Tuesday, February 15, 2011

In My Very Marrow

In my very marrow, I hear a sound
A sound so still and soft, it is often mistaken for silence
A struck bell’s ringing echo
The pause between the lightning and the thunder
A breath of sound on a still wind
The hum of every idea ever thought

In my very marrow, I hear a sound
The shaking, shuddering, hideous sigh continuously birthing the universe
A star blinks out
Two elements combine
The heaving surf
A mountain grows

In my very marrow, I hear a sound
The aching tear in a broken heart
The baby’s first cry
Death’s last sigh
The pregnant impulse to begin
The whisper when worlds collide, the scream when atoms divide

In my very marrow, I hear a sound
Between the beats of my heart
In the glance of a chance-met eye
A groan remembered
A thought forgot
Rising in the chatter of a thousand children laughing
The smile of the old men

In my very marrow, I hear a sound

(© 2011)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Mourning the Loss of a Dream

Grief tightens my throat and tenses the back of my neck.  My belly aches; my eyes are hot with unshed tears.  Three times I have started the journey to become a doctor, moving my family across state lines to go to school, demanding sacrifices of my husband and children to my dream.  And three times, life has thrown me violently off that track.  I have wanted to be a doctor since I was five years old.  Twice I was in the process of pre-naturopathy prerequisites and, most recently, I was attending a homeopathic medical school with the intention of rolling into their doctoral program as it became available (it is still stuck in the planning stages, however).  Even after the homeopathy school fizzled, I looked into naturopathy again but was too sick to think about pursuing it. 

Today, I stopped by the Naturopathic Medical Center to pick up a remedy.  I haven’t been back there since before I even began to recognize the pattern that destiny was drawing in my life, since the last time I was applying there.  At least seven years.  The place has really grown up in the intervening years: a big new medical center to house the clinics and labs and the oh-so-pharmacy-looking medicinary.  I parked next to Physician Only parking spaces.  I walked past doctors and students in their white coats and intense expressions. 

In the medicinary, the clerk questioned my remedy request.  Their in-house policy (exceeding state and federal law) requires a prescription for high-potency remedies.  Since I lack their credential, I couldn’t buy the potency I wanted in my own name; they would only sell me a lower potency “suitable” for the uneducated layperson.

I bought the lower potency but walked back to my car with my mouth working hard and a harsh gnawing in my chest.  Why?  Why couldn’t I have completed this dream?  I could be one of those white-coated authorized people by now.  I could park in the best spots and order any damn thing in the pharmacy.  I could be someone my kids could brag about again the way they did when I was in school.  Best of all, I could be someone I would have been proud to be.  I fought long and hard with myself to believe I was even capable of medical school and I was so immensely gratified to find that I did very well in my classes. 

Obviously, destiny has another plan for me.  Each time I attempt to pursue medicine, I come closer to dying with the ferocity that Life requires to derail me.  I’ve been sick for three and half years; I may never fully recover from this last attempt. 

In memory of a dream that will forever remain a fantasy, here is my excerpted admissions essay to the homeopathic college.  It is still as true for me today as it was when I wrote it five years ago.

When I was five years old, I decided to be a doctor.  After a deep gash on my knee, which I was left to attend alone with only a wet cloth and a bandage, I discovered beneath the flowing blood and assorted gore a hard gleaming white thing that I decided must be my knee bone.  This sight, an inner mystery of the body revealed, awoke in me a fascination with how the body works that has never left me, although it has deepened and broadened to include the mysteries of the whole of Being—body, mind, and soul.  I decided then and there, in the attic of my grandmother’s house, that I must study medicine and be a doctor; I must bring this fascination with healing mysteries to the world.

Thirty-five years later, I still have a scar across my knee and I still feel that breathless awe in the presence of the healing work.  My family culture, learning differences I had not yet accommodated, and just plain life intervened and I never made it to medical school, but I have never stopped being fascinated by the healing process, by health and wellness, and by the myriad ways to affect it. I have been studying this process informally although seriously since my early teens. 

I discovered nutrition as a way to affect health as a teenager and began a never-ending, always-something-new experiment with foods, eating habits, and supplementation.  I continue to learn the food/health connections today with my family and my healing clients.  How we nourish ourselves through food, physically and spiritually, is the foundation upon which we daily create ourselves. 

Also in high school, I was introduced to psychology—the inner mysteries of the mind—and learned to observe.  I continued formal study of psychology through a Bachelor’s Degree, to the offering of a place in a doctoral program at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Although I didn’t continue the credentialing process, I have never stopped observing, analyzing the patterns of the workings of people’s inner selves.  The incredible drive for wellness and wholeness in all that is alive is astounding.

Not quite ten years later, after dabbling with a few alternative health ideas, I entered a struggle with fertility that finalized my break with conventional medicine. Doctors ignored my plight, my midwife was not trained in miscarriage prevention, and I was left to find my own cure.  For three years in the mid 1990’s, I researched reproductive endocrinology and alternative therapies, diagnosed my own problems and prescribed my own treatments.  My midwife was my connection to therapies to which I had no access.  Her trust in my work and willingness to learn as I learned was the first indication that I had something to offer the world through medicine.  Her suggestion that I become a doctor made me realize that I had forgotten my childhood dream.

First, though, we had the joy of homebirthing my first daughter.  Homebirth pushed me firmly into the alternative health world—as if I had that far to go! But it was during my pregnancy that I realized the power of homeopathy: Sepia 200C saved my marriage and my sanity during my second trimester. My midwife gave me some of her own personal supply, which worked the miracle.  I still have that little bottle of Sepia grains and for years turned to it in times of need.

Since then, I have devoted my life to mothering and the study and practice of holistic healing methods. I have raised my children exclusively with vibrational medicine. In addition to homeopathy, other modalities I use are kinesiology, flower remedies, aromatherapy, botanical medicine and direct resonance healing.

So why, now that I have the space in my family life to consider medical school, am I wanting to study homeopathy? I have become more fascinated with the facilitation of healing through working directly with vibrational energy.  Of all the modalities of vibrational healing, homeopathy seems the most inclusive of the body, mind, and soul in equal measure.

Homeopathy is a study of the whole human Being:  from the physics, to the psyche, to the soul, acknowledging that there is no body without soul, nor mind without body. Homeopathy is poetry and science, psychology and theatre, cosmology and philosophy, and all at once.

And, lastly, I choose the homeopathic path because the formal study and credential will allow me to be what I already am—teacher, mentor, healer, parent—in a deeper, more profound way.  As a Wholistic Kinesiologist, I am fairly certain to select a healing remedy if I have a sufficient pharmacy from which to choose but, without a thorough education in homeopathy, I don’t know why it will work or why it is the right remedy.  I want to understand the homeopathic paradigm of disease and healing.  Without that understanding, I am still only able to offer superficial knowledge to others and that is neither sufficient for me nor for those whom I seek to help.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

What I Really, Really Want (I)

Recently, in an email about my journey to healing and wholeness through my hysterical illness, a friend challenged me with this project:

…Write a five-page essay to yourself (yes, five pages) about what it is that you really, really, really want in life. (Really want... not just tell yourself that you want.) Then compare the last page of your essay what it is with what you've got now in your life...

I stomped my foot, stuck out my lip and mumbled, “uh-uh.”  Then I said, “yeah, sure, prolly a good idea,” but, instead of actually thinking about the question, I spent my time writing long, detailed comments to other people’s Facebook statuses, huge discourses on other people’s blogs, rambling emails, and couldn’t write a single thing for my own blog.  Not even the stilted, dead-end bits I’d been writing for the last month.  Mm-hmm, some major psychological resistance going on there.

Then, when I found myself tied in knots over a discussion with some stranger on another stranger’s blog, even blowing off my daily Call to Prayer because I wanted to set this guy straight, I had to call “foul” on my game.  As usual, when I finally quit procrastinating on some project, I found that I already knew the answer quite clearly.  I knew exactly who I wished I could be and what I want to do, if only I could get out of my own way.

Four years ago, not long before I got started getting really sick, I was studying homeopathic acid remedies for the school I was attending with the above-mentioned friend.  I wrote her the following note:

May 2007

Monday night I was reading about the acids, finishing up with Nitric Acid before I went to sleep.  I dreamed that night about the aftermath of a battle. 

There were hundreds of bomb victims on the battleground, hung from trees and scaffolding and makeshift things because the burns they had sustained from the nitric acid bombs were so extensive and devastating that they couldn't be laid down. The trees and landscape themselves were horribly burned and skeletal just as were the human victims (mostly but not exclusively children). 

No one was crying or screaming; the pain was too great for any vocalization.  The word DESOLATION burned into my soul.  A low moaning of the slight wind through the blackened trees highlighted the silence.  Almost as many doctors and other healing practitioners were in the field treating the victims as there were victims but the doctors and others were so overcome by the extent of the devastation that even they worked in near silence.  Everything was black and grey through the pale blue of lingering smoke. 

I walked through the battlefield touching as many of the people as I could, especially the children with their huge, silent, desolate eyes.  I felt my hands buzzing with healing energy and as I put my palm on each person, I could feel the healing flow through me into their souls.  The healing energy brought each one to the place where he or she could find peace:  for some it was that they found renewed resources to accept the medical treatment and recover, for others it was moving into death, maybe half and half. 

The doctors were so deeply shocked by the suffering that they themselves were grateful for what I did, even though it meant death for many.  And I remember thinking that no one who had not been there would understand that I was not killing anyone, rather bringing grace in whatever form could be accepted by the recipient.  I remember wondering if I should be concerned with that—that maybe I'd find myself in trouble later for what I was doing—but found I couldn't even spare the attention to think about it.  What I was doing was so urgent and so deeply, spiritually necessary that I truly couldn't choose to worry about myself.

It was a pretty horrible dream but I was never afraid during it, nor later when I awoke.  I was so full of profound gladness that I could bring grace to these souls (and it really was their souls that were my focus not the bodies) that fear could not enter in.  "Perfect love casteth out fear."  Fear and love cannot coexist.  I was so grateful for the opportunity to carry out my sacred responsibility that nothing else mattered. 

Oh, and I kept catching glimpses of my sleeves as if from the corner of my eye as I reached out to touch someone:  they were the blue of the Renaissance Madonnas.  It was really the only color in my dream, kind of like the little girl in the red coat in the Spielberg movie about the Holocaust.

I really, really want to be the woman in the dream:  bringing healing grace to tortured souls, releasing fears, alleviating suffering, and facilitating spiritual transformation. I want to be the catalyst to take stuck, scared and suffering people into a place of love, peace, and freedom.  I want to be fearless, confident and competent, grateful, serene, intense, and compassionate.  I want to channel the grace of God to those who need a healing hand.  I want to be the imago Dei to desperate souls.  I want to be a priest facilitating communion with the Divine, a midwife easing the birthing pains for souls in transformation.  I want to administer Last Rites, witness first cries, and revel in the sight of someone meeting God on a new and glorious path.

I have visions and I dream dreams; I want to speak out with my voice what I know for the healing of individuals, families, and peoples.  I am a prophet and a seer; I want to see and prophesy for healing, to be the breath of God on the winds of change. I want to teach, to mentor, and to support people in their search for meaning. I can be a force to bend destiny.  Instead of running away from that ability, I want to develop it, practice it, and control it to channel God’s grace and healing to the world.