"Eventually, it is the painful events that stir some of us to become self-reflective. We must look at pain in its positive light as a selection of reality that can aid our self-cultivation." (Michael A. Allen - Tao of Surfing)
This being said, the past month has been one of the most painful, most challenging parts of my journey so far. I never would have predicted this outcome, which is part of why I have been working on one of my daily mantras of having no attachments and no expectations, and continuing to embrace each moment in each day. Also I have been working on relating with what Allen says about surrendering to our pain and embracing it in a positive light. It is when we fight against being in pain that we spiral even further downwards; and it is when we surrender to pain that we can truly look inwards and see the light.
On Thursday January 30th I had my first neurology check-up appointment since I left the hospital, which I know I didn't necessarily NEED to do, but something in my body told me to go ahead and go. The purpose for going I can see and feel now was a life lesson in human interaction. That day I felt as though I accidentally shared too much information with the head neurology doctor who came into my check up office. I had never met him before until then. I felt in the moment angry as though he pushed and shoved anger onto me for several reasons including the fact I had decided not to start radiation and also felt as though he criticized my dieting and herbal approach, as well as put down much of the western advice that was given to me by the neurosurgeons and the medical team that had been with me throughout my hospital stay. I also felt as though I had made the mistake of sharing more information with him than was necessary, but it had already been done and I could not take it back.
As soon as I got back from an alarming day I wrote an email to Dr. Mao Shing Ni (my main practitioner) asking his advice on clearing negative energy. In the beginning of my email I wrote "I was in tears and in fear and emotional and angry from the hospital. It's been six hours now, since I left and my body still feels numb and my eyes and lungs and heart and I'm sure other organs hurt from crying and upset." Dr. Mao's response was healing and at ease and the words that he wrote have stuck with me and been an important lesson are,
"Certainly I believe that at the end of the day all your caregivers east or west have the best intentions for you. You might focus on taking the best from each of your healers...Whatever you do work on staying calm and not angry. Work on forgiveness and gratefulness."
|Dr. Mao Shing Ni|
Thanks to Dr. Mao I have learned from this that it is good not to be resentful towards Western doctors (or towards anyone for that matter), and just to know...they are coming from a mindset which they have practiced their whole life and although it may not be exactly the same mindset as the path I am currently on in my own healing, that it is more peaceful and at ease for me to feel gratitude and delight from their overall support, because they ARE trying to help me in the way they know best! Dr. Mao has been a part of my life since before I became a student at Yo San University, which is the school that was created by his brother Dr. Dao Shing Ni and himself. Dao and Mao have taken over the Tao of Wellness clinic, which was created by their father Master Hua Ching Ni in 1976. Master Hua Ching Ni is the heir to the wisdom transmitted through an unbroken succession of 74 generations of masters dating back to the Han dynasty (206 BCE - 220 CE). While I was in the hospital I had a memory of their father being at our family's home in Virginia when I was a child. My father practices Chinese Medicine and Tuina massage, so I wondered if in fact this memory actually happened. I asked my father and he responded that yes Master Hua Ching Ni did visit at our home when I was nine years old. He came to Charlottesville, Virginia to do a conference and asked my father (who was a student of his) to sponsor him. Before the guests arrived at the teatime/scheduled meeting at our house I came up to my dad and complained about being hungry. My father told me that Master Hua Ching Ni looked at me and smiled and said told me to go eat. My fathers life message from this simple interaction was to not let your children need endless favors and to run your life and that at nine years old I was capable of creating and helping myself to what my body needed. The same message seems to linger with me now; the importance of listening to our own bodies and healing ourselves and seeking out the information we need and letting go of the advice and energy we don't need. I also feel that Master Hua Ching Ni did more than just tell me to eat. There is a beautiful reason that I have ended up without even knowing studying acupuncture at the school created by his two sons and that Dr. Mao has been helping me on my journey of healing and learning about my body. This journey of looking inward and opening up to what my own body is presenting to me is strengthening me and creating in me the courage and strength to be able to give back to others and create a ripple so we can all connect to ourselves and to others and heal.
The next challenge in my journey arose during my final ween off the medication I was prescribed at the hospital. I started my ween off before Christmas and planned to do it slowly over a process of two months as to have the least amount of side effects as possible. The first day of zero medication was on February 5th, 2014, the day after my father arrived for a week long visit. Within forty eight hours of being on zero medication, a series of events began to occur which I truly believe were a combination of detoxing the medication fully out of my system, my brain registering what it has been through on its own in the past few months with no sedative, a small sinus infection, and most importantly the universe sending me a beautiful lesson on the importance of the life we live and how we chose to live it. On that day I received an acupuncture treatment which made me feel like I was in hypnosis, having an outer body experience. After the treatment I thought to myself: Is life a dream? Are we all just bits of energy?! My brain felt like it was vibrating and pulsating. I felt afraid but wanted to feel confident and at peace and that what I was feeling was the tumor releasing itself from my brain and body. I felt tingling intense vibrations coming from inside of my skull, a feeling I had never felt before in my entire life. That days experience felt unreal, and as the days continued I felt as though I didn't even know what was real anymore. The dictionary says that real is what genuinely exists and unreal is what genuinely does not exist; but how do we know what exists and what does not exist and does that even matter? What I did feel and what did matter was I was alive, I was breathing in and out, I was grateful for the sun rising and the beauty around me.
On February 12th, 2014 I woke up in tears as my rebirth continued and I was feeling a connection to being in a SPINNING VORTEX OF ENERGY which I believe comes from my surrender and acceptance of death and the fear of death. I felt as though I had spent the past thirty years as a caterpillar, the past four months in a cocoon and the past seven days breaking out of a cocoon, and now slowly slowly transforming into the woman I am. That day I spent two hours on the rooftop in the sunshine soaking the sun into my mind, body and soul. I was on the phone with my mother appreciating her entirely into my life. Suddenly we got cut off, I tried to call her back and it went straight to her voice-mail. She then called me back and explained that when we got cut suddenly for no reason and out of nowhere (that we no of that is) came on loud and clear the Cinderella song with words something like this:
After feeling the oceans energy we decided it was time to eat some food. We walked to a restaurant nearby. As we were walking towards the doorway right next door to the place we were going to eat at was a man locking up a door, who turned and looked me straight in the eyes, twinkling at me and said, "I felt you're energy before you even approached, it is awesome. How would you like to come upstairs with your friend and take a look at all of the vintage clothing? I will sell you whatever you want for $5" Zach and I smiled at each other and up the stairs we followed this man. Sure enough the clothes upstairs in a room the size of a giant dressing room were silky, very old, and amazingly heavenly. While playing around up there, Zach went to go check on the car. While he was gone the man, Jeffrey, noticed my scar and asked to hear my story. He looked at me and smiled as if I had known him forever and told me that his older sister used to have a brain tumor also and now instead in the place of the brain tumor she has a baby growing in her belly. I feel it is no coincidence that I landed up in his shop which may or may not have been real. I feel as though he may be an angel that was sent to me from heaven. When Zach came back before we left to go to dinner Jeffrey took us up on the rooftop where we could see the stars and moon above. Before going into dinner I called my mother back to share with her the continued happenings of the day and her response to me was:
"When you open up to the energy, the natural amazing energies come to you. You become a vortex of spinning energy. You start to manifest more and more good energy."
After dinner as we headed out, I grabbed a plastic fork for our leftover food. I felt as though I wanted to pay it forward. As we were crossing the street, an amazing black skinned man with many of his teeth missing but with an incredible giant smile on his face, looked me in the eyes with a twinkle and spoke to my soul. To me, he felt like the second angel in my life that day. While he glanced into my eyes he held his hand up in the air and gave a peace symbol with his fingers. Most homeless people that I have met usually bed me for money or for food; this man did not beg for anything but instead gave to me happiness and peace. I looked at him and said, "do you want this food?" He smiled and laughed back at me and said, "yes yes, thank you thank you, god blesses you!!" And right there in the middle of the street in Venice I felt as though I was face to face with an angel who was sending me a blessing of my life from god. I look back on this experience as a reminder that all people in this world no matter where they come from, where we live, what we do, are all connected and all in this world together.
The next few days continued to be amazing. On Valentines Day, I fell in love with myself and with nature. This was the first day I decided to go surfing and be in the water since my injury. After a beautiful little surfing session I went on a walk down down the beach next to the water. On my walk I saw sand dollar after sand dollar at my toes, presenting to me from the universe that wealth is with us in many forms. That day created for me even more love for myself, love for the people in my life, love for being alive (even if we are only in this lifetime for a short while), love for the ocean, love for the healing energy of the sun shining on me, love for the moon rising and the stars shining, love for the earth beneath my feet, love for the air I breathe, love for the world, love for the universe, and love for LOVE.
On February 18th, I went to the hospital again, this time for my first follow-up MRI since I was a patient at the hospital. Before taking the MRI, they require the patient to get a blood test done so that it is considered safe to be within the MRI machine for an hour and have the fluid injected into your body that they use to show contrast in some of the photos on the MRI results. When the filipino woman (with a sticker of a horse representing The Year of The Horse on her medical coat), at the blood testing center drew my blood, I felt her presence and twinkle as angel number three. While drawing my blood, she looked into my eyes and said, "You are still meant o be on this earth. You are here for a purpose, you are not yet done. Your purpose has not yet been fulfilled, and you are going to heal yourself!" Thank you to my guardian angel of a woman who I met in the midst of an insanely intense hospital environment. She made me understand how possible it is to find calm in the midst of a storm. The beauty of feeling in a vortex of spinning energy is amazing, and for this connectedness, I am so grateful!
Mary (McHale) Parr - You gave me a tiny little book smaller than the size of my hand while I was in the hospital and told me to write down my thoughts and feelings as they came into my mind. The book filled up within a couple days and that is where my idea to begin this blog unfolded. You have been with me every step of the way and have checked in on me consistently throughout my journey, not just in the beginning but the entire time. You are a TRUE friend. You are always in my mind and in my heart. I love you.