Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Here's to The Unfettered Life

Though it's no longer my birthday, I found this little piece on my desktop this afternoon and felt it should be shared. Hope you enjoy.

It's my birthday and for the first time this year it’s warm enough to sit outside. As I’m walking out with my writing book, I hear “go get Hilda’s Saint’s Alive book – there’s a message for you”. I got it and walked out to the river wall and stood there feeling quite exhilarated. 

Usually on my BD I’m a bit glum that here I am getting older and I haven’t done anything yet. That is a lie, of course.  I know that, through God’s Grace, I've done some very good things and there’s a lot more to do. I go back to the table to write and open to this passage in Hilda’s book: “You don’t have to do pranayama, concentration, meditation or contemplation.  You only have to let go of your fetters and everything happens right.” 

May I, may we all, surrender with abandon to letting go of any and all fetters! Thank You, Hilda.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

More Gratitude

I was recently asked to write a Gratitude piece. This is what came out. I'd never written about it before. What an adventure.

In 2011, forty years after my life transforming bout with cancer, I found myself walking into a Cancer Center wondering what in the world I was doing here. For symptoms I’d been having, the doctor I’d come here to see had been highly recommended. 

The next thing I knew I was having a complete hysterectomy which revealed a nasty tumor in my uterus. I was not amused. Chemo and radiation were prescribed. I passed on radiation and in a haze of bewilderment, agreed to chemotherapy. I was blessed to have it administered by a wonderful doctor who most generously gave up one of his examining rooms every three weeks for five and a half hours. 

Unlike my first bout in the 70’s, I let people in this time. A team of wonderful women, organized by my dear friend, Alice Evans, covered the first few days after each infusion. They were here to do whatever was needed, which wasn’t much since I felt so terrible. Nonetheless, thank you all. Muguette Hamon, an amazing friend and healer from Montreal, drove to NYC three times in the dead of winter to work on me. Astounding! Thank you, Muguette. My husband, Ben Bryant, couldn’t have been more caring. Thank you always, my dear love. And many were praying for me. Thank you.

By another stroke of Grace I was guided to having acupuncture with Dr. Nan Lu. Thank you, Dr. Lu. In my first sessions with Master Lu, he reminded me that there are no accidents and that this was all purposeful and meaningful. I felt as if he’d been reading my blogs.  This was what I’d been sharing with people for years. I’d even created a DVD/CD project (now downloadable) called the Better & Better Series, to assist Pre & Post Surgery surgery patients and their caregivers. The Series immerses us in the glories of Nature, while beautiful music and inspiring thoughts create deep peace and ease to support the innate healing wisdom within. “Natural Forces within us are the true healers of disease”, Hippocrates. It turns out I used my own work a lot to assist me at this time. 

After the fourth session of chemo, I was really sinking. Though all this time I was able to go within and “work” on myself, I didn’t have the energy to move. It was a very warm April and I was huddled under our down quilt freezing. No one said a word, but I soon learned that my husband and friends all thought the chemo was killing me. In the meantime, I was under the quilt listening inside for some message about what to do here. One day, out of a clear blue sky, I heard, “It’s enough”! What? I asked for a repeat: “It’s enough”. Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you. A wave of great relief washed through me, though I continued to lie there totally depleted. Two days later, a conversation was going on in my head. I heard: “Elizabeth, you know that your body is a healing machine. How can it heal itself when you’re throwing an atom bomb into it every three weeks?” Whoa! That was huge. I don’t know for sure, but that might have been Dr. Lu speaking. Thank you, thank you, thank you. The next day, I called my oncologist and said I was stopping treatment. “You can’t do that”, he stated emphatically. I did, despite the uproar from all my doctors and healer friends. I just knew I had to stop.

It was slow going for about a year. I’d lost a lot of weight and was energetically wasted, but the Wonder of Wonders within me, to say nothing of the ongoing support of Traditional Chinese Medicine (Dr. Lu and Tatiana Philippova), nurtured me day and night. As I’d been writing and talking about for years regarding my healing in the ’70’s, this was again a blessing in disguise. It was no accident; it was another "rite of passage" for me. 

One of my most compelling lessons here was allowing in love. Like most women, I’d always been much better at giving than receiving, and this arduous journey was here to open me up to receiving the great abundance of love around and within me at all times. Thank you, everyone, for reminding me of that. Words cannot begin to describe the Gratitude I feel. I’m so Greatfull* for my life.

* When we’re feeling grateful, we’re full of The Great