from our home. Once in a while I would hear rustling on the other side of the row, but I didn't think much about it. When I got to the end of the row, so did the bear. We came nose to nose and looked each other in the eye. The bear turned about the same time that I did, and we both went running off in opposite directions. My parents had warned me many times not to play with animals, so I didn't, but a few times I would have liked to. One day while I was riding my bike to school, a baby lynx jumped out onto the road and ran alongside my bike just like a dog. He was cute and frisky and wanted to play. But the voice in my head said "Where there are cubs there are usually Moms and they can be protective of their babies around strangers," so I didn't stop to play.

Life in Rosswood and my Mom's love of animals went together, and as the little moose on last month's front cover showed, we had our share of observing nature in action, with the good and the sad. Sometimes the struggle for food wasn't easy, and the mother was killed. And sometimes nature seemed a bit too harsh to me but growing up in the wilderness taught me core level appreciation of being alive, and when the sun shines... it just doesn't get any better.

This attitude is instilled deep in me and makes my life simple. I don't have many attachments to things or people so when people ask me about Jan leaving to pursue other interests, I am happy, for I love change. I appreciate the ten years Jan and I have spent together. Jan has helped me to grow and prosper and I also appreciate her willingness to accept change on the spur of the moment, even through I knew it wasn't always easy for her. She has let go of a lot of her programming in the time I have known her, and moving on from Issues, and the registrations for the Spring Festival of Awareness and the Wise Woman Weekend will give her the energy she needs to continue on her journey. Issues, the Holistic Centre and I will continue to grow and change as all things do. I believe I have much support from the devas who steward the land that Jan and I own. The money has come easily to pay out Jan's share and the time has come for us to part company.

My two recent Musings, about family reunion issues, brought much response from those people thanking me to those who were horror-stricken that I reveal so much of my healing process. It was good for me to work through my judgements about which letters I prefer to receive. They say an enlightened person doesn't give one more energy than the other, but I still prefer the compliments. Life has its ups and downs and as I say to people who share their feelings with me: "Enjoy the feeling of loneliness or anger, for it won't be there forever and it will make the good times so much brighter." For me, the process of putting feelings on paper is simple and I don't even have to think about it any more. Life is too full. I make the time and then sit down and type what has happened to me in the past month. It is my personal journal made public for those of you who would like to take the time to read it. In the early days journalling helped me to see where I was still holding onto anger and would point me in the direction of my next step.

I still find it fascinating ... my journey of discovering who I am. The layers are thick and after ten years of process, there is no one left to blame. It is up to me to change: to get to know my inner child and the many parts of myself that make up the logical brain. Seeing how I got programmed and how I create my reality is incredible and I find my journey as a human striving towards awareness (enlightenment), to be awesome.

My session with Ken last month released more tears, the most I have ever cried at one time, I think. He asked me to locate where my inner child was in my body. I quieted my mind and felt around and patted my belly. He then asked me, "What are you feeling?" All I could feel were tears and I said "She doesn't have any answers, all she wants to do is cry." He said "Good. Let her cry." After awhile it became tedious for I wanted to know why she was crying. I wanted answers, I wanted to understand her pain, but no answers came. Ken said, "Can you see the repeating patterns of how your parents raised you?" I nodded and said, "I feel like shaking the answers out of her." But there were no answers to be had, only more tears so Ken said, "Sit with her, hold her, don't question her, just be with her." I laughed deeply and said, "That feels so strange." He said, "That is your reason for having these sessions. You want to change, you want to learn new ways of being with your emotions and this is how we do it. Now, in the moment." I imagined I was holding her tenderly and gave her the space to cry some more. It took patience to just be present. Crying is a great way to release stagnant energy and afterwards I was tired but not exhausted.

I went to work at the Juicy Carrot, serving customers all day as Gerry was in Kelowna doing the October distribution of Issues. And for those of you who ask how my relationship with Gerry is doing, my answer is,"Great!" We make a good team, we have lots in common and we both love sharing our space and time with people who drop by for the good food and good company. The Juicy Carrot is a place to learn about health, nutrition, vegetarianism or share interesting stories about people who are on the leading edge of change so that the world can become a little more special.

Sharing with like-minded people does my soul good and makes me feel less like an alien. Supporting Dr. Krop in his fight against the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario and our right to have alternative medicine makes me feel like my struggle to be different is important. Reading Alive magazine and supporting Rhody Lake's point of view makes my heart grow light as more and more people get themselves educated as to the high cost of drugs, pesticides, bleaches, biotechnology and factory farming. My hope is for people to educate themselves so they can make informed decisions. My hope is for people to feed themselves the proper balance of minerals and vitamins so that they are strong enough to think for themselves and want to look after their bodies and consequently their planet. We all do make a difference.