Posts Tagged ‘Recovery’

God is Dead

Maybe stealing a phrase from Nietzsche, but honestly reflecting on whether or not God is alive in our world? There was a trilogy of Christian movies playing on the title “God’s Not Dead”; which were decent run movies of apologetics though a bit after school special melodramatic with the panic of Christians “losing rights”.  It is not about losing rights, it truly is about other groups, philosophies and religions gaining equality and equity in our society. Secularism allows science to explain the nuts and bolts for us, while our personal religions relate the why.

This entered my head as I awaited the Accelerated Resolution Therapy to start I wanted to push my brain a little. A YouTube channel to dust off my preaching skills and putting out feelers for pulpit supply in the summer for a few Sundays, all part of discernment of what is next for me in my journey and our family life.

The Universe’s humour however was evident. Deciding so I did not end up on a hobby horse soap box circuit of my own design stated I would use the Sunday Lectionary. Those unfamiliar with a Lectionary, it basically is designed that on Sundays in a three year cycle you will hear the whole Bible in Church, for daily ones it is a two year cycle. The essence being the minister cannot avoid any texts. I chuckled when asked to take the pulpit for July14, 2019 at Centennial Presbyterian Church for the lectionary brought me to The Good Samaritan parable:

On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]

28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”[1]

How to love my neighbour, and who is my neighbour are the two bedrock questions of my ministerial journey, and returning to the pulpit of the church I did my Mum’s funeral service in what a topic to be handed. The challenge now is what does it mean?

It means quite a bit. But what hit me hard this time just reflecting on the synchronicity of the event is that at this time in history, God is dead. But the God that is dead is not the God of the Trinity. It is not the Holy Love that created everything. It is not the Holy divinity that made Jesus the Christ, and from whom the Holy Spirit flows through life today.

There is a God that is DEAD. It is a God that should be dead. The God of Christendom. The God that allows for exclusion, the God that empowers hatred and violence based on religion. The God that was crafted by terrorists and governments to perpetuate wars, misogyny, caste systems, and try to control people’s free will of choice. The God that is dead is the one that has sparked such murder in the nominal church that was more comfortable with status quo power and control, much like the living breathing Sanhedrin of Jesus’ day. The God that is dead is that God tied to Nationalism, and Empire.

The God that in Canada was used to mask the atrocities of Colonialism, Residential Schools, Labour, Sex trafficking, eugenics, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, forced institutionalizations and sterilizations, withholding of Human Rights, homophobia, and the list can go on and on. It is the God that said any Imageo Dei[2]was less than a full person.

It is the God that was used as a lens to look out and see through the eyes of fear and paranoia. That was used to pray and convert at the tip of a sword or barrel of a gun or forced compliance/attendance at church for socio-economic survival on a family.

That God is dead.

That was never the God that Jesus pointed people towards in the Christian Testament. It was never the God that the prophets of the Hebrew Bible pointed folks towards either. That was the God of Love and Justice. The God of Peace, Hope, Joy and Faith and…. B-E-L-O-N-G-I-N-G as ALL is the IMAGEO DEI.

That is the core of the story of the Good Samaritan. Jesus reminding us it is about love. Love of self, neighbour and God, a perpetuating cycle that all parts must fire for the divine to be alive…that is the Holy Spirit within, without, and through all. When that happens, all labels burn away and what is left is love and belonging, the story was scandalous because one of the excluded was the one that showed mercy. It was not scandalous; it was how creation is meant to be. That is the God that is alive.

Take a walk through a mall, or your community and look around. What a beautiful world. What a beautiful sight as each and every person is made in God’s image. Drop the labels and embrace. For the anti-abortionist, I challenge you to take the walk with the person through the process of abortion, and just be there holding the space in love and silence with them. If you are in a church struggling with the “question”[3] as the Anglican Communion phrases it…go to Pride…Give out Dad and Mum hugs to those that have been excluded.

Find that which you think is “stealing your rights” or others try to create fear of for you. Find that, and experience the Imageo Dei.

Love you Neighbour.

Love yourself by releasing the hatred burning your soul.

And it is the greatest act of love worship of God ever.



[1] Luke 10:25-37, New International Version

[2] Latin for Image of God

[3] The Question is about full inclusion of the LGBTTQ2+ community in the life and ministry of the Communion.


Soul Ripples 2: What’s Faith…

Posted: October 8, 2019 by Ty in Soul Ripples 2
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What’s Faith Gotta do with it?


The question of how my faith plays with my healing journey is present. For some, there is the misnomer that one only needs prayer and faith to be healed of anything. For others it is all simply science and medicine. It was in two different conversations with two different therapists that this topic was struck.

The first was with my PNES treatment, as it arose with my spiritual background if I held to a medical solution for my prognosis. The answer was simple, yes. If I had believed it was demonic possession I would be speaking with an exorcist not neurologists and psychologists.

The other was in the early days of my PTSD treatment, when the therapist simply asked how my faith fit in with this situation. It is part of the journey of life.

“First you pray, they you act”.

-Pope Francis

It was where I start. As Pope Francis would say about prayer is my practice. First, centering in the Holy Mystery, taking those moments to listen to the soft, quiet voice that is the Holy Spirit speak into my soul. Due to the seizures and insomnia, it had been a while since I had been able to hear that voice, yet I stayed the course knowing there was light on the other end of the tunnel (and no, not in a death way).

This is where my faith played. It wasn’t about the how the healing was going to take place. It was knowing, that even in the moments I felt separation, or as I would journal be in the wilderness, that there was a time of emerging from it. The wilderness is imagery from the Hebrew Bible story of the Exodus, where Moses took the Hebrew Slaves out of ancient Egypt to wander the wilderness with their present God for 40 years, until entering the Promised Land. This imagery is then echoed in the Christian Testament in the story following Jesus’ baptism where he enters the wilderness for 40 days while he is tempted and tested. The basis of both stories is what forms the season of Lent within the Christian Church year, which is 40 days of fasting (giving up or making room in life for more moments of the Still Small Voice) that leads to the Holy Week which precedes Easter.

This was the season of my life where I was entering into the healing for my PNES. The starting point was the Lenten Season, and that gave a grounding imagery for the journey ahead. 40 is not a literal number, whether days or years, anthropologically speaking from ancient stories it basically means “a lot of”, which I was good with…this journey of healing would take in a lot of days, one day at a time.

It also tied into my journey of faith on the teaching that is the lynch pin of this book. My vocational life had been centered on the Greatest Commandments of Loving God and Neighbour; I had lost the ability to love self. This was the wilderness in discovery of what it meant to love myself, to be kind to me. Another grounding as I moved forward in treatment.

Little Brother

Me and Jesus, got our own thing goin’
Me and Jesus, got it all worked out
Me and Jesus, got our own thing goin’
We don’t need anybody to tell us what it’s all about[1]

It is a strong question what does faith has to do with anything in my journey. The song lyric resonates with me, same as the words of the song about someone who travels life. A pilgrim singing of his journey with Jesus, overcoming much, and having no time for that fancy stylized consumer driven religion on offer. Rather it is the guttural roots of the Love Commandments of belonging that keep him going.

If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well.[2]

This is what happens when I open my own Bible to my favourite epistle[3], James. Now James is a controversial epistle, it made it through quite a few old folks trying to remove it from the Christian Testament. Most notably Martin Luther[4] who called it the Epistle of Straw, why this disdain for the words of a scant few pages? Simple, it is an epistle that points out that love and action go hand in hand. That is one cannot have a faith in a vacuum, or actions in a vacuum, like us as human beings, they are intrinsically linked. It was an Epistle of Straw to Luther because it smacked of “earning salvation” rather than he understanding it is the disciple life conversion that Jesus taught.

Why would this guy named James get that?

James was the Bishop of the poorest church in early Christianity that is the one of Jerusalem. He was also, the little brother to Jesus of Nazareth. I can hear the gasps already. Depending on your church background that is scandalous and borders on a heretical statement for it means that Joseph and Mary[5] had intercourse after Jesus’ birth. It challenges the doctrine of perpetual virginity for Mary, even though it is a Roman Catholic doctrine, many churches function as if it is reality.

How do they explain James then? A metaphoric brother, a cousin even, perhaps Joseph had a wife before Mary who had passed and left children. Yet it does provide a challenge when the canonical (accepted in the Christian Testament) stories of Jesus list his family as coming to stop (Mark 3:21) his work, and his brothers called him crazy, not step, not cousins, not Joseph’s kids. Full stop his family. So here was James’ looking at the upset, the struggle his Mum was going through because his father was dead, and challenges older brother to come home and do what society dictated he should. It did not go as James’ wanted.

Yet, here we are post ascension into heaven of Jesus after the big “nope” from the cosmos of his lynching, and he is established as a solid leader within the early church. It speaks to the role of leadership Mary of Nazareth (Mumma Mary if you will) took in building upon the foundation Jesus laid, and grows from there. A movement that his family joined, and thrived in, a community care model that James kept reminding even the earliest church about[6].

My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,”have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?[7]

I have never been confused for the wealthy man. Many times as my wife has reminded me if I was in a meeting with delegates, booked to speak, or teach or preach or even simply going in to work in a shelter I would be confused as a client and treated as such. It is a way to get an empathic look at systems theory. Many apologies are made about the confusion or mishap once revealed, the challenge being what does that say about how we treat people due to how we see their standing in society or within the scope of employment? The apology is only necessary if we are not greeting the person before us as a full person.

It is very rare one would hear my credentials, unless they were needed to open a door for help for family or a client, or to get the attention of a system not willing to listen. We have not become that much more enlightened than the ancient world James was writing about in that flash, dazzle and labels mean more, than our neighbour before us.

His epistle is hard to read for some who have faith, because they want their faith to be the label that separates them, makes them better than. Rather the faith is a call to healing, justice, and working for a better place of belonging for all. It is why it is such a scandalous letter.

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.[8]

The Hear O’Israel was the call on my heart. The grand circle of the Love Commandments, where the Holy Mystery, Neighbour and self are connected in a flow of the Holy Love, James points out astutely the failure of the love of neighbour if you are comfortable while your neighbour is in lack. The challenge is the balance so you are not lost in the darkness constantly, but can come through to the other side. Faith or works by itself is dead. Just as Holy Love missing any of the pieces is dead on arrival as well.

James lays out the importance of having solid social relationships with our loved ones. Family (blood or chosen), those that we know or discover will be with us through the thick and thin of life. These are the pieces, same as trusting the professionals in our lives called into their vocation as well to aid us. For it all comes from the same source of Mystery.

Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten.Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days. Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the righteous person. He does not resist you.[9]

For those leading the Reformation, James was the awkward second cousin of the Christian Testament for it called out the elite they needed the backing of to break away from the Roman Church. For those in Rome it was the book you simply have on the shelf because it looks impressive, but never dust off for it would create dissent in the masses that would see the hypocrisy.

Yet here we are in 2019 and it is still within our scriptures. The words ringing as true today, as they did when James sent them out, Jesus’ little brother wrote them to remind the early church of what it was his brother lived, died and rose from the dead for:


When left with the question what does my faith have to do with my healing? It is about that better world. Finding the “me” that I am today, formed through the darkness, coming through the challenges, yet, finding my core, and asking the question what is next.

It is also holding me to be present in the moment for the healing, so it is a true healing and not a false jump so I wind up back here.

Faith and works, or pray and act. It is simple; one cannot be without the other. Just like ourselves in the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health are intertwined.




A Soul Psalm for the next steps in the healing process of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and how our memory works.

Accelerated Resolution Therapy

Roll the dice

Spin the roulette wheel,

What is the most traumatic event?

Can’t say?

We’ll start with the earliest.

48 hours away.

A week to mull it over.

The energy crackles in the mind’s eye

The heart sings a song of sorrow

As the spider web comes alive

No more musty cobwebs

On the interconnections

Of the past and present

To be scourged away

To open the soul

To the future.



3.5 hours of intake work determining triggers and traumas before entering into the treatment.



[1] From Tom T. Hall’s Me and Jesus gospel song, I prefer Brad Paisley’s recording

[2] James 2:8, English Standard Version (ESV)

[3] Epistle means letter.

[4] Martin Luther led the Protestant Reformation in Germany. The Lutheran sect of Christendom came out of his understanding of religion in response to the Roman Catholic Empirism of indulgences and oppression, though the Reformation wouldn’t have gotten far if the feudal lords and monarchs had not realized it was there time to seize land, money and power away from Rome.

[5] Jesus parents on earth.

[6] If you are not a person to read the Bible but are interested by the teachings in James, I suggest you simply Google the Epistle of James.

[7] James 2:1-4, ESV

[8] James 2:14-17, ESV

[9] James 5:1-6, ESV

Letting the Light Shine


May 8, 2019 I would begin my intake for the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Treatment. The intake would be completed on May 21, 2019 as we would begin to lay out goals and a plan moving forward. The light would begin being prepped to shine, but first we had to create a trauma hierarchy. Not the easiest to do, as the location of the clinic to get to and from, and wait for appointments was triggering central for me.

It was a time of simply sharing that which my system would allow come through in the moment, and the decision was made to simply start with the oldest in the next session.

When I write of the Sheldon Chumir Urgent Care Clinic being at triggering central, it is within the historic block radiuses of the boy and girls’ child sex trade strolls in Calgary. Moving down through the Down Town core took me past the shelters I used to serve in, witnessing the pain that I was a light in the darkness of, folks I used to journey with. The safe usage site was on the main floor of the Chumir.

It gave plenty of time to practice mindfulness, distraction, emotion understanding and inventory, and thought conversion. The hardest challenge being when you would attempt the deep breathing to slow your somatic roll, and end up with nostrils of the stench of Weed (skunk-like) and Crack (literally smells like someone lit feces on fire).

The upside, of the two part intake was figuring out where to go and what I wanted out of therapy. I wanted my life back. I wanted to be able to feel the spectrum of emotions well again, fully engage with my friends and family, and to figure out what comes next. It was under the catch all of putting the trauma at peace with my whole self. These were things I had experienced, and I no longer wanted them being the guiding force of my life.

This laid the ground work for the Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) to be used in my healing. See, the work most people forget is they either go hyper spiritual (all I need is prayer and the Holy Spirit) or they go hyper scientific looking for a pharmacological answer, or only a psychological one. When in all aspects it must look at all of you.

The Body Scan reminds us the inter-connectedness of our Thoughts-Emotions-Physical pain. The Medicine Wheel reminds us of the spiritual/soul aspect within all that. The connecting point is realizing that science (ala psychology for this) and spirituality are complementary. One will resonate with the why of your life, and why you want healing. The other is the how, the nuts and bolts of getting it done and maintaining it.

ART is done with a trained clinician, much in the way that Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy uses eye movement, so does ART in different ways. There is something about tapping into the conscious use of eye movements like when we are deep in dream state that brings the healing. No one is really clear of the whole how question, but there is enough there to know it works. As I told my new therapist in my goals, I was putting trust in her to lay the path out for us to work together to get through to the new.

ART would be that pathway, to re-enter the experiences and the emotions. The goal being release at the end of it.



Soul Ripples 2: Breaking Concrete

Posted: October 1, 2019 by Ty in Soul Ripples 2
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Breaking Concrete


Reverend Deirdre Leighton played a unique role in the healing journey. She’s the minister of Universal Church of the Master Alberta. It is a spiritualist movement out of the United States of America. It is also a very open movement for belonging. Shawna and I had got to know her when we had heard of the evening service at Unity of Calgary by the church, and showed up to find no one there. A reaching out found that there was still a book group active.

Over the next few years as a group of sojourners we would explore the Aquarian Gospel, some of the Qur’an and How to Pray without Talking to God in this small group that would meet at our house. It would bring the fun of family, and chaos of interjections by kids (something that I always love when doing spiritual formation informally within small groups), for let’s be honest kids need to see their elders talking and doing spiritual things for their own growth. It is not just a Sunday school thing.

It was through these nights that Deirdre became family. Part of our kids buddy list, in the role of a new Aunt. When Justina spoke her truth to the Calgary Board of Education about how to Smudge, Deirdre made a special trip downtown to be a part of it. See spirituality, religion, it is not only about those moments of worship or learning, it is about doing life together. The doing life together also creates disciples.

Around August 2017 Northern Lights (Rev. Leighton’s teaching with Dr. Jelusich for Integrative Chakra Therapy) had a free healing night at Family’s Matter in Northeast Calgary that I went to. Deirdre and her students as they worked through removal of the energy sludge made a note to me afterwards. The visual that came through to those facilitating the healing was of breaking through concrete to let the light shine through in my soul.

As I prepared to enter into dealing with the memories that haunted my soul this image of breaking concrete to let the light through was appropriate. For it was within the body scans of my PNES work that there was green energy/flame trying to break through concrete walls of my thoughts. The thought being held back until my mind and body zoned it safe to let out.

New concrete to break to let the light shine through rings of the words of the old spiritual:

This little light of mine

I’m going to let it shine

Oh, this little light of mine

I’m going to let it shine


This little light of mine

I’m going to let it shine

Let it shine, all the time, let it shine


All around the neighbourhood

I’m going to let it shine

All around the neighbourhood

I’m going to let it shine

All around the neighbourhood


I’m going to let it shine

Let it shine, all the time, let it shine.

Hide it under a bushel? No!

I’m going to let it shine


Hide it under a bushel? No!

I’m going to let it shine

Hide it under a bushel? No!

I’m going to let it shine

Let it shine, all the time, let it shine.


Don’t let Satan (blow) it out!

I’m going to let it shine

Don’t let Satan (blow) it out!

I’m going to let it shine

Don’t let Satan (blow) it out!

I’m going to let it shine

Let it shine, all the time, let it shine


Songs designed to teach Gospel stories to the faithful. Yet who is Satan? In the Hebrew Bible (the Old Testament to some), he is the challenger. In the oldest writing of the Jewish scriptures, Job, he wagers God, to act as the one to sharpen the faithful’s faith, or to see if it will fall away.


Through the writings of Milton and Dante we begin to shape the image of a fallen angel from a war in Heaven, and a King of Hell. A place of eternal torment, taking the image of Gethsemane from the Gospel of Matthew (which actually was the garbage dump, where the refuse of the city would be thrown, and the poor would seek shelter). In the early part of Brother Jesus’ teaching career he entered the wilderness and was tempted/challenged by Satan. In fact, those short few verses in the Synoptic Gospels could be overlaid the challenges given Job.


Sadly, in the late 19th Century to now, we have created Satan (the Devil, Lucifer-an no not the fun one from Vertigo Comics and television) as this cloven hooved power house that has more control over our lives and actions than the Holy Spirit or the free will we were created with.


This in itself is a blasphemy to borrow a throwback word. The challenger, or the adversary, is about us being confronted with the Shadow Self, moral-ethical decisions, bribes to sway our convictions, and our own gremlins-saboteurs.




This is a term from Life Coaching. It is the voice within that protects, but also holds us back. It makes it so we freeze or fail, rather than spread our wings and fly.

So yes, it is about not hiding the light or letting the adversary or negative internal soundtrack blow it out. It is about the journey of authentic self.


Soul Ripples 2: Prescencing

Posted: September 30, 2019 by Ty in Soul Ripples 2
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It happened at the right time during my treatment. Something had been missing for years, had literally torn apart the house and bedroom looking for it. It was lost. Never to be seen again. Then it literally popped out of the worn shag carpet when I shifted my night stand to retrieve a Star Trek graphic novel that had slipped behind.

The Celtic Knot pinkie ring my wife had bought me. There it was, laying on my big toe. A tiny miracle, for those of a spiritual bent such as myself, whether it is Universe or Holy Spirit, letting me know like discovering the lost ring. The emergence of emotions, it was my own renewal and reformation. The ring newly found was the reminder my soul needed have how I had always defined myself. It was not the way society laid our worth based on occupation. It was as husband and Dad. Those that had stood with me, and cared for me at the lowest of the low and stayed through to this point to where the light was beginning to glimmer through the concrete walls holding back the pain.

This journey was leading me into the crossroads of discernment. I had known this for a while, but peace was sinking in. The work of the soul psalms had provided self-forgiveness and release for those things I could never control, and now a new symbol.

It would be okay. It was time to understand that I had done more than enough, and take the pacing to heal. In the healing begin to discern, what next?

The Trap

This can be the trap of the healing journey. As the Conversion Disorder manifesting with psychogenic non-epileptic seizures waned and thoughts move into the new it becomes easy to short circuit healing.

How one may ask? When we launch new endeavours, the excitement and positive energy can overwrite any harm, traumas or struggles easily. That is we emotionally, mindfully and even subconsciously suppress as the birth of the new carries us through. Like overwriting earlier drafts of a book when you save the newest draft on your computer, so new ventures can overwrite the old. Yet, the code is still corrupted.

This is the work of presencing into what is next by letting go of the old. The letting go is of the harmful, and needs to be fully accomplished. This was the bridge to cross entering into the treatment journey for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Not to let what I felt or could see as next, expedite the process. Rather, needing to live into the current process each step of the way.

Social Media

Our social media creates the algorithms of life and the key to knowledge as the grand Google releases to us that which matches what we like. Whether it is friends, groups or pages on Facebook or followers and follows on Twitter or other social media platforms, what we use our search engines for. It crafts the ability to seek out information to form critical opinions. In actual fact, the computer creates our own personal echo chambers.

Throughout the journey of life and growth of these platforms I had consciously chosen to create a balanced social media presence so that the echo chamber could be as mitigated as possible. The challenge is that as there became more ideological entrenchment enabled by non-critical computer usage has led to extremism growing from populism.

This creates for the user and subtle shift in becoming a part of the anger machine. In the presencing part of healing (and yes it can overlap with the letting go and letting come phase in U Theory). My focus shifted to my social media presence. Consciously purging the e-letters that came into my e-mail account as it is amazing how quickly this clutter mounts with what essentially were ignored and delete.

The next step was my Twitter and Facebook where I followed the simple guidelines of did it provide good in my life. By shifting to more balance or centralist sources I still got the full scope of what was happening without the populist-extremist hyperbole for Twitter and Facebook pages/groups. Some friends were let go on Facebook as well.

Social media is a great resource. Facebook is fun, as it allows you to stay in touch with folks that in the past could only happen through postal mail or e-mail. The challenge is that it also creates a cycle where relationships that would have naturally come to an end due to leaving certain jobs or communities, can continue even if they had run their course.

It is the hard part of presencing, but the online cleaning is the same as the real life cleaning one need to do. What relationships are not beneficial? What relationships are harmful? It is these ones that we must then end. By working through our online presence first, it creates a practice run for any real life relationship that must end or have stronger boundaries crafted around.

Oh and clear the browser history.




“I failed; I did not make a difference.”

-My personal sound track entering into therapy on Feb. 14, 2019.

On May 2, 2019 with my PNES therapist I was able to share the work of breaking this soundtrack. It was arduous over the months in therapy, as I asked friends something I never had before. What did they think of me? I began to look back at the thank you notes, and the honours that I had let fade into the background.

An exterior soundtrack began to emerge and take concrete form. It was that I did make a difference. I have a tendency to be overly responsible, and need to figure out where my rodeo ends and the next begins. It is the struggle of not wanting to be the bystander of the bystander effect. It knows what I can honestly give.

Continue Lies of the Heart

Soul Ripples 2: Soul Psalms

Posted: September 26, 2019 by Ty in Soul Ripples 2
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For those who are not familiar with the Hebrew Bible-Christian Testament, a Psalm is a song or poem. It is a collection of 150 that run the gambit of emotions and situations for people and the Nation of Israel on their faith journey with the Holy Mystery.

Soul Psalms are a poetic expression of my own journey of healing.

Part of the work with Psychogenic Non-Epileptic Seizures and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mindfulness practice of a body scan where you get in touch with your physical self, emotions and thoughts.

Out of those, as the tears of healing flow:

Soul Psalms.

The journey is the healing.

The destination is the new book of your life.

What follows are some of these psalms of healing.

Read the Soul Psalms


What are we teaching our Children?

It is something I have pondered throughout my journey. Those younger, the next and now leaders; what are we constantly teaching them? Do we teach them their inherent worth? This is more than simply words spouted towards them; it is the actions of those around us, and what they see. It is not simply do as I say; rather it is they will do as we do. So how do we act? What is the current Meta narrative of our world?

In Calgary, AB 2019 a Nine-year old girl was bullied so badly in her Calgary Board of Education public school she took her own life. 2-0-1-9. The Board’s response, we investigated nothing to see here. Bullocks. There is multiple stories that may not have ended with a taken child’s life, but of the board, principals and teachers turning a blind eye. Nothing to see, don’t rock the boat. It is the anti-thesis of the WE Day movement, World Youth Day and Challenge Days. We LET BULLIES WIN!! And when it is called out, our “managers” (we have a leadership/statesperson deficit) do everything to deflect, and cover up.

But why do our children act this way?

This is a time to quote former Premier Jim Prentice:

“Albertans (and all world citizens-my add) need to take a hard look in the mirror.”

Why? We have created a world where anger and hate (white supremacist, Alt-Right, Fascists, and Extremists of all stripes) are courted by political parties to gain and hold power. When in the world of social media you are censored for hate speech, it is an infringement on your rights of freedom of speech. Nope, sorry, non-starter: hate is hate. I don’t care if the bully has cloaked it in Conservative or Liberal rhetoric, in Sikh, Islam and Christian Theology, it is hate. It needs to be called out and shut down.

In 2019 Alberta on April 16, 2019 we showed our children bullies win and that truly, the ends justify the means. No, this isn’t just heaping on the investigation of voter fraud (Both ongoing with Elections Alberta and the RCMP) with the UCP (United Conservative Party). The caught in picture and/or video of folks who would steal/vandalize opponents signs, the bullying of local citizens at candidate debates, and the attack/smear ads against those who were running against. It is also pointing out that the Government seeking re-election of the New Democratic Party which should have been campaigning on their record and their ideas, launched pre-writ drop on the low road with their own attack ads (yes it was using candidates’ own words and actions, but still negative); on the attack of Jason Kenney, which was a whistle to their own base as those that had issue with these character items of Kenney had already decided not to support him and the UCP based on that.

Both our Governing Party and the Loyal Opposition went low. The conglomerated media and social media allowed and cheered it on. Within the world of algorithms it is infinitely easy to never have to look critically at your own or another’s point of view for your feeds will only ever bring you what you believe. When the other parties attempted to raise policies of vision, and debate they were shut out and belittled (much like the other two were doing with one another). Parties like the Greens, Alberta Liberals and Alberta Party that should have elected MLA’s– the fear and anger machine of entrenched ideology within this historic voter turnout (64% officially, highest turnout since 1982) delivered us the anger machine Legislature.

That is two parties, their roles reversed. Is this peace, order and good governance as our Constitution Act, 1982 promises? Or is it a province within the stages of grieving trapped in the denial and anger phases unwilling to let go of what was, and discover what is to come and live into it, support one another in rebuilding and renewing. A statesperson or leader with a vision would cast it– unfortunately we got angry yelling middle managers quibbling over a budget line and seeing citizens only as a number, not as the person before them. Two parties, unwilling to admit that a province needs to heal; instead they stoke the anger and denial to hold to or win power. They become the bully.

Our children see that bullies win.

It is exacerbated more in the USA under President Trump, and yes I have been around the USA a bit and have seen the divided community. It is one of the things that I am intrigued by Marianne Williamson running for President. Anyone can win in 2020, but someone entering the race to change the tone of discourse is always a good thing. I did pick up her book from our local library, Politics of Love (2019) and once read will post a reflection.

But back to Canada… we also show that there is no need to respect one another, we can belittle. Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, the Conservative Party of Canada, has shown this in Parliament’s Question Period recently where they refuse to refer to our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, as Prime Minister; instead it is Liberal Party Leader. Sorry gents and ladies, whether you like the outcome of 2015 or not, he is the office holder and as such deserves respect for that. If anyone had done this to PM Harper when he was in Question Period the media would be all over it. Instead the base swells with pride and cheers, wears shirts and waves signs calling for our Prime Minister to be hung for treason (which shows an understanding of Canadian Law at least, for treason and cattle rustling are the only two offences that can still carry the death penalty). But hyperbolic anger theatre is the norm. Denigrating the other from personhood to hate that leads to a guillotine being brought to an anti-populist Premier Ford rally in Ontario.

If this is free speech, I am glad in our Charter of Rights and Freedoms Canada has Freedom of Expression, and it is time the RCMP and local police started enforcing that differential. It is all used to create this atmosphere that you vote against something, not for something. You choose lesser evils, and if you refuse the dichotomous narrative then you are an “idiot”, and will not be able to stop the other.

Any wonder why voter turn outs are so low. Yes, 64% though historic is bloody low. Any wonder why we have an increase in bullying.

Extremism exists across spectrum and theologies. It is disgusting, and needs to be called out. Not covered up, not excused, or at worse accepted. It needs to be called out, and exorcised like a demon in the Exorcist movie-pea soup and all.

But we have glimmers of hope. Thankfully; in a recent Abacus poll on the upcoming Federal election, 4000 Canadians were interviewed. Yes, I realize I dislike polls and 4000 is a small sample size, but hey you work with what you got for hope. Of those questioned 40% were in support of the fifth place party in our House of Commons, the Green Party of Canada. Why is this sign of Hope? It shows that people are thinking beyond the usual dichotomy in the Canadian mind for Federal governance of Liberal-Conservative. It also shows that the usual protest vote of Bloc Quebecois or conscience vote of New Democrat is not resonating. Could the old parties be being rejected? Could new ones get a kick of the tires and a spin for 4 years in October? Only if conviction is held to vote for what one believes in, not out of fear against stopping something. Nothing has ever been stopped or ended by undermining or selling out one’s own inherent values.

On this too, I have to touch on the Prince Edward Island provincial election. True the projected Green government did not happen. But let’s look at it. In the waning days of the election sadly, a candidate for the Greens and their son lost their lives in a canoeing accident. All the parties ceased campaigning for the remainder of the election. Class. Hope.

On election night, all the leaders were together from what I could see from the media feeds, and hugged after the results (yes older men). It is a minority government, with the Progressive Conservative Party being the government, but the Greens are the official opposition. Hope. Something has changed. Also the PC government not joining the anger train of the mainland populist movements speaking of listening to citizens. Hope.

Listening. Hearing. Acting on behalf of another.

Things that breed hope:

Seeing others, as neighbour, as a person.

And then reflecting, even in opposition life, what matters most in the discourse? What is the end that is truly supposed to be and do the ends really justify any means possible?

The now and future leaders learn behaviours by how their adults (parents, extended family, neighbours, elders) behave, not by what we say.

What do your actions teach?

Are you creating ripples of hate or HOPE?



“I failed; I did not make a difference.”

-My personal sound track entering into therapy on Feb. 14, 2019.

One needs to be open for therapy to work. That is they need to be ready for it. As my diagnosis was rolled out finally in November 2018 following my stay in observation, there was release but also new stressors. What did this Psychogenic Non-Epileptic Seizures (PNES) mean? Epilepsy being off the table was nice, but my base understanding was that PNES was all the concerns of Epilepsy though without the ability for medication to control. My wife, Shawna, had already spent two years stressing what ifs, and the fears that come with Epilepsy. Our son has constant Epileptic brain activity. We are quite aware of the brain’s ability due to these misfires to simply cease, and the sudden death that can come.

It did not help in the intervening between diagnosis and first meeting with psychotherapy that I took two major falls (the third would come later during the 2019 Alberta Provincial Election). My body was running on heightened fight or freeze scenarios, and it was not a freedom or efficiency for it exacerbated my wife’s own anxieties and fears. This would become apparent as healing journeys continue and some stress would leave her body.

Continue.. Hope in a Psychologists Office

April 2017 my son went into the Alberta Children’s Hospital for double foot reconstructions. Yes, it is as bloody painful and arduous as it sounds. It also illuminated the stark contrast between being church, and stewardship church in my mind. The United Church congregation we were at during this time for even though some things were done well, pastoral care and simply being was not among them.

They were an accessible building. Which is truly what accessibility is about, can we get into the building to participate in the events (we shall not discuss washrooms, or their annoyance of locked doors). They were inclusive in that there was space created for people to be a part of with the adults. The children’s ministry was amazing not for the spiritual formation that happened, but rather the lady that ran it created a space of belonging for all children.

Continue reading- Odd.