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My Book Heals A Reader

Guest author Catherine Carrigan  –

As an author, I am thrilled every time anybody takes the time to read any of my books. As an author, I get an even bigger thrill when somebody takes the time to write a review for any of my books. And as a medical intuitive healer, I receive an even bigger thrill every time someone tells me they have made a major shift as a result of reading what I wrote. I can only see so many people every day. But hundreds, thousands and countless people can read or listen to my books. Such was the thrill recently when a gentleman reached out to me.

Ed Blazek described his interests on Goodreads, the reader-author social media website, in this manner:
Sports, movies, teaching golf, reading, watching Seinfeld reruns.

In other words, he is a regular guy.

His reading interests?

Horror, comedy and biography.

While my recent Amazon No. 1 best seller, What Is Healing? Awaken Your Intuitive Power for Health and Happiness, hardly falls under the categories of either horror, comedy or biography, somehow Ed stumbled upon my work.

This becomes the 29th five-star review on Amazon.

This is what he had to say:

“I need to recommend this book to anyone that is not 100% happy with your physical or mental health situation. I was doing everything my doctors were suggesting I do, and some cases strongly suggesting. Despite trying hard, it wasn’t until I read Ms. Carrigan’s book that I truly began to experience noticeable changes in my health in a very positive manner. Catherine taught me easy to follow but extremely effective anxiety and stress reducers at the comfort of my own home. I decided to dedicate a half hour per day for 2 months as my trial period with Catherine”s book.0eb2d5e146d773ccc447fce4e4dec094

“Without getting too detailed, I experienced tremendous results. My Primary Care Physician noticed obvious changes in my blood pressure, sleeping abilities, and overall outlook on my health. “To be able to try this book for far less than my copay at a doctor’s office is a value that I can’t quite understand, but I am suggesting everyone to buy this book, use it yourself, or at least pass it on to someone that you know can use some help with their well being. “Highest Recommendation”

Thank you, Ed Blazek, for reading my book. I am so happy you feel so much better as a result!

Ravens are Silver

Shamanic practice is central to my recovery from the psychological wounds of war.

In the past meditation was difficult. My quiet mind was soon filled with memories of combat. They shamanic practice of watching animals without judgment or expectation trained me to observe myself in the same way. That was a key to avoid being re-traumatized by the full context recall used in cognitive behavioral therapy. The Animal Practice I have done over the years opened me up to the source of true healing. My connection to the world of spirit began about eight years ago.

I went out to my garden and saw a Raven sitting in the top of a bear pinion pine. A second Raven landed in a nearby shaggy cedar. The second Raven watched the first. The first watched the sky. Raven number one would make an occasional comment “Grok-croool”. That first Raven kept looking west, just above the red rock bluffs.

I couldn’t see anything but blue sky. I don’t know what that Raven was expecting. After a while it made a final comment,  “Gra-a-a-ak”, and flew East, apparently satisfied it saw all there was to see at this particular place and time. The other Raven shrugged its wings and followed. In the air, it looked twice as big. I went back inside knowing Ravens can see things I can’t.

The next morning a Golden Eagle  flew low over the hill that separates my back door from Oak Creek. A raven swooped in – not playing. The Eagle evaded and reached for more sky. The raven’s harassing seemed chaotic at first but then I saw the raven was not random. It moved the eagle further and further from the earth and away from the hill where the ravens liked to sit and watch.
The eagle was transported from the realm of the raven. The noble and heroic eagle gracefully obeyed the laws of magic Ravens know so well. The raven made a swooping turn back towards me. Its body glinted silver in the morning sun. I realized ravens aren’t really black.

Another certainty blossomed. All my reaching and wanting, all my noble and heroic deeds, my therapy and thrashing and medication will not relieve the torment born of trauma.  For that I must remember – Ravens are Silver and Eagles respect their will.

Mary Stevenson – Idea for a book

Blog Post #2 – Robb’s letter to me of 4/22/73 on the idea of writing a book about the skyjacking.


Mary-Stevenson-Headshot-300x300Some may wonder why neither Robb nor myself have ever written a book about the skyjacking prior to now. One of my reasons is that I was determined that I would never do anything that would possibly hurt Robb, after all he has been through. When I saw his interview from a couple of years ago, I saw that he was finally ready to talk about the event, and possibly even ready to write about it himself.

He did bring up the subject to me in a letter from Lompoc Prison back on 4/22/73. He had an army buddy named Randy Lopez that he stayed in touch with from their Vietnam days. Here’s Robb’s letter:

“Mary, I want to ask you a favor. I’ve talked with Randy and I guess he’s going to Reno to see you about my idea. I’m very stupid sometimes and tend to jump into things rather quickly. I usually wade in over my head. I haven’t really had much of a chance to talk this idea over with you but whatever I do I want your approval.

“During life people have expenses. They need money to make life that much smoother. I want to go ahead with my idea, but I’m afraid I don’t know anything about writing or any phase of it. You and I are us. I want it to stay that way. I want you to talk to Randy, and tell me what to do. In other words, look out for me. I trust your judgment. If you say it’s a bad deal, then I’ll call the whole thing off.

“I really think we could use some $, but you’re the expert on the subject. Seems like I rely more and more on you each day. I might be sticking my neck out, but it makes me feel comfortable trusting you. I love you very much. I want you above everything else. Nothing else matters. Robb”

What I knew for sure at that point in time, less than one year after his crime, is that we dare not try and capitalize on it by writing a book, trying to sell movie rights, etc. No! That would certainly not go over well with the Parole Board. The whole focus was to see Robb get out of prison sooner vs. later, and it was not the right time to act on his idea. I never did meet or hear from his friend Randy Lopez. It was way too soon for me to write my book, too. There were many spiritual lessons to be learned before that, to see the Big Picture of what our souls had signed up for, in what was to be the most intense “initiation” of both our lives. It is only in the last few months that the divine guidance came to me that the time was right. I had put the whole idea so far on the back burner, I was quite surprised myself to see how all the steps unfolded to share this amazing story with you all, at this point in time.

Chain of Violence

My life was once defined by violence. Now it is not.

My experience as an infantry sergeant in the Vietnam War has not made me an authority on deadly violence but I feel it has given me permission to speak.

When an act of extreme violence becomes front-page news everyone feels threatened. We don’t say it but we know it could have happened to us. In a deeper sense it has happened to all of us. We feel fear, then anger. From that darkness we begin looking for someone to blame in addition to the perpetrator. That sows the seed of separation, lines of defense and justification for vengeance. That is how we move us away from peace and become a link in a chain of violence.

That’s the way it happened to me. I didn’t want anyone to know I had such feelings of rage. I hardly admitted it to myself. I was not peaceful. I buried compassion along with fear and anger. I finally understood that all those emotions were valid and I embraced them all. I could not choose how I felt but I could choose to act out of anger or from compassion. The tricky thing about compassion is that to be genuine it must be universal. Genuine compassion includes the ones we love, ourselves and yes the ones who have violently attacked us.

It is not enough to feel compassion. We must be compassionate. It is not enough to feel love. We must perform loving acts. If we are to find peace we must act peacefully.

What brings peace, an end to strife, is now and forever, our loving reverence for life.


© Tom Puetz 2015   facebook

Kill List

Forty-one men on the Kill List were targeted by drone strikes. 1147 people were killed and six of the targets are still alive.
The military calling drone strikes surgical is absurd. In the case of Baitullah Mehsud  seven drone strikes were made and 164 people killed before he was killed. Said al‐Shihri  Got lucky. He was the target of four drone strikes, which killed fifty-seven people, but he is still alive.

Executive Order 11905  (1976) was meant to improve oversight of political assassinations by the CIA. Executive Order 12036  specifically banned political assassination. Those in favor of tone strikes would argue that the individuals on the kill list are not official political leaders. The United Nations has questioned the legality of US. drone strikes. This has revealed some gray areas. To continue killing when there are gray areas is just not right.

Drone strikes are #immoral, illegal and ineffective. They produce more jihadists than they kill. #War has not been declared so we should not have troops in hostile territory or be #killing with the use of our #military.

My Mom, my Dad and Me

Winter SunIt was deep in the winter of 1995. Mom was at the end of a long illness. She was dying. We called for the parish priest. He came and administered last rites. When the priest left I was sitting with mom and she said “I must be pretty bad if the priest came. I must be dying.” I couldn’t answer. I just nodded my head. Mom folded her hands in her lap then looked at me. She blinked back tears and said “I don’t want to leave my family.” I don’t know where the words came from but I said “Mom, in heaven there is no time or space. We will all be waiting there for you.” She looked out the living room window for a moment then said “I guess it will be alright then”.

Mom slipped into a coma a few days later. She lay in the bed mom and dad had shared for over five decades. Dad hardly left her side. She died the next day before noon. After the funeral dad and some of us were sitting at the kitchen table. I really can’t remember who else was there because I had withdrawn even deeper than usual. Dad began to speak –

I want to tell you about what happened the night before Florence died. I always held your mother’s hand at night even then, when she was in a coma. It was after midnight when I felt her hand move. The bedside lamp was still on and I sat up and watched her. Her grip tighten then she opened her eyes and smiled up at me. At that moment I felt all the happiness and all the joy of the life we had lived together.

Dad smiled through his tears and looked at each of us as if wondering whether or not we could comprehend what he had just described.

Understanding came to me slowly. It has been two decades since that day. Now, because of my father’s gift to me, I don’t reach for the brass ring of a good relationship. I seek the Holy Grail of a love and devotion that not only goes beyond the grave but is greater than anything I can ever hope to understand.

Mania and the Muse

Bipolar disorder defined my life as much as a wheelchair.

Seven million Americans suffer from bipolar disorder, a.k.a. manic depression. An estimated three million cases are severe. In severe cases bipolar disorder can fragment one’s life and destroy any hope of doing useful work or having a meaningful relationship.

Prescription drugs did help, but left me afflicted with a feeling there was something wrong with me, like my mind had been hijacked. The writing program I completed revealed a unique benefit of being bipolar. It was a practical tool that  brought understanding, acceptance and finally a published novel. A partial list of bipolar authors and creative individuals includes: Ted Turner, Virginia Woolf, Ludwig van Beethoven, Winston Churchill, Jimmy Piersall and Ernest Hemingway.

My author’s journey was filled with practical examples of how a disciplined approach to writing can change some of the curses of being bipolar into blessings. Writing and symptoms combined for positive results. Those positives were a less manic means of communication, a much-needed routine, a sense of purpose and creative release.

The writing program I followed included a daily word count, techniques to focus the mind and methods of emotional release. Those components fostered mental discipline and emotional stamina. The simple act of daily writing brought continuity and a sense of purpose to my life. A life troubled by this misunderstood disorder. The beliefs I expressed and emotions experienced captured the elusive core of my  bipolar existence revealing a hidden pattern in a manic world.

Mania, when suppressed, is a denial of self. When unleashed it is a powerhouse of creation.

Our love was a casualty of war

Far away tonight

I am so weary but dare not sleep.

If I close my eyes and slumber

dawn will find you nearly faded.

You seem so far away tonight.

The candle at our bedside

Flickers in your eyes.

Will a light be left there

when that candle dies?

Oh how your eyes passed through me

and saw what I forgot.

I was the one you always came to

and now I know I’m not.

What dreams have you been hiding?

Is there something you can’t tell?

Perhaps an unknown anger

a fear that love can’t quell.

I can no longer touch you

the way I used to do.

And though you can’t be with me.

I will be with you.

You seem so far

So far away

Far away tonight

I am so weary but dare not sleep.

If I close my eyes and slumber

dawn will find my courage faded.

I feel so far away tonight.

I know I never thanked you

for the comfort that I got.

You were the one I always came to

and now I know you’re not.

There were dreams that I was hiding.

A secret guilt I couldn’t tell.

A closed heart choked with anger.

A fear of love as well.

It’s too late to say I love you

the way I should have done.

You broke my heart wide open

Janet, you were the one.

I feel so far

So far away

Far away tonight

©  Tom Puetz   2004

Swords to Plowshares

One path to reintegration after deployment is through a garden. While working in my garden last fall I realized I hadn’t thought about Vietnam all day. The fresh air, sun and exercise were only part of the benefits. Providing a place where life could flourish had changed me. Looking forward to the harvest and planning for next year felt so good. So much different than surviving.