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Marriage and Family are Real: Marriage and Family are Love
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Marriage and Family are Real: Marriage and Family are Love

Marriage and Family are Real: Marriage and Family are Love

(reprise of a Facebook Post I wrote)Marriage and Family are Real Sabin Howard Traci Slatton

 

Marriage

This is our family. We’ve gone to see the Tree at the Met for nearly 2 decades.
It’s love. Family is love, and it is everything. Family is real.
Family radiates from a marriage. Marriage is love, and it is everything. Marriage is real. Imperfect, unglamorous, full of laughter and tears: real.
Sabin and I have been married for 13 years, together for almost 18. We’ve stood beside each other, holding hands and enjoying holiday uplift, for nearly 2 decades.
Marriages are built on such things: trips to the Met and to Italy and to the pediatrician and to the kitchen to cook breakfast; shared jokes and shared Figurative Sculpture books and shared victories and shared burdens and, yes, shared challenges. Every life encounters conflict and obstacle, ache and loss. These are real, too. And they are so much easier to bear with your family, your mate, holding your hand–as Sabin and I have held hands for nearly two decades.
We’ve held hands through lean times and good times, through sickness and health, through the birth of our daughter, when I died twice and was narrowly revived by a doctor who had “never seen so much blood in her life.” We held hands and held each other in a spacious room in Venice while the rain pattered on the canal during our 10th anniversary.
Even though this year, 2017, has been so hard, forcing a lengthy and devastating separation, I affirm our marriage. Marriage is 1000 tiny threads that bind people together, and those threads are shared experiences. I affirm our threads. I affirm our marriage. Sabin Howard, I love you.

Marriage and Family are Real

Marriage and Family are Real

From the HuffPo: Review of HEAL Documentary
5 star review | beauty | excellence | gratitude | happiness | healing | Huffington Post | mind-body connection | movies | special

From the HuffPo: Review of HEAL Documentary

This is a recent piece on the HuffPo, a review of the HEAL Documentary by Kelly Noonan Gores

When I was 15 or 16, I developed asthma. My mother took me to a doctor who duly prescribed medication.

I took the medication for a few days. I hated it. The drug made my insides race. Perhaps I was breathing better, but it didn’t matter. The trembling and hyper-adrenalized feeling, the out-of-control, careening-downhill sensations eclipsed the benefits—for me. There was a moment, and I still remember it vividly, when I decided, I will not have asthma.

This was no ordinary frisson of will. It was a moment of translucent intention. I felt no emotions, just a laser line of unadulterated purpose, and I felt it in every angstrom of my being.

The asthma left my body. I stopped taking the medication. That illness has never returned.

This was a visceral, undeniable experience of the power of the mind-body connection. It stayed with me.

Years later, in graduate school, I took up meditating. I experienced esoteric phenomena that is written about in many ancient texts but isn’t part of the usual discourse of our culture. I perused every book I could find on the topic, from the Vedas and The Yoga Sutras to The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying and A Course in Miracles. Eventually I picked up books about spiritual healing.

After graduate school I started having babies. I also attended a four year hands-on-healing school and opened a practice as a spiritual or energy healer. The basic premise of this form of healing is that the human being is a psychosomatic unity—mind-body-spirit-psyche are indivisibly one—a concept well articulated in John Pierrakos’ ground-breaking work Core Energetics: Developing the Capacity to Love and Heal (Pierrakos, John C. Core Energetics: Developing the Capacity to Love and Heal. Core Evolution Pub., 2005.)

Affect one part of a human being and you affect the whole; that is, affect the body and you affect the mind, spirit, and psyche; affect the spirit, and you affect the body, mind, and psyche. This is a powerful iteration of the mind-body connection that I experienced so powerfully as a teenager.

During the decade that I practiced energy healing, I saw miracles. I had especially good results with women who wanted to conceive. Fertility in women has many roots in the mind-body connection. A number of women came to my healing table and then went home and got pregnant. But not all of them.

Healing isn’t curing. Not every woman who came into my healing room seeking a resolution to her infertility was able to conceive. There is a great mystery at the heart of everything, and the body isn’t solely a machine in the Newtonian model where if a biochemical lever is depressed, or if a current is introduced, a result is generated.

This is a lengthy introduction to the screening I attended last night of the film Heal. A new documentary from Kelly Noonan Gores, produced by Adam Schomer, this documentary explores the new-old field of the mind-body connection and the impact of that connection on illness. It also surveys a few modalities of healing that people can utilize during their journey of healing from a serious illness.

I spoke with Adam before the screening. He’s a serious, friendly, poised man with a background in meditation. Longtime meditators emit a palpable peacefulness and I felt that as I stood beside him. He said, “The intent of this film is to empower people, that’s the through line.”

Lovely Kelly Noonan Gores told me something similar. “There are options in the treatment of illness, I want people to know that. I want people to have the information.”

The film follows a few people as they engage, poignantly and bravely, with the spiritual and psychological dimensions of healing. One is Kelly herself, the healthy seeker whose fascination with this rich topic is the engine of the story. Eva, however, experiences harsh dermatologic outbreaks. There’s also Liz, struggling with cancer and chemotherapy.

Luminaries in the field speak on the topic of the mind-body connection. Marianne Williamson, Deepak Chopra, Joan Borysenko, and Michael Bernard Beckwith touch on the spiritual dimensions of healing and wellness. Dr. Kelly Brogan, a Cornell University trained psychiatrist, discusses her foray into integrative and wholistic medicine as a result of her own illness.

Of particular interest for me was Dr. Bruce Lipton, author of The Biology of Belief (Lipton, B. H. The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter & Miracles. Carlsbad, CA: Hay House, Inc., 2016.). Dr. Lipton works with epigenetics, a science of understanding why some genes are turned on and others are turned off. This field has all the potential to empower people far beyond a simple biological destiny.

Author Anita Moorjani spoke of her miraculous remission from cancer. She was healed within hours of death.

The film is inspiring and informational. Quietly yet dramatically, it presents possibilities and alternatives. People who already know the field will enjoy the fresh presentation, and people new to these concepts will find themselves intrigued and uplifted. Heal approaches the great mystery that I encountered as a healer, and it doesn’t shrink. It blossoms like a rose opening.

Foreword Reviews Spring Issue: Broken is “beautiful”
5 star review | art | authors | book covers | Broken | guide to independent publishing | independent publishing | special | writing

Foreword Reviews Spring Issue: Broken is “beautiful”

Foreword Reviews is the “library journal” of independent publishing. It’s a content-rich, beautifully put together magazine that’s published quarterly. The top of their Spring 2015 issue is emblazoned, “THE INDIE BOOKS WE LOVE” and this periodical means just that: they love indie titles. Foreword Reviews understands the value of independently published books and appreciates the quality of those independently published books with excellent production values.

It was with great delight that I received word, some months back, that my novel BROKEN would be reviewed and featured in Foreword Reviews. Not only that, but the editorial director politely wondered whether or not it was possible to get a jpg of the cover image, the painting upon which the cover is based.

In fact, Broken’s gorgeous cover is based on a painting by the extraordinarily gifted Roberto Ferri, an Italian figurative painter, and a hero of mine. Roberto’s work is utterly ravishing.

After a Skype session in Italian with my husband Sabin Howard (for whom Italian is his first language), Roberto graciously gave permission for me to use the painting for the book cover. He sent me a large file.

It was the one and only Gwyn Snyder who took that file and turned it into the book cover. And what a beautiful job Gwyn did! She’s so very talented.

So I happily asked Sabin to check with Roberto regarding Foreword Reviews featuring his painting, and he, again, generously gave permission.

The review of Broken is absolutely lovely. There’s a pix below. Allyce Amidon writes,

Slatton has created a beautiful, heart wrenching tale of humanity during the Second World War. …Slatton writes poignantly, with lyrical prose: “I have been shattered, the shattering is still with me. I am only shards now. There is no core.” This is a gorgeous philosophical treaty on right and wrong, the “why” behind impossible decisions, and what remains when everything is gone. Slatton guides the reader gently through to the end, all the more heartbreaking for its inevitability, imparting powerful, resonant themes as she goes.

Take a look online, and do consider a subscription!

 

Foreword REviews

Foreword Reviews

Great Beast
art | authors | freedom | hard work | healing | hope | kindness | language | love | special | vulnerability | wholeness | writing

Great Beast

It’s that fanged, clawed thing, back to taunt me and play with me and befuddle me. Creativity, of course. The way in and the way out, both at once, and neither; a thing unto itself.

So here am I, staring into its liquid eyes that are one moment golden and another indigo. It leaves stripes of blood on my arms and torso but I don’t dare gaze away. We are in a contest, me and it, me and me.

Its tail flicks back and forth. It is stalking me. I pursue it. It changes shape in my arms, then it vanishes.

Moments like these I take to Rumi, who is a kind of solace for those who are word-drunk, like me. I think Rumi would sneer at me and I hate myself for it, for the insecurity and the terror, as much as for the inadequacy.

I know better than to take too much wine, though the temptation is there. That way lies a folie a deux, a sharing of madness.

There are more constructive ways to offer up.

I stand outside with my arms lifted toward the sun and pretend that I am a crocus. The hard earth has asked for the freeze to release it, and purple blossoms are the first hint of hope. I am still saturated.

I am evanescent. The moment will pass. The welts will reveal themselves as mirages. There are paw prints in the loam, and I am left with longing, the old longing, the one that never goes away.

creativity within Traci Slatton

Sociopaths
anarchy | criminal behavior | evil | psychosis | special | vulnerability

Sociopaths

A man I know got involved with a sociopath, woke up to it, and is finally divesting himself of this person. It’s not easy, of course. Those people don’t want to be divested.

By ‘sociopath’ I mean an empty shell of a person who uses flattery, cajoling promises, manipulation, deceit, backstabbing, and slimy, underhanded maneuvering to insinuate themselves into other people’s lives, all while accomplishing absolutely NOTHING and giving NOTHING back. This person is an energy vampire, the kind of bloodsucker who leaves other people feeling exhausted and debilitated.

This person stayed in our home and I was horrified at how this person sucked my energy.

This person’s entire game is to talk, talk, talk while NOT moving ahead. The image is of a car stuck in the mud. This person is standing by the car, watching the wheels spin uselessly–and then acting like a spider with a sticky web to catch people so they are forced to watch the tires spin, too.

It was debilitating to be in this person’s presence. Even when the flattery for me was spun, I was put off. I didn’t fall for it for one second. It was all I could do to keep a straight face–this person was a guest in my home, I was NOT going to be confrontational.

Months ago I said, “Don’t you see, this person uses flattery to get in and makes promises that fall flat? It’s all talk. It’s all bullshit. It’s all empty dreamy spin doctoring. Nothing is ever accomplished. Nothing ever comes through. It’s all failure draped in sweet dreamy words.”

I had my own experience with a borderline personality disorder/sociopath last spring so I was extra sensitive to the behavior. Unfortunately, the man used that experience to dismiss my concerns.

But I wasn’t the only concerned individual. A person who knew the sociopath personally and lives in the same community called the man. This person said, “Look, there’s stuff going on that makes me uncomfortable. I think you should be aware. I think this person is insinuating themselves into your business in unwholesome ways. I think this person wants to control your business. Be aware.”

Other people commented, noting the oddities and inconsistencies in the sociopath’s rendering of things. This person was clearly distorting conversations that pertained to the man, and was clearly using the man’s work as a means to ingratiate themselves into the good graces of well-known people.

It was obvious. And slimy.

But the man didn’t want to see it. Perhaps he couldn’t. One of this man’s best qualities is that he is a straight arrow: No games ever. No mental manipulation. No bullshit. What this man says he will do, he does–no more, no less. He is absolutely straightforward that way. There are no hidden agendas. What you see is what you get with him. He says what he means and he means what he says. There’s no guessing involved.

It was a great relief to me to deal with someone so straightforward after being married to a major game player. Life is too short for power hungry game playing that insecure people engage in as a means of pumping up their self image.

But this man’s kind of honesty has its pitfalls, too. Namely, not seeing when other people aren’t as honorable, aren’t as straightforward. A kind of childish naiveté that insists on believing that everyone else is as straightforward and decent as he is.

But then it became so egregious that even this man had to see what other people and I had been trying to tell him.

Unfortunately, the situation is ever more complicated. The sociopath is involved with a person who is making introductions for the man–and who obviously has romantic feelings for the (married) sociopath.

Life is complex. Dealing with these untrustworthy, underhanded persons isn’t easy.

Sociopaths

 

Traci Slatton’s Best of 2014
5 star review | authors | gratitude | happiness | hope | kindness | review | special | travel

Traci Slatton’s Best of 2014

This is a personal, idiosyncratic list. These items are what I loved and enjoyed.

BEST MOVIE: In Your Eyes, produced by Joss Whedon

Traci Slatton

BEST SONG: This is a tie between “Crumblin‘”  by Noah Moffitt and Jessica Friedman, and “The Riot’s Gone” by Santigold, both from the Soundtrack of In Your Eyes.

BEST BOOK: This is hard. I read a lot of great books this year. Mostly I read non-fiction for research purposes. The research continues, and I just read something I really love: “THE CATHARS AND REINCARNATION” by Dr. Arthur Guirdham. Great book.

Traci Slatton

FAVORITE MOMENT: Sitting with my husband at the kitchen table of our little apartment in Venice, listening to the rain patter on the canal outside.

Traci Slatton

FAVORITE PICTURE: My husband and me in Venice. I’m usually the photographer, even though I wobble the camera and stick my thumb in the way. But Sabin accosted a passerby to take this shot of both of us.

Traci Slatton

FAVORITE MEAL: November 26 at Da Umberto. The meal was delicious and so was listening to my husband speak Italian with the waiter and the maitre d’. Sabin is always happiest speaking Italian. And the tiramisu rocked!

FAVORITE BOOK REVIEW: BROKEN received many thoughtful reviews. I am deeply grateful for the good words from so many reviewers, including Leslie Wright, Sandy at The Reading Cafe, Jen at No Market Collective, Ashley at Game Vortex, Drey from Drey’s Library, Grady Harp, Layna at Lunar Haven Reviews, and Dii at Tome Tender. It’s hard to choose one review from among so many good ones. Of them all, nestled deep in my heart is Rebecca Skane’s commentThis is thought-provoking literature that explores female sexual equality and the nefarious act of unwanted dominance in every form“.

BEST TV SERIES: Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. OF COURSE!!! Doesn’t everyone want to be Phryne Fisher when they grow up?

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BEST YOGA MOMENT: One day I actually accomplished eka padakoundinyasana. Yep, I got up on my arms in that exquisitely challenging balance. That was before I tore my hamstring and had to ease up on the intensity of my practice. Nope, no pix of that moment, and I don’t even remember what day it was. I just remember managing the pose–on both sides–and feeling delighted.

FAVORITE CHRISTMAS PRESSIE: There were a few, Santa was good to me this year. I got some really luscious Hanro of Switzerland nightgowns, and the hand of that fabric is delicious. I also got some beautiful hand-painted Deruta of Italy espresso cups and larger mugs for my morning coffee. Wow!

FAVORITE NEW BOOK IDEA: I’m working on 3 novels right now, which gives me keen pleasure, indeed!

BEST CHOCOLATE: Hu Crunchy Mint, because chocolate makes life better. It’s good for the soul.

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BEST PETS: Molly and Gabriel, my 55 lb. lap dogs.

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