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You are a drop and God is the ocean. Just allow yourself to fall back into it. – Michael Brown

Healing means different things to different people. For some people, healing means that the body ceases to have physical symptoms that were causing discomfort. Once they heal physically, they may choose to inspire others who are suffering. Healing on this level can bring physical and emotional relief and inspiring others can be a valuable contribution. Many of us experience this level of healing, frequently.

Some people who heal physically also heal mentally (thoughts) and spiritually. They often have a broader story of healing to model and to teach others.

Some Self-selected individuals may have taken on challenging curricula in order to heal personally and to accelerate their soul family’s journey, called soul contracts. (Many are not aware of this consciously, but that doesn’t negate the likelihood.) Often these people heal mentally and spiritually, but not physically. Myself and, I suspect, many people I know with progressive, incurable illnesses have chosen these rigorous paths while in Spirit. Not for the faint of heart, these distinct teachings can reduce the emphasis on of the ego in the physical world, if embraced with awareness. Our personalities are egocentric and limiting our identification with the ego can open doors to the numinous. In my experience, the more catastrophic my curriculum has been, the more liberating. Living this curriculum with grace can spread these teachings through the collective, to the seen and unseen worlds.

Occasionally, I come across others who appear to have similar curricula for whom I feel an instant kinship on an intuitive level. Marc Stecker, AKA Wheelchair Kamikaze, a fellow blogger, profound in his scope, humor, and development over time, is one such individual. If interested, you would do well to follow his blog.

Some healers who have healed physically, mentally, and spiritually have developed their own processes to help bring the collective forward in our development toward finding peace in our lives. One such teacher is Michael Brown, who I have spoken of in previous blog essays, because I find his work profound. Fellow psychotherapists/colleagues have used The Presence Process with their clients to deepen their therapeutic work. He has many YouTube videos along with his book to guide people through his teachings.

Michael often uses different parables and sacred Stories in his teachings similar to the stories disseminated by indigenous cultures. Here is one of my favorites:

He teaches about the three stories we tell ourselves. The first story, is of the “bad” one—about our damage, our victimization and how this shaped us—even how it might have driven us to doing some good things in the world, but how we were driven by the ghosts of our childhood or loss of parent figure [literally or figuratively, perhaps searching for the nurturing (mother) or direction (father) we’d never had], at some juncture, to enter the world in search of the missing parent in the external world. That’s the first story.

The second story is the flip side of the “bad”–it’s the “good” story of what we found on our search for our missing mother or father figure and how when we got down to the bottom of it—the details of the story dropped away and we met this energy inside, not outside of ourselves—and we felt a foundation of self-love at last.

The third story includes his spin on the word “Legend”—-he says after living the “good” and “bad” stories in a lot of fullness, we are completely freed from the history of those—we don’t carry the wounds in the same way, we don’t organize our waking moments around the same obstacles or false longings—and everything is different and we aren’t questing in the same sense—instead we just enjoy being as we symbolically stand on the ledge of our life, on the very end of the ledge of our life. And then we step off—and we live our own ” ledge-end.” We are free to define ourselves, our work, our resources, our abundance, our relations—in any way we want that serves this open-endedness we have stepped into.

When we are in our “bad” or “good” stories, there is work to do that can be grueling, because we must feel the grief of each story fully.

We each have our curriculum that is sacred and perfect for our lifework. From healing the issues with our mothers, or those who may be a surrogate for mother, we learn to nurture ourselves. From healing the issues with our fathers, we understand our perspective on God, the Divine, the Source of Universal Love. To do this, we must pass through the illusion of separation Stephen Levine described it well when he called it, “learning to opening your heart in hell.”

Whether we access this Knowing now or later in our development, our Beloveds have entered an agreement with us, soul to soul, for the well-being of all. And it is through this level of awareness of the soul, beyond the ego, that opening our hearts in hell is possible and finding peace can be a true reality.

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Death is a fiction of the unaware. There is only life, life, and life alone, moving from one dimension to another. – Sadhguru

Woman-hiking-in-nature

When my symptoms first started thirty years ago, I made a conscious choice to explore healing on every level available to me: body, mind, and spirit. For three decades, I turned over every proverbial stone in an effort to heal, holisticly. What ever was in the way of perfect health was what I courageously explored. If I listed the healing modalities I pursued, it would take many pages, and maybe be a novella.

Along the way, I helped many others in their healing journeys. The wounded healer is a powerful archetype, intimating that all humans have frailties and limitations; we are works in progress. The wounded healer is a model based in shamanic teachings where a person struggling with physical, mental, or emotional dis-ease, or imbalance and once they heal the imbalance can show others the way of healing. I assumed that I needed to heal physically in order to be of help to others. In my case, healing physically proved to be unnecessary for helping others heal, though honestly, I would’ve preferred a completely healthy body. Ironically, the wound has rendered me more effective in helping others heal, even physically.

All of my efforts to heal physically brought much foundational and constitutional healing, but the disease process continued to progress. After much self-reflection and anger, I came to the conclusion that with all of my work, there was a higher purpose for this rigorous and sometimes heartbreaking curriculum. This understanding helped me to reach acceptance, psychologically and move into a state of transcendence, spiritually, but my nervous system continued to deteriorate.

I’ve recognized that the two trajectories, one of bodily healing and strengthening, and the other, of the disease progressing, were at cross purposes. I feel grateful that I can understand this consciously, as well as knowing there is a higher purpose. Nevertheless, I recognize a scenario where my body will continue to thrive while my brain and spinal cord continue to deteriorate. An infection, and injury, or choking can be lethal at any moment which would render a death with much more suffering for myself, my family, and my caregivers. Many other people facing death have much more acute diagnoses than my own.They deserve a choice on how they will die when death is imminent within six month.

I am not a proponent of prolonging life at all costs which I believe will prolong suffering. I do believe my body is a loving vehicle for this lifetime. However, I believe my soul will live on. Suffering has its value, but having the wisdom to know the difference between necessary and needless suffering is essential and can only be determined by the self in concert with the soul. Being pro-choice is across-the-board for me. I believe a tenant of love is that we have free choice. Becoming informed and in right relationship with our own truth is an inside and an outside job.

Proposition 106 is on the ballot in November. I believe everyone should have self-determination. I believe we learn from our choices, ultimately. I believe that God or a higher power also resides in all of our souls and we are constantly informed by the Source of all existence.This is not up for litigation, in my opinion.

There is a choice on the ballot that we must consider that will allow others self-determination and in situations where individuals are not clear, they will have support to reach a decision that is right for them. It is all about choice and letting Source inform our personal decisions. Honestly, I don’t know what my personal choice would be, but knowing I have the choice would make all the difference between feeling helpless and empowered.

Vote YES on proposition 106 in November 8 in Colorado or when it comes to your state, which it will, because having a CHOICE is an idea whose time has come.

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” – Viktor FranklTragedy

At the age of thirty-five, I was raising two children, struggling in my marital relationship and at an impasse regarding my career. I wanted to practice as a psychotherapist, but was seemingly stuck in a Catch-22; in order to attain licensure I needed to secure professional supervision in a job I could not secure without my state license. I felt like I was in a vice and could not move forward. I remember walking out to my deck and desperately screaming to God, the Universe, to anyone who would listen, “Please let something change. I would do anything to get through this hopelessness.”

It was soon after that that the subtlest neurological symptoms began to appear in my body. I was able to stave off major anxiety until my husband returned home for the holidays, and then I lost it completely into a state of high anxiety. It was as if I could immediately imagine the outcome of the illness, with all of the devastating limitations. Either I remembered the pre-birth planning of this possible challenge, or the option that terrified me more, my greatest fear would be realized-catastrophic illness. After all, I had heard the new age theory that thoughts become reality. If the latter option would manifest, I would be riddled with shame and helplessness. I desperately sought any strategy or support that would render me innocent, innocent from ruining my mission in life to help change the world into a better place, innocent from abandoning my children when they most needed me, and innocent from disregarding the life I had been given. With this shame riddled process, debilitating anxiety was assured.

In retrospect, I can see how all of my self-hatred was being brought to the surface to be dealt with. I lost thirty pounds that I could not afford. However, I was also completely present to my process of plunging into the depths of my soul. My meditations were rich with instructive symbols and messages. I knew that if I didn’t move forward, I would die. I could now see that I didn’t incarnate to merely tread water. Despite constant anxiety attacks, I secured a job with a community mental health clinic as a psychotherapist. In addition to being a therapist by day, I would assess after-hour emergencies, many of which were people surviving suicide attempts or dramatic circumstances. In the midst of my own crisis, I remember telling my friend and colleague that I could not become suicidal, because I would have to call myself. My humor has been a tremendous gift throughout this ordeal. In the midst of facing my greatest fear in life, I was able to detach enough to also be a witness to the process.

Having been raised in an atheistic, though culturally Jewish family, there was no God in my house. However, I had always felt a deep, spiritual connection to nature and animals, recognizing these connections as greater than how they appeared on the surface. This Knowing of the interconnectedness expanded to include humans while I was in intensive group therapy in my thirties. At this critical time, this spiritual connection became internalized. Perhaps this ordeal was necessary to trust my inner Guidance above all else, in order to ascend spiritually for myself and others. It was becoming clear that the symptoms were a call for me to balance the love in my life that was too outer directed and needed to be redirected internally as self-love.

Viktor Frankl was a psychiatrist who encountered his transcendental ordeal when sent with his family to a concentration camp during the 40s. Dr. Frankl, being the only survivor in his family, became a leader in existential and humanistic psychology. He posited that it was essential to find greater meaning in all of life’s circumstances, especially those that were more brutal and catastrophic. It is only by attributing greater meaning to these horrific experiences that one could lead a meaningful life.

Today, there is much suffering in the world that is getting purified by souls who are willing to live a meaningful life with catastrophic injuries and illnesses. I would like to spend the rest of my life reminding myself and others of this higher, Sacred purpose for what we would otherwise believe to be unnecessary suffering.

“I admire that you are not willing to sacrifice life, for survival.” – Harald Kasper, physical therapistperson-sitting-on-cliff

When I was two years old, I was standing in the front bench seat of our 1955 automobile when we ran into another car. My mother broke her pelvis, walked around to be sure all the children were safe, sat down and could not stand up. There were no seatbelts those days and there wasn’t yet an awareness of the lethality of motor vehicle accidents. As we integrated automobiles into our culture, the need for safety came to the forefront. During my generation, car seats for children became a necessary commodity. Some people wore their seatbelts and others did not. It was a choice, until it was not. When people were sustaining injuries and dying, wearing a seatbelt became law. Some laws evolve with the technology and some laws become obsolete as the culture evolves.

Recently, I have been criticize for choosing a lifestyle that is unconventional for someone as disabled as I am. After all, I cannot move a muscle from the neck down. I am completely dependent on my care team for every bodily function, except breathing. And I live in a remote mountain town that is considered the frontier, not even rural, which would have more medical services.

I have always lived on the edge of this paradigm we call life, but it has never been as obvious as now when I am breaking all the rules of what one should do when one is critically ill. From pushing my limits as an adolescent to riding my motorcycle to Key West during college (yes, I wore a helmet with a visor!) I have always pushed people who love me to their edge of reasoning, past their comfort zone. I don’t mean to sound cavalier about this at all. A lot of me wants to stay safe in the old, familiar ways of living life. I have to trudge through a lot of difficult feelings to summon the courage of forging new ground.

First, I have to feel the uneasiness of moving forward from a place I could call familiar, but as I’ve become more sensitive, I notice and incongruence. When I think of taking an an alternate route that feels more authentic, I have to wade through the density of darkness. When I dissect this darkness, it not only includes my own remnants of self-hatred, but also ways I’ve absorbed other people’s fear of the unknown. For me, fear is always a catalyst for entering this level of blackness. Being able to bear the pain at this level of malignant, self-hatred and, instead of retracting, going one step further and creating expansiveness around it allows the blackness to begin to lighten. Peering into the light, I can see the anatomy of this old, familiar feelings of unworthiness. Memories of all the times I’ve betrayed myself from deferring to other people’s truth. In deeper exploration, I was able to see the many times I was  willing to sacrifice my life for mere survival, which translated into sacrificing my significant need for autonomy for either of two reasons: to avoid feeling my greatest fear – being alone and helpless or to alleviate other people’s pain. Although the former is more conscious, the latter might seem noble, but, believe me, it is more insidious.

So, yes, I am on the leading edge of the natural death movement, something I hope will lead to “a good death,” not unlike the natural childbirths so inspiring in our area. And yes, it does push the old boundaries of the medical model, making people fearful of the issues like liability . I followed the medical model with my childbirths and I had two cesareans and general anesthesia. As many of you know about me, I don’t want to be fearful in this new birth.

I have always taken myself to the edge and rallied the resources to push a little further, so it would make sense that I would do that with others, especially being in the capacity of psychotherapist. My astrological natal chart reflects one of a powerful revolutionary with heart. It is ironic that when I cannot move a finger, I am still projecting that energetic essence. My daughter once told me that I go to places that scare her and show her that it is safe. During this time when people are creating a new paradigm for living and dying, it’s important to illuminate and dismantle that which keeps us from our birthright, living life and death fully and authentically.

Love and grief are two sides of the same coin. – Derived from talk by Stephen Jenkinson 

GriefThe hint of a life-threatening illness when I was thirty-five years old was almost too much for this young, vibrant woman to bear. In retrospect, I have deep compassion for my younger self’s initiation into this accelerated curriculum and I now know how essential it is for my soul’s evolution. Coming to terms with my mortality at that age was a tall order, living a mortal life while being in touch with its transitory nature was almost more than I could bear and has taken me more than a decade to integrate.

When I really think about it, how can we live fully if we cannot contemplate our impermanence? How can we fully live if we can? The human condition is quite a paradox. This is why mystics acknowledge that being human is not for the faint of heart. There is crescendo and there is de-crescendo, inhaling and exhaling. How do we  be with this human condition that feels so out of control to our egos without becoming completely overcome with fear? How do we not connect these fears with the cultural epidemic of our time – fear of death? How do we hold death with equanimity, as truly a part of life?

What I have come to understand is the only way to hold both is to feel  it all. Feeling the difficult feelings in our culture is not encouraged. Numbing or distracting behaviors are pervasive. Allowing oneself to sink into the grief of this illusory existence, to essentially face one’s fears of death is not an easy undertaking. The pun is intended. In my experience, only by following grief and despair to completion can the heart lighten and the healing power of humor emerge.

Grief is better tolerated than despair, in my experience. Despair implies hopelessness. I guess the question is: “What are we hoping for?” Are we hoping for immortality? It is painful for me to be with someone who is dying, but wants to live at any cost. The ego wants to convince us that if we succumb to these feelings, we will never get out. There are so many archetypal dramas in literature that demonstrate this primal fear. When one finds the courage to bear the grief, liberation is assured. Allowing oneself to fall completely into grief is the only way through this dense, vibrational field. Despair can be treacherous, becoming an impenetrable wall if you are at all ambivalent about your leap. I liken it to bouldering. You cannot have ambivalence when jumping from one boulder to another; you cannot look down, you just leap focusing on the boulder ahead.

Stephen Jenkinson, once the leader of palliative care counseling at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, has written extensively about the prevalence of “death phobia and grief illiteracy – how they distance us from one another, our planet and our world crisis.”

Grief can become a wall or it can be a portal to a deeper way of Being. Once we have come to terms with the illusory nature of the personality as our totality, the fulcrum tips. Only by leaping fully can our toe touch the boulder of the numinous.

“One works on oneself as a gift to other people so one doesn’t create more suffering. I help people as I work on myself and I work on myself to help people.” -Ram Dass

1-brighworldI’ve written before about my intuition that this illness is an opportunity to heal a very specific developmental fracture in my life, one involving attachment. I also have cited four other cases where individuals with progressive multiple sclerosis incurred early trauma from provocative maternal relationships. This connection has always been of interest to me, but a superficial study of five individuals does not prove a hypothesis. Nevertheless, exploring this anomaly in my own life has been extremely compelling, especially since I spend so much time in my chair allowing such an inquiry to evolve, with little distraction.

I keep thinking that I am complete with this lifetime, that I am in the throes just prior to my transition. I have completed my will, had the talks with my family anyone would wish for, arranged for my celebration/cremation. I even selected a master of ceremony, family liaison, created a CD to leave for loved ones, distributed many of my material items, and much more. However, more emotional/spiritual material seems to be surfacing.

The other day while I was re-experiencing a level of grief that was so familiar and primal that it had to be primordial, I experienced a visual that maybe gave the grief some context. I realize that I may lose some people at this point in my reporting. Being a visual learner and having practiced a form of breathwork that traverses non-ordinary states of consciousness for over fifteen years, intuitions seem to come to me in visual form. I understand that others may not access the source of teachings in the same way. Please bear with me.

The vision was presented as if exploring a geographical location with Google Earth; it was like traveling through a wormhole from the macro to the micro of my physiology. It also traveled through my development, the point of destination being a tiny pinpoint spot on my neural tube. The understanding I received was that there had been a fracturing sustained, not only during my pre-verbal stage of development, but pre-birth, probably during the first month of pregnancy before my mother even knew she was pregnant.

I had been feeling for the last months that this condition of my body had reached a plateau of sorts. The goal-oriented part of me wanted to be done with it, done with this rigorous curriculum and the inability for any outward bodily movement to happen volitionally. Being completely dependent on others had become tiresome. This plateau was feeling like treading water. This vision completely left the illusion that healing was not happening in its tracks. I clearly saw this pinpoint place in my nervous system, this place where early fracturing did not allow for the necessary emotional attachment to occur. With this vision came the realization that though I feel nothing significant is happening, actually some of my deepest healing is, in fact, occurring in my nervous system.

Perhaps this illness provided the most expeditious way for this fracturing to heal so that wholeness could be attained. My mother had been both complicit and a central part of the healing. I was shown that this fracturing was an accumulation of unresolved traumas from previous lifetimes.

With this vision came much peace and gratitude, gratitude for the strength to see this illness through and to appreciate my helpers along the way, both embodied and disembodied. This vision further revealed that once this fracturing was healed, it transformed into a portal to the infinite, to other galaxies and to the multi-verse. Ironically, five weeks ago I asked my caregiver to draw a symbol that would be lovingly fabricated by a local artist onto a plaque for individuals cremated ceremonially in our beloved community. The symbol that came to me was of two ellipses intersecting. There was a small circle in the intersection that represented my present life. The horizontal ellipse represented my temporal life and the vertical ellipse represented my Spiritual life. I now understand much more about this circular pinpoint.

Two months ago my three-year-old grandson and his father constructed a spaceship out of recyclables. This is the text he dictated to his father to write on the spaceship:

August, 2015
Dear Gram, I love you so much, Gram. you are like a miracle. Model aircraft blasts off, it goes to fifteen galaxies. I’m giving this to you as a present. I love you so much, River

The greatest gift I could give in this lifetime has been to be of service to others. With the healing of each internal fracture comes more love and forgiveness for all sentient beings. Continuing this sacred healing journey for myself and others is my gift and my prayer.

“The future enters into us, in order to transform itself in us, long before it happens.” -Rainer Maria RilkeBald_Eagle_Portrait

Before turning forty, I was traveling to New Mexico multiple times a year to do very deep inner work. The symptoms had begun a couple years prior and I was determined to unravel the mystery of these internal alarms that were reverberating so profoundly through my system.

During these retreats near Taos, New Mexico, I met a medicine man with seemingly unlimited powers for healing others. His name was Gordon and he was the only white man I’d heard of who was allowed and actually sought after to treat the native chief and elders of the Taos Pueblo reservation.

Gordon was an electrical contractor, well known in his community. He also had a profound gift of healing. I remember a story where a fellow electrician had been electrocuted and Gordon mysteriously returned him to life. Extraordinary experiences such as this did not go unnoticed; nevertheless, Gordon resisted the pleas of others to practice his healing gift. Finally, perhaps to assuage the inner and outer pressure, he stated to the powers that be, that if he would experience three miracles he would stop his business and follow this path. Soon after that he was sent three people with terminal illnesses who healed miraculously. Gordon dutifully surrendered into the unknown.

Gordon worked out of a makeshift garage transformed into an office with a small waiting room. Walking into his office transported us into another realm of consciousness. When I initially met Gordon, he could not relate to the name Ilene and he called me Maybelline for the many years we worked together. It was obvious after working with Gordon that my whole energetic field including my body was totally different, and different in a very good way, yet uncomfortable. I remember asking Gordon what he did to me the last time I had been there, because for two hours I felt completely undone. His response was, “I just take out the garbage, I don’t look in it.”

On one such visit I had gone to him with extreme fibroid tumors in my uterus. My mensas was late leaving me hormonally distraught. Medical doctors could give me no relief. Gordon worked on me, sometimes with the help of sacred feathers and rattles that were gifted to him by Chiefs and elders. After working with him my complete energy field including my emotional and physical bodies were completely altered. I returned to Louisiana and within twelve hours began releasing huge blood clots on my uterus. If I had gone to a medical doctor at this point they would have insisted on a hysterectomy. I called Gordon and he told me, “they had to go somewhere…” I felt reassured and curious about this cleansing happening to my body. I learned to trust Gordon implicitly when the bloating in my abdomen normalized.

Gordon had a sense of humor. He could be working diligently on a part of my body and there would suddenly be a sound in the wall or ceiling joists. He would say, “oh, there it goes.” One time when I was waiting in the waiting room of his garage for my turn, I heard the song, “oh Maybelline, oh won’t you be true…” I figured he was playing a CD, but I noticed the music was coming from a transistor radio! When he came to retrieve me I pointed out the music. I told him, “Gordon, the weirdest things happen in this office.”

Gordon had a way of looking into your eyes that penetrated every layer to your core. During these moments I knew he was performing ultimate diagnostics. Looking into his eyes he would shape shift; I would be looking into the eyes of an eagle. I had a picture on my altar of an eagle that represented my connection with this medicine man.

Unbeknownst to me, the last time I saw Gordon he told my friend, Sandi, “that was the last time I will see Aliyah.” And as always, Gordon was right. To this day, I recall all of my friends and clients I brought to Gordon of incredible healings. I explicitly remember the pictures of women on his wall who could not have children through conventional doctors, but became pregnant with Gordon’s help.

Last night I had a dream where I met a man unknown to me sitting next to me in a circle. I stood up and hugged the man. In the embrace, I knew it was Gordon. I said, “hello Gordon” to this stranger. He told me, “you are in your way of your healing.” Yesterday, I had been disconnected all day, desperately trying to get out of the muck to connect internally. I woke up this morning feeling connected and went right to this blog entry about Gordon I had forgotten about.

I feel Gordon right here in my heart chakra and I know we will forever be Maybelline and the Eagle.

“I was immature; I became experienced; I was consumed. -Rumi

What would it feel like to live each moment in unitive consciousness, including the whole continuum of life and death? There would be no loss, nothing to strive for. Love would be all there is and that would be true perfection. The Spirit world is like this, I hear, but there is no contrast in which to experience duality and therefore, accelerated growth. We come to “school” for those teachings.

Astrologically, the past month of April was projected to reveal extreme highs and extreme lows. Astrology has always been a Sacred helper on my Journey. It has become increasingly clear through the ups and downs of April, that I have been living much of my life with the proverbial one foot on the gas pedal and one foot on the brake. The events of the month were grueling and have revealed my exhaustion and, perhaps, some denial that I actually do have a progressive, degenerative illness, complications from which will eventually end my life. A hospice chaplain friend succinctly reminded me that this athletic regime I have created is not so much about healing my body, but the healing I am truly seeking will come with the surrender of death and that process is directed by my soul. I really needed to hear that. Sometimes I get so caught up in strategizing, that I forget what is truly in charge.

What is the expression, “Life is what’s happening when you are busy making other plans?”  Well, perhaps, physical decline is what has been happening when I’ve been busy making other plans. April has brought a rude awakening to my ego, the part of me that has been doing fitness training with a life-threatening illness. No matter how much I have been training, a physical downward spiral has been steadily progressing.

What is the alternative? The alternative is not to merely stay in a place of helplessness or despair, but to feel it all; to feel the depth of the grief and the occasional panic, to feel it all. Allowing myself to feel the despair, though challenging, can be a pivotal point where transcendence can be accessed. In my experience, attempting to grasp onto hope can be an illusory detour if it is keeping one from hitting the proverbial bottom of no hope. It is after one accepts that there is no hope that true transcendence is available through surrender. Weathering the pain of hopelessness is where spiritual maturity is required.

Surrender has never been easy for me. I have been told that the purpose of this illness is to treat my willfulness by five disembodied monks. After I thought about it, it made perfect sense when I think about all the times that I used my will to push through which ended up not being be healthier choices in my life. What better way to learn the limitations of my ego, but to get an intractable, progressive illness. True to form I have tried everything to heal imaginable and then some. I’ve had no choice, but to let go, to open more to the illness, what it is teaching me and to ultimately have gratitude for the deepening of the love in my life. Becoming comfortable with stillness was not something I would have chosen from my ego, but big gifts have been immeasurable.

I recently watched Ram Dass’ documentary Fierce Grace once again about his experience post stroke and he acknowledged that when he was “stroked” he did not have one spiritual thought. Upon this revelation, his reflection revealed, “I have more work to do.” Well, I have more work to do. Surrender, on a significant level, still feels like resignation, giving up. What is being required is an acceleration of my spiritual work, letting go more into Trust. That is my next big piece. Opening up to the freedom that comes from that. I suspect if we all could do that, we would all be beamed up into Spirit. We will meet in that “field” together that Rumi talks about. “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right-doing, there is a field.  I’ll meet you there.”  

Well, the limited amount of functioning I have had is becoming increasingly more limited leaving just that of the autonomic nervous system. When I realize some functioning is becoming nearly impossible and my strategies are no longer effective, I feel some grief and mourning for what was and will never be again in this body. Usually the grief lasts a few hours to a few days at this point. That’s very different, because it used to last a few years!

Some people call it courage; some people call it miraculous. I just call it “what is.” I can either kick and scream (although I cannot literally do either) or I can just choose to say “yes” to the new level of functioning. What I am finding with this accelerated curriculum is that losing something always has some new awareness I hadn’t been able to access, before.

I am not a saint and I am not an exception. I am just not interested in suffering on a day to day minute to minute basis, if I have any control over that. And that is about all I have control over!

Being alone nineteen hours a day, sitting overlooking the 14,000 foot mountain range called Sangre de Christo, I am realizing the importance of the acceleration of the spiritual work Ram Dass talked about. As a collective consciousness, we are moving from the third dimensional reality to the fourth dimensional reality. The latter involves unitive consciousness. The field of unity is already around us. People are gradually being able to access this field to eventually reach a critical mass, where rigid boundaries of duality will soften.

I am realizing that as I let go of each ability on a physical level, I am opening to a new ability on the subtle level. So I ask myself, what really is disability?

I am realizing that whatever the challenge that may seem catastrophic, there is always a gift on the other side of the grief. We can reach that place beyond acceptance into a place of transcendence, which is where the fourth dimension lies. Many are being called to experience the expanded. awareness of the fourth dimension. Rumi and Ram Dass are great teachers beckoning us to this dimension of heightened love and unity.

I will meet you there.

“Joy is something deeper than a feeling. Joy is a gift deep within. It cannot be rocked by the sound of an alarm clock or by pain.” –Elise Charbonnet Anglette (Casey’s beloved childhood friend fiercely confronting aggressive breast cancer with her husband and 6 beloved youngens. Google her, she will change your life.)

5 Days in the Life of an Addict:*

Day 1– I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. I feel lost… I feel helpless. It isn’t my fault! I’m not responsible. It takes forever to find a way out.
Day 2– I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I and I don’t see it. I fall in again. I can’t believe I’m back in the same place. But it isn’t my fault. I don’t feel responsible. It takes a long time to get out.
Day 3– I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I see it is there. I still fall in… it’s a habit. But my eyes are open, I know where I am. It is my fault. I am responsible. I get out very quickly.
Day 4– I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it.

Day 5– I walk down a different street. This parable is profound when we take it in deeply. I will discuss this more later.   ~Author unknown

 *Note: Addict, to me is anyone who is in a human body. My favorite definition of addiction is anything that is between you and God or Source.
by Kathryn Greene Brady

by Kathryn Green Brady

 

In the afterlife and near-death experience communities it is almost cliché to talk about life review, but for the initiated, life review is an essential part of returning to the Spirit world, our true and eternal Home. For those who have had near-death experiences or NDEs life review is a way of integrating the work of the lifetime just completed. It is a time to assess the work done, how it was done, what is still to be learned and more. During this time, our guides and ascended Masters meet us in loving collaboration. During that time, from what I have read and experienced in meditation, there is no judgment. The only judgment we experience is our own internal remorse that we may carry. From what I understand, there is only unconditional love at Home. It is coming to this Earth school in human bodies where judgment is experienced.

Having this long-term, intractable illness has allowed for an elongated process of life review for which I have received much assistance. I have gratitude for all the support I have received throughout my life which has allowed me to be of help to others. Receiving help and helping had gone hand-in-hand. I have much gratitude for my helpers along my journey, both incarnate and discarnate. Without the assistance and my openness to that assistance I would have been much less helpful to others. So for my helpers, my openness and helpees, I am deeply grateful.

The hole represents a questioning of whether this illness was necessary or whether it caused needless harm to myself and/or my loved ones. Just entering the latter thought makes my stomach turn with grief and anxiety. That is my hole. In a totally open, vulnerable moment in my life I acknowledged to a beloved teacher, while practically on my knees in a proverbial sense, that, “I want to give more than I take while in this life.” I had never consciously thought about this, but it came from the deepest part of my heart and soul. Likewise, it reveals my deepest vulnerability, that perhaps I did not fulfill this prayer, this deep yearning.

This inner questioning has provided an opportunity to explore the value of this illness in my life. It has stimulated a deep exploration that has required much meditation and dreamtime; this process has yielded much benefit. I cry with deep gratitude as I describe this sacred process. And this is what I have learned thus far:

One of my newest helpers, a shamanic practitioner, while in trance acknowledged that I, in fact, did not have to have this illness which triggered much emotional material for me to grapple with. Ironically, I found myself in the very hole the author described in the parable above. I was humbled to see that the hole is still a vulnerable place for me. I was both appreciative and humbled to have this opportunity to revisit this vulnerability, mostly because when I leave, I want to be as complete as I am able.

Not much is in my way of a conscious, liberating transition into Freedom. That is what I am going toward; that is what we are all going for. In my opinion, any vulnerability can be an obstacle toward this freedom. And obstacles are places where deeper self-love can be cultivated.

In the parable, it occurs to me that this illness afforded me the opportunity to become adept at traversing Day 4. I can now see the hole and perhaps even walk around it. Maybe I have not walked down a different street, which may represent a life with perfect health, but a lifetime perfecting Day 4 is pretty damn awesome. I can know that I will no longer get lost in this hole of my ego’s creation. How liberating it is that?!

So thank you my Beloveds, my helpers, my helpees. As I tell my children, I will still be connecting and sharing. You just have to become better listeners.

“It’s the stuff God hits your ass with, when he doesn’t want to kill ya, he just wants to slow ya down.” -Richard Pryor on MS

Leanne_Spiritual_Heart.341200433_stdI believe that people take on catastrophic challenges for different reasons, because in our deepest Being, we want to wake up; we want to evolve and we want to effect the collective evolution of humanity. That is not small potatoes. Otherwise, the Universe would be seen as an uncompromising, sadistic force, which I do not, cannot and will not ever believe; that is too antithetical to what I feel in my heart. Without my cumulative felt-perceptions nurtured over many decades and perhaps many lifetimes, I might have the consciousness of a chickpea, not meaning to disparage a chickpea. Sorry Rumi.

My belief system has been nurtured by my evolving love for myself and humanity. How could this curriculum be for anything but my betterment? When I feel moved to look deeper into the etiology of the illness I feel like an investigator looking for clues. Either we volunteer for these rigorous curricula or they are arbitrary, the latter of which I don’t believe for a minute given the outcomes I have witnessed and experienced. I also believe that we set up reminders along the way when we might be deviating from our chosen course. At these points, like breadcrumbs along the path, we face crossroads where free choice can be exercised to alter the trajectory.

I can remember making choices during my life that, in retrospect, were not in my best interest. Rather than seeing these choices as failures or even tests that would imply right or wrong, I see these moments as opportunities for my Soul to catch my attention. Based on the curricula chosen by the Soul, these nudges are instructive and they become louder and louder when ignored.

Working on surrendering my egoic willfulness, I suspect that I created a failsafe plan to get my attention that would not allow for error. Early in the illness, I felt punished and ashamed. Now I understand that the opposite is really true. Because I am a courageous soul with fierce determination, I set out a curriculum where surrender was the only option.

I can remember example after example of times in my life when I deferred my own judgment to other people’s opinions. I can remember denying my own intuitions and desires to meet other people’s needs. The most representative example of this self injurious behavior was after a marital separation where I was left emotionally devastated. It took two days to get myself out of bed and back to work, after six weeks of singing Amazing Grace for an hour each day while driving over the causeway to New Orleans, I gradually brought my life back to a place of joyful homeostasis. I began to dream of finding a small house for myself and the children that was only mine.

When my husband sensed my joy he requested  a reconciliation, I pivoted away from my dream to reconcile. I began having anxiety attacks like I had never experienced. I remember being unable to leave the car, but still I ignored them. In retrospect, these felt like wake-up calls that I systematically ignored. What could my soul do, but make the alarms louder? That was when the symptoms were beginning. But it is never just one incident; there are often many unheeded calls. Remember, the illnesses or injuries are not punishments. They are sacred breadcrumbs to assist your return to your chosen path.

Around this time the symptoms had begun. Instead of abandoning my dream, I needed to turn toward my dream, to empower it, to empower myself. Only in retrospect do it realize the significance of ignoring the prompting from my soul. I gave my soul no choice but to intensify the constriction. This was a loving gesture, like a parent creating instructive containment to assure healthy development in their child. There is no judgment regarding the required curriculum on a Soul level. Challenges and resulting behaviors are met with neutrality. What is most important is the return to a deeper sense of self-love. “God does not want to kill ya, just slow ya down.”

People design specific karmic lessons during their pre-birth planning to focus on developing particular traits, i.e. self-esteem, generosity, compassion, becoming more self-referential during their mortal lifetimes. I believe that becoming self-referential was central to my learning and being willful was in the way of making better choices that would deepen self trust. Okay, enter progressive degenerative illness  to affirm to my ego that my soul is in charge. From the perspective of this singular life, it seems like a big deal, but from the scope of thousands of lifetimes it is a mere speck in the bigger picture.

The hope and promise of a life fully lived brings with it the perspective of seeing our lives from the bigger picture perspective. With this understanding, suffering can be greatly reduced and deep joy and satisfaction attained from the knowing that we have done our best. It is for this intended outcome that I continue to log my Journey.