the unknown and true healing

Having had so much time for contemplation, under different circumstances than usual (now that I’ve been diagnosed with an “incurable” illness), I am given opportunity realize the power of the unknown.

Now more than ever.

I wonder, do we all get that moment? To realize life’s infinite potential for the unexpected? I suppose I should feel immense gratitude for being given the opportunity to recognize, to revisit, to place all my attention, to value the absolute power of Life (God, Chi, Prana, Source, Brahman, Tao, etc.) and its ability to infinitely Create limitless potentiality.

So I begin to look back at my daily routine, only about 6-8 weeks ago, which would consist of morning breakfast, (after feeding the cats, of course), a lemon squeezed in my water, fresh blueberries and Kefir laced with Chia and flax seeds, along with my toasted slice of Ezekiel bread and a schmear of chunky almond butter. Coffee, of course. AHHH, pure heaven! Breakfast was always my favorite meal of the day. Then my home yoga practice, meditation, daily contemplative reading, stretching, and always a handstand to get the adrenaline flowing. And finally off to teach my yoga classes for the day ……..

I took that simple routine for granted. Not that I didn’t practice gratitude. I certainly did, as this was part of my work as a teacher to live and impart this knowledge. But truthfully, it’s not until one is faced with the reality of losing something that the actuality is available to knowing how valuable that something was. Now its REAL.

Loss, unexpected change, trauma, illness, is always a wake up call. Some may call it fierce grace. Whatever one chooses to call it, it kind of feels like losing your house to a tornado, and some of the neighbors houses are still standing. You wonder, Was there purpose in this for me?

Now, I have been given the opportunity to learn a new routine. I am awakened in the morning by pain, and I reach for the pills at my bedside. Then I hobble to the toilet, cringing at the stabbing, burning pain enveloping my entire right chest and armpit.

I have found that once I get the pain managed with pills, I’m able to conjure up the strength, slowly, to continue that morning routine of cat feeding and my breakfast. Now, I REALLY value this even more because it’s so difficult to achieve.

Then I spend time in contemplative reading, meditation, dream journaling, and admiring the scene of summer’s nature out the window. I know I won’t lose the ability to engage in these practices unless I should lose consciousness, and for that I am so grateful. The pain is less at this point after eating breakfast, although I’m very weak – the chemo has begun to do its job of killing my blood cells. There is no longer any ability to perform a physical yoga practice, unless walking very slowly can be considered my new asana.

There is no more driving. The painful rash and swelling enveloping my chest has created a limited arm movement that makes it unsafe to drive. It’s a loss of independence.

There is no more teaching yoga, floor or aerial, or home practice. It’s like losing a dear friend.

There is no more physical intimacy with my beloved the way it used to be. A reminder, the physical sensation of youth is temporary.

There is no more cleaning and vacuuming, cooking and grocery shopping on my own. Time to let go of control.

I have learned a few things from all of the unexpected loss and change:

I need to take strong pain medicine to have any decent quality of life. I will never harshly judge another who may have abused narcotics. We don’t know the reason for one’s sense of need to manage their pain.

I can only move my body in very slow motion to avoid any sharp pain. This has provided me with a deeper sense of gratitude for practices I’ve learned, such as Tai Chi, that enable slow graceful movements that feel energetically powerful.

I cannot hug anyone or lie on my side or lie prone. It is actually uncomfortable to lie down at all without strong pain medicine. But I do enjoy holding my husband’s hand, squeezing it during my chemo treatments, and looking into his loving eyes.

Of all the seeming loss this inflammatory breast cancer has caused, there is just as much gain in many aspects of new awareness.

As I took a slow walk outside today,

I listened more closely than I have in a long time.

I smelled the summer blossoms and country air.

I felt my emotional body and God’s presence more deeply.

I cherished nature’s beauty more sincerely.

I loved each moment’s opportunity to be a witness to my own awareness.

I forgave myself for all of my mistakes, misunderstandings, and wrong judgements.

I recognized that the potential for true healing has little to do with a physical body and that true healing is a mystery which is unsolvable by a human mind.

I sensed that true healing has infinite possibility to be experienced through the human heart.

a humble and contrite heart

after seeing mom yesterday, feeding her what little morsels of dinner she could eat, she said to me, “I’m afraid of what’s going to happen to me”

my heart broken for her suffering, all that came to me were the words that felt true:

“do you remember your faith? do you remember your connection to God? when you feel anxious, remember that connection. it is always there with you”

I don’t know if she heard a word or received that, but I gave it for it was all I had

This morning, I had the Grace of listening to a talk by Derek at Global Witness that served me deeply today. One of the truths that he makes to clear is that there’s so much more to what we “see” in this world, it is more than what we think we know.

This is only a short excerpt of the hour long discussion:

“What do you have that is valuable?

Do you love really well?

What is your gift, no matter how small?

How do you invest it?

Take what little you have and invest it in others.

If all you do all day is to encourage people to seek who they are, you are investing your courage, you’re investing what little you’ve been given.

To those who have been given, more will be given.so you have a responsibility to care for the things you have.

Speaking of this ascension:

The Ascent is the gift of Christ, which is humility of heart:

The acceptable sacrifice is a contrite heart

You just give all of this world away.

This is my posture all the time: Head down, hands out, I’ve got nothing.

And every single day, every time I do that, he puts something in my hands.

Every single day I come to him with that humble and contrite heart, he gives me something else, and never are they my possessions, they are always His.

That’s why you don’t take those things in vein like his name. You don’t take things to be your own because nothing is yours, all of it is ours.

These truths are already in you. You once knew them and they have been removed. You knew them because they are the blueprint of mankind.

The return of ‘the son of man’ is the return of that blueprint within you.

Christ is Everywhere but Nowhere. The father is everywhere but nowhere. It cannot be in a single place if it covers all places.”

photo: Christine Chan, Sukha Arts

 

Spiritual truths

For many years I regularly listened to the dharma talks of a brilliant sage, Adyashanti. Having been to his silent retreats on several occasions, I had the pleasure of being in his Presence, and even had the opportunity to speak to him once.

I don’t listen anymore. At some point, I just felt like my cup floweth over, and I was filled with all the knowledge I could possibly absorb, for the time being, anyway. It’s been a few years now, not having Adya’s words guiding my days.

However, there are so many pearls that remain in my heart from his teachings. These gems will always be there for me when I forget what my deepest soul always knows.

At those times in life when I find myself absorbed and drowning in family drama and what feels like I’m helpless to witness this total lack of understanding or ability to resolve the conflict, it is then I revisit my well of ‘Adya wisdom’ to restore some inner peace and sanity.

I share these 3 very simple but Eternal Spiritual Truths with the intention that it may serve others in a time of need: (I am paraphrasing, and created a rhyme, these were not Adya’s exact words)

  1. What you BELIEVE so shall you PERCEIVE.
  2. What you RESIST will always PERSIST.
  3. DESIRE is a LIAR, it only creates more DESIRE

Recognizing these 3 spiritual truths is a simple tool to re-cognize where the suffering is born. And as always, it’s WITHIN YOU.

Blessings on the journey ………