16 things you probably didn’t know about me

*I originally wrote this out as one of those things people passed around on facebook years ago. Everything is still true. *

1. I fell out of the car when i was a toddler, and broke my skull. Hairline fracture down the right side. I had to wear a motorcycle helmet for a good while afterwards to protect my head. Yes yes, explains a lot 🙂

2. I grew up in the mountains of Virginia in a tiny cabin built by my dad. Spent most of my time in the forest, climbing trees, and exploring, swimming in the river, building things, and playing with cats, of which there were usually about 30 at any given time. Rarely ever wore shoes and could sprint on gravel or hard rock because my feet were like leather. Had an extreme amount of Freedom, on all levels, to be myself, express myself, and explore myself. Thank you mom and dad. The wilderness is in my soul.

3. My appendix ruptured when i was 5. They didnt know what was wrong til it was almost too late. I was rushed to emergency surgery. I can remember looking up as they were wheeling me away. I remember the pee pan. And I remember the doctor asking me to count backwards from 10 to 1. The next thing I know I was watching the surgery from outside my body. It was fascinating. I never talked about that part. Spent weeks in the hospital recovering from sepsis with a drainage tube inside me, and every day they would pull it out a little more, dripping with infection, and cut it. Painful. When I could walk again comfortably I roamed the halls with my IV stand on wheels, as if I owned the place. I got a huge brown stuffed dog as a gift and kept it for years. I learned to color and write with my left hand because my right was attached to IV. I still have a very large scar that grew even larger during pregnancy 🙂

4. I can remember sleeping in our first cabin, with my parents and siblings in a sleeping bag, and it was so cold that you could hear the bottles breaking in the kitchen. And eating baked potatoes cooked in the ashes of the woodstove. And sometimes there were bats in the house.

5. I got a ticket, along with some friends, for skinny dipping in a a hotel pool. We jumped the fence, drunk after a punk rock show, and eventually the police came. I tried to hide behind a building thinking Id get out of it, but it didnt work. I was the last to sit in the car and give my information. I played with the control panel on the cop car became buddies with the policeman. It didnt help my cause. The tickets was written for ” showing body parts in front of members of the opposite sex”….which seemed a little silly. I never showed up for court. 

6.When I was 19, I ate 13 hits of acid as the sun came up, out in the woods in a cabin. Before the experience, I was pretty self destructive. After the experience, I shaved my head of everything I felt I had been and made a conscious decision to devote my life to furthering my consciousness, practicing self awareness, and maintaining a spiritual path based on freedom and compassion. That acid trip probably saved my life. 

7. When I was 19, I went to Jamaica for a month with an older friend of mine I had met recently, who had gone there regularly. I never phone anyone once i got there. we biked around the island for several days. At Milk River spa, we had a falling out and I told him I was going to spend the rest of the trip by myself. He finally gave up trying to convince me otherwise and took off. I was alone, completely, in the backwoods of Jamaica, with nothing except my journal and a couple books, one of which was the Tibetan Book of the Dead. I walked for hours along a dirt road, fully knowing the danger of being an american woman alone off the beaten path, where anything could happen. Eventually, a car stopped. Knowing the risk, I hitchhiked with two men who took me all the way to Kingston, and dropped me off, after giving me some money to try and get a bus or taxi. They were beautiful souls. I found myself in the streets, surrounded by people shouting ‘whitey! whitey!’ and trying to sell me things, or staring etc. It was a little overwhelming. I was a fish out of water. Kingston was not a place I wanted to spend any time in, and i finally found a place that said taxi. I talked to the man, who said he could take me. He said had to get someone else first , for the long drive……when he got out to get this person, I sat in the car. I debated on whether I was in more danger fleeing the car and taking my chances in the city or wherever it lead me, or placing my trust in someone who could easily take advantage of the situation. I stayed. The drive was several hours, and they got me on a bus. I eventually made my way back to Haddo, where I stayed with the family I had met when I first got to Jamaica. It was a journey of facing the unknown consciously, placing my trust in the Universe, and I felt more alive than I ever had. Danger does that. 

8. When I was still 19, I bought a greyhound ticket to California. I randomly selected San Francisco because I had no desire to be in LA and San Fran just sounded good. I had a vivid dream of California, which prompted me to go. It took 3 1/2 days, and I had 100$ in my pocket. And a nice rucksack and gear (which somebody stole from the bus before I ever reached San Fran). I went alone, and knew no one who lived there. The first night I got off the bus, with only the clothes on my back, my guitar, and a bag with my journal and books, I ran into someone who used to live in my college town. Serendipity. 

9. I lived in hostels and hotels in the Tenderloin and other downtrodden districts in san Francisco for awhile, alongside crackheads and other outsiders. I met alot of great people in those days. The dark places help to shape us. 

10. I was raped when I was 16. That event preceded my fascination with the Psyche and The Underworld. I would not change the circumstance even if I could. The dark places help to shape us. 

11. I worked at a bagel shop in San Francisco and made it my Spiritual Practice to create Joy around me for the people I served. It was a busy shop right beside the subway downtown, and the stockpeople would fill the place at 5am (8am nyc time). Every single day, I said something authentic and loving to every single person that came thru my line. I would hand out smile cards sometimes, that I would make at home. I learned from the connections I made with ‘strangers’ who returned day after day to my line, waiting longer, to pass thru our little interaction, even when they could have gotten served quicker in a different line……that little things DO matter, that Everyone is Beautiful, and that it really is as simple as a heartfelt smile and some kind words…to help shift another persons reality into a more loving and joyful space. When I gave my notice to quit, I was overwhelmed to see that most of my customers cried real tears and wrote me beautiful cards wishing me luck in my next endeavors, and a few gifts…. People are Powerful Beyond Measure….even in seemingly ‘mundane’ or menial jobs. I was touched deeply by the connections I made. The Bright places help to shape us.

12. I was Anorexic and Bulimic for 7 years. It had nothing to do with ideals of beauty or thinness. I was always athletic and slim anyway. It had to do with control. It was the biggest demon ive ever done battle with, in this particular life. The Unbearable Lightness of Starvation. ‘I starve my body with divine intent….i shape the contours of my transient world….’ 

13. I had an unassisted pregnancy, and never once saw a doctor. Eventually, toward the end, I agreed to call a midwife for my husbands sake. I became friends with her, but I never once undertook any test, no blood pressure, nothing. She only physically touched me one time in pregnancy, and that was to palpate when I got so big I thought i might possibly have twins in there. I carried my son for nearly 44 weeks. I refused any mention of induction etc. I was completely in tune with my baby. I was strong. I walked miles every day, did yoga every day, had spent the previous 6 years doing energy work, breathing work, yoga, etc. This would be the biggest initiation of my life. I was Ready. I had a pretty much unassisted birth. Midwife present, but not involved at all. I had the company of my sons father, and my good friend. My labor was 4 hours from start to finish. No one spoke. The room was dark. I caught my baby in my own hands, in a semi squat position. He was big and healthy and alert. We had a lotus birth and left the cord attached, til it fell off on its own several days later. It was the most powerful and amazing experience of my life, and would do it the same way all over again. I went on to nurse my boy til he turned 5. And I carried him in a sling/babycarrier almost all day ever day til he learned to walk around 9 months and wanted to be on his feet. He has never been to a doctor, and has never had need of one. He has never had a vaccination, and his strength, intelligence and physical capabilities blow my mind constantly. I like to think my choices had something to do with his awesomeness, but its probably just that Hes His Own Beautiful Soul and he Knows This. 🙂 Beauty and Bonding help to shape us.

14.I have been a Lucid Dreamer my entire life, and began keeping dream journals when I was 20.I have also been able to ‘Astral Travel’ /OBE/Project’ since I started a serious practice of my Dreamwork. I have 6 years of records of almost every single dream or astral adventure that occurred in that time period. I have every single dream I dreamed while Pregnant. Its like a subconscious diary of my psyche. I havnt kept a dream journal consistently since my son was born, it was too hard to focus on.
I am a person who has always chosen to Experience, Explore, Open To, and Unravel life……….the Dreamtime has always been my ‘path’ to cohesion…………………

15. I am blessed to have the most amazing family I could ever imagine….creative, intelligent, quirky, fascinating, strong, Connected. I am blessed to have Loved those I have loved in my life, for however long they were in it. I am blessed to have been loved by those same people. I am Grateful that I am friends with my sons father and that he is in my life and in Oisins life. I am Grateful to have the opportunity to learn from and explore life with my beautiful little boy, who challenges me constantly to be the Best Version of MySelf I can be, and sometimes that is not easy. I am Blessed and Grateful for a wonderful and supportive community of Awesome People who surround me and inspire me and help me on this particular Journey. Friendship helps to Shape us.

16. I am so very grateful to have shared my life with beautiful, sweet, caring, sensitive, creative, compassionate, silly, intelligent people who are dedicated to their own growth and evolution I am equally grateful and appreciative for all the petty tyrants, miscreants, lost souls, fractured beings, and toxic mirrors I have shared my life with,for the lessons are always deep and lasting….. It is a powerful thing, to have mirrors that so clearly reflects…..not only the wonderful Light and Beauty, but also the shadows….so that they may be transformed thru Love, Honesty, and Authenticity. Thank you for being in my life, Fellow Travelers in the Seams of this Dream. It is through your support and encouragement and Witnessing of mySelf that I have grown and blossomed; It is also through the Initiation of having to find the Power Within to Let go the dysfunctional patterns and people who reflect the lack of Self Worth and toxicity that magnetize these types of mirrors to us.
Love Helps to Shape Us.Fear helps to Free us. Its all just a Twist in the Perception.

{I plan to go into full stories of these and more existential twists of the c(h)ord that is my lifeSong, in future posts}

Blissings, Charleen