“every day as i shower i offer this buddhist prayer to myself and to the world:
as i bathe this body i vow with all sentient beings to wash from this body and
mind all dust and confusion to fell healthy and clean within and without…

last year my dust and confusion were pretty mighty!!!
i was told i have three diseases
i had two surgeries
i was told i needed to leave my home/as well my place of business by my landlady’s daughter where i had lived and taken refuge to heal myself for fourteen years as well where i offered my massage work to heal others
my 83 year old dad who i had moved from new york to the cape in orleans 12 years ago began to hallucinate
my finances were lacking abundance
and i am peri menopausal

i imagine me and my body went into a shock a survival mode and into an extreme fight or flight

shame vulnerability betrayal were gifted to me by the mighty gods (oh those darn gods) to heal something that needed liberation within me…so i began on this adventure of uncertainty and my gauge throughout was always tracey you have two choices:
you can become icky and hardened towards yourself and other
or you can become kinder and compassionate to yourself and other
i reckon i learned in some moments that i can find balance in both and that i am human and make mistakes..phewww what a relief

i am someone as i imagine most of you are a very independent woman
but i believe something deep inside of me guided me to a place bigger than myself as
i needed to ask for help to allow vulnerability…big time!!!
i felt so broken and told a friend that all i have right now to offer anyone is kindness…
maybe that was a good realization for me

so i offered my vulnerability out to the world…
and it embraced me…overwhelmingly!!!
love kindness generosity held me gently so gently through this seemingly dark time in my life
and it’s the only thing that got me through then and even still to this day
i moved three times because i couldn’t afford the mighty rents being asked
i found myself taking refuge in one gorgeous home after another as people allowed me to stay in their spare bedrooms…these people i knew liked me but not to this capacity
my car died and friends gifted me their jeep as well paying a years insurance (i always wanted an effffff’in jeep my whole life!!!)
gift cards dinners hugs you name it…it came to me
i would tell my dad daily of something someone did and he said “no one does this…i have never seen anything like this in my life”
well dad i reckon you have never met what community means and what it is like to live in provincetown

and then i walked into the h.o.w. office…
so very scared and reluctant and full of shame
(just so you know the word shame doesn’t exist in some cultures…
the dalai lama didn’t know what it meant when someone told him they were full of shame…often times in our culture but not limited to it is a shame connected to monetary worth and this was my shame)
many years ago i had participated in the h.o.w. bike ride fundraiser as well offered massages to a few clients with their stipends as payment but never ever imagined being a client myself…
no no not me as i could take care of myself…thats what i was taught by this society
when i met with donna i said that i imagined that there were other women more deserving of your help and that i didn’t believe i belonged there
she so humanely embraced me welcomed me and began the intake process
the capacity of h.o.w. and their safe space for baring witness to another is breathtaking beyond measure
not only do they financially support one as you navigate to drs appointments with cape air tickets and taxis and bus rides to boston but listen to your triumphs and setbacks as you try to navigate the mighty and often broken healthcare system which can be daunting and make one feel diminished….those conversations were so vital to my healing by being listened to with an educated loving unconditional heart that encouraged me to be an advocate for my healthcare this was incredible so thank you donna elizabeth and the fiercely gentle greeter pippi for listening with your mighty mighty hearts!!!
also what h.o.w. does is it says to someone you deserve to be cared for
you are respected and appreciated here
we see you and you are ok actually you are more than ok
and beautiful snail mail holiday greeting cards
all of these actions by h.ow. empowered me
it connected me to a diminished self who felt comfortable in deprivation
this is not the essence of who i am nor how i want to be in this world
h.o.w. and their lack of judgement let me practice in this unfamiliar space within
another kind of rewiring went on in me

one of my gazzillion teachings during this past year:
giving and receiving are the same
i love to give it makes me feel amazing all the cells in my body respond and it is almost an addiction i need to be mindful of
so with my vulnerability i learned that i needed to rewire my thinking
if i love giving so much how can i refuse offerings from others as i would be cutting them off from that feeling that i know is so yummmy…so i would have to practice saying “yes and thank you” often and go home and cry as the rewiring was brutal for a person that was terrified to ask for help because i would seem weak
this act of giving and receiving i believe is most likely the reason we are all here and a way of being human to each other

so this vulnerability thing can change the world!!!
i saw it and i continue to see it in my little world
the fierce energy of giving and receiving because others were given the opportunity to offer what they had to offer to me during my vulnerable moments is going out into the big world and changing it…so we all need to practice offering a notch of vulnerability to each other and this will change this pained yet often beautiful world one person at a time!!!
power to the brave vulnerable!!!

h.o.w. gifts a stunningly sweet space for this humanness as we all discover we need each other because i don’t care who you are or how well you think you have protected yourself from being in a vulnerable moment in your life…it will happen to you and the beauty of this happening to you is that it allows what it means to be a human being in this lifetime…we all suffer and we all have great joy and we all need each other!!!
lucky us for this!!!

i am honored and grateful to be standing here with you today in the midst of all this mighty generosity of spirit that is helping our women!!!
i realize now that last year happened to me to inform me of my continued desire to make this world a better place and h.o.w is an example of this better place…i am the luckiest girl in the world that our paths have met!!!

this is what h.o.w. has gifted me:
“i wish i could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being” -hafiz

happy trails everyone…”

More of tracey’s story:

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Michelle’s  Story

In Memory of Michelle
February 29, 1956 – May 3, 2015

Click here to learn more about Michelle’s story

Bridging the Gap _ Michelle Dirksen from Provincetown Community TV on Vimeo.



Bridging The Gap

Please tune into Bridging the Gap, a production of Helping Our Women and PTV (Provincetown Community Television) on Channel 17 in Provincetown or by going to  https://vimeo.com/channels/883404/page:1 to view all programs

Bridging the Gap is a series of discussions with health and human service providers focusing on the gaps in services and how they are being filled by local organizations. These programs focus on topics including access to mental health services, programs for children and families, substance abuse, early intervention and disease prevention, housing, and many other issues that affect the lives of Cape Codders every day.

For information or to suggest a program, please contact HOW

Yvonne deSousa

Finding Humor in a Multiple Sclerosis Life

The website that explores what happens when Multiple Sclerosis attacks a funny bone and misses!

Thank you for checking out my website.   This is the place where I use a giggle stick to beat up on Multiple Sclerosis.



Bridging the Gap with Yvonne deSousa

yvonnedesouza-clients corner