Holidays are a time of deep reflection and expectations and feeling things in a powerful way. This is the sixth holiday season since we suddenly lost our twenty-nine year old daughter Sweet Lisa on April 1, 2008.
This is the first year that there is not a sharp pain in my heart or easy flowing tears from my eyes. Love never dies and yet when people leave this reality we must decide to honor their passage, adapt and heal, or stay stuck in pain.
A level of sadness and loss will always be there and yet I feel happier and more in love with life than I have ever. Healing is a much longer process than any of us want to admit, and yet a very worthwhile experience that awakens us and makes us more humble and human.
This morning as I reflect on this healing time, I decided to share a story that might inspire your journey and helps me process mine. Every year the holidays are a marker as to where I am. I look around in and outside of me to see where I am. Each time I have felt myself climbing higher out of a deep place inside where I went to heal.
In my life, since a child, I have experienced many deep losses. Deciding to thrive has inspired my research, healing and life purpose. My day-to-day work is to support others heal from all aspects of trauma and pain from their entire life, and help them reclaim their health, happiness and light.
The way I learned to heal has been to surrender to the process of healing and move forward and allow it to unfold organically. I found that if we skip steps on that journey, we become toxic and lost, and we can experience mental and physical illness as a result.
Today when we have surgery or extreme trauma to our body, there is a planned rehabilitation stage to begin to recover from the trauma to our body, mind and emotions and get it back on track to full health. After being released from a rehab facility, there is support available to continue the healing.
Society or medicine does not honor loss of people or situations that many are going through in these times that create seemingly invisible trauma and affect all levels of wellness. There is no plan for healing the heart and soul wounds of death, or trauma from great loss of property and livelihood. When we have a major loss there is a big empty space from the loss, a breakdown of our being and ego that normally keeps us together. Where is the needed support and rehab for these traumas?
We are the owner and operator of us, and it’s our job to focus on healing and find our way home to wholeness, no matter how broken we feel.
When we do not heal, we disassemble, mentally, emotionally and physically. The paradigm of strength in our culture is to buck up and deal with it silently in denial. Instead, I saw it as strength to focus on healing and acknowledge where I was.
I found that some people, not just the individuals going through things, but even friends and family, do not want to experience your, or their pain, so they avoid, or attack you. This is not all conscious or malicious, but I found that when they say, be strong, it means,” Get over it and keep it away from us.”
Your pain opens up their pain of this loss, and others that they have not dealt with in their life. It also sets up fear and sadness they cannot deal with. It is normal to walk away, or see people cover it up to look okay when they are breaking apart in pieces inside. We al have ways to cope.
I felt like Humpty Dumpty in a million pieces when Lisa died. As a mother there is a big loss on so many levels that I experienced, from a cellular level, out to more physical, mental, emotional and spiritual and then back and forth again. I was dying inside in so many ways, and yet the world went on.
I have no idea how people go back to work and make believe they are okay. Stress extraordinaire is all I can say. Stress is caused when the core of you knows something and needs something, and you are not listening and following through to take care of you. Another way of saying it is stress is created when you are living against the truth of you on one or more levels.
I was told to get over it by an out of touch close family member. Others told me to go back to work and find a new job that does not deal with helping others in healing their pain. Really start a new career when I can barely function?
The best idea was to find a husband to take care of me. Romance and negotiating a relationship while I was grieving, felt like stress, and not appropriate to do to a man, or me. I was in a million pieces, and bringing in someone new did not make sense. I was on the most extreme survival I had ever been on. Not very attractive from my point of view
No one takes care of you but you, and then by being receptive, reinforcements can come in to assist. I get through things by consciously staying awake. Even so, there is much that is naturally buffered and put aside temporarily by the wisdom of our being when we experience loss; this is one of the gifts of ego protection in us.
My concern was to stay focused on healing and living through it all, knowing my body and being knows the way home. I am extremely practiced in this and was continuously tested with many other great losses in the years surrounding Lisa’s death.
WHAT I DID
Immediately after Lisa left I just kept going, not knowing how else to do feeling my way each day, in shock. I later saw how I was acting like the energizer bunny, going and going and going. My batteries began to run out a month later when I thought I could teach, just two more planned workshops, and then stop, and figure out a way to take time off.
When I arrived at the upstate location a day before the first workshop, a long ago childhood weakness reawakened in my body, and I found myself struggling to breathe, on the brink of bronchitis and pneumonia. This had me look inside and see how ridiculous it was to think I could hold a group and speak of something else when I was so raw and shattered.
Then, I heard a thought in my head say, “You have a choice, do you want to go with Lisa, or stay here?” I wanted to live, no doubt, and gave up the willful push to prove that I could do things now, and listened to my body saying, its time to stop.
I will be forever grateful to all of the people who supported me through this time. I learned how to receive loving support and help in ways that still amaze me. I know that by surrendering to my best healing, I allowed so many to come in and offer aid and love and gifts, just when I needed them.
I had no idea how many people in and outside of my circle of friends; family, clients and fellow practitioners in many locations loved me, and wanted to help.
I also had no idea how many people lost children too.
LOVING MYSELF THROUGH
The world and people want you to conform to make things look okay. At some point you have to be an advocate for you, and buck those things that compromise and hurt you.
At this time I began rewriting my own rulebook on a very refined level. My survival into thriving was my focus, I knew I had to advocate for me.
Helping others is natural, as was helping myself, and yet my life was at stake in many ways, and I listened and followed me and not anyone else, like I had never done before. I had no idea what recovery could be like, and yet I set my course in that direction.
My no’s and yes’s were easy to state. When I felt a loss of energy from any person or thing, I plugged it up quickly. Extended family came through when close family could not. I asked for money to come, to get me through the time needed to heal, and money showed up. Lisa’s legacy was to help me heal from her loss.
All of the Be The Medicine teachings and practices I taught and developed saved my life and helped me heal. Two long time students who apprenticed with me for years had an opportunity to give back and I was grateful to have this high level support in the language and tools I lived.
Body workers, energy healers and natural doctors helped me get my body through this trauma at no charge. Friends offered me beautiful places to retreat. Each one of these was overlooking water, which was healing.
I had just moved back to the area six months before and was living with a friend that I had planned to be a temporary situation. What a gift she was. I had helped her for many years and she nurtured me and was a householder for me. When I needed it I just had to pay rent with little responsibilities, so I could take my time to come all the way back with greater ease.
The challenges doubled and the assistance tripled. I was challenged and blessed, the worst and best of times.
Being a lifelong giver I learned to receive more than ever. This is the key to life and healing in all ways. It takes a tribe or a village for everything. We are talented divine beings who need each other, or we would live in little pods alone on this planet.
To Be The Medicine is to tap into your divine wisdom, knowledge and live from this place. That does not mean we are an island unto our selves. Knowing how to ask and receive support is important.
Oneness means we draw from the pool from which we are living in. As much as I was missing Lisa and many people and things that fell away, I received so much more that held me and sustained me.
Continuous gratitude for my life and people and so many things unfolded. I meditated at sunrise at a local lake many mornings and drew in the gifts of nature and returned there for peace and connection when I could during the day.
The greatest love was to honor myself and attend to my needs. I always did this in order to assist many in all areas of my life, and yet this extreme situation pushed me deeper into paying attention and loving myself through this time.
Allowing vulnerability built greater strength. Deeper connection to the God within and in all enlightened me and opened deep compassion.
I experienced direct contact with Lisa from the moment she left her body through to today. She and I have had quite the journey on both sides o the veil. She comes and offers love and support when I least expect it.
Lisa is happy and on her own adventure. As a mother it was always a practice to release my daughters to them selves and their journey and choices and not interfere or hold onto them. This was the ultimate test and gift to let go and allow her, her own journey without holding her back.
Lisa taught me much in her twenty-nine years on this planet and more since she moved on to her next life.
Losing Lisa was the worst loss and pain of all time for me, and yet I realize how much we all suffer and are challenged, and how much courage it takes for every human to wake up each day and live in the face of all of our challenges.
There was a tremendous amount of judgment, both coming from me and others towards me during this time, and I chose to love myself enough to let go of judgment, and do what I knew I needed to do to survive and thrive, so I could continue to live a productive, healthy life.
It is a moment-by-moment journey and has helped me value life, health, happiness and everything and being, more than ever before and to have the greatest compassion and love for all.
The Toltec’s say, “Who cares?” when faced with challenge. The ego-self, the one who wants everything perfect, fair, and the way we want things to be, cares a lot and is the one that creates problems. The soul-self wakes up to more compassion and love and knows the wisdom in all things and finds peace.
My story is a mini version of everyone’s story.
Ask yourself these questions.
v Do you love yourself enough to take care of you and choose health, happiness and a loving purposeful life?
v Do you stop when your body-self says stop so you can heal and find your best course?
v Do you know how to follow you instead of others?
v Do you acknowledge hurt so you can choose to heal?
v Do you ask for and allow others to help you?
v Do you trust that if you stay on course you will find all of the answers?
v Do you say yes when it helps, and no when it hurts?
Your life and health is always at stake when you live against you.
Discover and live your truth and you will co-create your best life.
We all have our journey and we all have all of the resources we need to help us through narrow waters.
May this story be a blessing and support you in its own way.
Happy Holidays all.
May your challenges enlighten your journey in everyday life.
Gratitude and Grace,
Be The Medicine, Live the Power of You
Please enjoy the website and call me if I can be a support to you on your journey. See our special retreats and experiences to move you in a direction of love and freedom.