Oneness Ministry

We are One

Words to the Wise

The life you were given is a gift. Don’t mess it up by thinking you can improve on things. Simply be grateful for what you have and play the cards you are dealt. Of course there is no better teacher than experience. Just be warned, gender transition, unless immediately life threatening, is ill-advised. How does one know when it is necessary? A few pointers are as follows.

Notice the pronouns you use for those who are not human. Do you use “she” for your car or house? Is the bird in the tree a “she”? How about the cute froggy you saw last week? Or are they all “he”? We tend to anthropomorphise all that we see, because ultimately we are projecting self everywhere. You see either yourself or “not me” wherever you look.

Do you dream of yourself as male or female? Can you see yourself in your dreams? Since we are Spirit after all, we have no body in reality so if you don’t see your body in your dreams it means you are closer to the truth. Pay more attention to whom you are attracted to in your dreams. While there is nothing wrong with being homosexual, it is not natural. If you are born female, nothing will change this, not even surgery. All surgery really changes is the game you are playing. While you cannot change who you are, you do have the choice of whether to act on it or not. Much has been written on this and I am taking the Spiritual approach, since we are Spiritual beings after all. The heart loves who it loves, but this does NOT mean you have to act on it. True Love does not discriminate. Attraction is more about polarity than love. Think of yourself has an election or a positron or a neutron and you will be attracted appropriately irregardless of physical form. So this means as long as you are true to your attractions and not form then you are on the right track. You still have a choice whether to act on those attractions or not. Just don’t shame yourself for whatever you choose. Make it all good. The point is furthering your Spirit on its path.

So…The answer is simple, just be yourself, LOL. Who the heck is that!?! If you have the desire to crossdress then do so, don’t be ashamed. It is more normal than you would suppose. No need to “transition” for you are exactly who you are meant to be without any mumbo jumbo about surgery or hormones. My theory is that gender dysphoria occurs in those having past life confusion. See, we are not our bodies or our minds for that matter. We are actors on a stage or characters in a dream. “All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream” Edgar Allen Poe.

Distressing over gender makes the whole dream real and it also makes it impossible to escape. CHT and Surgery are irreversible. So you have dysphoria, join the club! Everyone in this world has it in some form. This is a dream, we are not supposed to be here! We are Not Here!! We are having a delusion!! So you say prove it. LOL I say prove that you are alive! Prove anything beyond a doubt! It is not possible. We simply choose an answer which is acceptable. We play our role!

Having walked this road I can say with confidence that transition is not necessary. Loving yourself for who you are definitely is necessary and this is the crux of the issue. Are you transitioning to fit in or find love outside yourself, by others? I would say 99% of us are looking for love in all the wrong places! Love is found within. Yes, you are a unique person and lovable just the way you are. Whether you wear clothes meant for the opposite gender or not. Whether you are attracted to the opposite gender or not. No matter your circumstance Love is within you and it is yours to share!

Love and Light,

Sequoia Elisabeth

https://onenessministry.info/

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My Life in Re-View

My life in Re-view, so if I had this to do over again there are a few things I would do differently and here they are.

Starting with the largest change in my life, gender transition. I love that I can be who I am now (male woman), but I would not, repeat NOT take CHT. This means no estrogen and no testosterone either. I would have the Orchiectomy done much earlier, I waited too long hoping to have genital reassignment surgery (GRS). I am totally fine without that. I know I am not my gender, so why go to all the trouble to change things. Post op my life is no less empty than it was before. I see now as I stand on the other shore things where fine to start with. Did I have gender dysphoria before, Yes. Do I have it now, Yes, but it is more like body dysphoria. It is uncomfortable to be restricted to a body of either gender. My life is like a fading memory. I don’t even know what “my life” means any more. It seems like life is a collection of habits neither good and nor bad. Just motions we go through because we have accepted a certain role. This to me is what this life is all about. Role Play! None of it is “real”.

This may seem sad to you, but to me it just is and perhaps a wee bit too comfortable. My life now is good, as good as it can be. I have some fabulous memories of good times over the years, especially with my second partner. I screwed up leaving her! Alas, there is no going back now, nor do I want to. I know I am where I need to be. Would things be different if I had not transitioned and stayed with her, yes, but better? Who knows? I had this nagging voice telling me to move on and that to give in to comfort and what I felt as love would only prolong the journey. I was safe. My life now is pushing my limits in small ways and this feels “right”.

Other things I would do differently? Not much. Perhaps I would of pursued Greenhouse management more vigorously and taken some risks to assure that life. Again, I had a comfortable life as a MRI technologist and without motivation to change careers. I do not regret going with my first wife when she started medical school (we considered divorce at that time). I feel my relationship with her is a big success. I was there to help her achieve her goals and I did that. No regrets there. Now that my life as a MRI tech is over, I do feel a bit lost. Growing plants has always been rewarding and I enjoy this as much as anything I have done, so I continue to do this in my own small way. My room is full of terrariums, aquariums, and a paludarium.

Female ForestI see my life easily centered around a greenhouse, growing exotic plants, and keeping fish, etc. This is my dream home! A pond, tropical plants, growing space for exotics and all the life which goes with it, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and beneficial insects. Sounds primal doesn’t it? Perhaps it is and perhaps this represents my connection to Mother Earth. She expresses through me. In the end perhaps I am just too connected to nature to be a human being. From the mystical POV, I would be an “ent”. (look it up if you don’t know what this is). I chose the name “Sequoia” for this very reason. This tree is the largest living thing on earth and is a plant. So inspiring and God knows… I need my inspiration.

Sequoia Elisabeth 🙂

https://onenessministry.info/

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How is my Transition Serving Mankind?

How is my transition serving mankind?  And if it is not serving then why do it?

Gender transition comes in as many different flavors as there are people transitioning.  The standing authorities from WPATH as well as others say that CHT, contra-hormone therapy and GRS, genital realignment surgery are the best way to treat Gender Dysphoria.  My response to this is perhaps on a superficial and purely material plane, but we are not just animals or bodies.  We are multi-dimensional beings – Spiritual Beings who are having a human experience!

Metaphysics teaches us that we have a body at each level of the Chakra system. So gender transition is something we encounter in forth body. Before this it is incomprehensible and thus the reaction we get from so many others.  “The first four bodies and their chakras were split into two. The duality ends with the fifth body.  As I said before, the difference between male and female lasts until the fourth body; after that it ends. If we observe very closely all duality belongs to the male and the female. Where the distance between male and female is no more, at that very point all duality ceases. The fifth body is nondual. It does not have two possibilities but only one.” (Osho, The Seven Bodies and the Seven Chakras).

So from this we discover that Gender Dysphoria is simply a longing for Fifth Body.  It is our realization of non-duality!  It is not to be fixed then, but celebrated!  As we move from one point to another there is always an in between.  This can be uncomfortable and even painful.  However once you realize what is happening that you are only in between two points which on the human level are far apart the journey becomes easier and even fascinating.

My original question which started this blog has now morphed into a realization that transition does not serve mankind directly but only through the individual as they realize their oneness and find non-duality.  The why is simple then, because to get there we must go thru here.  The why is simply it is on the path.  There is no right or wrong way to get where you are going, so don’t fret over details like should I have surgery or not.  Do what feels best at the time and trust what the Universe offers up.  If you are meant to do something then the resources will be made manifest.  And if they do not appear it means all is well as it is.  We call this Faith.

Love n Light,

Sequoia Elisabeth 🙂

Unity in Gender Diversity

 

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What do we really know about Gender?

What do we really know about gender?  It seems we know far more about physical sex since this is tangible.  Both Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation are constructions of the mind thus making them difficult to pin down.  It seems now they are not even “hardwired into the brain” as once believed.  (All thoughts come from the mind not the brain just in case you were unaware of this).  What makes us so malleable?  The old debate between Nature and Nurture seems to make vacillations from one to the other on a regular basis.  Perhaps it is neither!?!   This just came out and changes the game once again.

“A team of researchers successfully changed the gender in the brains of newborn rats from female to male, according to findings published this week in Nature Neuroscience. “Physically, these animals were females, but in their reproductive behavior, they were males,” Bridget Nugent, the lead author said…” (Reed, Carey 2015)

What does this mean to those who identify as Transgender?  This new finding would indicate that our status is the result of some chemical change presumably in the environment.  It is just as likely to occur after birth as before.  Perhaps it was the miscarriage drug given in the 50’s and 60’s, Diethylstilbestrol (DES) or perhaps it is in the food we eat.  Soy is now found in much of our foods especially since many children are lactose intolerant now and use soy as an alternative.  (I have personally felt the effects of phytoestrogens from foods like soy and flax).  There are many other sources of estrogen in the environment and it would follow that there are estrogen inhibitors also.  This would explain the gender incongruences and dysphoria’s that some experience throughout their lives.

Even sexual orientation is affected by the hormones running through our bodies.  Before starting hormone therapy I was curious about sex with men but had never been driven to seek out sex with them.  I was more stimulated by women.  After taking estrogen for some time my desires shifted to men and at the peak of treatment with a high dose I was passionate about it.  Now that I have no testosterone and take no estrogen (levels normal for a female of my age) I don’t really have any sexual drive.  The conclusion I would draw from my experience is that our hormones are behind our sexual drive and perhaps even our sexual orientation.

The question then is perhaps instead of using Contra-hormone therapy to treat Gender Dysphoria or Incongruency a neuter approach is more appropriate.  I am sure this would depend on the age of the individual and their desired outcome, but having no sex drive seems more desirable than one which drives you crazy (personal opinion).  This is not about sexual reproduction, because we already have far more people in this world than can be easily sustained and we certainly don’t need more egos running around!

Concerning gender identity the jury is still out.  It does seem that it is also malleable and if you want to be a girl or a boy that option exists.  My question would be Why?  Why do you feel wrong in your body?  Do you really even have a body?  Perhaps this is all just an insane delusion after all!  Question Everything!

Sequoia Elisabeth 🙂

Unity in Gender Diversity

 

 

 

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Pain and Suffering

The road is what you make it; however anyone can navigate a straight and level path.  Perhaps the journey is not meant to be easy, but instead to be challenging, eventful, and fulfilling.  Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

This is an important distinction which I wish to make clear.  Suffering is optional!  My definition of suffering is avoidable pain.  The example that best explains it is a pebble which has gotten into your shoe.  It is large enough to cause a blister and perhaps eventually break the skin, whether you stop and remove the pebble or not is up to you.  Leaving it in all day is suffering.  With this said let us now consider muddier examples.

Say you were born with a birth defect like a cleft lip or missing fingers.  The pain is indirect now and so the suffering is harder to avoid.  Or say the defect is more profound such as Down’s syndrome.  In these situations the pain is often more for the family than it is for the individual.  The opportunity to grow extends to all those around this person.  From my perspective it is a larger gift, if used in this way.  The point here is each challenge is an opportunity to share Love (God’s Unconditional Love).

Now let us consider gender dysphoria or transgender/transsexual.  The pain from this condition is often mental/psychological and so it is even further removed and harder to avoid.  It is possible to go your entire life avoiding this gender confrontation, and some do this very thing.  However now a days the treatment of hormones and surgery have become available to remove the physical distress this condition offers up.  Since this is really a mental/psychological condition do the physical changes remove the pain or simply remove the obstacles associated with it?  The latter would be my answer and so any treatment that does not include psychological therapies is useless in my opinion.  Perhaps the psychological therapy is all that is really needed!

After many years of walking this road of gender dysphoria I have concluded the real message here is about Love and acceptance of the self.  If you cannot accept yourself as you were born then accepting the body after surgery is simply another delusion.  With this in mind, to run off and have surgery early on is simply perpetuating the problem instead of healing it!  At some point surgery is a viable option, but not till and unless the individual is able to comfortably express love for the self.  Perhaps this is the gift a therapist can most assist the individual with!  The road to self-love is often a long one, however if gender dysphoria or any dysphoria for that matter is being experienced this is a sign, a call for help if you will.

When I first entered therapy for gender dysphoria I was told only about 5% of people successfully transition from man to woman or vice versa.  This is because many are comfortable somewhere in between, so this is not to say they are unsuccessful, but simply they did not realize where balance would be achieved or that the journey was really about learning to love the self!

🙂  Sequoia Elisabeth

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Why Transition?

Recently I was asked why anyone would want to take hormones and have surgery to change their sex.  They were curious about the personal benefits involved.  We often hear the costs involved, such as $$$, social status, and sexual dysfunction, however what a cysgender person cannot know is the pain, dysfunction, and inner turmoil that exists for a transgender person.  The very question demonstrates a lack of understanding.  So let’s set the record straight by explaining a few things.

First of all, incongruency exists for a transgender person, because they live in the opposite body of which both their brain and identity have aligned.  They are operating without the proper chemistry and attempting to work with the wrong tools.  You can use pliers to hammer nails but it just does not work very well.

Hormones assist in the regulation of brain function.  What determines Gender Identity is the effect of hormones on the fetus in the earliest stages of development.  “Scientific evidence has been growing that somehow certain brain-structures in the hypothalamus (the BSTc region) determine each person’s core gender feelings and innate gender identity. These structures are “hard-wired” pre-natally in the lower brain centers and central nervous system (CNS) during the early stages of pregnancy”.  (Dennis, Carina 2004)

Further, “Six years ago, the Netherlands Institute of Brain Research published the results of a study they had been conducting…. A subsequent report was published last year in the leading international journal for neurological studies, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism [85 (5): 2034-41; May, 2000]….  What the researchers found were significant differences in the brains of men and women relevant to reproductive hormones, cognition, emotions, and our body’s responses to them. The differences were both in magnitude and consistency and involve a region of the hypothalamus identified as the BSTc. Human males average about twice as many neurons within the BSTc as do females. In both males and females, transsexuals did not have the neuron number typical of their gender, but, instead, had the number typical of the sex they always believed they should be.” (Niedermayer, Grace 2004)

The relief a transgender person feels from the proper hormones is usually a euphoric experience.  The beautiful thing about contra-hormone therapy (CHT) is the effects are reversible completely for about the first six months and even after years of therapy if the person decides to revert, although sterility is likely.  In only a few weeks it is clear if CHT is the right choice.

Testosterone in a body wired for estrogen or vice versa will create dysphoria, agitation, and irritability.  So if euphoria and a general peaceful feeling are not experienced then CHT is not the answer and other treatment is indicated.  Yes, CHT is a treatment for a medical condition, gender incongruency (formally known as Gender Dsyphoria).

As in any medical condition it is best to have specific medical guidance by someone with experience in gender therapy!  It is possible to treat yourself, just as anyone with any medical condition can do, however the results very drastically.  Hormones are not a recreational drug!  I find this almost comical that someone would think so, and yet invariably people do.  If you would like to know more about hormones, their effects, what to expect, other gender and sexual info please read my eBook, Sex and Sexuality, One Woman’s Journey of Discovery.

😀 Sequoia Elisabeth

Unity in Gender Diversity             Free eBooks

 

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Medically Necessary Part II

Con’t from Nov. 21st

What this question is really speaking to is the insurance industries requirements for payment of treatment.  The fact that it is treatment means it is considered a disease and that it is a social non-conformity that needs correction.  Gender Dysphoria is presently in the DSM and the treatment includes GRS/SRS, FFS, etc. (as listed above).  So my answer would be yes, it is medically necessary from the medical/social perspective, because society as a whole expects people to be either male or female.  However from the Spiritual perspective, the answer would be no, it is not necessary because life is not being threatened by not having the surgery.  Some argue that the individual will commit suicide if they do not get this surgery or the person is marginalized into a high risk group for hate crime, thus it is life threatening.  I simply do not agree with this analysis.  It is an excuse plain and simple.  This does not mean that it is right or wrong.

Surgery is a coping mechanism, one way to cope with the perception that one’s body is incongruent with the person’s self-image or gender identity.  There are other ways to cope and it is the responsibility of the patient and their therapist to explore these options.  This is where things get very tricky!  Perception is a personal thing and others may perceive things differently.  In all manners of equality though, one has to ask if having any surgery is “medically necessary”?  Just because someone dies; it is not a bad thing.  Life goes on!  Maybe not that individuation of life and the belief that all life is to be preserved is based in compassion.  To me this is the crux of the issue, Compassion!  Caring for another’s needs whether “real” or imagined takes compassion and this is why surgical intervention is necessary.  Either a life has value and must be preserved or it does not and can be allowed to pass.  Who makes this choice?  It should be the individual’s choice and most often it is, with a few exceptions.

Life is about choice, because we are constantly choosing our path, the quality, and the extent of the experience (everything you think, say and do is a choice).  The value we place on this path/experience determines what we get out of the experience, including whether surgery is medically necessary.  Of course once we decide it is necessary, the medical community has to agree with us, which is done by offering lots of money, or the opportunity for caring compassion, or both.  Societal views are shifting in a more compassionate direction so more and more insurance companies are covering the surgery and many more surgeons are performing it.  The medical community after all is based on the compassionate care of others for the betterment of mankind. (this includes insurance companies!)

🙂 Sequoia Elisabeth

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To Be Or Not To Be

To have GRS (Genital Reassignment Surgery) or not, is sort of like the question “to be or not to be”?  It is a choice all gender variant individuals must answer.  Of course we could get into the terminology game and define the different stages of the transition journey, but we will not. (Please see how I define terms here) Take me for example, (because I don’t like to speak for others) I have identified as no less than 7 gender identities including man, woman, androgynous, crossdresser, transvestite, transgender, and transsexual.  I am not sure many others even exist, except for maybe queer or genderqueer and in my day that was a very undesirable label.  I hated that label almost as much as being called Lurch.  To say I have an identity crisis is an understatement; my life is an identity crisis!  Or is it?

The reality is life is always growing, changing, and experimenting with various forms of existence and humans are no different.  How many people do you know who are happy with only one outfit, one flavor of cake, one of anything in their lives?  It sounds absurd to me to even think of living in the same house all your life, from birth to death.  Many have done this and that is the beauty of nature.  If it is possible then it has occurred at least once.

Variety is the spice of life!  So how you identify is up to you and it does not have to be set in stone.  Crossdressers identify as their birth sex, but like being the other from time to time, so they dress in the clothes of the opposite sex.  To me this is not necessarily a gender identity issue.  It certainly is not an illness or disorder.  It could however be classified as a fetish.  The point being here is these individuals have no desire to have GRS.

I like to think of gender as a rainbow or sliding scale.  The scale runs from male to female and has many degrees in between.   It looks like the graph to the right.  The other factor which confuses things is a person can fluctuate on the scale from day to day and even moment to moment.

So how does one decide that GRS is right for them?  This is the million dollar question!  It is not a decision you can reverse.  So taking it seriously is highly advised.  Getting in tune with your inner feelings and experimenting with different lifestyles and roles is important in reaching this decision.  How do you feel most comfortable?  Are you sure?  Is is always this way or does it fluctuate?  If it fluctuates to any degree then maybe you should wait on GRS.  I have seen several different statistics indicating that most GRS candidates are happy post op and the numbers of people feeling they had made a mistake are few in comparison.  WPATH guidelines were design just for the purpose of assuring only true transsexuals or severe gender dysphoric individuals get the surgery.

So what do you do if you are in the middle somewhere?  Gender Dysphoric but only mildly and able to live in the birth sexes gender role.  This is a choice for the individual ultimately, but a professional specializing in gender issues should be consulted for at least 3 months and preferably for a year or more.  From my experience it is often other issues that depress the individual making gender dysphoria a secondary condition.  Again this is why it is so important to have professional help.

Next time we will discuss sexual orientation and its role in the GRS question if it has one which I feel it does.  Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation are different, yet connected, like much of life!

🙂 Sequoia Elisabeth

Unity in Gender Diversity

Transgender Etiquette 

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