Synergistic Destruction: How Vaccines and GMOs Converge to Fuel Autism and Neurodegenerative Conditions

By: Dr. Matthew Buckley, PSc.D. 070530_640 There is a lot of debate as to what is the cause, or better yet, causes of autism. This post isn’t intended to cover all of the variables which fuel autism. It is intended to provide the reader with an understanding of chief mechanisms related to how consumption of Monsanto’s RoundUp, by way of consuming genetically modified corn, soy, canola oil, sugar beets, or any other “RoundUp ready” crop, as well as vaccines may fuel microglial activation, a leading factor in all neurodegenerative conditions, including autism (1)(2)(3), Alzheimer’s(4)(5), ALS(6)(7), Parkinson’s(8)(9), non-situational depression(10)(11), and virtually all forms of chronic illness. While this post is more directed towards the discussion of autism, the reality is that all of the factors that I discuss below are unquestionably major factors of consideration in all neurodegenerative conditions. microglia1326764825567

What is microglial activation?

In short, the microglia are the resident immune cells within the central nervous system. They are known to exist in two different states, and while in the “surveillance mode”, they play a key role in both cleaning up debris such as dead neurons (brain cells), in addition to fighting off infection within the nervous system. That “surveillance mode” role of the microglia, can be shifted into an inflammatory and destructive state where they secrete toxic substances (glutamate) and break down the neurons. That destructive state is referred to as “microglial activation”. Research indicates that the body’s ability to maintain adequate amounts of antioxidants, in particular glutathione and superoxide dismutase, play key roles in determining the threshold by which the microglia may be shifted into the destructive activation state.(12) To reiterate a previous post, the role that Monsanto plays in microglial activation is related to the fact that their genetically modified crops (corn, soy, canola, sugar beets) along with conventionally raised wheat, that is being doused with RoundUp as a drying agent, is accumulating the chemical residue within the crops that people and most conventionally raised farm animals are consuming.(13) Research carried out by “Moms Across America” has been documenting evidence of RoundUp bio-accumulation in the American population, while the USDA and FDA have claimed that they lack the funding to test for it in food.(14) The argument in favor of the use of RoundUp has centered around the idea that humans lack any enzymes which can be adversely affected by glyphosate, which is the chief ingredient in RoundUp. Research suggests otherwise.(15)(16)(17) What is beyond dispute however, is the fact that RoundUp residue does affect the microbes living in and on our bodies, and not in a good way. Research demonstrates that glyphosate, a patented antibiotic, which is the active ingredient in RoundUp, alters the microbial ecology to become dominant in pathogenic strains of bacteria, including the highly toxic Clostridium Botulinum.(18)(19)(20) Would you be surprised to learn that farmers and farm animals are experiencing an increased rate of Clostridium Botulinum infections? You shouldn’t be.(21)(22) Likewise, studies of autistic populations have demonstrated altered intestinal flora, with an increase in toxic Clostridia species.(23)(24)(25)

What triggers microglial activation?

Modulation of adult-born neurons in the inflamed hippocampusThe significance of the shift of the microbial ecology to become dominant in pathogenic strains of bacteria, particularly as it relates to autism and other neurodegenerative conditions is that pathogenic bacteria promotes an increase of two chemicals which are known to fuel microglial activation, “lipopolysaccharide” (LPS), and Interleukin 1B (IL-1b). The LPS is a cell wall fragment of some of the pathogenic bacteria, and the IL-1b is one member of a class of immune system messenger molecules, referred to as “cytokines”, generated in response to bacterial infections. (26) Cytokines are recognized to be prime factors in relation to how poorly we feel when we get sick. As the pathogenic bacteria grow in numbers, as they would with continued glyphosate consumption (not to mention sugar and/or refined carbohydrate consumption), they can degrade the lining of the intestines, a process called “leaky gut”, which then allows for the LPS to enter into the blood stream.(27) The immune system responds by producing IL-1b. In fact, LPS or IL-1b have become standard agents in studying microglial activation, so this idea that the pathogenic bacteria may fuel microglial activation by way of LPS and/or IL-1b is well established.(28)(29)(30)(31)(32) Additionally, it’s been demonstrated that the LPS or cytokines produced in the periphery of the body, promote signals up to the brain by way of the vagus nerve, causing the brain to produce these destructive cytokines within the nervous system. Both LPS and IL-1b have also been demonstrated to degrade the blood brain barrier (BBB), which serves as an important protective fence from infections and/or other toxins which may have entered into the body. In a state of leaky gut, where the microbes from the intestines can migrate into the blood stream, invasions from these microbes, both “good” and bad may find their way into the nervous system and continually promote ongoing microglial activation once the BBB has been compromised. leakyGut

Does the autistic population show evidence of LPS or IL-1b?

Yes, studies involving autistic populations evaluating levels of cytokines, such as IL-1b, have demonstrated very clearly that the autistic population, in particular the subset with gastrointestinal complaints, have shown consistently high levels of IL-1b.(33)(34) [box]J Neuroinflammation. 2013; 10: 38. IL-1β appears to be the cytokine most involved in the quantitative traits and clinical subgroups of ASD (Figure 4). Involvement of IL-1β in the physiopathology of autism is generally supported by several studies reporting higher levels of this cytokine in the plasma of children with ASD, high-functioning children with ASD, and adults with severe ASD compared with unrelated controls [48]. It has been shown that peripheral blood cells from subjects with ASD produced higher levels of IL-1β both at baseline and after stimulation with Toll-like receptor (TLR)2 or TLR4 [48][/box]

Setting the stage for autism and an adverse event to a vaccine, has a lot to do with diet, including moms diet.

Consider everything I’ve said above, and think for a moment of how many mothers are eating the SAD diet, laden with gut ecology disrupting RoundUp residue. Does mom like to eat GMO flakes for breakfast? Perhaps she opts for a RoundUp laden whole wheat bagel, or maybe she prefers the roundup laden tortillas for her egg tacos in the morning? Either way, for the average mom, odds are high that she’s consuming RoundUp residue with regularity. A rather common denominator to autism are mothers that have hypothyroidism(35)(36), and the prime cause of hypothyroidism is autoimmunity(37), which has leaky gut as its prime cause.(38)(39)(40) What this suggests is that mom is in a pro-inflammatory state to begin with, her gut ecology is less than ideal, and the significance of that is that those microbes that she has living in and on her body are what are shared with her offspring, assuming she gives birth vaginally. If the baby is delivered vaginally, the baby will have the disrupted gut ecology of the mother, and have all of the basic ingredients in place for microglial activation to already be set in motion. If the baby is born via C-Section, the gut ecology isn’t likely to be better, and may be worse.(41)(42) What I suspect is happening is a sort of smoldering state of low level microglial activation in both the mom and her offspring. To make matters worse, millions of moms are feeding their babies the frankenfood cocktail called “infant formula”, which is commonly GMO’d soy and high fructose corn syrup based, all of which feed the wrong microbes at a critical time of brain and immune system development.(43)(44) As I’ve pointed out, autoimmunity has a common denominator in leaky gut, and autoimmune disorders are increasing at an unprecedented rate right now. Given the fact that at least 1/5th of the US population is suffering from an autoimmune condition, and many mothers don’t know they have such a condition, the stage has been set for an adverse event to a vaccine. 1122334-13593569921798139-Iggy-Igette

Vaccines, gas to the smoldering fire of LPS and IL-1b driven microglial activation.

brain fireAs I’ve pointed out, LPS and IL-1b are considered standard agents for inducing microglial activation in a lab setting, and both LPS and IL-1b are driven largely by bacterial infections. Another standard agent to consistently induce microglial activation is the cytokine Interferon Gamma (IFN-y).(44)(45)(46) A number of vaccines are live virus vaccines, and the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine is one such vaccine. Viral infections are known triggers for the production of IFN-y.(47)(48)(49) Can you see where this is going? The principle cytokine driven by the MMR vaccine has been identified as IFN-y. (50) If any of these live viruses from the vaccines managed to withstand an inadequate immune response, and instead became a chronic infection, which does happen(51), and therefore become a chronic inducer of IFN-y, you have a perfect recipe for significant ongoing brain inflammation, particularly in the GMO induced gut flora altered individual given the fact that IFN-y is also a known promoter of leaky gut.(52)

Is IFN-y elevated in the autistic population?

Yes. (53)(54) It’s worth pointing out that all vaccines induce some pro-inflammatory cytokine response, and are potential triggers for microglial activation.

What’s the bottom line?

As I have very clearly illustrated above, the factors which promote neurodegenerative conditions such as autism, can be traced back to those factors which promote microglial activation. Without question, autism like all forms of chronic illness are multifactoral in nature, but common threads tie many of these illnesses together, like microglial activation and leaky gut. If we can address and control these issues, and we certainly can in most cases, we can go a long way towards preventing and/or reversing the collective nightmares of neurodegenerative conditions. For the sake of brevity, I have chosen not to address the issues of vaccine adjuvant ingredients, how they promote nueroinflammatory autoimmunity(55)(56)(57)(58)(59), or other environmental factors, like tylenol use (60), or genetic factors such as MTHFR which can lead to low levels of glutathione and a ripened system for ongoing microglial activation for life in a toxic world. In order to solve our collective health challenges and the explosion of chronic degnerative diseases, it is imperative that we bring sanity back to our food production and disease prevention. Doing so means eliminating the scourge on humanity that Monsanto represents, and educating people about the necessity of detoxification strategies and nutrient repletion.   buckley-feb2013-0021About the author: Dr. Buckley is a 2002 graduate of Logan College of Chiropractic. Dr. Buckley entered the health care field largely to understand and resolve his personal struggles with chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia which began late in his teens. His ongoing study of functional medicine, nutrition, nutrigenomics, applied kinesiology, and energetic medicine has provided him with keen insight and understanding into the holistic dynamics of the body and how we lose and maintain our health. He has maintained a busy practice in Austin, Texas for the past 13 years and works with people of all ages interested in maximizing their health, and overcoming the modern scourge of all forms of chronic illness.

"Three Sisters" Companion Planting for Your Spring Garden

by John Bush

Spring is upon us and that means it’s time to get your hands in the dirt again!  We are starting some seeds and will be expanding the container garden we have in front of our apartment.  We love to use the companion planting method which encourages the placement of beneficial plants next to one another and discourages plants that are antagonists to one another from being planted close.

Check out this Sovereign Living Tip of the Week video about the popular and productive “Three Sisters” companion planting combo. The “Three Sisters” vegetables are corn, beans, and squash. Watch the video to learn why they work so well together.

Pro tip: Be sure to plant your corn first because squash grows fast and can hinder the corn plants from growing.

Share with us in the comments your favorite companion planting combination!

Five Simple Survival Tips that Could Save Your Life

by John Bush

You never know when the next natural disaster, grid failure, or major weather event is going to occur.  It’s important to be prepared.  Especially when living in a society with a food supply chain and critical infrastructure that is incredibly vulnerable.  Follow the five tips below while conditions are calm so when disaster strikes, you and your family are prepared for the worst.

1. Save Plastic Bottles and Fill them with Water 

After your family finishes a juice bottle or milk jug, clean out the bottle, fill it with water, and place it in a cool dark area like a closet or storage room.  Cycle through the water as plastic tends to break down over time.  It helps to have a high quality water filter if you plan to be drinking or cooking with the water and it has been sitting for a few months.  My family has used this method of water storage and it has come in handy on several occasions as the municipal water supply we were once connected to failed several times.  Without the stored water, we wouldn’t have been able to flush our toilet and we would not have had any water for food preparation.

2. Maintain Supplies and Tools for Lighting in a Power Outage 

Power outages occur regularly, especially if you are in a part of the country with an antiquated electric grid.  Keep a plentiful supply of candles and matches around.  Kerosene lamps are good to have on hand as well, but be sure to stock enough kerosene to get you through a lengthy blackout.  Keep several flashlights around along with a solid supply of batteries.  Flashlights are good to use when you need to navigate a dark hallway or check on your property.

3. Own Firearms and Know How to Use them Safely and Proficiently 

When disaster strikes and civil unrest occurs, people tend to do things they may not be capable of when everything is fine and dandy.  This includes looting, sabotaging, and even killing.  It is of the upmost importance that you and your family are equipped to hold your own should a neighbor or a band of thieves attack.  Purchase a shotgun and handgun and learn to use them in defense of your home.  Acquire a rifle and learn to shoot with accuracy in defense of your family and property.  It helps to learn from a friend or family member or to take a course in self-defense and firearms safety.

Firearms are a very serious tool as they have the ability to take a person’s life.  Always practices the four firearms safety rules:

– Always act as if your weapon is loaded
– Be aware of your target and what lies behind your target
– Always keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire
– Only point your firearm at something you are willing to destroy

Learn to use firearms to defend yourself, your family, and your community, and do so while following the four firearms rules and you will greatly increase your chances of surviving civil unrest.

4. Make a bug-out bag

A bug-out bag is a bag or back-pack which contains the bare essentials that you would need should you have to bug out for whatever reason.  Some people call this a 72-hour bag as it should contain enough supplies to keep you alive for 72 hours.  Included in the bag should be first-aid supplies, non-perishable foods and eating utensils, tools to start a fire kept in a water-proof bag, ammo for your firearm, a flashlight with spare batteries, spare clothing, cash, and anything else you may need to stay alive and somewhat comfortable for three days.  Keep the bag in a quickly accessible place in your home or keep it in your automobile.  Each member of the family should have their own bug-out bag.

5. Have a bug-out plan

You never know when a crisis could occur.  Some disasters could be so severe that you and your family need to leave your home immediately.  It is important that you have a plan as to where you are going to go should you need to vacate your home.  Also, if your family or bug-out group members are not in the same place when your crew decides it’s time to get the heck out of dodge, it is important to have a pre-determined meeting place so everyone is on the same page and knows where to go.  Make sure your plan takes in to account what the environment might be like in a disaster or civl rest scenario.  What will major roads be like?  Could bridges be down?  Could checkpoints be setup?  Pre-stock your bug-out location with enough supplies to last you and your crew a month or longer should you need to hunker down for the long haul.  Finally, keep your bug out plan on a need to know basis.  You don’t want the authorities or your neighbor Bob showing up unexpectedly.

The world is a dangerous and unpredictable place.  There is no better time to get prepared than now.  Your life may depend on it!


Did You Know that USDA Organic Labeled Products are Non-GMO?

by: John Bush

For several years now, my family has been conscious of the risks associated with Genetically Modified Foods.  Research has recently shown a link between vaccines and GMOs converging to fuel autism and neurodegenerative conditions.  With all of the potential problems GMOs could contribute to, we are conscious of avoiding GMOs when we go grocery shopping.  This is why I was so pleased to find out recently that the USDA Organic label now expressly prohibits the use of GMO products throughout any process of production of a Organically labeled food.

According to the USDA, “The use of genetic engineering, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs), is prohibited in organic products. This means an organic farmer can’t plant GMO seeds, an organic cow can’t eat GMO alfalfa or corn, and an organic soup producer can’t use any GMO ingredients. To meet the USDA organic regulations, farmers and processors must show they aren’t using GMOs and that they are protecting their products from contact with prohibited substances, such as GMOs, from farm to table.”  (Source:

This is a huge step in the right direction as to the best of my knowledge, the only other well known and trusted non-GMO label comes from the Non-GMO Project. While the Non-GMO Project label is becoming more widely adopted and recognized, it’s nowhere near as popular as the USDA Organic label.

So rest assured my health conscious friends, if you are purchasing a food product labeled USDA Organic, according the the US Government, the product is GMO free!



Where Did Sovereign Living Go?

The short version is that we were kicked off of our farm by our landlord after asking for repairs to be made. Instead of making the repairs, he sold the house.

Our last day of filming for Sovereign Living was the day we moved out of the farm in January of 2014. Our family ended up in an apartment while we figured out what to do, our home office was moved to an actual office, and our farm was originally moved to Cedar Creek, where we thought we were going to rebuild what we had started and stay there several nights a week.

The long version is that 2014 was not a good year for our family. We did not want to leave the property, we simply wanted the issues fixed. We left ourselves vulnerable with a month to month lease. Lesson learned.  A very painful lesson. The farm was very special to us. Our children were born right there in the home, our dogs are buried there, we raised hundreds of chickens from egg to adult, and planted thousands of plants in the soil. We loved that property, every square inch. It hurt worse than anything I have every gone through. It was honestly the hardest experience of my life to date.

We needed our friends desperately, but those closest to us lashed out. They belittled us for grieving, they expressed anger that we were not there for them during their overlapping hardships, they told us they took issue with our parenting style, they expressed issues with our public lifestyle and the fact that we are “public figures”. They even said we live Sovereign Living “too much”.

Basically our inner cadre imploded. This triggered us to move out of the second farm just 5 months after relocating all of nonprofit and personal farm items there. I bring up the interpersonal stuff so you understand the weight of what we experienced last year – I’m sure you can imagine at this point we were completely exhausted on every level (emotional, physical, spiritual, financial).

Once all the moves were over we were finally able to settle into our new apartment and focus on rebuilding. We have survived as full time entrepreneurs for the past six months.  It has required laser focus and full time dedication to keep our heads above water, but I think a solid foundation has been laid that will allow us to give Sovereign Living the time and energy it needs to be finished in 2015.

Sovereign Living in 2014

Throughout the year I produced several podcasts and wrote several blogs for the website. We were able to host screenings of Sovereign Living at the following locations as we traveled the country for work:  

PorcFest and Liberty Forum in New Hampshire, Texas Bitcoin Conference at Circuit of the Americas, 512Bitcoin Mini Conference at Brave New Books in Austin, TX, Freedom Summit in Phoenix, AZ, Kansas City Bitcoin Club, Bitcoin in the Beltway in Washington D.C, NYC Bitcoin Center on Wall Street, Blue Ridge Liberty Project in Asheville, Rethinking Everything in Littlerock, Liberty on the Rocks in Denver, CO, a permaculture event in San Antonio, TX, and at Libertopia in San Diego, CA.

We also gave several Sovereign Living speeches at various events.

We produced and premiered a rough cut of episode five and a sneak preview of episode six.

The Sovereign Living team did apply for two grants to help us finish the show, but we did not receive either.  The first nonprofit said they really wanted to be involved, but with a production as big as ours they would want to dedicate a staff member to see it through with marketing, etc… and they simply didn’t have the man power at that time. The other grant application was through the Bitcoin Foundation and was a long shot 😀

In 2014 we began the process of applying to film festivals.  In December we submitted the Sovereign Living title credits into the SXSW 2015 Film Festival.  We will know in the coming weeks if we will be allowed to screen it at the March event. We hope to screen an entire episode at SXSW in 2016.

Moving Forward: 2015

So what about Sovereign Living? As of right now we have Episode 1-4 complete, episode 5 is a rough cut that needs final edits, and episode 6 has been taped, but needs transitions, interviews, music, and editing.  We are working with Karmakaze Productions on streamlining the production and want to wrap up the editing of episodes 5 and 6 by the end of March. We will then release the first season to the world. At this time we will send the remaining perks to our fans who donated to our IndieGogo Campaign. We wanted 12 episodes, but there is just no financial way to make this happen, not to mention there has been a full calendar year since we last taped, so wrapping it up seems more fitting at this time.

I will continue to submit the show to film festivals as the year progresses, including the LA Film Festival with a deadline just around the corner.  I have looked into the option of distributing the show through outlets such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, etc…. And it looks like this method will cost over a thousand dollars due to the need to submit independent films/shows to these companies in “bundles”.  We are weighing the pros and cons of how to release the film, and are seeking any advice or connections our community may have.

With that, our family has big goals in 2015. We plan to still work toward our Sovereign Living milestones – 50% food self sufficient, reduce our energy consumption by 50% and find creative ways to get off all centralized systems so we can truly thrive.

We plan to move into an RV or some other form of mobile living home and park it on a farm by June when our lease here is over. This will allow us to do both Sovereign Living and Uncoinventional Living (bitcoin travel, something we started in 2014). We have been offered a very cool solution in this regard, but we are not ready to announce it. Stay tuned, though! This will allow us to reduce our living expenses enough to overcome our financial hardships and clear the way for us to build a house. It will also allow us to reduce our energy consumption and to pick back up with our food production. We will have the world as our backyard. I simply cannot wait.

I am really trying to recreate myself in 2015, so if you have any feedback for me and my family I would love to hear it. How can we communicate better? How can we support you better? How can we become better people? How can we improve your Sovereign Living experience?

If you would like to contribute to the final production or distribution of Sovereign Living, please follow this URL for the various ways you can support this project of the Center for Natural Living: . Bitcoin is, of course, a donation option!

Much love,

Catherine Bleish

Rethinking Everything Days Three and Four – Playing, Learning and Growing

I am so far behind updating about my experience about Rethinking Everything, that I decided to post the final two days in one post.

Our third day was great, we opened with a family intention circle, something I learned about from Nova, a road schooler who I have a lot of respect for. The intention model we utilized was sitting in a circle, each person saying what they are grateful for, then saying what we want or hope for the day.  After each person has gone, you take 3 deep breathes as a group, then do 3 “oms” as a group. This is something we have tried to do on a daily basis since discovering the process.  It helps you to set your day off right, so you can support each other’s goals.

This day we had ZERO presentations, so we took a slow relaxing day.  There was a really fun bizarre bizarre where kids and adults sold items they had created. I got some knit wrist warmers (gloves with no fingers) and got Aliana an awesome green tape bag with a painted Rock Lobster inside.  Watching the kids create art so they could run a micro business was adorable and really exciting to see.

The kids raced through the hall, cruising around on the riding toys from Kids’ Village. When Aliana got rug burn on her tow, some kind mothers helped supply her with bandaids.  She completely forgot about the boo-boo when she heard the teen dance taking place in the cafeteria.  Of course, we busted in and danced our little hearts out.  Bill had a blow out all over our friend, Ellen, which I felt bad about but still found funny :p

It was a great day!  John attended the dad’s circle (SUDs – Society of Unschooling Dads).  He said it was great connecting to the group of dad’s on a similar journey.

The last full day we had two presentations – one was Bitcoin and Unschooling, John presented that and the crowd LOVED it.  We introduced the idea of the “uncoin”, a crypto currency for unschoolers, build on top of the Bitcoin Blockchain.  The second presentation was DIY Advocacy, I presented this one.  It wasn’t as well attended as the other 3 presentations we did, but it was dynamic none-the-less.  See a pic of my marker board in the gallery below.

We went swimming as a family and watched the boat making competition from the pool.  Check out the pics of kiddos making cardboard boats!  Several actually floated with kids in them!!!!


That evening was the family dance.  Aliana was the first one on the dance floor, cutting it up.  She exhausted herself and was asleep by 9pm.  Something that is rare in this family!!!  Before the dance she hung out in the sewing room with some pre-teen girls who made her a fancy skirt.  There is a pic of her getting “measured” by her dress maker, Ruby.

We woke up sad to leave – others were staying for a retreat, but we had to get home.  This Rethinking Everything was yet again life changing.  We came home with a new practice (morning Intention Circles), new and closer friendships, and my daughter learned to beat box.  How cool 😀

Enjoy the photos, we are already excited for next year.




Rethinking Everything, Day Two: Presentations and Reflections

Today our family had two presentations. The first was about unschooling and anarchism. John presented this one solo as miss Aliana was sleeping in after several days of travel. He said the 2 hour talk and interactive conversation went really well, I will post a link to the audio once it is online.

After the first talk we got set up for our Sovereign Living speech and show screening ( Since we had screened episodes 1 and 2 last year, we decided to screen episode 3, all about homebirth and conflict resolution. We are saving episode 4 about alternative currencies for our talk tomorrow, all about Bitcoin.

The Sovereign Living speech went great. We discussed our goal of getting out of all centralized grids, be they food systems, government systems, the electric grids, etc…  The show was recieved very well, and the conversation after was very deep. We talked about taxation and government documents such as Birth Certificates and Drivers Licenses.

After our presentation we took a trip to town for a much needed bite to eat. That resulted in a tired bunch so we retired to our room for a break from all of the RE comotion. Our good friend Antonio was here as aker and he joined us for a few hours of awesome conversation.

The best part of the day was again the last part of the day; A candle lit hike through the woods to a labryinth.  We walked as a family, me holding Aliana and John holding Bill. On our way toward the center Aliana and I talked about some things we both wanted to let go. We discussed the stresses our family has experienced since losing the farm.

Here are the picutres from the day, including the dead bug board! A collection of dead bugs found by kiddos at the event! I love the random jam sessions (yellow submarine was awesome!) And the agorist ventures of hair wraps and massages set up in the lobby!

Rethinking Everything, Day One: Crisis on the Way, Peace Upon Arrival

Yesterday we woke in Little Rock, Arkansas and hit the road for the final two hours of our trip to the Rethinking Everything Conference.  Just ten minutes from the 4H Conference facility, our final destination, we drove past a woman laying in a parking lot receiving CPR from a teenage girl. I had John turn around and I ran over to see how we could help.

The teen giving her CPR was pumping on her diaphram, not her chest and I suggested she stop. The womans heart was beating and she was breathing. The woman had tingling in her hands and feet, pressure in her chest and was having trouble breathing. I knew instantly she was likely having a panic attack as I had recently experienced my first stress induced anxiety attack and recognized the symptoms.  I helped her to regulate her breathing while we waited for help to arrive. Sure enough, we later found out she had taken 5 hour energy with redbull and and her body was exhausted from overwork and she had fallen victim to a panic attack.

What a dramatic arrival.

We checked into RE and ran into many familar faces. We played in the always-epic children’s village, enjoyed swords made of balloons, went swimming, devoured delicious grub, watched giant bubbles be made next to the lake, then participated in a letting go and setting new intentions ceremony at the evening bonfire.

Honestly, we didn’t know what we were walking up to when we arrived at the bonfire. We were told we could walk down this beautifully candle lit path to a note writing station where we would write down the things causing us greif. These are things we have not let go of, stressors, things causing us anxiety. We were to then drop them in the second fire at the end of the path and return via the candle lit path to the lakeside bon fire. Once returned we were to set a new intention with candles in floating votives, and send them out onto the lake.

The walk was amzing. John and I talked about our pasts while our children drifted to sleep (Ali in my arms, Bill in the stroller). We burned our anxieties and returned to set new intentions on the lake.

When we got back to our bunk I took a long hot bath and enjoyed reading an issue of Home Education Magazine. We drifted to sleep and woke feeling anew. John is currently presenting our Unschooling and Anarchism talk so I could let our kids sleep in. I am excited to see what Day 2 will bring!

Here are some pics from the day!