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half-cracked-3-500x360As they say in Louisiana, “it’s a gone pecan.” Now you have to pronounce the nut like the previous word so that they rhyme. It’s gone and nothing can bring it back.

I wrote a blog entry about The True Meaning of Healing. I worked long and hard, doing most of the editing myself, manually, which is not an easy feat these days. I felt proud and encouraged. I chose to delay the publishing for a later date to allow for more time between entries and to give myself a rest. Yesterday, the blog entry about the meaning of true healing disappeared into thin air. I waited for a caregiver to try to save it, but unbeknownst to me, it was merely a phantom of the draft I had laboriously crafted. With one click, it disappeared into cyberspace forever.

I spent the evening in what Elisabeth Kubler-Ross clearly delineated, bargaining, depression, anger with a faint hint of acceptance on the horizon, perhaps in a day or two. Not only was my beautifully roasted pecan gone, but the uncertainty of how this could possibly happen has stayed in the air. What is to keep it from happening again? I am once again thrust into the experience of impermanence. The ego vehemently affirms the existence of matter, no matter what.

During week two of The Presence Process, we are asked to spend the week sensing how we become triggered by reflections in the present moment that have roots in the past. Even though I am on week three, I am experiencing the felt-perception of loss. The sense of helplessness was overwhelming after I acknowledged that the blog entry was gone forever. Nothing is going to bring it back, nothing will restore the nerve pathways from my spinal cord to my muscles; certainly not during this lifetime or in this body. Gone pecan.

All that can be done is mourning. People avoid mourning at all costs. Without the ability to mourn, one cannot move on into something greater. In my meditation, unrelated to the presence process, I heard that it was necessary to strip me of the healing blog entry, in order to be raw for another writing about the lack of physical nurturing in my early life. Did I like to hear this? No. Does it make sense? Yes.

It would be easy for me to go into the story of, “I have lost so much, why now this? Why me?” And that story leads into, “it’s just not worth it, why don’t I just give up now?” Fortunately and unfortunately I cannot get away with this archaic sort of drama anymore. I have developed too much presence for that.

So, for now I will continue to mourn my blog entry, the wonderful quote I selected that introduces the entry and the energy it took to complete it mostly myself. That is all gone and I will listen to the nudging of my inner voice to bring my rawness, vulnerability and authenticity to a gut wrenching entry about Touch, or the lack thereof. So, goodbye to the gone pecan. I hope you will be happy wherever you are, lost in cyberspace.

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“… If the earthly and no longer knows your name, whisper to the silent Earth: I’m flowing.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

Forgiveness-WebAfter I completed my book, I questioned whether it was time to leave my body, whether my Work was done; I thought about dying. I didn’t particularly want to think about it, it was just there as a viable option. After all, my level of functioning is pretty primitive on a physical level. I have been reading Kathleen Singh’s book titled, The Grace In Dying where she discusses something I had been contemplating, that Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s five stages of dying, so familiar to the general public, were actually states of ego. And after moving through these ego states, there is a state of transcendence that is beyond the ego. Kathleen goes into much more detail about the later stages, beyond the original five stages. She elaborates that the acceptance stage can include much panic and despair, and it is beyond these five stages where surrender happens. I really couldn’t read much more, because I was experiencing too much panic and despair!

I’m really not sure what my next piece on the path is. This place of not knowing is probably the hardest place to be on the spiritual path, whether one is able-bodied or not. I really don’t know… Yesterday there was much despair present, but today that has lifted to a large degree. I slept eight hours and dreamed a lot. What has come out of it is that I will meditate more. MSNBC has been my drug of choice. Some part of me keeps “hoping” that greed will recede and empathy will prevail. ISIL will “see the light.” And maybe as this story unfolds, I will walk again and then snow ski.

Actually, keeping current with the news and interviews of artists and new films and books, helps keep me relevant while in my physical body, though much of the news can be depressing. In all honesty, I did not turn MSNBC off, it stopped working mysteriously. Sometimes I can’t help from unseen forces. My choices to accept this, graciously. As I turn toward it internally, the panic and despair recede. There is more me available.

After all, this is really no different from any other major transition in my life. Well, maybe it is somewhat different.

Questions about my mortality and my ultimate transition become clearer through self-reflection. I mean, who gets to be with these questions calmly and consciously? Would following the trajectory of choosing palliative care through hospice, thereby employing a medication to increase my respiration be copping out? It reminds me of the personal decisions surrounding childbirth, an apt comparison. Natural childbirth or an epidural? Should this birth be induced? How much medical intervention feels right to me? Is there an undercurrent of political agenda influencing the trajectory? I believe how one navigates these transitions is a personal choice for each individual and their family.

Do I have the courage to do this “birth” differently? Instead of choosing a cesarean out of fear like I did in the past, could I just weather the panic and despair as it arose and move into the transpersonal realms? After all, I am very familiar with the transpersonal; I spent fifteen years traveling those realms in breath work.

Maybe, just maybe, I have the patience and courage to do this Sacred transition using my own internal resources that I have been developing over the thirty years since I birthed my babies. Making this transition consciously would require trusting myself and the Universal Love more than I ever have. As of late, I have begun a practice of creating presence internally, by consistently meditating twice a day with the intention of clearing mental and emotional interference. After all, the practice of meditation by many teachers has been described as practicing the dying process, something we will all do.

I suspect that by continuing my daily practices, I will be supported, living the most satisfying life I could’ve imagined with this curriculum while still in my body. Living consciously, with integrity, can only be the best prerequisite to dying with grace.

“Having progressive MS isn’t enough, you have to have THAT, too.”–Sage Brown

12997006-charleston-sc-plantation-live-oak-trees-spanish-moss-azalea-flowers-blooming-spring-bloomsSage is one of my closest friends here in the community. My friends don’t just spout superficial pleasantries to merely make me feel better, they go right where I am and feel WITH me. That’s just the way it is here in Crestone, in this community of compassionate souls.

People never die of multiple sclerosis; they die from the complications associated with multiple sclerosis. Secondary infections like pneumonia are a major culprit. Hell, Christopher Reeves died from bedsores that became septic. My decubitus has cleared since I began riding my stationary bike a few times a week. You have to die from something, right? But really, guys, a hemorrhoid?!

Everybody has got their issue and many of them are where the sun don’t shine. Why is it that so many people have trouble loving their bodies and for many, it is the southernmost regions? Is it our cultural toilet training methods? Is it just where our self–hatred is housed?

There is an expression, “God is the wound.” I have seen so many people dislike their bodies until they begin to fail. Mine began to fail while living in the deep South. This is geographical, not biological. I began a rigorous program of reclaiming and reconnecting with every part of my body. It was like a wave of love and care that continues to this day. Is that part of the design? Does one’s body have to scream to get our attention?

North, South, East or West, Love is what it’s all about to me. Whether the entry point is through nature, a Beloved or THAT, as far as I’m concerned, whatever it takes.