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Once again, I was on the proverbial precipice. Two weeks before I was about to leave, I noticed that my beloved service dog and dearest companion, Basha, would every once in awhile take a breath that sounded odd. We took her to the vet and got a devastating diagnosis–dilated cardiomyopathy or enlarged heart. Her breathing became much more labored after the diagnosis or perhaps I had been in denial. I sent her to a world renowned cardiologist in Santa Fe and the prognosis was grim. And I had to leave for India in two weeks! I put her on massive heart medications and a whole heart health regime of supplements. I also treated her herbally for parasites. There is no known etiology for cardiomyopathy. I was desperate to help my beloved one, and I  didn’t know how I could leave with her in this condition. I was clearly at a crossroads. I was scheduled to be gone for eight weeks and I knew I was supposed to go. I just didn’t know how I could leave her.

I had been told almost two years earlier by a very gifted animal communicator that Basha wanted to leave her body to do deeper spiritual work. If you don’t believe in such things, skip this paragraph. I was devastated to hear this. I begged her to stay. If this was her exit strategy, I wanted no part of it. However, I knew I had to go to India for my healing journey and I may have had no choice.

I already wrote about my experience healing in India. Here is the rest of the story. When I finally confronted my Story of the old woman and all the fear fell away, my body began to heal. But I was desperately afraid to get reports on Basha. I just couldn’t ask. I knew she was refusing to eat in the mornings. This was very not typical of my dog. I selected the most nutritious and enticing raw meat for her. And she usually ate one good meal every day. I tried to stay focused on my process and not be distracted. Gradually, I began to hear that Bash was becoming more active. By the end of the eight weeks, I was told that she was playing like a puppy.

When we reunited, we were both so much more alive. She saw the cardiologist in Santa Fe and the ultrasound technician called me personally. These were her words. “This is not just good news, this is cause for celebration.” She thought she only had six months to live when she first saw her. She added that females didn’t usually get dilated cardiomyopathy. I could tell she was trying to find a way to have this make sense to her. This made no medical sense whatsoever.

Welcome to my world.

As a pianist, I was not very talented. Nevertheless, I enjoyed plucking away at the keys and using absolutely no skill from all the years of lessons I and my teacher had to endure. Around 2002, I began to paint with oils. I was clearly more comfortable with the visual arts. My work looked like I had been painting for a while.  As the illness progressed,  I had trouble controlling the brushes, so I began making jewelry. I made over one hundred pieces and my work was in two galleries. Many of the necklaces I made came apart because I had trouble squeezing the pliers hard enough to secure the clasps. I learned to have somebody else tightened the connections.

After I could no longer make jewelry, I began to write with my computer. When I could no longer type, I got dictation software.  With a degenerative illness, you do what you have to do within the limitations of what you can do. With each new endeavor, there was a major teaching of letting go. This was clearly an area I struggled with in the past. I tended to cling to material objects and people. I am learning to integrate the teaching of letting go, and allow myself to feel and release the grief and move forward. Ram Dass, a profound spiritual teacher, once described his feelings about His own aging. He expressed a curiosity at how his body and facial structure changed. There was a detached appreciation for a life being lived. I can bring that level of curiosity to watching the body process through degeneration. Not many people get to have this experience (fortunately). I consider it a post doc course in life.

I will say, however, that as the body weakens, something else in me is becoming stronger. It can be called light, essence, Self… I really don’t know what to call it. I can just see it reflected on other people. There is an aliveness that gets energized in other people in reaction to me. This blog is an example. The level of authenticity of the communications I’ve been getting, the courage people express, the level of intimacy has grown exponentially. It does help quell the grief.

However, sometimes I just freaking want to go skiing.

Life never ceases to amaze me. Was it John Lennon who said,  “Life is what’s happening when you’re busy making other plans?” No matter what plans I seem to make lately, something else seems to happen. The plan was to move back to Crestone at the end of April, which very much seemed like the right thing to do. Maybe not the easiest thing to do, but the right thing. Everything seemed to be falling into place. I hired a new caregiver couple to move into my studio building next to my house from 2500 miles away and everything was set up.

Then my body revolted. The UTI I had had for three months would not go away. I fractured my ankle, reminiscent of the femur fracture, which is perhaps reminiscent of the numbness in my thigh. Is this another manifestation of fear of moving forward? An example of being frozen on the precipice? That seems to be a recurring theme in my life. The earliest occurrence that I know of was in my birth process. Labor had to be induced after it stopped. Interesting how when we understand our birth process, the pieces of many patterns can fall into place.

Another recurring theme in my life has been to try to control and micromanage things. The antidote to control is faith. I essentially grew up in an atheistic household. Faith was not a part of my  upbringing.  After feeling a lot of resistance, I am beginning to learn to sit back and watch life unfold. This illness has helped to bring that teaching home. As awful as the illness has been at times, I have become a better person as a result of dealing with it. I believe illnesses, serious injuries and addictions are likely contracted for on a soul level. This must not be confused with, “you brought it on yourself,” or “your negative thinking created this,” or “you just wanted attention.” These are irresponsible projections people recklessly impose on others, not unlike blaming the victim. The contract is made from a much deeper part of your Self. Sometimes my self doubt takes me into confusion about this and my friends remind me of the Truth. One of my favorite sayings is:  “A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and will sing it for you once you have forgotten it.”–Anonymous. Thank you Beloved friends, anonymous or otherwise.

I’m trying to not be repetitive with what I’ve written before, my point today is about letting go and following the energy. After breaking my ankle, I was unable to ride for four days in my car so I had to make alternative plans. My brother and sister-in-law had invited me to come to the cottage I grew up in, located on a lake that they now own, after I moved out of the apartment. At that point it did not seem possible.

I guess the Universe had other plans. Here I am at the lake taking care of business. Now I’m able to follow up on my bladder issues, my ankle issues and spend more quality time with my family. John Lennon sure had/has it going on.


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Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. more...

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