Guruatma K Khalsa

healing from the inside out

March 25, 2014
by Guruatma Khalsa
1 Comment

Cochlear Implant Report #3 – Minnie Mouse hands it over to Donald Duck

In answer to all your caring inquiries:

Yesterday, March 24th, I met with Mary Lynn McDonald of the Houston Ear Research Foundation for my 4th Cochlear Implant programming session.

She’s a WIZARD, that patient kind of maestro who can orchestrate the multiple layers and facets of a programing session from the technical side of the puzzle (with all it’s graphs, bars, meters and drop-down windows – seemingly-endless options) to the handling of the wee human-being sitting there trying to understand what in goodness name is happening to them now as her computer interacts with the marvelous chip that’s embedded in their now-bionic head!

First thing we did was experiment with #5 and #6 magnets in my coil – stronger magnets to hold the coil onto the outside of my head through 2 thin layers of cotton, so I can keep my head covered with a thin scarf (in lieu of my turban).  I left with a #4 and a #6 for now – thank you try much!

We played around with the beep-beep (baby soft) – Beep Beep (little louder) –BEEP! BEEP‘s! (too LOUD!) for a while and then she made some fine-tuning adjustments according to how many times and how high I jumped off the chair during the test.

Can you imagine being aware of each tick of a clock, and then all the clocks tocking in your brain as you move about your house? Well, I’ve been hanging out with those noises and my computer keys hitting upside my head to beat the band – TMI.  HELP-too much information!!

So, Mary Lynn dropped the bar down 3 notches across the top of the whole threshold in an effort to quiet things down – praise be to the stifler of impending doom. (Are you laughing with me? – it’s funny but after a while, it’s maddening if you’re the one it’s happening to.)

Don’t get me wrong, I can control my Volume and Sensitivity (how wide apart the miss are) levels but we are training my brain and waking up nerves that have been sleeping for 17 years – so, I have homework from Mary Lynn to aim for certain levels in those meters.

And now, today, my brain is trying to get used to all the changes, the most important part of the process – UPTAKE.

CI Surgery was Jan 9th, 2 months ago, and the tip of my tongue is still numb and the gums on the side of my mouth where the surgery happened (in the area of the facial nerve), are still very numb.  Brushing my teeth is a trip! but this is all par for the course, nothing out of the norm.

If I move the foods I eat to the other side of my mouth, I have some taste over there (yeah, it’s coming back!) but the textures of foods are altered and unpleasant – lettuce feels like a bar of soap.

Am I the only one who took their taste buds for granted?

Now,  I can feel the bottom half of my ear but the top half is still so numb that I can’t feel the processor hanging on it.

The long wound behind my ear is mostly healed and only gets tender when my scarf presses on it for a while.  And now I can palpate the area where the CI is underneath the skin on the side of my head; it feels like there’s a cell phone buried underneath there, one of those older, thin kind of pop-open phones (yes, it’s thick! because there’s a whole computer in there!  And yes, I am one of the people who CAN put that side of my head down on a pillow and sleep.

As soon as I get home, my scarf comes off; I wear my hair in a braid in the day and loose at nite (aaah!). This is the opposite for what I’m used to – for decades, I’ve worn my hair up in the day with my turban wrapped and pressurizing my head (a feeling I love and count on for keeping focused in the day), and down and braided at nite for r&r.

I didn’t get to see my dear surgeon, Dr. McReynolds, this time but Mary Lynn faxed the list of my physical report to him.

She also taught me how to use my T-Switch which allows the CI to interact with MP3’s, conduction loops and the phone.  I’ll have to practice that one of these days so I’m ready for the upcoming National Hearing Loss Assn Convention in Austin this summer.

I just found out I received a full scholarship to the convention – woo hoo!  Thank you everybody in my Houston HLA support group family for nominating and supporting me to receive that gift – what an opportunity!

I also have the honor of teaching a Chair Yoga Class each day of that 3-day event, and I get to go to all the workshops and learn all about my new Cochlear world – how exciting!

I have the latest model of Nuclear 6 CI so I have lots and lots of freedom to choose all kinds of hearing environment mixes – like listen to a speaker at a meeting AND hearing what people in the audience are saying at the same time (imagine that!).

Mary Lynn said that some day the voices I’m hearing will sound normal, instead of like Donald Duck – that will be a welcome change!

With the CI alone (I practice about an hour a day), I struggle hard, doing my ‘listening therapy’- this is part of the process.

With the CI and my hearing aid, I am still at the point where I miss my old arrangement of having 2 hearing aids. But, things are coming along well and I’m celebrating that I went through that major surgery without a crisis.

I am still highly dependent on my long-time friend, my Comtek PA system and right now I’m getting it all packed up (spare parts and batteries galore) for my bi-annual women’s yoga weekend coming up this Friday in Galveston.

I’m having to practice relaxing my expectations of my body to be stronger by now. The healing process still has me sleeping 8-10 hour nights when my schedule allows and I gained weight since the surgery, so I’m anxious to get back into my exercise program – no worries, I’m not forcing it.  Yes, I missed a lot of work days but, that’s turning around.

My next programming session is on my 62nd birthday which is 7 weeks from now.

Ya know, people everywhere are really excited and truly interested in this CI thing!  My produce guy at Whole Foods has me report to him each time he catches me in the store, and people from all over are asking me a million questions about it.

Whoever/Whomever invented and developed this CI technology, my turban is off to them (no pun intended; it really is!) – thanks for the ride of my life and for throwing me into this brave new world full of potential for my hearing ease and enjoyment.

…you watch, in no time, I’ll be reporting to you that I’m understanding what I’m hearing, and it’s pleasant and coming in nice and easy. I am projecting strongly that this be the case on all counts.

Thanks again to the people of the USA who pay their taxes and gave me the opportunity to open this door and to Mark and Melba who, long ago gave me my first and still fav book on CI called, REBUILT – How Becoming Part Computer Made Me More Human by Michael Chorost.

PS – forever thanks to my husband who continues to be patient with the process.  We end up laughing so hard for the bloopers that pop up in the space of our trying to communicate, so all is well in our crazy-but-cozy Khalsa household.

PS, PS – so far, my fav CI ‘Candid Camera’ moment is the day I got into a real crowded elevator and had to stand in the middle, facing the doors.  Something felt strange in there and I turned around, and no less than 5 people on the right side of the elevator had their necks stuck out, straining to figure out what the heck I was wearing on the right side of my head.  I caught them all gawking and no time to explain cuz the doors opened and the moment was gone – I’m still LOLing about that – what a precious, human moment!!!

Stay tuned…

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 24, 2014
by Guruatma Khalsa

…on having someone with you before and after surgery.

Thank you for writing this Guest Blog, Joyce – and remember that you turned the favor around and helped me with my foot surgery last Fall!  You really helped me relax and just be the patient.

My thoughts on having a friend with you for appointments and hospital procedures and my expression of gratitude to my friend:

 A year ago, I had my left knee replaced due to arthritic joint disintegration.  Many times since , I have thought about how much it meant to me to have a friend not only offer to  drive me to the hospital for the surgery, but also to offer to stay at the hospital and wait for me to return safely to my room and get settled in.  
As if her offer to drive me wasn’t enough, I could not believe she would take time from her busy schedule to wait several hours to make sure I was OK.  I felt it was a terrible imposition on her, but she insisted and said she could easily find something to keep her occupied.
 When she picked me up about 6:00 am (!). I could feel my nerves calming as I knew  my friend was sharing this experience with me and I did not have to go through it alone.  My attention was diverted from myself and the impending surgery,and the fears that go with that, to how thoughtful she was to “take care” of me.  (I still felt guilty because I am a very controlling person and find it difficult to surrender my care to another – but that’s another story).  We got to the hospital, she found a place to park in the stress inducing maze of parking garages and in we went.  By now, I normally would have been filled with anxiety, but having my friend there beside me made it seem like “no big deal”;  that I was not doing this alone.
  We were directed where to go and shortly I was in pre-op and she was allowed to be with me.  We joked and passed the time while I was hooked up.  My friend has spent many hours as a patient in a hospital setting so she was familiar with most of what was going on and her presence and support made me feel so much more relaxed – which, I am certain,  helped me to a quick recovery.  As I was taken to the operating room , my friend went to my room, continually inquired as to my progress, and waited.  Several hours later, I was back in my room and there she was, big smile on her face,  welcoming me to begin my recovery.
 My confidence was up, my self healing could begin and I knew she would be there for me.  I can’t say enough about having someone take you and wait while you are receive medical care.
 By the way, my friend’s name is Guruatma Khalsa and she is “the real deal”, a truly caring person.
Thank you for all you do.
Joyce A.

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 19, 2014
by Guruatma Khalsa

You ask, “What does your name mean, Guruatma?” …on living your spiritual name

Tomorrow, is the 35th anniversary of living my spiritual name, Guruatma. Here’s the letter I received on March 20, 1979, from my teacher, Yogi Bhajan:

My dear one in Divine,

Sat Nam. I am in receipt of your letter of February 11, 1979.

Guru Atma Kaur. Guru is the dispeller of darkness — to take one from the darkness to the light. Atma is the supreme soul…a consciousness of purity, of Light. Kaur is the princess, graceful and sweet. You are a princess of the highest consciousness to help transform the darkness to
 the light. May you live to the destiny of your 
name to be true to your soul.

Keep up…keep courage. In the Name of the Cosmos which prevails through everyBODY and the Holy Nam which holds the world.

Humbly yours,

Yogi Bhajan

I have “worlds upon unseen worlds” to share about the experience of living my name, but it’s late and I just wanted to get this out there in celebration of my journey and all it feels like and means to be in relation with the Guruatma of me.

Many of you ask about my name, and about what it means to have a spiritual name.  Here’s my fav reading on that topic from my teacher’s book called The Mind – It’s Projection and Multiple Facets by Yogi Bhajan PhD and Gurucharan S Khalsa PhD.

The mind is like a camel. Have you ever gone on a camel ride? If you are not an expert you will tear your skin and pull your muscles and legs along with every other part. To ride the camel successfully you have a special way to sit on it, and a special way of synchronizing with its motion. And if you are very lucky you have a nail through its nose so you can direct it. Then it can carry you over endless deserts. If on one day that nail is gone; you will remember that day well! The camel, by nature, knows all kinds of tricks to throw you. It loves to do it. Then, after you fall hard from about ten feet, the camel has a very effective policy. It sits on the ex-rider and relentlessly grinds it and finally kills it. Now, this is exactly what the mind does to you. You need to punch the hole and conquer the mind, ride it in synchrony to your path.

The mind is supposed to be your power, your instrument, and your projection. It can tell you where you are and what is going on. But that very mind- becomes your enemy and it kills you. It brings your downfall. It was given to you to connect you to God, and to help you express and experience you. How can you put that nail in? How can you create the hole in the mind and see the beacon of the soul’s light?

One way comes from the basic theory that everybody has a destiny. Destiny is your highest actions and consciousness in this life. It holds your sense of mission and purpose. One procedure to tap that inner compass of destiny is to get a spiritual name, a name according to your destiny. These days this is not a common technique. We don’t realize the power of the word and the gift of destiny. We pick up any nickname. We do not calculate its impact and effect on that soul. Actually, when a child is given a name, the first thing he has to be told is what his destiny is. Why does he have this name? Names given according to feelings will take you to those feelings. Names given by destiny will take you to the destiny. It is just a meditation that everyone repeats for you. When you think of that person and repeat a name that calls on the destiny in them, you pray for that person and that person is blessed each time.

The destiny-name is the first step you can take to go to the destiny. Without a name there is nothing. Imagine that you are dropped in the middle of America and told, “Go and find the city of your destiny.” Where do you start? Which city are you searching for? You can visit a thousand cities and still not know whether your destiny city is San Francisco, or Los Angeles. A destiny name gives you a sense of your identity beyond circumstance, distraction, and immediate feelings.  pgs 94 & 95

And here’s a link from the 3ho (Happy, Healthy, Holy Organization) website on what it means to have a spiritual name

stay tuned for more on this later…


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 18, 2014
by Guruatma Khalsa

Self-healing for chronic and critical illness – 40 day commitment to a yoga/meditation practice

I invitied Kathe Forrest/Siri Kirn to submit a Guest Blog introducing her new book, Keep the Change, Simple Practices for Lasting Transformation Using Yoga, Meditation and Journaling, as it relates to us who are challenged with a chronic and critical illness.  Thank you for introducing us to this yogic tool, Kathe:

“One part of sadhana (daily spiritual practice) should stay constant long enough for you to master, or at least experience, the changes evoked by a single technique. Each kriya and mantra has its individual effects, although they all elevate you toward a cosmic consciousness. Learn to value the pricelessness of one kriya, and all others will be understood in a clearer light.”                   -Yogi Bhajan, from The Aquarian Teacher

Throughout time and space, the number 40 has proven to be a key to initiate and maintain transformation. It’s also been a formula to help a person be able to withstand trauma and upheavals and gather strength for all that life throws at them.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.  -Martin Luther King, Jr

In the book, Keep the Change, Simple Practices for Lasting Transformation Using Yoga, Meditation and Journaling, there are several examples of peoples’ experiences with a 40 or 90 day sadhana – or longer!  Their spiritual journeys include themes such as understanding the male/female balance in relationship or opening up your prosperity or how to overcome health issues, i.e. chronic and critical illness.

Keep the Change explains the how, when and why to “keep up” your yoga and meditation practice, and also details the process of journaling through the course of the commitment.

Keeping a record of your experience – be it your accomplishment, feelings that surface, barriers or blocks, joy, bliss, etc. – is another technique to unlock the mind and nurture self-awareness.

Sometimes you ask, Which meditation will work out? Every meditation will work out!  ~ Yogi Bhajan

Each and every one of us has a genetic code, a pattern that makes us unique, and because of that distinction, there are a myriad of ways to perform and relish the 40-day sadhana. Some of us may choose 31 minutes of chanting or a 3-minute pranayama (breath awareness exercise).  Another idea to practice for an extended time is to not say a negative word about or to anyone.

Along with other people’s testimonials in the book, Guruatma shared her experiences of applying the yogic tool of a 40-day sadhana to her recuperative process after a life-threatening disease took her down for more than a decade:

On performing a 40-day sadhana while recuperating from a grave illness as shared by Guruatma:

            After an extended period of low-dosage chemotherapy (5 yrs), high-dosage prednisone (11 yrs) and taking many (about 20) other Px drugs, my nervous system was shot – I WAS A WRECK and felt like a walking, open wound still fighting on the war front. Even though I thought I was insane to do it, because I knew I would definitely suffer to even TRY, I committed to 40 days of the 3HO Kriya to Balance and Recharge the Nervous and Immune System. It’s very hard for me to hold to the discipline of 40 days as discipline and balance are life-long issues for me. My experience of this yoga and meditation kriya was that it cooled me down and definitely put me back together again – that’s why I named it “Humpty Dumpty Kriya”.

            It was super-challenging to hold my arms up, so I started with 3 and worked my way up to 11 minutes. The end of the exercise is where you have to work the hardest; over time, I could feel things adjusting and coming into balance in my systems. This was no magic trick – I had to kick-butt and somehow, the ‘umph’ that I needed to do the exercises was provided therein.

            It promises to slowly and steadily build a very strong steel-like stamina in you, and that is exactly what it delivered. I extended the 40 days many times, until I felt I could afford to stop doing it. It safely brought me back into life. I really don’t know what else on earth could have pulled off that miracle, and I am forever grateful for the gift of that particular yogic tool. It brought me back into life, and this is now what I coach about – what you Can Do!

            Another meditation that proved to be very powerful in my life was called Deep Memory of a Past Projection from book, The Mind – Its Projections and Multiple Facets by Yogi Bhajan PhD with Gurucharan Singh S Khalsa, PhD.  So, here I was, brought back to life to find myself PROFOUNDLY DEAF! and no longer able to listen to music, with numb feet (peripheral neuropathy) and all kinds of other unbelievable-to-me, life-altering conditions on my plate. WHO WAS I??? if I could not be the singer and the runner and the everything-else-that-I used-to-be? All my energy was totally sucked into that irresistible memory of my past identity. Just like the book says, I was “tempted, hypnotized and distracted” by my attachment. So… whatever is removed from your life (i.e. husband, job, hearing, etc.) and you need to know who you are now, what your focus is now – this meditation will help the past elements and past projections drop.

It was a terrible time in my life; I felt totally disoriented, desperate, depressed and REALLY MAD! I was alive but jet-lagged from life as I knew it. I seriously questioned why I was alive, and I demanded God to SHOW ME! what could possibly be the justification for hanging out on earth any longer in this condition. This meditation felt SOOOO SOOTHING to me; it has a breath pattern that I just loved doing! Thanks to repeating this meditation for many 40-day cycles, I was able to pick up and walk forward – it did the trick and I was able to drop the past, much to my surprise.

Its effects linger, even after all these years – it lives and breathes with me. Because I am late-deafened and have a memory bank of 43 years of normal hearing, when I wake up in the morning, my consciousness automatically downloads and presents to me the memory of being a hearing person, but I soon find out that I’m still deaf.

            This meditation is my forever-anchor – it provides me with a yogic tool that is always ‘under my belt’. It helps me absorb that shock of waking-up so that I am able to move right into coaching myself, “This is who you are, today, Guruatma; you can do this – ‘keep up’ and focus on the gratitudes!”

            My soul’s purposeful fulfillment depends on finding this platform to perch on; it keeps me in the reality, and I get to forever practice not relating to anything that limits me.

            Thank you for the opportunity to share this precious and powerful technology, Siri Kirin.


Kathe Forrest/Siri Kirin is featured on the 3HO website this month in a short podcast –

Submitted and written by: Siri Kirin/Kathe Forrest, Certified Hatha and Kundalini Yoga Teacher, Author of Keep the Change, Simple Practices for Lasting Transformation, & CNC (certified nutritional counselor), MH (Master Herbalist)

Featured Image:  Kathe Forrest/Siri Kirin and Guruatma – December, 2013

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 16, 2014
by Guruatma Khalsa
1 Comment

Kundalini Yoga helps with depression and low energy of Hashimoto’s disease (autoimmune, thyroid imbalance)

Herein is a Guest Blog written by a woman in our 6am yoga class.  She’s an internationally-known artist who works with diverse mediums and specializes in glass blowing!  I LOVE her work – it’s organic (alive!) and deeply moving. The featured image for this blog is one of her prints called “Tree of Life”.  You should see her studio and the huge glass-blown pendulum she made for the Chicago Natural History Museum !

Working with her and witnessing her process as an artist once again shows me how the infinite and creative Spirit is higher than any dis-ease.

Thanks, Susan, for sharing:

Kundalini Yoga has helped me cope with Hashimoto’s disease.  Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune imbalance that attacks the thyroid, bringing depression and extremely low in energy.  Some of the depression is physical and some mental – sometimes both.

Two years ago I spent almost 6 months in bed.  I am an artist and I felt a great deal of sadness for I was losing my inspiration and desire to work; essentially it was making me feel despondent.

For me, part of the path of being an artist is that when I’m working, I feel I’m in the “zone”.  When I am not working, I lose touch with myself and feel a separation from the divine.  This is very confusing.

 Taking Guruatma’s 6am Kundalini Yoga class and consulting with her one-on-one has given me a practice and tools to help with these issues, as well as giving me support.

Susan     (go see her art work!)

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 12, 2014
by Guruatma Khalsa

How do I find a doctor who specializes in autoimmune disease?


Q. How do I find a doctor who specializes in autoimmune diseases? There is no medical specialty called “autoimmunity.”

A. Although the causes ofautoimmune diseases are shared between diseases, the diseases themselves affect different parts of the body. Because of this, each autoimmune disease has traditionally been treated by the subspecialists that are experts in the part of the body or system that is affected by an individual disease. For example, a patient with weakness or numbness will see a neurologist, a patient with thyroid disease or diabetes will see an endocrinologist, someone with abdominal pain and diarrhea will see a gastroenterologist, patients with rashes such as psoriasis will see a dermatologist and someone with arthritis will see a rheumatologist.

This makes sense because these specialists are expert at diagnosing and caring for patients with these problems. However, once someone is diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, it may be helpful to find a physician within a subspecialty who is particularly interested and involved in the care of the autoimmune disease that you have. It is important to work with a physician who is comfortable with the treatment of these diseases and who is up-to-date on the most recent discoveries.

For example, a patient with multiple sclerosis (MS) may be diagnosed with the disease by a general neurologist, then choose to see someone who has a strong interest in MS; this may also be the case if someone is diagnosed with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. In the case of rheumatology, many of the diseases seen by rheumatologists are autoimmune in nature, including diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus, axial spondyloarthritis and many others. Most rheumatologists are expert in treating these autoimmune diseases and prepared to identify other autoimmune diseases as well.

If you have an autoimmune disease, it is important to keep all of your doctors informed about your diagnosis, treatments and any new symptoms or concerns that you have, so that they can provide you with the best possible care and advice.

Jane Buckner, MD
BRI Associate Director
Translational Research Program Director
Rheumatologist, Virginia Mason Medical Center


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 7, 2014
by Guruatma Khalsa

Caregiver seeks yogic tools for loved one with cancer & going through chemotherapy

Guest Post: Siri Kirin/Kathe Forrest

Where do I begin?

This is a story of sickness and the strong will to survive that could actually be several individual narratives. There are many facets involved in being a caregiver for someone who has cancer.

Thomas, my former husband, received the news that he had colon cancer in 2008. That was about 6 years ago and through chemotherapy and alternative & complementary medicine, he is alive today and continuing chemo and additional therapies, which I will get to later on in the story.

I entered the picture in 2010 when he wrote a letter to me saying that it looked like he was headed south – not going to survive – and wanted to express to me what a good mother I had been to our children. His quality of life at this time was depressed, to say the least, as he was having to endure a colostomy bag, pain and the worst possible imagined – not being able to do Yoga!

Thomas had for some 40 years practiced everyday shoulder stand, pranayama or breathing techniques, and other intense, yogic asanas or poses.

At that same time in space, I happened to learn about ozone therapy as I had traveled 6 hours from where I was living to visit a naturopath with a friend who needed ozone for damage to her body. I was given instructions on how to inject the ozone into a vein.

We have since found out that the best way to get ozone into the body is through Thomas’ port – directly into the veins – and through a steam, sauna-type box where he sits and absorbs the oxygen. Otherwise, the ozone injected with a syringe, as if you were drawing blood, collapses the veins.

It was during this time also that I emailed and spoke to Guruatma, who had come through a life-altering disease. I wanted to understand her experience with a critical illness, drug side effects and her emotional well-being. I inquired about what supplements helped her and asked for advice on Kundalini meditations that Thomas might be able to practice.

Thomas was in Stage 4 and seriously near death’s door when a nurse at the cancer hospital suggested he do chemotherapy with the addition of large amounts of supplements such as COQ10, Alpha-lipoic acid, Glutathione, green smoothies and whatever other ones he had been using for maintaing his body.

He was also taking Chinese herbs from a Doctor of Acupuncture.

He began the cancer drugs and was monitored carefully while ingesting his daily regiment of supplements and ozone therapy. His son, Jeshua, was his main caregiver and I came into town often to lend a hand during the period of the ozone injections.

I suggested that he play music- 24/7, such as Snatam Kaur’s Ra Ma Da Sa and other healing-type tunes to help him sleep.

Almost immediately, his physical body responded and within a week or two, his color had returned as well as his appetite, although he did have to transition from a vegetarian diet of 38 years to eating hamburgers. These burgers and other organic sources of meat were for the protein his body craved, and with this diet his body revived. I myself am vegetarian and have learned through his experience and others that there are many diets suited for individuals in times of stress, illness and bodily needs overall.

I remember Guruatma explaining that her diet had to change as well for her survival due to the intense nature and side effects of the chemotherapy drugs she was taking, which were affecting Thomas as well. This was a most important change for both Guruatma and Thomas psychically due to the spiritual nature of their reasons for being vegetarian.

He then began to include daily or weekly massages, walking barefoot, bathing in the sun, more supplements and the inclusion of hemp in the form of (CBD and THC). The cannabinoids threw off Thomas’ awareness and balance but he needed them to help increase his hunger and to sleep more deeply, both of which are key to survival.

And survive he did!  His oncologist and people at the clinic could not believe how well he was recovering. And they really encouraged Thomas to continue everything that he was doing to alleviate pain, strengthen his body and pave his way to remission. In fact, they told other patients at the clinic to talk with Thomas and to learn from him! That is what Guruatma does as well with her coaching and consulting work.

We come forward a couple of years to the present day and Thomas is fighting once more for his life. The cancer has reared it’s ugly head.

Thomas understands that fresh juice from greens in particular – cucumber, parsley, celery and a little carrot everyday is paramount because of the alkalinity it produces against the hard acidity of the chemotherapy. At the time I am writing this blog, his stomach cannot really stand the sight of any food until a week or so after the drugs have dissipated.

The new alternatives and additions to his treatment are IV infusions if Vitamin C, Alpha-lipoic acid, minerals and glucose potentiated therapy. The glucose is a brand new remedy with many positive results and Thomas has been lucky enough to find a doctor near Boulder to administer this treatment.

His journey has been a long haul, as anyone’s with a life-altering situation can be. He continues to search for a solution and an answer to the death of cancer cells.

He has gained time, enjoyed his family and his emotional well-being is still high on Life!

Submitted and written by : Siri Kirin/Kathe Forrest, Certified Hatha and Kundalini Yoga Teacher, Author of Keep the Change, Simple Practices for Lasting Transformation, & CNC (certified nutritional counselor), MH (Master Herbalist)

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 1, 2014
by Guruatma Khalsa

Thank a Nurse – How to Move Through the Medical System. What is OUR PART as the chronic or critical illness patient?

I had Cochlear Implant Surgery January 9th, 2014 and just had to send a ‘Thank You’ note to my surgical nurse – he was GREAT; I loved him!
Yes, it’s a personal letter, but it could have been written to anyone of all the myriad of people, our servants, who shine at their jobs and may not get acknowledged by us chronic and critical illness patients.
One of the things I learned from hanging out in the medical system most my life, was to notice the people whose hands were upon me and honor them for their efforts on my behalf – I think that’s so important, if you have it to give.
Here it is:
Dear David,
You were my nurse for my CI surgery on Jan 9th.  My name is Guruatma K Khalsa.
Has anyone ever told you what a GOOD NURSE you are?  I’m sure they have.
I love how you command your domain with compassion and grace.
I thought it was really cool that you came in and told us how you nurses consider it an honor to work with Dr. McReynolds.  I loved that you were willing to join my family and my hearing loss mentor, Teri Wathen, in a prayer circle before the procedure.  
I felt safe to go down that hall to the OR with you, and that’s saying A LOT!
Did you know that no one told me I would have a tube in my throat for the surgery.  It would have helped me to have known that to explain how bad my throat and lungs felt (a familiar symptom of the disease I’m challenged by – Relapsing Polychondritis) that nite at home, but I don’t think that was your particular job.
Freaks me out to imagine what-all you did to prepare me (my body) for the surgery, but since it was YOU and I was in your hands with your caliber of presence and projection, I know I received the very best and most respectful care.
I really liked you and how you handled yourself, and me, and my family.
Sending a note like this reminds me of the Aquarian Age principal:

Recognize the other person is you.     

Copyright The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan

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:

“Like” us on Facebook:




February 28, 2014
by Guruatma Khalsa
1 Comment

“Can ya hear me now?” -Guruatma’s ‘Cochlear Implant’ Report #2 on 3-1-14

For those of us who have a hearing loss and are considering a Cochlear Implant:

…it’s just like they tell you it’s a PROCESS!

I used to have 2 excellent digital hearing aids for my profoundly deaf ears that allowed me to get-by quite well in the hearing world, but I had to work real hard for that standing.  As many of you know, I lost my hearing during chemotherapy in the process of fighting a chronic and critical, very rare disease, an autoimmune condition called Relapsing Polychondritis.

On Jan 9th, what residual hearing remained in the weaker of my two damaged ears was replaced with a Nucleus 6 Cochlear Implant.

For one month, while that area of my head was beginning its healing process, I had to manage with just the one hearing aid – that was a hard month!  One hearing aid was just not enough, but we made it through that part.

On Feb 10th, the CI was activated and yes, I can hear:

a WHOLE LOT of ‘noise’   – yikes!

But, I can’t understand hardly any of the words in conversations with just the CI on (hearing aid off).  This is normal.

The brain has to be TRAINED to work with the computer, and this is a process.

Here’s what my ‘listening therapy’ looks like:

I have children’s books with unabridged CD’s from the library.

I listen to the CD, one page at a time:

The fox went out on a chilly night.

I might can guess at one word but the rest goes right over my head – clueless.

Then, I sit with the book and listen to that page again, while reading the words and saying to myself, “Oooo is that what they were saying?” …and coaching myself that’s it’s ok that I just FLUNKED – lol.

Part 3: I put the book down and listen again to that same line and having done both, my brain kinda gets the gist (well, that’s the theory, anyway).

…and it goes on and on like that.

The CI is AMAZINGLY POWERFUL –  I can hear  a clocks ticking LOUD on the wall across the room and the noise of my washing machine spinning in the laundry room down the hall from where I’m sitting sounds like a helicopter is outside my window !  No exaggeration; I called out to my husband and told him there must be a fire in the neighborhood and the news helicopter was flyin over our house.

Monday is my second programming with my Audiologist, Mary Lynn McDonald of Houston Research Foundation and I’m thinking she will adjust some of the (26?) electrodes that are coiled through my cochlea so that these environmental noises are brought into a more realistic range.

I have a remote control that can ‘up’  and ‘down’ the volume and also the sensitivity levels of the CI.  For me, right now, I’m not able to go above #1 setting on either – TMI (too much information)!

…and so it goes – isn’t this AWESOME technology?!

Everything I’m experiencing is normal,

…and everybody’s different, how this process unfolds for them.

I told one of my fellow CI users how it was going for me and she said, “Gosh I wish mine was Louder!” – and so you see it’s all about the individual and their particular degree and kind of hearing loss.  Its’s an amazingly intricate and complicated science to understand and interact with!

Patience pays.

My poor husband…

PS – When I finish THE FOX went out on a chilly night, I have Blueberries for Sal, Madeline and The Little Prince waiting for me – revisiting all the years I spent reading these books over and over, and over again to so many children in my life.

That’s nice,

…and I am grateful.

PSPS – also to know, it’s very important to rest during this process – it’s HUGE IMPACT on nerves that have been ‘out to lunch’, besides that your body is still healing from the surgery.

PSPSPS – yes, the tip of my tongue is still numb, my taste buds are still ‘out to lunch’ and food feel weird in my mouth (bummer). By now, I can feel the bottom half of my outer ear but the top half is still numb. And where the CI processor hangs from the ear, that whole area is totally numb.

It’s getting a little easier for me to wear my glasses now because my head is not so tender.  And my cousin sent me 3 links for the kind of glasses CI users like to wear – glasses that have arm designs that don’t end up landing on and pressurizing the side of your head in exactly the spot where the processor hangs – thank you, Dianne!

Posted 3-1-14


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:

“Like” us on Facebook:


February 28, 2014
by Guruatma Khalsa

“I probably never had a really good breath in my whole life until I came to Chair Yoga Class with Guruatma!”

When I first came to Chair Yoga Class for Seniors and for People with a Disability at Metropolitan Multi-Service Center here in Houston, TX, about 8 months ago, I had trepidation that I couldn’t do anything because I had been confined to bed for a long time.

It was simple, it was easy!  I could adjust the level of my participation and, unlike a traditional yoga class or a gym, no one was correcting me – in fact, I was being praised for doing what I could do!

It was hard to get there at 9am and as I realized the advantages I was getting, it became worth it to me to get up earlier and get out of the house.

Now, I’m noticing my breath and practicing during the days how Guruatma taught me to relax my belly out on the inhale and pull my belly in on the exhale, expanding and contracting my diaphragm.

When you’re fat all your life, you don’t put your belly out for anything – I held it IN!!

I probably never had a really good breath in my whole life until I came to Chair Yoga Class with Guruatma!

When I got out of the Rehab Pool, today, at the Center, this new lady said to me, “What’s wrong with YOU?” (people don’t usually say that).

I told her I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue and Osteoarthritis because I’m practicing not to say, “I HAVE Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue and Arthritis.  I’m realizing that if I say I HAVE IT, then that means I’m claiming it – just like IT HAS ME!

Both my yoga teacher, Guruatma K Khalsa, and another lady I go to for Life-Coaching introduced me to that principle.  It feels hopeful to say it that way, like I have freedom from the illness.

I’m currently following the Alletess Food Program ( based on blood testing to identify an individual’s Reactive Foods which cause inflammation in the body.

Before I changed my diet, I was taking 2 different pain pills (Norco-Hydrocodone-APAP & Gabapentin)  3/day each, and now, I’ve probably only taken 10 pills in this whole month.

I believe that, along with the other things I am doing to regain my health, Chair Yoga has been immensely helpful.  I would encourage anyone to try it!

I really wish it were every week, but so happy I can get there every 1st & 3rd Friday of the month.

Nancy Hill 2-28-14

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:

“Like” us on Facebook: