“When you become a lover of what is, the war is over.”- Byron Katie

In order to fully understand the significance of this illness in my life and to open to the possibility that it was, in fact, for my highest evolution, I engaged in conventional and unconventional psychotherapy, holotropic breathwork, energy work, as well as hypnotherapy to open to the bigger picture perspective of my soul’s trajectory. I understand that many people do not believe in reincarnation, so the concept of past lives might be be a stretch. In those situations in transpersonal psychology, perhaps it would be more acceptable to use the term “symbolic story.”As in dreams, the symbolism is never arbitrary. Through hypnosis, I was able to explore a past life, or symbolic story, where I was in Eastern Europe during the 40s. I was a wealthy Jewish woman who clung to her material items and was thrown into the street with all my neighbors, “like cattle.” I died in a gas chamber while I realized that I had focused on materialism rather than love. Then we fast-forward to when I was exploring choices for my present lifetime, I realized why I chose a catastrophic illness as a strong possibility, and how something as horrific as that could be for my highest purpose. The hope was that I would realize that I am not my body. The body is merely a vehicle that is chosen and used for the lifetime, then dies. I chose a strong, beautiful and dependable body in order to support my evolution and the evolution of others around me. It seemed significant during hypnosis that the element of surprise was added to shake people out of complacency. A major teaching for me in this lifetime was to feel deserving of love.

The information during this hypnotherapy session confirmed earlier insights regarding the illness. Early on, I’d “heard” internally the phrase, “With the symptoms, comes the Renaissance.” Although I was far from understanding this challenge as being regenerative at the time, this was consistent with that understanding. Since my life has always been about transformation and service, I felt joyful to do my part in forwarding the evolution of the planet.

The constellation of my life has changed tremendously since my diagnosis. Many friends have moved away from me, and some at lightning speed. I have compassion for them as my circumstances can elicit much fear; “if that happened to her, it could happen to me or my loved ones.” I myself can remember feeling that way about frightening circumstances. The people in my life, however, who could hold my experience, grew exponentially. Actually, everybody grew including the friends who left. When you see your limitations, that can be transformative as well.

Accepting the comings and goings has been a large part of letting go of will and moving toward acceptance. Through acceptance, I have felt liberated and moved into a state of joy and deep connection. Inner and outer connectedness is the likely outcome when one has the spiritual maturity to stay. Pema Chodrun, a Tibetan nun teaches a whole practice of “staying,” staying in the chaos of transformational change. When I realized that I could find joy in these circumstances, I knew I could find joy in any circumstances. After all, who gets to deconstruct their life one event or person at a time? Who gets to unpack and consider every aspect of their life one event at a time? This week was spent going through all of my clothing and jewelry choosing their destinations. This is for Casey, this is for Jordan, this goes to the Free Box in Crestone. I am concurrently grieving and celebrating every aspect of my life over a sixty year span. Also this week, I completed my end of life paperwork which will enable me to have an open air cremation that is legal in Crestone when the time comes, whether it be in ten years or ten minutes I have created my closing act down to the Native American flute and Taiko drums. Who gets to do that?

I don’t want to give the impression that this process has been easy; on the contrary, it has been fraught with much grief, thoughtfulness, and life review. What have I left incomplete? What relationships are less than clean and loving? I can even project into the future, to anticipate future needs of my children and grandchildren and communicate with them, like time travel. Casey set up e-mail addresses for her boys for me to date in the future so they will have communication from me.

How fortunate I feel to be able to be present with myself and with my children through this process. Really, who gets to do this?

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