Saturday, April 16, 2011

Everybody has a story and everybody wants to tell it. Here’s mine

Most people I've known don't typically get excited about having an organ removed from their body. I was no different. But with incredible clarity I was SURE that in releasing my gall bladder with all its infection and poison, I was also releasing a whole lot of old beliefs, bitterness, and condemnation that had some very deep roots. With all the inner work I've done over the past year or so, how could this NOT be exciting for me (minus the pain, of course)? My body had offered up the physical manifestation of all that I have been working to release spiritually. Talk about mind-body-spirit connection!

I have always suffered from lastminuteitus and this was no different. Maybe it has been laziness; maybe it's because deep down in my core I know everything always works out for my good. I lean toward the latter, especially now, and from now on. And while I appreciate the "swoop" of a cleansing, I also realize it doesn't have to be so dramatic, drastic and all-consuming. We can do our work piece by piece, with gentleness and love for ourselves. We don't need to find ourselves bent over the toilet at 2am in agony, wondering "What the heck did I eat?"

But this is how it happened for me. And I bless the whole event, knowing a new sense of clarity and freedom from the old crud that had built up within me; mind, soul & body.

During my hospital stay, both the ER visit 4 days prior and then these days admitted as a patient, I was surrounded by some different energy, clarity and compassion like I've never felt before. And, maybe it was because I was a captive audience of sorts, but people felt the need to tell me their stories.

There was Wanda, the sweet little homeless lady in the ER who held my hand, rubbed my back and proclaimed that I had the appearance of having a whole lot of the world's woes on my shoulders, before she told me her story of a long list of ailments. I found her very soothing and sweet, knowing she is loved by someone somewhere, and in that moment and beyond, definitely by me. I wished she was still there when I left that morning. I wanted to take her home with me, give her a warm meal and let her shower and do whatever I could to make her life a little easier.

Then the ER nurse who felt compelled to tell me of his impending divorce and how his soon-to-be-ex had taken everything from him, including his beloved cat (how could he know THAT is what would get me?). He was bitter, I guess understandably so, and really let loose with how he felt about the whole situation. Through my pain, I felt his pain as his eyes began to tear up. I could see the deep hurt and rejection beyond the bitterness and searched for the right words to say to him. When he returned an hour or so later, he apologized for "dumping" on me, saying he had no idea what made him do that. I told him all the things that were taken from him were just that, things, and prayed he would get his cat back. His wife's leaving was just making the way for a better partner to come along. That was really all I had at that moment.

Then there was my walk back into the ER 3 days later...
As I approached the front doors, a small Asian lady was walking toward me. In my agonizing pain, I couldn't help but notice how much she looked like my friend's mom, who had just made her transition about 2 weeks prior. She looked like Mrs. Hanna when she was healthy and vital, so much so that I stopped to turn and watch her walk away to be sure I wasn't seeing things. Yep, she was still there, walking away in her pretty purple sweater with ruffles along the edges.

A couple of hours later, that same friend, Ren, posted on my Facebook wall that she got a sign from her mom that she was with me: an old rolodex of her mom's was opened to a very old entry for me from some 20 years ago. Talk about a God Wink!

Back in the ER, where you can hear everyone's "story", I realized I "looked" at people differently now. One man who refused to put his clothes on so he could be released and who ran up and down between the beds, well, not too long ago I would have labeled him "drug addict" or "crazy". This time I prayed. When an orderly tried to help him dress he screamed out that the man was going to rape him just as his father had. I was overcome with compassion and prayed again.

There was the nurse who asked me where I lived and then proceeded to tell me about her struggles trying to buy a home with her bad credit. This one actually stopped me in the corridor while I was doing my "walking rounds" after surgery!

Finally, there was the friend who called to check on me who then went into a 10 minute story about the stress and pain of life's current situation. As the friend spoke, I had amazing clarity at the resolution to the ongoing challenge in this friend's life but unsure if it would be taken in the manner it was intended, I remained quiet until an end to the conversation could easily be achieved.

I was also showered with love, prayers & visits from my Agape Community and from my Facebook community, some of which I am still discovering. WOW. No words for the outpouring of love that came my way!! No wonder I felt wrapped in a warm blanket of love the entire time! One of my teachers and ministers, Rev. Coco, called me and spoke the most beautiful prayer for me and with those words, I was able to release a little more, without judging or condemning myself for what I did or didn't due up until that moment. (THIS moment is all any of us ever are guaranteed so why live it looking back?) More love, more healing, more releasing. Will it ever be done? (Short answer: no)

Here's where it gets exciting for me…
I am a big believer in astral projection and other dimensions. I believe that when we sleep, we travel far and wide and experience some amazing things. I have remembered some amazing events from nights past and it makes going to sleep all the more interesting! I have also heard my Spiritual mentor, Rev. Michael, talk about his "travels" to visit people in the hospital during sleep. On Thursday I mentioned to Mary that I would like him to come visit me that night. Why not?

Immediately upon turning off the lights and the nurse closing the door to reveal the wonderful pitch-blackness of my room, I "saw" Rev. Michael step off the elevator on my floor. He had a small stack of papers in one hand and he briskly walked the halls, looking in each room; looking for me.

He came in, dressed in a gray suit, and began to talk to me, interchanging "you" for "I" with great regularity."I thought I was having a heart attack," he said to me (this is what I said to the doctors in the ER last Saturday night). "I've been talking about wanting to make bigger changes in my life and now you have a clean slate and you can do this. All the things you said you wanted to do, I can do now."

I listened intently as he perused through the papers in his hand – as if these were my records of some sort. Soon, he was gone and I sat up thinking, "WOW! That was easy! Ask & you shall receive, right?"

Upon learning the next day that I was still not well enough to go home, I called my friend, Dena, to check in on my cats at home. I basically felt fine, was off pain meds but a little worn out and had a low grade fever I couldn't shake. She offered to do some energy work on me later that evening and I accepted. She is a Reiki Master and I assumed this is what she was going to do. (What I discovered after sharing my experience with her was that she had done Shambala Energy Work on me). She told me to go to sleep, imagining a green light surrounding me. Enjoying my private, semi-private room and its pitch-black stillness once the door was closed, I got ready to go to sleep. ). Somehow during the day, someone had flipped something on at the foot of my bed that gave off a green glow in the room. PERFECT! Green light surrounding me: Check!

I fell asleep and began what was to be a wild night of visions and clearing.

At first, I saw a terra cotta disc floating about 8" above my stomach. It looked like an ancient pot or jar had been broken and this was the base along with about 1" of the pot. On it I could see tiny hieroglyphics etched into it as it spun clockwise, slowly above me. I leaned forward to get a better look at the etchings and then woke. I was dripping in sweat, but upon seeing the green glow in the room, said "green light go!" and went back to sleep.

I saw a perfect Egyptian eye. Then I saw a beautiful Egyptian woman's face around that eye, then her entire form. Then another person standing next to her; then another and another until there was a line of humanity in front of me. While they were real people, they also looked like a charcoal etching. As I traveled down the line of people, they seemed to be coming from the earth itself. By the time I got to the end, the last 2 people were waist-high in the earth, stepping out of it.

Suddenly a burst of bright white light shot out from my heart chakra and completely illuminated the room! BAM! I felt my head hit the pillow with a THUMP as I woke again. Once again I was drenched in sweat. I wiped my face off, shifted into the second of my 2 comfortable sleeping positions, and fell back to sleep.

This time I saw rolodexes – hundreds of them, floating all around me, their cards flying out and away from me. People came into my mind – everyone from the Foremost milkman from my childhood to Mary, my friend who had just visited me, and everyone in between. Each rolodex seemed to represent the memories of an individual.

I was able to think about several people at a time and these thoughts were memories. They were also random and nondescript. None of the memories were of significant moments in time but rather needless little tidbits of information. My mind was racing with all of these and I struggled to quiet my brain, to no avail.

Now I was in a different room in a different place. I was lying on a bed under a window. Outside the window was a beautiful, dark green pine tree. A squirrel made its way up the tall tree and made a nest of pine needles in a crook between 2 branches. It rested its head on its 2 front feet and just stared inside, watching me.

Next to the bed was a radio. A man was interviewing Rev. Michael. Rev. Michael's reply to the interviewer played over and over on a loop: "If you keep doing what you've always done, you'll keep getting' what you always got". Over and over it repeated. I remember looking at the radio and saying, "Rev. Michael, you came back again!"

All the while, the rolodexes were spinning along with all the thoughts contained within them.

Then, again, the bright white light emanating from my heart chakra burst out from me into the room, lighting it up! It was BEAUTIFUL! Along the edges of the white light there was golden light, like a ruffle almost. Again the force caused my head to bounce back on the pillow and I awoke. WOW!!

The last time, with rolodexes still spinning everywhere, I saw the most beautiful purple-deep blue and white triangular stone where my 3rd eye was. It floated slowly and changed colors from purple to deep blue with bits of white and back to deep purple. It was the most beautiful stone I've ever seen. At the same time, my crown chakra felt like it was opening wide. My head was now throbbing, so much activity going on with the rolodexes and the stone and all! LOL!! Soon, the nurse was coming in for the early morning vitals-check. I was dripping in sweat with a massive headache. She brought me a Tylenol and I slept for about an hour or so before waking for good, completely drained of all energy, barely able to move.

When the doctor came in I told him how drained I felt and he said it was understandable; considering the surgery I'd been through. HA! I knew it was more than that and I couldn't WAIT to talk to Dena about all of this! Though physically drained, my mind felt amazingly clear and clean – like the final sweep up once you've moved out of your old apartment.

Even now, when I try to go back to some old places of fear and doubt, they are no longer there. I KNOW I am – and will continue to be – OK. I've given up the "but HOW?" and instead am leaning into full trust that I am taken care of and it doesn't have to show up the way my small mind thinks it should look. As Rev Cheryl would say, "Either God IS or God Isn't". Which is it? For me, that answer is even easier than before: GOD IS. And that's ALL there is!

Everyone has a story to tell. This one was mine. But it's an old story now. I am moving on from it, having harvested the gifts of gratitude, insight, compassion, self-forgiveness and love for myself and others. I have a new story to tell, a new territory to discover. I am putting my focus and energy where it can best benefit me, in the Here and Now. It's a beautiful place to be. Join me, won't you?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Gall of it All ~or~ Where’s the Resentment? – The Final Exam

Well! My original attempt to keep this blog chronological seems to be retooling itself due to life’s wonderful discoveries that come faster and faster lately.
I will go with the flow…
Upon finishing my last post I immediately came down with the appearance of a cold: congestion, runny nose, the works. I figured this was my body’s way of confirming the work I’d done and was doing.  I blessed it, never so happy to have a cold in my life! I finished class growth work in the area of finances, really seeing the supportive Universe that supports all of us all of the time.  We worry not that, in taking a deep breath, we limit another’s ability to breathe.  We don’t even THINK about the fact that, while we sleep, as well as all day long, our hearts keep pumping blood without needing reminding.  We turn the water on in the bathroom and there it is.  It’s clean and free-flowing.  We flip a switch and the electricity is there.  Yes, supported without our input.  These are all examples of our supportive Universe.
I was also “invited” to experience the tangible supportiveness of the Universe on many occasions prior to the end of class, but especially on the last night of class. Coming out to find a flat tire in the darkness, with a throng of classmates and practitioners willing to help, really wrapped up the class with a greasy ribbon for me!  As I watched someone I didn’t even know, huddle next to my car by the light of a friend’s headlights at 11PM at night, I heard a voice say to me, “THIS is Agape. THIS is your community.” 
Upon completing the class work, I also recognized how tied together we all are.  I post something and it touches someone hundreds or even thousands of miles away.  One bright comment or smiley face has that power! It’s true!  I, too, have been moved to tears by a note or comment written to me from across the virtual plane and something shifts, something I thought before changes. Instantly.  We affect each other, support each other with encouraging words, and we help each other through some trying stuff.  I really thought I had gotten the lesson of the Supportive Universe but my big Final was still ahead….
2AM Sunday Morning I awoke to intense stomach and chest pains.  Initially I thought it was the ice cream that I had the night before, that I rarely treat myself to anymore, then later, a heart attack.  After a couple of hours of vomiting and curling in the fetal position, I found my friend and Reiki healer, Jacqui, online in South Dakota.  I emailed her asking for some relief.  By the time she followed up after sending energy, to tell me she had a stabbing pain in her gall bladder area and thought that might be my problem, I was checking myself into the local ER.  8 hours later I was released w/a diagnosis of gall stones and given prescriptions for pain and nausea. 
If you follow the teachings of Louise Hay, which I do, she has this to say about the mind-body connection and gallstones and what they represent: Bitterness, Hard thoughts, condemnation, pride.
Sounds about right, considering the inner work I’ve been doing. Again, I blessed the idea that my body was “confirming” the work I was doing and quickly decided I could holistically eliminate these little buggers once the pain passed. Easy-peasy!
After 3 days of continuous pain, difficulty breathing and high fever, I was convinced by several veterans of gall stones to return to the hospital.  None of their “stories” sounded like this.  After additional testing I was told surgery needed to be done right away.  With my sweet friend and classmate, Mary, by my side, we came up w/the list of questions to ask the surgeon - something I was too doped up on pain meds to really consider on my own.  She handled everything with the doctor with ease and grace, prayed with me and even pulled out Agape’s Inner Visions daily devotional to read to me which, no surprise was PERFECT for the occasion! All about releasing – even if it’s not in the way we’d prefer, in order to be open to something greater.
I have to say that, during the entire time I was going through this “adventure”, I was never afraid. Concerned once or twice, but never afraid.  Now, I live alone and I have had some health scares before when I’ve been in a relationship, or knew I could call a neighbor.  Still, during those past times, I was afraid: What if no one missed me? What If I pass out and can’t contact anyone and I’m found lying on the floor with my cats by my side? – You know the story.
Well, this time, I can honestly say, there was a palpable feeling of safety and love all around me like a warm blanket constantly.  My spiritual community was praying for me as soon as word got out Sunday morning and believe me – I could feel it! Not once did I think I would be left to fend for myself. 
I drifted off under anesthesia repeating “I am/God is” and woke on the other side to discover I was now a milestone in my surgeon’s career: Largest, most infected gallbladder he’s seen in 40 years!  The next day I quoted Rev. Michael Beckwith to my surgeon, “Don’t let your floor be your ceiling.”  I figured I had given him the opportunity after so many “routine” surgeries, to expand his gift to humanity by stretching the limits of laparoscopic surgery, which he had done beautifully!  I don’t think he fully understood the quote but it was just one way I could honor the God I saw in him.
As I began my journey back, I had a strange sense of accomplishment.  That I had, in one fell swoop, rid myself of all the bitterness and resentment that was still lingering from a lifetime of self-judgment, of seeming failure, and of the pride I held, believing I could make everything better without anyone’s help.
I really thought I had got the message that “I live in a friendly & supportive Universe”.  Guess the Universe REALLY wanted to make sure I was clear on this! It did, but there was one last little bit of work to be done….