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Michael Coutts
Last Activity:
Apr 19, 2024 at 12:46 AM
Joined:
Jan 15, 2024
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45
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Gender:
Male
Birthday:
Jun 20, 1980 (Age: 43)
Location:
Spences Bridge, BC, Canada
Occupation:
Farmer

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Michael Coutts

Peer Supporter, Male, 43, from Spences Bridge, BC, Canada

Michael Coutts was last seen:
Apr 19, 2024 at 12:46 AM
  • My Story

    Hello all, here's my story. It is quite long and is really quite extraordinary. I have had quite a healing journey and John Sarno has helped me through it. Bear with me....

    Prior to 2020, I suffered for many years from a wide variety of horrible symptoms.

    I was absolutely debilitated from crippling pounding migraine headaches, often accompanied by vomiting all through the night, and days afterwards were filled with weakness.

    These migraines increased in intensity and frequency as years went on. I had thought for a long time that they were everything from food poisoning from restaurant foods, heat stroke from working in the heat, or some sickness from working too hard.

    I eventually learned that these were migraines and tried all sorts of unsuccessful remedies- herbal tinctures and teas from our own homegrown medicinal herbs, changing my diet to avoid nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers), avoiding coffee, avoiding wheat, limited alcohol to one glass of homebrewed mead in the evening, making sure to neither wake up too early or stay up too late. I could only safely eat food that my family had grown and prepared ourselves- any food that I ate in a restaurant or at a community function would give me diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, and migraines. Migraines controlled my life, and affected my family's life as well.

    At the height of my migraines when I would experience low level headaches several times each week with a big whopper as often as every month I was connecting the occurrences of my migraines in relation to the phases of the moon and the location of constellations and other sorts of madness like this. For many years on our farm we planted and harvested according the phases of the moon and such. We always had a 'biodynamic planting calendar' posted in our bathroom which literally has every hour of every day of the year and where the moon and constellations are and supposedly improve your crops. Staring at this calendar every time my head hurt easily led me to come up with some totally crazy theories. We no longer use this calendar which has been a relief and still our crops thrive.

    I was basically conditioning myself to get a migraine any time some crazy cosmic thing was happening or anything was out of sorts.... I was perpetually terrified of the next migraine, and they kept coming in some form or another.

    I eventually read of a recommendation to smoke copious amounts of marijuana, hourly throughout the day... I would indeed start feeling my head hurt and would experience absurd levels of anxiety around making sure I would smoke a joint or suffer my pounding head.... It is very unfortunate that there are migraine clinics that recommend this, but they do this and publish books about it! They just don't grasp what is really causing these migraines.

    Along with these migraines, I experienced a wide variety of other painful symptoms, especially throughout my thirties including: an agonizing knee where I could barely lift up my leg for long stretches of time (I blamed it on my heavy rubber boots); I experienced horrible tennis elbow with electric shocks going up my arm with a tight knot 'golf ball' inside the elbow- this I blamed on the grain scoop we would use for measuring chicken grain- eventually an ergonomic grain scoop swapped that symptom for another.

    One time I experienced intense neck pain and stiffness for a month where I could barely move my head from side to side. I had unloaded 90 pallets from a truck while I had a migraine, which made my migraine worse. That evening I opened a book on Qi Gong that had some neck excercises. I did them incorrectly, read the fine print saying that you can damage your neck if you do this incorrectly, and then suffered for a month (its always easy for your brain to latch onto some sort of symptom that you read about and then give you this symptom! I used to pour over books describing every symptom out there and what forms of alternative healing can treat these symptoms. This is a bad idea for people with TMS to read about symptoms that they don't have. It gives an opportunity for your brain to give you this symptom as a mighty convincing distraction that can plague you!

    I was experiencing tons of food intolerances which caused all sorts of digestive problems and stomach pain and such.

    I had suffered from crazy tooth pain and degrading teeth for many years. Two autumns in a row I had to go into emergency dental to have teeth pulled. I had four teeth pulled in my thirties from excruciating tooth pain and tooth decay. Using Sarno's techniques have stopped all tooth pain (I can even eat frozen food and swish cold water through my teeth!). My old dental work is still sadly cracking apart from a lifetime of fillings, braces, root canals and such. I realize now that it was all likely due to tooth grinding and jaw clenching which I regularly order my brain not to do, and this has stopped. Some clues to the fake terrible tooth pain (which honestly had me for a whole month several times with rolled up cotton plugged in my nose and ears with a scarf wrapped around my face and pharmaceutical grade oregano oil being poured into my poor teeth) were when, during the teeth surgery, the dentist said 'are you sure that this tooth is giving you pain? This tooth is completely dead (due to a previous root canal) and shouldn't cause any pain. But if you want it pulled, we'll pull it (or more accurately cut them out). Early on to using Sarno's techniques, I would experience 'phantom pain' where these teeth had been pulled. I would tell my brain 'Ha, Brain, you can't fool me. There aren't any teeth there to hurt!' and the pain would cease immediately.

    My symptoms reached their peak in the winter of 2019 where I experienced extraordinarily agonizing tailbone pain that left me in tears over the whole winter. It felt like I was sitting on a burning hot poker anytime I sat down. I blamed my chair. I blamed chopping firewood. I was in so much incredible pain. I would lay down on the floor with tennis balls under my buttocks and fight the tears as I thought this would help.

    It got to its worst when I watched my eight year old daughter and wife move a stack of firewood to clean up a space, and I was in tears because I was in too much pain to help.

    I was fearing how I could continue farming for the rest of my life which I expected (and expect) to do. My body was a wreck, and I wasn't even 40 years old.

    Finally, out of total desperation, I literally crawled on my hands and knees to our bookshelf where we had a copy of 'Healing Back Pain' by John Sarno, that had sat there for ten years. We had picked up from a thrift store after reading Andrew Weill's book Spontaneous Healing recommended it . It had helped my wife overcome terrible shoulder pain way back then. I hadn't really had much pain at the time and so didn't ever give it a glance.

    My mind was blown and my life was changed.

    I had read the book for my terrible tail bone pain and here I discovered the cure for my migraines and every other horrible symptom, and even silly symptoms that I hadn't really considered (like getting up in the night to pee).

    Since then I have been able to accomplish wonderful things. I can eat whatever I want (which is still our amazing homegrown veggies, fruits, dairy, meat, and eggs from our farm)- even food at local functions, cheeseburgers in restaurants once in a blue moon, and whatever else- with no ill effect.

    I can drink alcohol without getting sick and ill through the night and into the following days. Although drinking isn't necessarily beneficial to your health, its a real relief to not suffer crazy illness from imbibing too much. It's more sensible to moderate drinking when you brew your own mead because it is totally inconvenient to drink too much because it creates too much work in brewing labour and cost! Plus it is good to be responsible

    I can do whatever intense task life requires of me here on our farm- plenty of heavy lifting and busy stuff which I was so afraid of before.

    I can get in the truck with my family and head out to nearby towns to do whatever needs doing without coming home and barfing my guts out with a pounding head for days afterwards.

    I talk to my brain all the time. In the beginning I talked extensively about all of the buried rage that I was experiencing that dated back to my childhood- with my mom dying of a brain tumor when I was three and a half, and being raised by an abusive step mother who dealt mountains of emotional trips on me, broke a wooden spoon over my bare ass, left horrible mean notes for me, and on and on....

    I talk regularly about all sorts of things that enrage me- mostly little things these days like interruptions in daily farm life- necessary telephone calls, early morning or late in the day visitors, bad weather, dirty dishes, chores, etc. etc.....

    I talked a lot early on about the buried rage I experienced living with in laws with health problems who I didn't really connect with. This definitely causes huge amounts of buried rage.

    I have found that the best success from using Sarno's methods have come from reading his books over and over and talking to your brain anytime and any day- even (and especially if) there's somebody you have to talk to who drives you so crazy that you can feel your brain boil and steam coming out of your ears.....

    Over the course of a few years I have read his books 20 times, in the beginning finishing one book and immediately reading the next, and rereading them over and over. I read books in his bibliography (The Rage Within, Edward Shorter's book), and Marc Sopher's excellent and Howard Schubiner's great books (especially his sections on rewriting your terrible memories where you were the victim, instead turning the tables on the oppressors, often violently, and becoming the victor.... This can be daytime slapstick fun mind games- such as turning a memory where I was forced to stay at the table for hours as a kid with liver in front of me which I loathed and would eat bite by bite reading a stack of archie comics.... My new memory transformed with my step mother sitting at the table while I heaped pitchfork loaded piles of liver into her mouth until she exploded... and on it went)

    I was feeling (and am feeling) so good that I opened a 'Healing Pain Library' that I stocked with John Sarno books purchased with $400 of my dollars, plus donations from the public and Joe Christie who donated 4 books (plus a couple of Howard Schubiner books that Howard kindly donated). This library has been a quasi success- all the books have been loaned out and not returned. Still, there is a big writeup for all to read about John Sarno and his techniques and my own healing journey. I have heard that several of the folks who borrowed his books have had healing success, and I hope that many more have as well, and will eventually return the books (for more people to borrow).

    This story has been going on and on, and it doesn't really end here.

    After Sarno's methods healed and have continued to heal me (life began at 40 for me!), and life was going quite well for my family and our farm (despite COVID, which hadn't really affected us as we are such home bodies anyways, and our honour stand market stand was having its best year ever in 2020), we experienced some crazy stuff.

    In late June 2021, our neighbour town of Lytton burned to the ground on the hottest day on record (our farm registered 56.5 degrees celsius on a log in the sun). This rip roaring forest fire that burned this town to the ground continued ripping and roaring for a month (and longer) when it suddenly threatened our beautiful farm. The whole mountain across from our farm was on fire. We had plenty of sprinklers, plenty of green vegetation, pumps and were well prepared.

    Unfortunately, just as we were at our most ready, the police showed up to our farm, and told us that our daughter and my wife's mother had to leave despite all of our preparedness and safety (confirmed by veteran firefighters who were helping us prepare- they said we were totally safe and probably wouldn't have to fight a single fire). The police didn't just tell us, they yelled at us (four police), called for backup, told us that we were going to die, threatened to take my wife and I away in handcuffs and send our daughter off to child and family services if we didn't comply.

    This all started when I was just collecting a basket of eggs, and said that we had already signed a paper the day prior with a conservation officer who knew that our whole family lived here, and never mentioned any problems.

    Needless to say, our daughter left the farm with grandma and uncle to stay with nearby relatives- the first time we had been away from our daughter since she was born in our living room eleven years prior. Actually, my wife drove the lot of them 1.5 hour round trip, then ripped back zipping the car around a police road block to get back and help me fight fire!

    Between everyone going and Brandie coming back, the fire department showed up and told us that actually we had a bunch of fire hazardous stuff on the farm. We proceeded to throw all of our outdoor furniture over our banks, put sprinklers on thousands of dollars of hay (completely ruining it), and watering the heck out of our farm and buildings and gardens and orchards for a 12 day evacuation order where we would be arrested if we stepped foot off our property!

    The point of this story (and it gets crazier) is that both my wife and I were suddenly facing absolutely extraordinary push you to the limits insanity that I know that I only survived because of John Sarno's amazing techniques. Just a couple of years prior I would get a pounding migraine if I missed one hour of sleep (as in, didn't get 8 hours of sleep every night minimum). We had to tag team with napping so that we could walk our farm (about 10 acres or so where the main farm was) to put out any potential flare ups that might have leapt across the Nicola River to our place.

    The first night we got 1 hour of sleep, the next night 3 hours of sleep, the next night 4 hours of sleep- a total of 7 hours of sleep over three nights.
    During this time we were like zombies, still eating, drinking mead from the bottle (it felt like the end of the world- that would come later), thinking that we were going to lose our farm and that our life was wrecked and so incredible enraged at how we had been treated.

    The fire eventually calmed, our power never went out, we ate steak every day (because we were worried our freezers would fail and we'd lose all the good stuff!) the evacuation order was over, and everybody came home.

    The rest of the season was exhausting and emotional and the farm was a mess and there was worse to come.

    November 15th of 2021 our calm Nicola River went insane and completely destroyed our valley, removing homes and land and animals and people and sending them out between here and the ocean! It was called the biggest recorded natural disaster in Canadian history and our farm was smack in the middle of the greatest carnage. Our neighbour on one side died when her house and property were engulfed and taken away. Our neighbours on the other side lost their house and every structure and all of their land leaving a 20 foot wide strip of unusable land beside the highway. Our neighbours across the river from us had the road destroyed and lost 17 acres and plenty of stuff and there is still no access beyond crossing the river. The highway was completely destroyed in all directions- one spot in front of our property became a 70 foot broken jagged cliff with the asphalt fallen to the bottom.

    We lost 5.2 acres of land, 175 fruit trees, 7 coops and barns, our well and wellhouse, shop, greenhouse, big compost rich gardens, 100 chickens and heritage turkeys, and our bull and buck who had to be shot as they threatened a helicopter rescue of our milk cow Tina and our milk goats (check out Tina the Flying Cow on you tube).

    Our house was safe, though, as seventh day adventists had originally built it on solid bedrock. Our farm was a wreck.

    We had to turf all of our freezers of food and hundreds of pounds of fresh produce so it wouldn't rot in our house. We had to helicopter away and leave our home, despite plenty of firewood, food, milk animals, beef on the hoof, and a few dozen chickens (who didn't go down with the ship, but later became coyote food) because the roads and power were all destroyed.

    We spent a solid 5 months of winter depressingly staying elsewhere. After winter we split the time from a friend's property and hiking or helicoptering in (12 free rides!) to our farm, bringing all of our everything on our backs for another many months until we could drive in the following August and live full time again without power and water. We flew in a solar pump for our remaining 75 fruit trees and started rebuilding. Eventually a well was drilled, water and power returned in January '23 (14 months after the disaster)

    Since then, through incredible amounts of financial support from friends and strangers, government assistance, Red Cross, and more, we have built our farm back to an incredible point. We rebuilt 10 buildings on our property between September 2022 and December '23, have fenced a huge bunch of the land, created new big gardens, hatched out dozens of birds, saw the return of Brandie's mom (blind immediately after the flood), the return of the milk cow Tina and her new baby and the goats..... And here we are now in the middle of a crazy winter freeze (which has given me an excuse to write on this great page).

    So what is the point of this last long lengthy bunch of catastrophic business- that using Sarno's methods have completely saved me from curling up on the couch and dying from debilitating migraines and pain that would absolutely have overtaken me and killed me with all of these crazy situations that were thrown at me and my family!

    During these trials and tribulations I have had to talk to my brain about more than just everyday stuff- there has been crooked contractors, catastrophic end of the world type disasters, military helicopters, police, a bull and billy goat at our kitchen door, fires, floods, insane paperwork, manic government rebuild projects, mean people (very few- most people are so incredible, kind, caring and sharing, however there has been some mean people surrounding crazy disasters) permitting and on and on and on and on.....

    Decision making overload has definitely been experienced this past year.

    And I feel fine. I smile and laugh and love life and dance to music and cook and eat good food and love my wife and daughter so much and feel great doing all sorts of farm work. Even if life isn't perfect, its still wonderful. What a blessing to be Alive!

    So there you go. There's my story. My family has an excellent facebook page: MichaelBrandieCouttsMacArthur and Monkeyinthegarden worth checking out.
    And if you're ever out in the Nicola Valley, highway 8 outside Spences Bridge, BC, Canada, stop out and check out our market stand for amazing fruits and veggie, eggs, plants and more!

    Happy Healing!
    Michael Coutts
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  • My Story

    Gender:
    Male
    Birthday:
    Jun 20, 1980 (Age: 43)
    Location:
    Spences Bridge, BC, Canada
    Occupation:
    Farmer
    Hello all, here's my story. It is quite long and is really quite extraordinary. I have had quite a healing journey and John Sarno has helped me through it. Bear with me....

    Prior to 2020, I suffered for many years from a wide variety of horrible symptoms.

    I was absolutely debilitated from crippling pounding migraine headaches, often accompanied by vomiting all through the night, and days afterwards were filled with weakness.

    These migraines increased in intensity and frequency as years went on. I had thought for a long time that they were everything from food poisoning from restaurant foods, heat stroke from working in the heat, or some sickness from working too hard.

    I eventually learned that these were migraines and tried all sorts of unsuccessful remedies- herbal tinctures and teas from our own homegrown medicinal herbs, changing my diet to avoid nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers), avoiding coffee, avoiding wheat, limited alcohol to one glass of homebrewed mead in the evening, making sure to neither wake up too early or stay up too late. I could only safely eat food that my family had grown and prepared ourselves- any food that I ate in a restaurant or at a community function would give me diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, and migraines. Migraines controlled my life, and affected my family's life as well.

    At the height of my migraines when I would experience low level headaches several times each week with a big whopper as often as every month I was connecting the occurrences of my migraines in relation to the phases of the moon and the location of constellations and other sorts of madness like this. For many years on our farm we planted and harvested according the phases of the moon and such. We always had a 'biodynamic planting calendar' posted in our bathroom which literally has every hour of every day of the year and where the moon and constellations are and supposedly improve your crops. Staring at this calendar every time my head hurt easily led me to come up with some totally crazy theories. We no longer use this calendar which has been a relief and still our crops thrive.

    I was basically conditioning myself to get a migraine any time some crazy cosmic thing was happening or anything was out of sorts.... I was perpetually terrified of the next migraine, and they kept coming in some form or another.

    I eventually read of a recommendation to smoke copious amounts of marijuana, hourly throughout the day... I would indeed start feeling my head hurt and would experience absurd levels of anxiety around making sure I would smoke a joint or suffer my pounding head.... It is very unfortunate that there are migraine clinics that recommend this, but they do this and publish books about it! They just don't grasp what is really causing these migraines.

    Along with these migraines, I experienced a wide variety of other painful symptoms, especially throughout my thirties including: an agonizing knee where I could barely lift up my leg for long stretches of time (I blamed it on my heavy rubber boots); I experienced horrible tennis elbow with electric shocks going up my arm with a tight knot 'golf ball' inside the elbow- this I blamed on the grain scoop we would use for measuring chicken grain- eventually an ergonomic grain scoop swapped that symptom for another.

    One time I experienced intense neck pain and stiffness for a month where I could barely move my head from side to side. I had unloaded 90 pallets from a truck while I had a migraine, which made my migraine worse. That evening I opened a book on Qi Gong that had some neck excercises. I did them incorrectly, read the fine print saying that you can damage your neck if you do this incorrectly, and then suffered for a month (its always easy for your brain to latch onto some sort of symptom that you read about and then give you this symptom! I used to pour over books describing every symptom out there and what forms of alternative healing can treat these symptoms. This is a bad idea for people with TMS to read about symptoms that they don't have. It gives an opportunity for your brain to give you this symptom as a mighty convincing distraction that can plague you!

    I was experiencing tons of food intolerances which caused all sorts of digestive problems and stomach pain and such.

    I had suffered from crazy tooth pain and degrading teeth for many years. Two autumns in a row I had to go into emergency dental to have teeth pulled. I had four teeth pulled in my thirties from excruciating tooth pain and tooth decay. Using Sarno's techniques have stopped all tooth pain (I can even eat frozen food and swish cold water through my teeth!). My old dental work is still sadly cracking apart from a lifetime of fillings, braces, root canals and such. I realize now that it was all likely due to tooth grinding and jaw clenching which I regularly order my brain not to do, and this has stopped. Some clues to the fake terrible tooth pain (which honestly had me for a whole month several times with rolled up cotton plugged in my nose and ears with a scarf wrapped around my face and pharmaceutical grade oregano oil being poured into my poor teeth) were when, during the teeth surgery, the dentist said 'are you sure that this tooth is giving you pain? This tooth is completely dead (due to a previous root canal) and shouldn't cause any pain. But if you want it pulled, we'll pull it (or more accurately cut them out). Early on to using Sarno's techniques, I would experience 'phantom pain' where these teeth had been pulled. I would tell my brain 'Ha, Brain, you can't fool me. There aren't any teeth there to hurt!' and the pain would cease immediately.

    My symptoms reached their peak in the winter of 2019 where I experienced extraordinarily agonizing tailbone pain that left me in tears over the whole winter. It felt like I was sitting on a burning hot poker anytime I sat down. I blamed my chair. I blamed chopping firewood. I was in so much incredible pain. I would lay down on the floor with tennis balls under my buttocks and fight the tears as I thought this would help.

    It got to its worst when I watched my eight year old daughter and wife move a stack of firewood to clean up a space, and I was in tears because I was in too much pain to help.

    I was fearing how I could continue farming for the rest of my life which I expected (and expect) to do. My body was a wreck, and I wasn't even 40 years old.

    Finally, out of total desperation, I literally crawled on my hands and knees to our bookshelf where we had a copy of 'Healing Back Pain' by John Sarno, that had sat there for ten years. We had picked up from a thrift store after reading Andrew Weill's book Spontaneous Healing recommended it . It had helped my wife overcome terrible shoulder pain way back then. I hadn't really had much pain at the time and so didn't ever give it a glance.

    My mind was blown and my life was changed.

    I had read the book for my terrible tail bone pain and here I discovered the cure for my migraines and every other horrible symptom, and even silly symptoms that I hadn't really considered (like getting up in the night to pee).

    Since then I have been able to accomplish wonderful things. I can eat whatever I want (which is still our amazing homegrown veggies, fruits, dairy, meat, and eggs from our farm)- even food at local functions, cheeseburgers in restaurants once in a blue moon, and whatever else- with no ill effect.

    I can drink alcohol without getting sick and ill through the night and into the following days. Although drinking isn't necessarily beneficial to your health, its a real relief to not suffer crazy illness from imbibing too much. It's more sensible to moderate drinking when you brew your own mead because it is totally inconvenient to drink too much because it creates too much work in brewing labour and cost! Plus it is good to be responsible

    I can do whatever intense task life requires of me here on our farm- plenty of heavy lifting and busy stuff which I was so afraid of before.

    I can get in the truck with my family and head out to nearby towns to do whatever needs doing without coming home and barfing my guts out with a pounding head for days afterwards.

    I talk to my brain all the time. In the beginning I talked extensively about all of the buried rage that I was experiencing that dated back to my childhood- with my mom dying of a brain tumor when I was three and a half, and being raised by an abusive step mother who dealt mountains of emotional trips on me, broke a wooden spoon over my bare ass, left horrible mean notes for me, and on and on....

    I talk regularly about all sorts of things that enrage me- mostly little things these days like interruptions in daily farm life- necessary telephone calls, early morning or late in the day visitors, bad weather, dirty dishes, chores, etc. etc.....

    I talked a lot early on about the buried rage I experienced living with in laws with health problems who I didn't really connect with. This definitely causes huge amounts of buried rage.

    I have found that the best success from using Sarno's methods have come from reading his books over and over and talking to your brain anytime and any day- even (and especially if) there's somebody you have to talk to who drives you so crazy that you can feel your brain boil and steam coming out of your ears.....

    Over the course of a few years I have read his books 20 times, in the beginning finishing one book and immediately reading the next, and rereading them over and over. I read books in his bibliography (The Rage Within, Edward Shorter's book), and Marc Sopher's excellent and Howard Schubiner's great books (especially his sections on rewriting your terrible memories where you were the victim, instead turning the tables on the oppressors, often violently, and becoming the victor.... This can be daytime slapstick fun mind games- such as turning a memory where I was forced to stay at the table for hours as a kid with liver in front of me which I loathed and would eat bite by bite reading a stack of archie comics.... My new memory transformed with my step mother sitting at the table while I heaped pitchfork loaded piles of liver into her mouth until she exploded... and on it went)

    I was feeling (and am feeling) so good that I opened a 'Healing Pain Library' that I stocked with John Sarno books purchased with $400 of my dollars, plus donations from the public and Joe Christie who donated 4 books (plus a couple of Howard Schubiner books that Howard kindly donated). This library has been a quasi success- all the books have been loaned out and not returned. Still, there is a big writeup for all to read about John Sarno and his techniques and my own healing journey. I have heard that several of the folks who borrowed his books have had healing success, and I hope that many more have as well, and will eventually return the books (for more people to borrow).

    This story has been going on and on, and it doesn't really end here.

    After Sarno's methods healed and have continued to heal me (life began at 40 for me!), and life was going quite well for my family and our farm (despite COVID, which hadn't really affected us as we are such home bodies anyways, and our honour stand market stand was having its best year ever in 2020), we experienced some crazy stuff.

    In late June 2021, our neighbour town of Lytton burned to the ground on the hottest day on record (our farm registered 56.5 degrees celsius on a log in the sun). This rip roaring forest fire that burned this town to the ground continued ripping and roaring for a month (and longer) when it suddenly threatened our beautiful farm. The whole mountain across from our farm was on fire. We had plenty of sprinklers, plenty of green vegetation, pumps and were well prepared.

    Unfortunately, just as we were at our most ready, the police showed up to our farm, and told us that our daughter and my wife's mother had to leave despite all of our preparedness and safety (confirmed by veteran firefighters who were helping us prepare- they said we were totally safe and probably wouldn't have to fight a single fire). The police didn't just tell us, they yelled at us (four police), called for backup, told us that we were going to die, threatened to take my wife and I away in handcuffs and send our daughter off to child and family services if we didn't comply.

    This all started when I was just collecting a basket of eggs, and said that we had already signed a paper the day prior with a conservation officer who knew that our whole family lived here, and never mentioned any problems.

    Needless to say, our daughter left the farm with grandma and uncle to stay with nearby relatives- the first time we had been away from our daughter since she was born in our living room eleven years prior. Actually, my wife drove the lot of them 1.5 hour round trip, then ripped back zipping the car around a police road block to get back and help me fight fire!

    Between everyone going and Brandie coming back, the fire department showed up and told us that actually we had a bunch of fire hazardous stuff on the farm. We proceeded to throw all of our outdoor furniture over our banks, put sprinklers on thousands of dollars of hay (completely ruining it), and watering the heck out of our farm and buildings and gardens and orchards for a 12 day evacuation order where we would be arrested if we stepped foot off our property!

    The point of this story (and it gets crazier) is that both my wife and I were suddenly facing absolutely extraordinary push you to the limits insanity that I know that I only survived because of John Sarno's amazing techniques. Just a couple of years prior I would get a pounding migraine if I missed one hour of sleep (as in, didn't get 8 hours of sleep every night minimum). We had to tag team with napping so that we could walk our farm (about 10 acres or so where the main farm was) to put out any potential flare ups that might have leapt across the Nicola River to our place.

    The first night we got 1 hour of sleep, the next night 3 hours of sleep, the next night 4 hours of sleep- a total of 7 hours of sleep over three nights.
    During this time we were like zombies, still eating, drinking mead from the bottle (it felt like the end of the world- that would come later), thinking that we were going to lose our farm and that our life was wrecked and so incredible enraged at how we had been treated.

    The fire eventually calmed, our power never went out, we ate steak every day (because we were worried our freezers would fail and we'd lose all the good stuff!) the evacuation order was over, and everybody came home.

    The rest of the season was exhausting and emotional and the farm was a mess and there was worse to come.

    November 15th of 2021 our calm Nicola River went insane and completely destroyed our valley, removing homes and land and animals and people and sending them out between here and the ocean! It was called the biggest recorded natural disaster in Canadian history and our farm was smack in the middle of the greatest carnage. Our neighbour on one side died when her house and property were engulfed and taken away. Our neighbours on the other side lost their house and every structure and all of their land leaving a 20 foot wide strip of unusable land beside the highway. Our neighbours across the river from us had the road destroyed and lost 17 acres and plenty of stuff and there is still no access beyond crossing the river. The highway was completely destroyed in all directions- one spot in front of our property became a 70 foot broken jagged cliff with the asphalt fallen to the bottom.

    We lost 5.2 acres of land, 175 fruit trees, 7 coops and barns, our well and wellhouse, shop, greenhouse, big compost rich gardens, 100 chickens and heritage turkeys, and our bull and buck who had to be shot as they threatened a helicopter rescue of our milk cow Tina and our milk goats (check out Tina the Flying Cow on you tube).

    Our house was safe, though, as seventh day adventists had originally built it on solid bedrock. Our farm was a wreck.

    We had to turf all of our freezers of food and hundreds of pounds of fresh produce so it wouldn't rot in our house. We had to helicopter away and leave our home, despite plenty of firewood, food, milk animals, beef on the hoof, and a few dozen chickens (who didn't go down with the ship, but later became coyote food) because the roads and power were all destroyed.

    We spent a solid 5 months of winter depressingly staying elsewhere. After winter we split the time from a friend's property and hiking or helicoptering in (12 free rides!) to our farm, bringing all of our everything on our backs for another many months until we could drive in the following August and live full time again without power and water. We flew in a solar pump for our remaining 75 fruit trees and started rebuilding. Eventually a well was drilled, water and power returned in January '23 (14 months after the disaster)

    Since then, through incredible amounts of financial support from friends and strangers, government assistance, Red Cross, and more, we have built our farm back to an incredible point. We rebuilt 10 buildings on our property between September 2022 and December '23, have fenced a huge bunch of the land, created new big gardens, hatched out dozens of birds, saw the return of Brandie's mom (blind immediately after the flood), the return of the milk cow Tina and her new baby and the goats..... And here we are now in the middle of a crazy winter freeze (which has given me an excuse to write on this great page).

    So what is the point of this last long lengthy bunch of catastrophic business- that using Sarno's methods have completely saved me from curling up on the couch and dying from debilitating migraines and pain that would absolutely have overtaken me and killed me with all of these crazy situations that were thrown at me and my family!

    During these trials and tribulations I have had to talk to my brain about more than just everyday stuff- there has been crooked contractors, catastrophic end of the world type disasters, military helicopters, police, a bull and billy goat at our kitchen door, fires, floods, insane paperwork, manic government rebuild projects, mean people (very few- most people are so incredible, kind, caring and sharing, however there has been some mean people surrounding crazy disasters) permitting and on and on and on and on.....

    Decision making overload has definitely been experienced this past year.

    And I feel fine. I smile and laugh and love life and dance to music and cook and eat good food and love my wife and daughter so much and feel great doing all sorts of farm work. Even if life isn't perfect, its still wonderful. What a blessing to be Alive!

    So there you go. There's my story. My family has an excellent facebook page: MichaelBrandieCouttsMacArthur and Monkeyinthegarden worth checking out.
    And if you're ever out in the Nicola Valley, highway 8 outside Spences Bridge, BC, Canada, stop out and check out our market stand for amazing fruits and veggie, eggs, plants and more!

    Happy Healing!
    Michael Coutts