You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2012.

I began this blog entry weeks before the events in Newtown, Connecticut, occurred. After the devastation and with the country in mourning, I decided to wait for the collective angst to abate. The violence of which I am speaking in this entry is operant more on a personal level than the collective violence that has been endemic in our culture. However, I believe that they are related. Working with our own internal violence is a way to do our part in meliorating the collective epidemic. If we are human, we likely have unresolved anger. Whether it shows up as outright rage or adaptive passivity, or something in the middle on this continuum, we can do our share to affect the collective violence. I will describe my own personal journey to becoming aware of and lessening my own footprint of violence.

As a child, I experienced a good deal of rage. Without the ability to understand or express this anger appropriately, I would cry into my pillow at night, alone in the darkness. With so much shame attached to anger, I suspect this is not an uncommon occurrence. During latency, I learned to sublimate this rage. I suspect that during those years much of the anger was internalized or turned against myself. I became reckless driving automobiles, which was quite destructive, but outwardly I became passive and diffident. As I adapted to the persona of a demure individual, I gave up a good deal of my innate authentic power.

While participating in group work with a controversial “spiritual teacher” during early adulthood, group members were given “shadow” presents for Christmas. The presents were specifically selected to evoke transformation. Much to my horror, I was given a plastic machine gun. The nakedness I felt when I opened the present was only surpassed by the shame I felt at having this part of me exposed. If I could have disappeared at that moment, I would have. After all, this was a group of people from whom I could not hide. This is a recurring theme in my life, where I choose people around me who do not become complicit in my denial system. Reluctantly, I took the machine gun home and over the next few weeks I learned to enjoy the sound of simulated bullets shooting out into the air. There was a feeling of suppressed power that was beginning to be released.

When I was in my 20s and 30s, I was intermittently a VICTIM of violence and sometime during my 40s I became a SURVIVOR of violence. In my experience, sometimes a victim of violence creates a certain energetic opening that draws this kind of behavior. This should not be confused with “blaming the victim.” As soon as you enter into “blame” of yourself or others, you re-create the undesirable behavior; you re-create the violence. There is a difference between devolving into blame and acknowledging a deeper pattern that is needing to be transformed. There is a great deal of violence inherent in our culture that needs to be acknowledged and transformed. Whether the imprint being transmuted by the individual is cultural or personal, violence is a pattern that needs to be detoxified within the mandala our society. Tragically so, as examples are revealing on an (almost) daily basis.

Within every case of domestic violence, I suspect that there is an imprint of the perpetrator and a related mirror image of the victim. Speaking from my own experience, I can remember the day in group therapy when I actually realized that I had been an integral part of the violence. What a revelation to realize that without my complicity, the violence could not have taken place! And it wasn’t until I courageously identified this insidious pattern within me that I could finally be liberated from it. Unfortunately, the pattern needed to recur over and over, becoming more and more subtle, until I was finally able to transform it. And once I successfully eradicated the pattern in myself, I was able to more effectively teach others to liberate themselves from the violence in their lives as well as the violence endemic to our society. The metaphor I used to identify this pattern of complicity within myself and then with others was “waving a match near a firecracker.” I could see the recognition in people’s eyes, when they were finally able to identify their participation in this  “unholy” covenant. This fearless awareness and the subsequent ownership of the pattern were the necessary prerequisites to the liberation that was to follow.

This revelation holds true for sexual abuse as well. Again, I can remember the moment when I realized that only after I transcended the identity of “victim” of sexual abuse could I be effective in helping others heal from the pattern. Having experienced sexual abuse as a child, this pattern was omnipresent in my psychological work through the years until it was eradicated. It was only after I cleared the feelings of blame and anger (otherwise the victim becomes another perpetrator) and forgave the perpetrator myself was I able to effectively work with “victims” of sexual abuse. Perhaps not everyone has to clear this insidious pattern as completely as I did, but with the responsibility of working with others, I clearly needed  to. I have seen many healthcare professionals who have not completely healed from their pasts, and they inadvertently impede the progress that their clients could have made in clearing the pattern for themselves. Also it is important to realize that forgiveness is less an action to be taken than an outcome that results once unresolved feelings are followed through to completion. Forgiveness happens. It is not a requirement, just an indicator that the work is complete.

There are many circumstances life brings that may be perceived as less than desirable. Perhaps it has been the completion of these forms of violence in my life that has allowed me to go beyond the perception of being a victim of this disabling illness. Regardless, I feel fortunate to have been able to do the transformational work and to help “my beloved others” on the journey. I believe everyone needs to be a part of the solution if we are to transmute the collective violence in our present society.

Advertisements

It occurs to me that I did not clarify something, which might be a significant omission. Despite the belief that this illness may never heal on the physical level, I am invested in remaining proactive with my ambitious protocols. The expression, “plan for the worst, hope for the best” may be operant here.

Without fail, every morning I stand in my standing frame for one hour. Then I lay in the sun naked for twenty minutes. Vitamin D is very important for MS and Lyme disease. I juice twice a day, have a green smoothie, follow my Budwig protocol, meditate, do range of motion work twice a day, leg massage. I added motorized stationary bike once weekly, soon to be doubled.  So I  don’t want to give the impression that I am being complacent. I am no slouch.

Just to be clear, this story regarding healing can change in a moment. That is part of the mystery. If I sound like I KNOW, realize that no one really KNOWS. My hypothesis regarding my healing has developed after being disappointed over and over and over again, after totally believing that my body would heal. If that is not going to happen, there has to be a really good reason for the alternative, and it has to be a creative reason.

It was suggested to me by a very adept channel that this illness was treating an intransigent personality trait–willfulness. If this is the case, what better way to spark surrender then to embark on a journey of learned helplessness, until there is surrender and acceptance?

I was asked this week if I believed that it was possible for me to heal. When confronted with this question, I tend to examine the motivation of the person making the inquiry; what does healing mean to him/her?  It is not unusual for people, as they get to know me, to want to introduce me to a healer who can “heal” me. The reactions people have when they see my physical circumstances are interesting. Naturally, they feel compassion when witnessing a challenge of this magnitude, but it is something else when they feel compelled to want to change my situation without really knowing me or my history. In order to fully get their minds around the fullness of this ordeal, I imagine it is easy for people to project how they would feel if they were in my situation. I understand that this is not an easy set of circumstances to imagine stepping into and that it requires a good deal of empathy to do so.

But this time, I used the question to revisit what healing really means to me. Usually, when someone asks this question, the questioner is referring exclusively to the physical level of healing. I have known people with catastrophic illnesses whose bodies healed and their personalities have become more ego-driven. Of course, I also know of people who have healed physically and evolved into a blissful life with the wisdom that such a demanding teaching can bring. If healing depended exclusively on intention or determination, I would have achieved this outcome many times in the last two decades.

The question of whether I believed that it was possible for me to heal is very evocative, since there are many layers to true healing. When asked that question this week, I responded in the affirmative, but I knew there was more to it. I knew that, yes, it was totally possible for me to heal physically, yet I also knew it was likely that I am not supposed to heal from this illness, at least not necessarily on the level on which she was thinking. I realize that from all of the protocols I’ve been following, and the world renowned healers I’ve been to on three different continents, that if healing was what I was supposed to do, I would be healed. If I could heal using my will, it would’ve been a done deal. If I could use my heart to heal me, this illness would have been ancient history.

Someone who knows me and my work well once said, “if you could heal it with love, Aliyah can do it.” I made it a practice to turn over every stone I thought could be in the way of my healing, whether it was related to the body, mind, or spirit. I completely changed my diet for many years at a time to accommodate the latest research in order to allow my immune system to normalize. Gluten, dairy, sugar and most things white were banished from my diet. Even eggs, grains, and meat were eliminated. I injected urine into my blood stream to normalize immune function, I scraped my veins to help blood flow, I flew to India for embryonic stem cells and Brazil to see John of God. On the level of the mind and spirit, for fifteen years I delved into non-ordinary states of consciousness in order to identify any blocks. And when I recount all of this, I don’t regret a single moment of it. All of this work has contributed collectively to what I experience as my healing.

What I came to believe is that if I were supposed to heal on a physical level I would have, and knowing this, I began to research other possibilities. I questioned the many saints, teachers and lamas who contracted terminal illnesses and passed from this realm. Why would they attract illness to them? I came to understand that some people make an agreement to take on certain challenges, including catastrophic illnesses and injuries, in their “pre-birth planning.” Terri Daniel, a hospice chaplain in Oregon, calls these people Sacred Volunteers. For many of these Volunteers, emotional and spiritual healing of the agreed upon challenge is a major part of the human curriculum for themselves and others in their soul family who they care deeply about. This demanding curriculum demonstrates the Sacred dharma of the archetype of the “wounded healer.” For many years I believed that my journey was that of a wounded healer and part of the story of this archetype often includes physical healing. When the illness continued and the physical healing never happened, I came to understand that the healing must be taking place on an even more unseen level.

Our human minds can be so concrete that we can often miss the bigger picture in a situation. The misunderstanding about the end of the Mayan calendar in 2012, which many believed marked the end of the world, is another example of this concrete misinterpretation. Those that believed  the world would end on December 12, 2012 seemed to believe this literally and missed the possibility that a major revolutionary transition is about to occur. In my opinion, the world may be ending as we know it, but we are opening into a much greater way of Being in the world. The geographical changes that are coming, the expansion of intuition and Love, will be nothing like we humans have experienced thus far.

Perhaps we can consciously expand our collective human minds to include a far greater understanding of Healing. Perhaps we can understand that people living with catastrophic challenges are not to be pitied and their circumstances feared, but they are to be celebrated as courageous spiritual warriors. And then maybe we can imagine a quantum leap into a culture devoid of illness on any level whatsoever. Perhaps we can imagine this time in history as the beginning of the eradication of all suffering.

My new primary caregiver is named Elizabeth. Elizabeth is Lakota Sioux raised by a German family who adopted her at birth. She has a very deep presence with long dark hair and beautiful, dark penetrating eyes. Her adoptive parents named her of all names, Heidi. After what must have seemed like a lifetime of trying to be Heidi, Elizabeth returned to her original birth name as she reclaimed her authenticity and her true essence. After about twenty hours of working together, Elizabeth told me, “I wanted my work to make a difference and I manifested you…but you are better than what I had hoped to manifest.” We are off to a wonderful beginning.

A few months ago, I was summoned to a pivotal meeting with my previous caregivers who suddenly gave me notice that they would be leaving after only three months of working together in this capacity. Being as vulnerable as I am physically, major changes such as these can be devastating. However, one of the lessons I seem to be learning is that change is ultimately safe, and I felt a sense of calm along with the anxiety. While I was in the impromptu meeting, being notified of their impending departure, I concurrently received an e-mail from Deanna, my friend and caregiver, introducing me to Elizabeth. Given that this change was spontaneous and the fact that no one knew about the departure of the present caregivers, Deanna’s e-mail introducing Elizabeth was completely synchronistic. That seems to be how things roll when you’re in the zone at Crestone.

I have an incredible team right now. Deanna had to go to Portugal for a conference for eleven days. This required many alterations to the schedule, which was a bit confusing.  Last night, thirty minutes before my evening caregiver was to arrive, my modem lost its wireless signal and needed to be rebooted, which of course I cannot do myself. Considering that my whole source of communication is through my computer via Facebook, Skype or e-mail, I figured that when my caregiver arrived she would reboot it. I waited and waited, yet nobody arrived. She had forgotten because the schedule had been so confusing. Normally, I take these things in stride, but without the ability to communicate via my computer, I freaked. I saw myself sitting here in the dark all night unable to communicate with no blankets and no food. I freaked some more.

It had been a particularly difficult week. Tuesday, five flies had attacked me for many hours while I sat there unable to defend myself and I thought I was going to go out of my mind. They continued to dive bomb my face for hours. Last night, when my modem went out, I remembered the First Alert medallion around my neck and pushed the button. I gave them cell phone numbers of caregivers to call and much to my relief, one of my wonderful tagteam of women was able to come to fill-in and reboot my modem. What an experience of letting go and trusting this curriculum provides.

Another significant and provocative incident was during the evening blanketing ritual. Many of the Colorado nights go down to the teens this time of year, so having the right amount of cover is essential. One evening, Deanna forgot to put my heaviest wool blanket on me during an extreme Colorado cold spell. After she left to go home, I called her on my computer and she said that she thought she had put it on me. In the dark I couldn’t tell, but by four o’clock in the morning, it would be extremely obvious because my body temperature would plummet along with the ambient temperature. So I hoped that Deanna was right. However, an hour later Elizabeth walked in to check on me, feeling that there was something urgently  wrong. Shocked to see her that late at night I remarked, “Deanna must have called you about the blanket!” “No I just had a feeling that you were needing something.” Sure enough the blanket was not there and I would have had a terrible night sleep.

Let me present to you, Elizabeth.