Guruatma K Khalsa

healing from the inside out

November 3, 2014
by Guruatma Khalsa
1 Comment

“…a pool of solutions and suggestions…” for hospitalization during the recovery process in a critical illness

Today, September 2014, I enjoy the freedom of walking freely on this earth. It was not so four years ago, when I had a devastating accident in which a truck hit me on the driver’s side of my own truck, breaking my hip, pelvis and femur and in five places. It took me 6 month to go back to work.

At the time, I had been a yoga student at Yoga Central, the 3HO Kundalini Yoga Ashram in Houston, TX, and was attending regularly the 6am class. I was close to my teacher, Guruatma Khalsa.

I was so surprised when in the daze of the firsts days after the accident, to see her walk in to my room, with her positive allure and, as usual, full of energy and making the air reverberate.

That was not her first and only visit. She came periodically with her wonderful husband, annointing with their presence my dull life full of the drudgery to learn how to walk and be in the world again.

Her suggestions ranged to all aspects of my condition and how to survive the hospital – small things that made a big difference. It was so life changing! Her experience in so many hospitalizations and medical journeys created for her a pool of solutions and suggestions of which I became the beneficiary. Simple things, like what side of the room should be the bed, she brought in a stiff plastic basket to put at the side of my bed so I could handle my paperwork and personal items.

She gifted me with her long, fresh and colorful sweater that I could wear to the therapy sessions; she suggested supplements I could take to improve the healing of my bones; she supported me in stopping my vegetarian diet, temporarily, to again, help me regain my health and survive the hospital.

I would not be today walking with such zest if it was not for her support and for her 6 am classes which I have attended all these years after the accident (with minor setbacks). Her teaching, which many a days I thought it was the perfect set I needed (thinking she had chosen it especially for me only later to find out the several of her students thought the same), has taken me from practicing on a chair to today, where I practice with a Padmani Pillow.

I know it will take me to the floor soon.

Guruatma’s hands-on support, her encouragement and all the practical tips and yogic healing technology she shared with me during my recuperative journey were such a big help, and here I am walking today on mother earth!

Thanking her for her guidance and her friendship is but a small thing to do compared to the gifts she has given me.

Thanks so much !!!!!!!!!!!


Hana B Oct 2014

April 27, 2014
by Guruatma Khalsa
1 Comment

Cochlear Implant Support Group jumps me over 2 hurdles – CI Report #5

YEAH YEAH YEAH for yesterday’s HLA -Houston Cochlear Implant Support Group Meeting!

Paula Moore is an excellent teacher and we learned all about how different kind of CI’s work, etc etc.

She taught me how to use the T-switch on my Nucleus 6 remote – YEAH YEAH YEAH!  Mary Lynn McDonald, my Audiologist at Houston Ear Research Foundation, had already showed me that feature but I can only ‘take in’ so much at one programming session and it went over my head (pun intended).

Since I got my CI in Jan,  I have been holding myself back from attending any functions (unless it’s absolutely necessary) because I was at a loss, with only one hearing aid now, to use with my FM Comtek System – that’s not enough! I need both ears functioning with a hearing aid to have a fighting chance with that arrangement! And until yesterday, I didn’t know how to control my new CI so that it wasn’t hearing everything. So this is a HUGE breakthrough for me. “It takes a village”, as Hillary Clinton would say.

All of us (especially Johnelle) asked really good questions and shared our experiences, and there was a new lady there who Teri sent to the meeting. Because that lady came, I estimated that she’s at least a lightyear ahead of where I was at when I first got my CI.

Paula is having a party soon at The Aquarium downtown to show us some new Nucleus inventions that will allow us to dive in the tanks and swim with the fishes – lol.

I went to yoga class last Sunday and struggled along with hearing the teacher, and hearing myself, too (breath work and mantras/singing). Today I was liberated – woo hoo! I could hear my own breathing (we focus on our breath all through the exercises and relaxation periods) AND the teacher AND my voice ‘tuning in’ and singing the closing song AND the sound of the AC vent was stifled.

Mary Dopico, our angel captioner, didn’t miss a beat – truth is I don’t really know if that’s true because I’m depending on her less and less these days and she very well coulda been typing out recipes for all her favorite desserts for all I know – lol.

Our fearless leader, Lois, has a broken foot, Nancy brought her well-behaved doggie, the new lady brought her sweet daughter and Jose made an announcement about Affordable Care Act Open Enrollment during May and June. Four of us battled it out with the elevator door on the way out and we all went home with a smile on our face. With the outfit she word, Paula demonstrated to me how we can buy decorative covers for our processor to match our outfits – some insurance companies give you 2 of them and some, like Medicaid, do not – but you can purchase them.

Thank you Maurice for initiating these kind of exchanges – knowledge is power! For me, it’s more than that – every next new thing I absorb and apply gives me the opportunity to relax more, as we all know how much energy we have to put out to stay in the hearing world.

Forever gratitude for HLA Houston CI Support Group. Enjoy this day-o.

PS – At the end of the meeting, Paula taught me how to use my neck-loop with my IPhone – I called my husband for a test and we had our first CI talk on the phone – woo hoo!!!

On the way home in the car, I tried using the BT with my hearing aid and the neck loop with the CI.  I was able to hear out of each side but the 2 arrangements were buttin up against eachother and making for all this weird feedback – so that’s not really gonna work. I can choose one or the other.

For phone calls in the car, so far, the BT setting in my car works better with my hearing aid than the neck loop with the CI.

PSPS – Yes, the tip of my tongue and the gums on the right side of my mouth, and top of my outer ear are still numb – the nerves are slowly healing and there is improvement!

I, and my friends, are noticing that I can understand a little better and with more ease in conversations.  With just the CI on the Donald Duck-iness with just the CI on is the same BUT, I can understand speech better. All clocks are still TICKing to beat the band.

PSPS – Here’s an article that Rush Limbaugh wrote about receiving his second CI – some of us really like the article and I also heard one woman comment that she was concerned that he would scare people about Cochlear Implants; I can see her point.

I personally LOVE this article because he ‘tells it like it is’, and he’s getting the word out there and educating people – and because I can SO RELATE:

Our captioner, Mary, wrote to Rush after she read the article and told him that as a person with hearing that has served so many of us with hearing loss for so many years, she noticed that, “Cochlear Implants put a smile on people’s faces that was not there before.”
PSPSPS – I can be around some music, now and 2 of my friends helped me put some tunes on my IPhone.  Any day now, I SEE ME at a Yo-Yo Ma concert – who’s comin with me?

Guruatma Kaur serves as a mentor for those who suffer from chronic or critical illness, as well as their family members. To inquire about or schedule a one-on-one session, click here:

“Like” us on Facebook:



April 25, 2014
by Guruatma Khalsa

long-term, high-dosage prednisone descent is death-defying

Successful Prednisone drug descent is a constant discussion amongst RP’s in our Relapsing Polychondritis Facebook Support Groups – Relapsing Polychondritis (RP) Awareness and RP – Relapsing Polychondritis Awareness and Support

So many people have asked me how I got off the Prednisone and although this chart does not address the later years of the descent (1999-2006), it gives you a good idea how just how tricky, treacherous, seemingly-impossible and totally exhausting the pursuit is.

This chart also shows how the 13 chemotherapy treatments and the resulting bi-lateral, profound hearing loss (deaf) wove through the prednisone ascent/descent syndrome:

prednisone chart feb95-beg’99

It might take about 15 seconds for the Prednisone Chart document to open.

I DID manage to wean totally off the prednisone by May of 2006, but all those later records are in ledger books.

The words Patience and Perseverance get whole new meanings for us – what a roller coaster of a NIGHTMARE!!!!

But, on the same note, for those of us challenged with a chronic illness, a critical illness that calls for prednisone, it’s a life-saving tool.

…double-edged sword!


Guruatma Kaur serves as a mentor for those who suffer from chronic or critical illness, as well as their family members. To inquire about or schedule a one-on-one session, click here:

“Like” us on Facebook:

April 19, 2014
by Guruatma Khalsa

In Honor of Mother Earth…Deeper than the Deepest Ocean!

My 3HO Blog for Earth Day, April 22, 2014:

We acquired true respect and a heart-felt understanding for “rooting to Mother Earth” when, for about a year, our 6:00 am Kundalini Yoga class practiced the yogic technology of posture alignment in Guru Prem Singh Khalsa’s book, Divine Alignment.

Guru Prem says, “In every yoga posture, at least one part of the body is touching the floor. This is the root of the posture, where the weight of the body is balanced in relationship to gravity.”

And we also “use bandhas to construct a posture from the inside. They are protective devices. They build a foundation and then protect and hold it. Mula Bandha (Root Lock) is our primary earth connection. We pull on the navel, engage the pelvic floor, and are root lined to the earth. It stabilizes the pelvis with gravity so the heart has a chance to lift up and open.”

So, here I am now with this new awareness, practicing it myself and teaching my students to “root to Mother Earth.”

The first thing we do before ‘tuning in’ in my Chair Yoga classes, is sit forward in the chair and firmly plant the bottoms of our feet on the floor (if possible), allowing the sensation of the pads under our toes, the balls and outside of our feet and our heels being rooted to Mother Earth. We go within and focus on the feeling of the weight at the backs of our legs and buttocks where we are settled into the chair that is supporting us.  Then, we find and rock on our sit bones and push up off of them, rotating the pelvis to raise the spine and open the chest and heart center.

After studying, practicing  and teaching it for so many years, I’ve acquired an automatic habit of applying this yogic tool of rooting, and along with the effort I make to align my pelvis and spine in relation to the root, I play with a mental image of what Mother Earth looks like today…the cows grazin’ in the grass and the snow on the mountains, worms slithering through the mud, fossils stuck in rocks and the flowers and the weeds pushing their roots down through the mulch into the soil–and the trees diggin’ deeper than that. 

I wonder how many miles down the ocean goes and how hot the sand is on the desert floor.

Now, here comes my story:

Our neighborhood is getting all of our 100-year-old water supply lines replaced by the city. First, we get a notice hung on our front doorknobs informing us that there will be construction in our area for the next 2-3 months.

Soon come the trucks, the Porta Potty and lots of men and women in hardhats and orange vests, shovels and phones in hand. Next thing you know, our yard is marked with way more little red flags than the other yards on the block – “uh-oh; what’s next?”

A few days later, we find out that our property has the perfect specs for digging the hole they need to install their Boring Machine. The plan is to hollow out a tunnel, thread and connect 20-foot long pipes from our house all the way down to the end of the block, underneath a connecting 4-lanes-wide street with a median strip and into the next block.

So, here comes the bulldozer and a dump truck, and a backhoe drives off the bed of a Mack Transporter onto our front lawn, and they start digging…and they dig, and they dig, slicing through and excavating way under the outer roots of our 33 year old, 3-story-high, Lacebark Elm tree which unfortunately lies in their path.

Finally after 2 days, they kinda clean up so I’m thinking they’re done…but they come back and dig some more, eventually revealing golden sand and below that a white layer of crushed shells. Bucket after bucket got scooped out of that hole for days and days, dumped into huge trucks and hauled off.

That trench got big enough for an SUV to be dropped down in there and driven back and forth with plenty of room to spare. WOW! – the city is giving us a swimming pool right in our front yard. Not.

Periodically, I would go out there and hover over the edge to see what in God’s name was goin’ on down there and, boy oh boy, that wet, dense black gumbo went down sooo deep – Mother Earth is HEAVY!

Talk about a reality check! There I was, thinking in my head that Mother Earth is “yeah big and so deep” but now I understand energetically that it’s way way deeper than that, and then some!

My consciousness had a supernova blast and that shallow, happy little picture I was referring to, to identify Mother Earth, shifted big-time and opened my mind’s eye by allowing me to feel the truth.

And now I find myself wondering who the person is right across the planet from me, if a line would be drawn from where I’m sitting in Easy Pose and applying Mula Bandha, straight through the middle of all that fathomless mass with its molten core and out the other side of the planet, and feeling our connection by way of my open heart.

And I see a woman over there on the other side of the world, breathing through a labor contraction, bringing forth yet another child for Mother Earth to naturally provide for.

Consciously rooting to Mother Earth is a beautiful, humbling and unifying yogic tool.

“Let us accept Mother Earth as our real mother. She needs our help, respect, and understanding. God created everything in balance. There is no difference between a grain of sand and a mountain. One day there shall be unbearable consequences for little mistakes that abuse Mother Earth.

A Mother freely teaches values and virtues to every child for their prosperity, peace of mind, and consciousness. Let us honor our Mother for our own integrity and happiness. May we learn to serve and protect our Mother Earth with an open heart.” –Yogi Bhajan   From Prosperity Paths Issue: May, 2003


Guruatma Kaur serves as a mentor for those who suffer from chronic or critical illness, as well as their family members. To inquire about or schedule a one-on-one session, click here:

“Like” us on Facebook:


April 18, 2014
by Guruatma Khalsa

2 proven Cleansing Diets for Drug Detoxification.

Originally Posted 3HO website I’m excited for the opportunity to share these 2 recipes and I’m thinking they have never been published, as Yogi Bhajan gave them out back in the ‘olden days of 3HO‘ to individuals challenged by a particular circumstance and when they were in need of a cleansing diet for drug detoxification. The first diet brought me out of a serious physical crisis that evolved from taking so many different prescription drugs, all interacting and fighting up against eachother, while I was in the hospital with complications of Relapsing Polychondritis. The other recipe was given to someone in recovery who was cleansing from overuse of recreational drugs. More suggested recipes from Guruatma [Note: Many of these yogic recipes come from ancient yogic tradition and some contain potent herbs, botanicals and naturally occurring ingredients which have traditionally been used to support the structure and function of the human body. Nothing in this text should be construed as medical advice. Always check with your personal physician or licensed health care practitioner before making any significant modification in your diet, and before using any of these recipes, to insure that the recipes and ingredients are appropriate for your personal health condition and consistent with any medication you may be taking.]   Guruatma serves as a mentor for those who suffer from chronic or critical illness, as well as their family members. To inquire about or schedule a one-on-one session, click here:

April 10, 2014
by Guruatma Khalsa

kindred spirits – our hearing aids brought us closer together

I asked Ariana Vincent to create a Guest Blog for our site for several reasons – she has a hearing loss and wears hearing aids, so she’s her own expert in that arena and she’s also an expert in the massage realm.

I met Ariana in 2011 at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center 7th Annual Oncology Training Conference for Acupuncturists, Massage Therapists and Yoga Teachers/Mind-Body Practitioners. MD Anderson provided a CART captioner for me at that conference so I heard every single word – how cool is that! 

I call Ariana when I need a reference for a good massage practitioner. By my own experience of it, having our bodies touched and cared for by a professional who knows what they are doing, understands about chronic and critical illness and how not to hurt people (educated in Contraindications), is essential to the healing process. I believe that relaxing and theraputic massage has profound benefits on so many levels – mental, physical, energetic and spiritual.

…herein, I introduce this precious lady to you:

The Beauty of Connection

The spirals of life are so precious and sacred.
Imagine going from a serene and meditative life in Austin to the core of the Medical Center in the bustling metropolis of Houston, Texas, thinking that your primary purpose was to attend an oncology conference after the passing of a dear friend.
Life is like that, full of illusion.
The conference was enlightening and elevating; it was all I hoped it would be, and more. It gave me tools to better assist kindred spirits in their passing from the earthly plane, as well as insights regarding supporting those dear ones who survive.
In the midst of this spiritual and cognitive focus on healing, I met the most amazing woman. We instantly recognized one another as travelers on parallel paths. One thing that drew us together was, believe it or not, our hearing aids. We are both kind of youngish, and one would not expect either of us to need these devices, but, we do, and they are Godsends.
Before I got my hearing aids, I noticed that I was feeling disoriented and disconnected because I could not clearly hear what was going on around me. I found my usually pretty extraverted self becoming more introverted and isolated. It was stressful to go to restaurants and try to hear the conversation among friends at the dinner table. In conference environments like this one, I was grateful for overheads, handouts, microphones, front row seats, and speakers who projected their voices. We in the community of people with diminished hearing find ways to compensate for our loss, or we don’t. When I first started losing my hearing, it was a temptation to withdraw and watch videos with subtitles and avoid social outings in noisy places.
I guess the worst part of losing part of my range of hearing was annoying my friends by constantly saying, “What? What? What?” or by just tuning out because I couldn’t understand them well enough to hold a conversation. Unfortunately, one of those sweet, soft-spoken people in my life is my husband; however, he is very spiritual and very conscientious and he has lovingly learned, over time, to look at me when he talks to me so I can see his mouth moving, to speak up and amplify his voice (he’s a long-time bodyworker and is used to speaking in what we call a “spa voice,” i.e., very soothing and quiet, which is comforting, but hard to hear). I love the sound of his voice and we have worked together to make this facet of our relationship work well for both of us. He’s conscious of the importance of getting my attention before he starts telling me his long, wonderful stories of the days he lived and worked at the Esalen Institute in California, and at other times too. It is kind of him to be sure that we are in the same room when he starts talking instead of trying to communicate upstairs/downstairs with someone who is hard of hearing. Being in a car and talking can be a challenge for someone who has lost some hearing; the road noise and the car radio can quickly drown a conversation. So, my husband and I usually drive without the radio on when we are together, unless we are on a long road trip and then we put in some good tunes and enjoy the music together.
Back to the conference…. One of the most profound and inspiring people I met at that oncology conference in Houston many years ago was my dear friend Guruatma. We met, connected rights away, and I took some pictures of her with her friends at the conference. She and I talked about her friend who was there to take notes for her so she could absorb the details of the conference. She told me how she lost her hearing and how she made the best of that situation. Her story is remarkable. I was in total awe of this magnificent woman. I knew that SHE was the reason I was at the conference. God had guided me into her path for a reason. One of the things I remember most is that she told me about a FM System with a microphone that I could get and put in the center of the table at a restaurant or on the podium at a workshop that would help amplify the sounds. It connected to the blue tooth in my hearing aid. Restaurants are hard for people who suffered a hearing loss because hearing aids amplify ALL of the sounds, including those of the clanging dishes and the conversations around the room. I found Guruatma’s cheerful and spiritual approach to life, and to hearing (and not hearing) inspiring.
When I first began losing my hearing, I explored many different avenues attempting to get help, and was frustrated with the lack of support I found in Texas and nationally. I was deeply disappointed to discover that Medicare does not cover hearing aids and many insurance companies do not cover hearing aids. It seems all wrong to me that Medicare does not support the aging population in their desire to hear as well as possible into their golden years. Just when we need support the most, it seemed to be unavailable.
Then a very close friend of mine, Rasa, told me about DARS. She had received benefits from DARS for retraining in the workforce and found their services very beneficial and she said the people were very kind, understanding and supportive. DARS is an an acronym the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services in Texas. I poked around through the bureaucracy for a couple of weeks and discovered a delightful woman named Kursten, who is the DARS representative for people who need hearing aids. She is wonderful. Her office was warm and inviting and she made eye contact when she talked to me and, most of all, she understood. I remember feeling that it was such a blessing to be treated with respect and dignity. She said that the role of DARS is to help people stay in the workplace and that since I am an educator and I need to be able to hear my students and converse with them, then I would qualify for the DARS hearing aid program. I was thrilled.
The next angel of light along my path to better hearing was Sangeeta, my audiologist. I really lucked out with her! She was working on her Ph.D. in audiology at the University of Texas and teaching there too. She and I clicked. The doctor she works with is very nice too and he patiently explained how hearing loss occurs and he provided information about tinnitus. Sangeeta ran a battery of tests and talked to me about various choices in hearing devices (and there are a mind boggling array of choices) and fitted me with some Oticon hearing aids. She showed me how to use them, adjusted them for me, and gave me instructors about their upkeep. I was on top of the world. I could actually hear well again. Sangeeta and I still stay in touch. She has her doctorate now and she is still teaching at UT. What a great stroke of luck to meet someone who was so in tune with the latest and greatest in the hearing aid world. I couldn’t have felt more fortunate!
My hearing loss is not as profound as my dear friend Guruatma’s. I only have a partial loss of hearing; I can actually hear without my hearing aids, but many times the voices are muffled or unclear. It is also hard for me to judge the volume of my own voice when I can’t hear myself talking, so the hearing aids help in that respect too.
When Guruatma told me about her cochlear implant, I jumped for joy! I did a major happy dance in my living room. If I could have turned triple summersaults, I would have! In my own small way, I could relate to her radiant delight in being able to hear. What a true blessing that is – to be able to hear the gurgling brook, the sounds of the birds, the murmur of the breeze, the lovely music, and the sounds of my loved ones speaking – all blessings to be sure!
Imagine a world without sound, or with muffled sounds, and then, through the grace of God and the love of the divine, to be able recover the great pleasure of being able to hear.
I read one day that being able to hear increases cognitive function and reduces stress, so if you can benefit from hearing aids, wear them. I really wanted to jump on that band wagon. I thought about the article that I read and it does make sense that if the brain is distracted by trying to constantly decipher what is being said and what is going on in the world, that it would be stress provoking. That motivates me to wear my hearing aids as much as possible and also to protect my hearing when I go to the gym and the instructors turn the music up full volume. You will recognize me at the gym, I’m the one with the ear plugs in as far away from the speakers as possible! Mostly, though, I do quiet work, sitting at my home on Grace Lane, where I interface with my online students via e-mail, write books, assemble my photographs, and walk in the woods behind my house. I love to travel and that experience is much more pleasant now that I have my hearing aids. I can enjoy the sounds of nature and the sounds of new friends along the path as I travel. It is a beautiful life, and I am truly blessed.
Another thing that I love very much is the sound of the gong. That is a musical instrument that I can hear very well without my hearing aids. Guruatma is a vital part of the kundalini yoga community that utilizes gong yoga for meditative practices and we share the passion for and bliss of the gong. For me, the vibratory patterns of the gong offer deep level healing and restoration. The gongs offer an opportunity to go deep within to that still, small place at the very core of our being to a place of bliss and peace. I love the variety of rhythms, tones, patterns, and power created through the dynamic energy of a gong being stroked by a mallet. It was kind of humorous for me going to a gong yoga workshop. I had to turn my hearing aids up to hear the teacher talk and then turn my hearing aids down when we played the gongs. Thank God my hearing aids are adjustable! That’s a blessing too. There is a dial on the right side to turn the hearing aids up and a dial on the left side to turn the volume down. Clever, these devices. More than clever, really, they are created by geniuses. Hearing aids that are this technology advanced have not really been available to previous generations. I am fortunate to be alive during this period of great technological advancement and grateful to be connected directly and indirectly to people who make it possible for someone like me who experiences diminished hearing to be able to hear well again. It is nothing short of miraculous.
Being able to hear without straining has been a huge blessing in my life. My husband and my friends and I enjoy our conversations, I stay connected to the universe, and I feel more of a part of all that is around me in the hearing world. It is like living inside of a prayer and I am very grateful and I am grateful for my dear friend Guruatma who inspires me every day with her strength, her preservance, her resilience, and her dedication to the spiritual path. She is my role model and my spiritual sister and I thank God every day for her presence in my life. The beauty of our connection shines brightly in my heart.
Ariana Vincent, 

Ariana Vincent, LMT, MTI, NCTMB is the CEO and Founder of Ariana Institute. She is a Nationally Certified Massage Therapist and Continuing Education Provider (National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork) in Austin, Texas. She is an approved continuing education provider throughout the United States. Ariana has been a Massage Therapy Instructor and a Continuing Education Provider for 13 years. She has been a Licensed Massage Therapist for 31 years. As a Certified Massage Therapy Instructor and Continuing Education Provider, Ariana offers a wide variety of seminars and workshops.

Guruatma serves as a mentor for those who suffer from chronic or critical illness, as well as their family members. To inquire about or schedule a one-on-one session, click here:

April 7, 2014
by Guruatma Khalsa

“Hear Ye, Hear Ye Not – guruatma’s listening to music!” – Cochlear Implant Report #4 on 4-7-14

Cochlear Report #4

Thank you for your concern and good wishes.

Before I answer answer all your questions about my Cochlear Implant experience, I wanted to share with you some real good news –  I was awarded a scholarship!!! to attend the National Hearing Loss Association Convention  being held this year in Austin June 26th – 29th.  I’ll get to immerse myself for 3 days of fun, learning and being with the hearing loss community and, I will be teaching a Chair Yoga Class 3 days of the convention!!  How exciting is that! …and what a huge opportunity to grow and share.  Woo-hoo!

I scooped up all your inquiries and am answering below:

1)  I haven’t heard from you since the operation; how’s it going?

 see Report #1

see Report #2

see Report #3

you are now reading Report #4

2) Can you hear better these days?

I can hear a whole lot more sounds but every-day hearing situations are more difficult than when I had my 2 hearing aids. Although it took considerable effort to get along, I could understand better what was being said.

Now I am hearing higher notes/sound in the environment like:

-for the first time since February of 1997, I am playing music in my kitchen RIGHT NOW – softly.  And it’s a Snatam Kaur CD – a singer whose voice has terrorized me all these years because she sings high and is accompanied by instruments.  This is awesome and happy news!

-my yoga exercise timer’s beep-beeps (I used to rely on the vibrate option)

kink-a-chinkles of the stainless steel bands I wear on my arm

tinkle tinkles of water

chimes with high notes (such pretty sounds!)

chirp-chirpies of birds with higher songs

-i can pick up on people with higher voices

-Clock ticks are still highly pronounced noise, one loud tick at a time. My audiologist turned that option down 3 notches, so it’s better than it was.

Unless it’s really really important, group meals and restaurants are something I am staying away from for now because I don’t have a way, an arrangement of my equipment that allows me to negotiate the circumstance.  Prior to CI implantation, I used the T-switch on both my hearing aids to drown out the environment and tunnel-in with one person speaking to me. I can take my CI off in these type of situations but with only one hearing-aided ear on T-switch, it’s not enough.

With a lot of help from the ladies who were willing to use my transmitter, I did get-by and participate in our wonderful Khalsa Women’s Weekend March 28-30.

Some of my friends say they can tell I’m hearing better and I agree that when the environment and my equipment is just right, that can be the case.

Every evening, I take my hearing aid off for an hour and go it alone with just the CI.  That’s the hardest work of the day and my husband is being patient.  I try to understand the TV without reading the captions; it’s like taking a final exam – that’s how hard I have to concentrate. I can ‘keep up’ that exercise for about 10 minutes at a time, take a break and come right back to it.

During the hour that only my CI is on, all voices still sound like Donald Duck but since the last programming, he’s had a really bad cold. They say that this hallmark will go away and at some point and hearing with the Ci will sound natural.

I have no problems hearing while driving in the car and I think I’m picking  up on sirens way sooner.

3) How is your implant?

Good!  It’s been 3 months since the CI surgery and by now, scar tissue has formed around it.  I can palpate the area without finding tenderness.  The implant feels like one of those little cellphones is hiding right there under my skin.

4) Will it continue to take time for your body to adjust to the implant?

It’s my brain that needs to adjust to the implant and that can take years or happen in months – everybody is different.

5)  Are you wearing your turban yet?

I braid my hair down the back and wear a thin scarf for most of the day. I wear my hair loose in the nites.

My audiologist gave me stronger magnets to experiment with turban tying but I can’t even imagine doing that right now – right behind my ear where the turban would be wrapped tightly to hold it on my head, that area is still very tender.

I’m trying to get used to seeing myself without a turban which I wrapped daily for 1/2 my life.

6) Are you having any problems?

-Still battling with the condition of candida from the antibiotics I took after surgery – this is normal for me. I’m taking mega-doses of acidophilus and pretty much holding to the low, low-carb, candida diet.

-The tip of my tongue and the gums on the right side of my mouth are still numb – eating is a very strange experience.  My ENT doctor and CI surgeon just told me that symptom of post-surgical facial nerve involvement can go on for up to a year.  I heard about a woman whose didn’t come back, and it’s been 4 yrs. Most people I talk to only lost their taste for a couple days – so, I’m somewhere in-between there. Thank you for holding the projection along with me that this side-effect of the surgery will resolve itself, sooner than later. I’ve had improvement since the surgery and I fully expect to return t0 normal.

-The top half of my outer ear is still numb and I can’t yet feel the processor hanging on there but I wear it all day and it’s doing it’s job.

7) How are the results?

The results are good so far. I keep reminding myself IT’S  PROCESS! And, I keep focusing on the gratitudes, like that I got this chance in the first place.

My audiologist said she thinks I’m doing great.  She reminds me that the CI was activated just 2 months ago and my stats on all the hearing tests taken in the sound booth are excellent.

As long as I don’t get too tired and don’t get lost in unreasonable expectations or judgments of how I think the healing and uptake process should be going, I do fine and am OK with all of this.

Of course I’m keeping our house going and also meeting with my clients, teaching my classes, writing and working a lot with building the foundation of my website. We’re working to finalize the Six Stages of Healing from the Inside Out Program – wrapping that up this week.

My rechargeable batteries for the CI arrived March 28th and I haven’t even had a chance to open the box – it’s another thing to have to figure out and I guess I’m feeling like I’m full enough with what’s on my plate

I also have to, one of these days, experiment with the T-switch option on the CI – Mary Lynn did show me that feature but it’s over my head right now.

8) How are you keeping up these days?

The thing that helps me the most, the best days I have are if I’m able to sleep until I naturally wake up.  If I have to get up early, I noticed I have way less capacity to understand the spoken word.

All of us with hearing loss know it takes extreme patience to participate in the hearing world – I am finding that I need way more for this phase of my journey.  Every conversation is a brave new world for me right now.

There is so much information coming in via the CI – the impact stimulates and excites me and also exhausts me, but that is my job right now to go through the induction phase, wake up the 17-years-sleeping nerves and let the brain suck it up, this new way of hearing.

My yoga and meditation practice is really helping me during this stage!

Next programming session is May 12th.

I’m trying to rearrange my schedule to go to my Cochlear Implant Support Group, Hearing Loss Houston Association meeting this Saturday – I’m really looking forward to that and think its top priority right now.

PS – One thing I’m excited about is that 2 of the ladies in my Relapsing Polychondritis Support Group are getting Cochlear Implants soon. I created a sub-club for us called:


CocHlear Implant Recipients Challenged with Relapsing Polychondritis 

Looking forward to hearing the birds chirp once again!

Thank you. one and all for your love and support – it means the world to me.

PSPS – That’s my friend Jeannette/Pavan Dev behind the mask in the picture.  We just launched the new Six Stages of Healing from the Inside Out program on my website – it’s a free download and I invite you to take a peek.

Guruatma serves as a mentor for those who suffer from chronic or critical illness, as well as their family members. To inquire about or schedule a one-on-one session, click here:

April 2, 2014
by Guruatma Khalsa

Woman diagnosed with ‘Arthritis of the Spine’ discovers struggle itself is a very unifying factor.

4-2-14 Guest Blog by Kartar K:

Receiving life’s lessons can sometimes be joyous, and sometimes difficult.

Being recently diagnosed with ‘Arthritis of the Spine’ is a difficult experience, but here’s the thing-

even though I would really prefer to NOT have this condition, somehow I feel calm and confident (at least in this moment) that I am up to the challenge. 

I put that down to an almost daily Kundalini Yoga practice, and meditation.

To wonderful, supportive friends. To my wonderful supportive 93-year old father.

And to my own inner resources and resilience, built up over 60 years of a challenging life.

My first lesson came quickly: Be careful who I share my diagnosis with.

One friend that I told (who is a very loving person – she didn’t intend anything bad)-

responded by telling me stories about her aunt who had arthritis and who was in terrible pain her whole life, her uncle who wound up in a wheel chair.

lol- definitely I do not need to hear that. So I called back everyone that I had told my diagnosis and said: ‘Please do not share my diagnosis with anyone. I will decide what I want to tell people.”

I think I’m going to tell people I have inflammation. Period. End of conversation.

When I say “arthritis of the spine” it sounds so major, and scary (including to me) and I hear people gasp…and that certainly doesn’t help me cope.

I need to concentrate on and enhance my relationships with positive people and seek out new friends who are. And by ‘positive’ I don’t mean the meaningless drivel of “everything that happens, happens for the best”. I mean people who say, ‘well, this is a new challenge’, or ‘here is a website about people who have healed from arthritis’, or ‘here is a diet which may be helpful’, or, ‘I support you in healing yourself completely’.

Second lesson: serious illness is very focusing.  

Being focused on one thing can be liberating, even if that one thing is not something you would have chosen. I have a long list (like most of us) of important things that I can’t seem to get to – get a dental exam, fix the damage to my car, fix the TV, what to do about Windows XP?…etc etc. Since this diagnosis, I am totally focused on my health. Everything else falls way down on the list. 

Finally, I am learning what we all must learn – I cannot always do what I want to do.

My world has become smaller overnight. I can’t go to New York because too much walking is involved. I can’t go to the class I was auditing at university because it is too far to walk from the parking place to the building. And I am a person who deliberately parks far away so I can get a walk in!

I can go to the park and sit in the sun and do sudoko with my friends, but I cannot walk, as we always do. I am exhausted; any small amount of moving about exhausts me. 

I hope this is a temporary condition. I mean to do all in my power to make it a temporary condition. But I also know that not everything is in my control. Things happen. A friend was recently in a terrible auto accident, he is a long recovery, and I don’t know if he will ever be as he was before. So my lesson is – I am more in the present. I enjoy whatever movement I can make. Especially I enjoy the Spring which has finally arrived. (I am determined that my gardening will continue). And I am grateful for people like Guruatma and I am grateful for all of us, who are just doing the best we can.. day by day…

 Much love,

Kartar K

Thank you for sharing your experience and 3 lessons, Kartar.  I join you in projecting for this challenge to be a temporary condition and I SEE YOU gardening and enjoying the Spring.  “I feel better. I am better. And that is my base”

Perhaps you can acquire one of those little motorized chairs to help you around, so that you are able to go to your class, etc.  I wonder if Medicaid and Medicare provide this type of assistive vehicle.

Your wisdom on how serious illness is very focusing runs parallel of one of my fav quotes:

“Just understand, everybody freaks out when they are rich and happy.  Nobody freaks out when they are struggling, because struggling itself is a very unifying factor.”    Yogi Bhajan

 You also hit upon one of the Bullets in our Six Stages of Healing from the Inside Out Program:

All the people in my life evaluate and understand the circumstances I am challenged by from their own point of view.

It can become very challenging for the people around you to adjust and adapt to what is happening to you and what is happening to them because of your condition. The challenge is how to handle the doubts, questions and reactions of your family, friends, and sometimes even your doctors. There is a way to separate your experience from their experience, to respect what is inside you, while realizing that there is a limit to what those you come in contact with can understand.


Guruatma serves as a mentor for those who suffer from chronic or critical illness, as well as their family members. To inquire about or schedule a one-on-one session, click here:

April 2, 2014
by Guruatma Khalsa

…daughter & sometimes caregiver seeks to enhance her mother’s Quality of Life



Greatly Improved Quality of Life!

My consultations with Guruatma K Khalsa have tremendously enhanced my mother’s quality of life. As a sometimes caregiver to my 86 year old mother, the consults I have had with Guruatma on various occasions have helped my mother with chronic pain, with getting the most out of doctor’s appointments, and with the crisis of acute traumas!

My mother suffers from chronic pain as a result of her osteoporosis. When I spoke to Guruatma about it, she suggested we ask her doctor for physical therapy. She told us that although a doctor might not suggest physical therapy unprompted, if a patient or her family asks for it to help with the chronic symptom, a doctor will often provide a prescription for physical therapy, and Medicare will cover it. This is indeed what happened in my mother’s case. During the physical therapy, she was provided with and trained to do a series of exercises that she continues to do. When she does the exercises daily, the pain either does not occur that day or is greatly reduced!

Several years back, my mother turned toward someone and set off a series of spasms in her back that continued off and on for several months. It was greatly affecting her quality of life. Guruatma suggested that she was possibly re-injuring the area as she moved about, and that she might benefit from using a rolling walker to help her stand and walk in a more balanced, stable and upright way. Within a week of buying the walker, my mother’s spasms were gone.!

A year ago, my mother fell and broke her shoulder, requiring surgery, and then just after the sling came off, she fell again and fractured her pelvis, requiring a move to a nursing and rehabilitation facility with round the clock care. My mother did the rehab and was able to move home after a few months. On Guruatma’s suggestion, my mother asked her doctor for a prescription for aqua therapy. My mother healed quickly and well, and is now stronger than before she fell!

Guruatma has also consulted with us on my mother’s hearing loss and provided helpful insights and suggestions.

Guruatma’s experience with chronic illness and the medical system have given her insights that have been a blessing for our family. When I think about the help with both chronic pain and crisis injuries that we have received from Guruatma, I am aware of the incredible difference our consultations have made in my mother’s health and happiness! 

Carol Denson is a poet, essayist, and teacher living in Austin, Texas.  You can see some of her poems in the current issue of the Adirondack Review at or you can order her chapbook of poems at

Guruatma serves as a mentor for those who suffer from chronic or critical illness, as well as their family members. To inquire about or schedule a one-on-one session, click here:

March 28, 2014
by Guruatma Khalsa

40 days – you rock! Self-healing – committing to a discipline of working on your Self for 40 days.

imagesI am just now leaving out for our 21st Texas Women’s Yoga Weekend in Galveston and I wanted to quick post and share this with you.

I just found out that I’m in a YouTube created by one of the TX women in our Kundalini yoga circle of sisters – Kathe Forrest/Siri Kirin wrote a book called Keep the Change – Simple Practices for Lasting Transformation – Using Yoga, Meditation & Journaling.

Yeah for you, Siri Kirin – good luck with your podcast coming right up.  YOU rock!

Thank you for the honor of being in your video.


Guruatma serves as a mentor for those who suffer from chronic or critical illness, as well as their family members. To inquire about or schedule a one-on-one session, click here: