Pooka Glossary

Origami Pooka at the Sante fe Botanical Gardens
Origami Pookas at the Sante fe Botanical Gardens 2014

I have been realizing that some things that are obvious to my household are just not part of the lexicon of others. Here is a little explanation- I will add more per your request or when I notice something questionable here on Pooka Ride.

ACE StudyNoun ACE standing for Adverse Childhood Experiences was a study done by the CDC and Kaiser that looked at the health records of thousands of Kaiser patients and also surveyed them about their childhood. Choosing 10 adverse experiences to tabulate they found that people with a score of 4 or higher are significantly more likely to experience all the things that make life suck; from cancer to incarceration, diabetes or addiction.

A.C.K. – Noun an acronym for Alderbrook Chemo Klinic, then changed to Alderbrook Cancering Klinic.  Alderbrook being our neighborhood. A.C.K. has only one patient. We made up a lot of infomercials about A.C.K. at our house to keep laughter rolling. Pooka Ride posts that are primarily humor based are categorized as A.C.K. (Example here.)

A.C.K. technicians take advantage of my cancer based narcolepsy to go to the beach while I sleep.
A.C.K. technicians take advantage of my cancer based narcolepsy to go to the beach while I sleep.

Breast Cancer Boot Camp – noun  The intense period around diagnosis, in which you are introduced to the cancer medical world, via an onslaught of tests and procedures. It is an endurance race, fraught with difficult emotions and physically challenging experiences.

Cancering – verb  The concept that malignant tumor forming cells are a process that your body engages in when there is some stagnancy or imbalance. It is a process than can stop, and be replaced by natural cellular equilibrium. (See more here)

Cancering Magical Realism – verb  The conscious decision to engage in a world of possibilities.  Setting aside the the inner cynic/critic that dictates you always be “rational” “realistic” and basically accept the worst case scenario as the only “real” option in any given situation. It is engagement with magic, mystery and the sacred. It is embracing joy. (see post on it here)

Extraction Culture – Noun this is the basis of capitalism, which emphasizes self interest over the common good. Short term gain over service to future generations. Within the context of Extraction Culture, Slave wages, Private Prisons, Clear Cuts, Fracking, Genetically Modified Foods, Strip Mining, and War Profiteering are acceptable. Either Or thinking is common. As in “We have to choose between either jobs or the spotted owl, I choose jobs.” Or “Even though we know that some people may be harmed by smoking our cigarettes, To keep this company solvent we have to choose to either honor our commitment to our shareholders or protect people who through their own free will are choosing to smoke. We can let the market demands guide us.”

Five Actions of Wellness – Verbs These are actions that research shows to benefit everyone. Attending to these behaviors has the capacity to improve quality of life and disease outcomes for people no matter what they are diagnosed with.

  • #1 Nutrition – eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables, getting enough quality protein, including probiotic fermented foods and micro nutrients to support the micro biome in your gut. There are near infinite ways to improve your nutrition – take what ever baby steps you can towards a deeper more nutritious approach to food. ALERT: making food changes is often fraught with strong emotions- do not underestimate the power of your inner puppets around food. Get the support you need.
  • #2 Joyful Movement  – prioritizing any form of exercise you can in any way that you can. Walking, stretching, yoga, Qigong, tai chi, dancing… move often. It gets your lymphatic system rolling, which is key to your immune system.
  • #3 Mindfulness – meditation practice and discipline of mindset. Getting into a calm and relaxed state daily is shown to improve life in huge ways. Visualizations are beneficial for transforming to a state of greater health.  My current mini practice is to take three long slow breaths, on the inhale I visualize golden healing light flooding into my body from universe through the crown of my head down to my toes, on the exhale I visualize grounding earth energy rising up from my feet to the crown of my head. Find a practice that works for you, there are many options.
  • #4 Connection – Holding space for meaningful connections – a focus on love. This is where you build social bonds with mutual aid, appreciation and feeding each other. Prioritize time spent with those you love, lean into and work through conflicts which leads you to greater intimacy.
  • #5 Detoxification – helping the body process out the toxins you encounter. Drink a pint of pure water first thing upon waking, eat things that keep your digestive system moving, soak in epsom salt baths, or sauna, try fasting from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. Get enough sleep.  The body is constantly detoxing you can do many things to support this natural process.  Pursuing a more serious detox process is best undertaken with the support of a health care practitioner versed in detox protocol. Especially if you have undergone Chemo – stirring up poisons is not a small thing.

Gummy Time – verb The practice of deliberate idleness. Inspired by a character in the classic children’s book The Gammage Cup by Carol Kendall published in 1959. This book has played a huge role in our household, both boys went through periods of being obsessed with the book on tape – replaying it for months. It deals with issues of conformity, and creative expression. The characters, like in so many good stories, illustrate temperament beautifully. My book group hated it, I think they missed the  point.  I love that it illustrates the very great use that doing nothing has in the creative process- and that it is very different from being lazy.  I love that the nonconformists saved the day, and in the end were recognized for it.

Nurture Culture – noun A community system that demonstrates care of the Earth and care of people as an expression of core values. Nurture Culture can be contrasted with Extraction Culture in that it considers its responsibility to the Earth and future generations of paramount concern when making decisions. Nurture Culture continues to exist in pockets around the world. Notably in indigenous cultures, the cooperative movement, and within permaculture circles. Both And thinking is common. As in “How can we have both livelihood and clean water for Salmon?

NVC – verb Non Violent Communication  is a way of relating to your feelings and needs as you communicate with yourself and others. It was first taught in the movement started by Marshall Rosenberg and continued by the Center for Non Violent Communication.  It is an excellent tool to have in your tool box. I credit it with helping me have a better relationship with my husband and sons, and to successfully negotiate the founding of a worker cooperative.

pCR – noun A Pathologically Complete Response is the complete eradication of cancering cells as a result of treatment, as determined by pathology investigation of surgically removed tissue.  There is a lack of consensus on how to specifically define it.  The pCR that I was assigned was in alignment with the most conservative definition- namely no detectable abnormal cells remaining, either in my breast or in the surrounding lymph nodes.

Pooka – noun An ancient Irish mythological creature capable of shapeshifting. Often taking the form of huge black horse. A ride on the Pooka’s back is said to transform you if it doesn’t kill you. I adopted the pooka as a core metaphor of my cancering journey.

Puppet – noun Refers to the psychological and behavioral strategies that we employ to get our needs met, specifically those that stem from our unconscious occurrences. Puppets start as seeds planted whenever we experience an adverse event.  We feed them when ever we equate a present situation with some past event, and apply the same rules. We all have puppetry going on.

Puppet Radio – noun/verb The background messages that fill our subconscious with assumptions from puppet land.  Often negative messages from our family of origin that have been amplified over time. Puppet Radio stations often speak to our worthiness or lack there of.

Vibe-O-Sphere – noun/verb The energetic circles that surround us within and without.  We are the epicenter of our own Vibe-O-Sphere created by our thoughts and emotions. We do however influence and are influenced by the vibes of those around us. These circles of influence extend out to include the entire world.  When we cultivate the self discipline necessary to maintain good boundaries for ourselves we can modulate how much we are effected by the events/vibes around us, and how much we can influence the vibes around us. For instance by maintaining calm we can respond to a crisis more effetely then if we panic and add our energy to an escalation.

Who’s Right Game – noun/verb A common game played with self and more usually with others, the object of which is to prove who is right. Case building, aggression and firm right/wrong beliefs are all common while playing.  The Who’s Right Game can undermine relationships, and back people into emotional corners that are difficult to emerge from. Often we begin playing it while under the influence of our puppets. It is positional based negotiation vs interest based negotiating. Compromise can be difficult, if not impossible.

World of Possibility – noun Refers to the co-creative universe we step into when we recognize that there is always much more possible than we can perceive within the confines of our human limitations.