I love this term, “Broken Open,” and was tickled to see it in this beautiful poem by Gina Puorro because I recently wrote a song with the title, Broke Open, and just performed it for the very first time this week in the raw for a live audience. It was a small personal victory. It felt really good to express my creativity in this way after so many years of wanting to take my poems and turn them into songs and never giving myself the space and time to do it. Finding this poem this morning really spoke to me. She reminds me of Hafiz or Rumi. If you like poetry, go check out her blog!
I want to see you dance. Not the choreographed, lead and follow, booty shaking, I-know-this-is-what-you-like dance. Give me the the animal of your body, unhinged and clawing and flailing to the heartbeat of the earth until you summon the gods themselves to pour libations at your feet. The ecstatic unraveling that dismembers your shame, that wrings sweat and tears and regret from your skin and leaves you on your knees before the altar of your own body in exalted devotion.
I want to hear you sing. Not the perfectly pitched, silky smooth melody that pours out like a sweet lullaby song. Give me your cackling and moaning with a vibrato that rumbles the earth, that turns nectar into vinegar, that erupts the endless night sky from your mouth and echos with thunder and laughter and floods my senses. The diamond-edged heart song that cuts me open and fleshes out my…
McKusick’s second book conveys a broad explanation of the body as an electrical entity living in an electric universe. It is divided into two main sections. The first deals with this general paradigm shift in thinking, and the story of how she came to work with subtle energy fields. The writing style is easy to read and easy to understand.
In the second part, one chapter is devoted to each chakra where she discusses how to optimally maintain the vibrancy of that energy center through affirmation, choices, habits of speech, thought, and attitude.
As another reviewer already pointed out, this book explains more of the what and why, but almost none of the how. If you want a taste of the the “how”, check out her first book, Tuning the Human Biofield.
Biofield Tuning training classes are currently sold out on McKusick’s website. Foundation classes of this healing approach are going for about $1600 with an additional $1600 for the complete practitioner training.
After reading McKusick’s first book I was curious enough to contact a local practitioner for a session to try it out. I was really surprised by how different it felt from say, a Reiki session, or other kinds of energy work. It felt powerful and yet I was at a loss for words of how to explain it other than saying, “it definitely rearranged some stuff energetically.”
Many questions remained for me. Would recorded sound waves work just as well? Can people effectively treat themselves using tuning forks? Do different frequencies have any negative effects?
Though many efforts are made to call this a hypothesis, much more research will need to be done to validate it and understand it fully. Still, it certainly opens some new doors of possibility.
In 2005, a new term was coined to describe “an emerging form of depression or distress caused by environmental change, such as from climate change, natural disasters, extreme weather conditions, and/or other negative or upsetting alterations to one’s surroundings or home.” The term is SOLASTALGIA.
As a resident Houstonian for almost 40 years of my life, I have certainly witnessed the deforestation of its outlying areas and the continual urbanization and over development for commercial, industrial and residential interests. Even new residents have expressed to me in their distress and depression at witnessing the clear cutting of lots for development in their neighborhoods. I can recall my own distress at witnessing the removal of old growth trees along a road I traveled everyday that was being widened and how the changes taking place made me feel as I observed the landscape around me.
“We have room for all these cars,” I was thinking, “but no room for the beauty of nature to exist.”
I would ask myself, “Where are the deer and other animals going to live that were once living in this little patch of trees?” I know it might seem eco-wimpy to the business-minded, but I honestly felt true sadness and a sense of loss, anger, and hopelessness at this thought of displaced wildlife. Where there once was a huge patch for thick forest, there stood a massive shopping center with dozens of stores, restaurants, and other businesses that I never asked for.
Houstonians are now quite familiar with distress of solastalgia, which for some may feel like weather-induced PTSD. We have naturally dealt with hurricanes and flooding many times, but the severity has increased to such a degree that for several years in a row right before Hurricane Harvey, people experienced their houses flooding every year for multiple years.
I realized while teaching first graders in 2019, that whenever a storm started to brew outside, many of my students were unusually fearful. I attributed this to experiencing these successive years of catastrophic flooding.
Lately, I have been more intentionally spending time in the outdoors, working in my garden, talking walks to observe the sunrise or sunset, and making sure I get exposure to sunlight, fresh air, and bare earth. It has been a form of therapy.
As a teacher I worry about the young people I work with and this trend of solastalgia. In big cities such as Houston, kids do not have much access to forests or other prairieland unless their parents take them to one, which involves getting into a car and driving there. Even kids in the suburbs will be hard pressed in our environment to find anything remotely “wild” enough to consider it “natural.” I am sure there are millions of children the world over that have a similar experience. I have seen children in recent years who are terrified by a bug flying past their face on the recess field at school, or those that are terrified of a few ants on the ground. We have become this disconnected from nature.
The gigantic Loblolly Pine Forests that surrounded Houston by may become so rare that children will only be able to enjoy them in photos on their devices. I have half a mind to start organizing trips to nature areas in the form of an afterschool club to allow more kids the opportunity to go to a forest before we run out of them completely.
Truly, if we want to protect nature, we need to understand it. And if we want to understand it, we need to spend time in it for starters. For parents, this means getting our kids off their devices and doing healthier pastimes that get them outdoors.
How will we transform our relationship to the earth? Where can you connect this concept of your relationship to the earth and its climate in your life? Our current 12-14 year olds are the forerunners of the Pluto in Capricorn generation. I wonder how the current generation of 12-14 year olds will work with this despair, this growing mental illness, and how they will transform it. Pluto is the transformational planet and Capricorn is CARDINAL EARTH. For those studying astrology, consider which planets represent our connection to the earth itself? Which signs best describe this connection? Earth signs? (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn) With Pluto representing TRANSFORMATION, life, death and rebirth at a deep level, we can imagine that this Pluto in Capricorn generation will do some heavy lifting in terms of transforming our connection to the earth. How will we support them in building a strong connection to nature? We won’t get to a healthy environment by continuing what we have done so far. It is time for new thinking about this issue and how children spend time indoors versus outdoors.
Some have connected SOLASTALGIA to the idea of WETIKO. Read more about it here. Share your comments, please! Have you experienced distress about the environment?
If you want to learn more about sound healing this was a good resource. Author includes case studies and testimonials.
McKusick has a scientific mind and it comes through in her writing. She developed her own therapeutic method to using tuning forks as a healing modality, which she now offers through trainings, books, products, through her website and more.
I enjoyed reading her personal story of how she came to this. She went from working in her family restaurant business and needing serious physical healing, to taking up yoga and the healing arts as a vocation. Before reading it, I was mostly interested in music’s healing effect on the body. Chapter 7-9 covers what and how she works with the tuning forks.
After reading it, I am more intrigued and interested in how a single tone or sound frequency has an effect on the body and the science behind it. Connecting that to the ASTROLOGY is whole other side or piece that I have long been investigating now.
There are now even more questions in my mind about the subject. My biggest take-away was the idea that we cannot FORCE the body with healing. This is something that I am learning first hand as I nurture my first broken bone, and something that I am learning in other areas of my life too right now, as I work on some mentoring with Carlo Monsanto and IOLEE. This books reiterates that same message of not forcing things for me.
I went ahead and bought her next book, Electric Body and am continuing to learn about sound healing, music, what writers new and old have said about sound, music, astrology and healing and how these fields intersect.
If you love the stars and history, what a sweet little treasure you will find in The Star Tales of Mother Goose. This is a fun read, full of beautiful, playful illustrations and the beloved mother goose rhymes for the little ones. For adults, it is informative and engaging and re-ignites our childhood wonder of the stars. Stewart-Adams explains the history and meaning of each Mother Goose Rhyme for adults and brings it alive with stories.
For example, in the well known rhyme Humpty Dumpty, she explains how the king’s horses and king’s men are the four constellations of the four seasons and that Humpty Dumpty himself is the SUN! Summer solstice is the wall, “the moment when the sun stands still, highest above the celestial equator.” Then the sun falls back down again and Bootes, Hercules, and Perseus are the KIng’s men and Pegasus and Equeleus are the horses. In like fashion, she explains ten different rhymes and their starlore meanings.
She also guides the inexperienced in locating these stars with easy descriptions of how to find them and their constellations without any technical terms. Wonderful for parents and children to watch the night sky together with and dream or just for the young at heart. I highly recommend this book for parents of young ones or to give as a gift.