Friday, February 26, 2010

The light shineth in the darkness and the darkness comprehendeth it not

Something happened to me that night I sent out a plea for help. It’s as though a switch was thrown in my brain automatically without my being aware of it. Like a train moving down a track - someone throws a switch and the train just goes wherever the track leads it, not the engineer driving the train. Well! Someone threw me off track that night and my life has not been the same since.

I woke up the next morning the same as usual with no memory of the night before. I just knew I’d had a really good sleep. I dropped Caprice off at school and headed to the beauty parlor owned by my friend Eva to have my hair cut. She was a little behind so as she finished up with her client I sat in the chair next to her to have a chat. She introduced me to the woman and said she was a visiting psychic in town to do readings. Eva had tried many times to coax me into having a reading but my answer was always a flat out NO! I remember one time she and I were in Calgary for a day of shopping and she had booked an appointment with a psychic for a reading. I had to wait in the woman’s living room for an hour and every minute was torture for me. I felt so uneasy, like the walls were closing in on me, and when Eva was finished I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. So you can imagine the look on Eva’s face when I, her friend, a dyed-in-the-wool skeptic, asked this woman for an appointment to have a reading. I surprised myself - I almost looked behind me to see who had said that.

As I drove up to the psychic’s house the next morning I felt nervous and anxious asking myself why I am doing this, but I knew I had to – and then - as I am writing this the thought comes to me I should dig out that reading done twenty-three years ago and listen to it. Blow me over with a feather!

"Your soul is directing you at this point; - you are going to have the understanding of why things are the way they are, not only for yourself but for your family as well; do you have a handicapped child?- You will come to understand why this is and this is going to be a very powerful experience for you and you will be so grateful to have this understanding that comes through personally experiencing it; - you are going to be sharing with others your own personal experience!"

There was much more that she said that makes sense to me now, but not then. How is it I do not remember any of this? Nothing I am hearing is what I remember. She actually had nailed where I am today in my understanding of spiritual phenomena, but back then? I didn’t have a clue. Looks like we cannot trust in our memories alone because they are definitely colored by our emotions and our belief systems. It all went right over my head. I knew nothing about psychic phenomena and didn’t want to. The same went for anything religious. If someone brought up the subject of God I either changed the subject or looked for the nearest exit. On the tape I can hear in my voice that I am closed off, not really interested in what she is saying, doubting, but I do remember she gave me the name of a book called “The Dragon Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” by Alan Cohen and also the name of a woman who might be doing a meditation class I could attend. I called her as soon as I got home and she wasn’t teaching anymore, but she had some books I could have if I wished. I drove over to her house and she gave me a large cardboard box full of new age books. Thus, my journey into unknown territory for my mind began.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Memories - like the falling of the rain......

“We suffer; the external world begins to exist; we suffer to excess, it vanishes. Pain instigates the world only to unmask its unreality.” All Gall Is Divided, E.M. Cioran

As I sit here in the year 2010 reflecting back twenty-four years into the past I can now see a very different picture than I did in 1986. Time heals all wounds they say - and so it does. I am now sitting in what is yesterday’s future! So? If I take my mind back to l986 I can see into the future! Is this not exciting? How magical! However, this being said, I am very glad I did not know what was coming back then.

Earth-time goes round and round, tick-tock, tick-tock, day after day, week after week, month after month, etc. and like clockwork I too went about my daily life, busy, busy, busy, go, go, go. That changed suddenly for me when I was faced with a problem my logical, intellectual, rational, analytical Virgo mind could not resolve and my inner clock started spinning. Life as I knew it was shattered into pieces until that one night when the hold my thinking mind had on me went on a holiday somewhere. Now my quest is to put all the pieces collected all these years into some kind of order so Caprice and I can see where we have been in order to know where we are. It’s like putting a giant jigsaw puzzle together. Back and forth we went, left and right, up and down, but remember - I can see into the future now - and what I see is a pattern in the timing of certain events that led up to my breakthrough. It’s almost as though it was all planned somehow. Maybe we do have a destiny, a reason for being here after all?

To backtrack again; in the month of September, just before Caprice’s surgery, I watched a movie on TV with my favorite actress Shirley MacLaine called “Out On A Limb.” The subject matter was very new age stuff. It was not something I was remotely interested in, but because I enjoyed her so much I watched it much like I would any fictional topic. But a seed had been planted! Next, as I needed a break and to get out of the house for a while, my friend Eva suggested I come with her to Tae Kwan Do, a form of martial art, akin to active meditation (which of course I knew nothing about). I did do this and for three nights a week for three months, off I went to class! Ding! Another imprint!

Then, in the month of February, Caprice was asked to make a presentation to Rick Hansen, who was arriving in our town on his “Man In Motion” tour. She agreed, but when the time came she did not want to go. By now, not only was she in physical pain, she was also in extreme emotional pain. For the first time in her life, she felt disabled. Her schoolmates were falling away. Her beautiful older sister Lisa was married, did some part time modeling and had a career managing our store where we lived. Suddenly Caprice began to feel like an ugly duckling who would never have any of these opportunities. She became very sad, lonely and depressed. Needless to say, when the day arrived, she did not feel like going and meeting anyone, famous or not, who was in a wheelchair like her. But good old mom reminded her she had said she would do it and it was too late to back out. She looked so dejected sitting on the stage waiting for him, but the moment he was face to face with her, the damn burst and everything she was feeling just poured out of her and she began to cry uncontrollably. Ding! Ding! The moment was captured on film and appeared in the newspaper the next day on the front page with the caption, “Man And Emotion”.

Now! I am back to March and that night when I sent out my plea for help, that unexpected moment when suddenly, overnight, something had changed which I was to discover the very next day.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it!

The earthquake in Haiti a month ago is on my mind this morning. Such suffering, so much pain makes the heart hurt when there is nothing one can do to ease their pain. But hope survives and the world comes to their aid. It is inspiring the way that these major earth upheavals awaken a universal outpouring of love and support in people from around the globe, even if the reason for such acts of kindness and compassion come from chaos. But what if we could only learn to love and support our neighbors and each other all the time without needing an earth-shaking event to prompt it?

My personal earth-shaking event was my daughter’s suffering. I had to stay by her side and help as best I could to ease her pain, but still, it remained. Day after day, week after week, month after month, it went on and she just became weaker and weaker and all I could do was keep her comfortable. I felt so useless. A mother is supposed to be able to take away her child’s pain. What good am I? We had made the two-hour trip to the doctor twice and he just kept insisting, even after an x-ray, that everything was normal. I was baffled and worried sick. This feeling was something very new for me. I had always tackled problems, even big ones, with the attitude that every problem had a solution, concentrate on the solution, not the problem – and yet? There I sat in turmoil not knowing what to do. For five months this went on until one night in March. I had just fallen into bed exhausted at midnight and I heard Caprice call for me. (She was unable to roll over by herself because of the pain and also because her muscles were so weak.) My first reaction was “oh Caprice, can’t you leave me alone for one minute?” Immediately guilt set in and as I walked to her room, (thank goodness it was a long hallway), I gave myself a good talking to. What are you complaining about? At least you can get out of bed by yourself. “Do you think she wants to have to call upon you for every little thing?” By the time I got back to my bed I was shaking. Silent tears ran down my cheeks and I choked back sobs because I didn’t want to wake Roy. I lay there in this state looking up at the ceiling and I cried out to someone, somewhere, “please help her. I am not asking her to be healed, just stop this ticking clock inside her and don’t let her get any worse.” I added, “if you do this for her I will do anything you ask” – and I fell into a deep sleep.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Everything Happens for a Reason

“The heart says one thing; the head another. The head has no intention of letting your heart win. The heart has no intention of putting up a fight. Sooner or later your head will turn the other way.”

I woke up this morning at 4 am feeling a little apprehensive about going public with our story of self -discovery. Thanks to all of you who have sent me words of encouragement. I am feeling much better now. I have always been a person who keeps her private thoughts and opinions to herself. My father was a very wise man and he taught me well. How many times did I hear him say, “no use crying over spilled milk”. Silence is golden was my rule of thumb. It is interesting that just this morning Caprice received a forward that stated those born in the year of my birth are called the Silent Generation. Imagine that! Fits me like a glove. Leaving the inner sanctum of silence means coming out of my comfort zone for the first time in my life, but then, I have discovered there is nothing about the journey to finding one’s soul that is comfortable.

My nice, neat, comfortable life of traveling between our two stores, (Roy ran the third one), running a household (without a cleaning person), driving back and forth to Calgary with Caprice for doctors appointments, as well as sewing most of our clothes came to a screaming halt with Caprice’s surgery and my head turned the other way. From start to finish her stay in the hospital was a mother’s worst nightmare. If you want a visual think of the movie Terms Of Endearment when actress Shirley MacLaine, playing the role of mother, stood at the nurses station having a tantrum. That would be me. I never left her side except when my daughter Lisa or Roy came to relieve me. I slept in the chair next to her bed every night. Without going into detail, by the time seven days of watching her suffer and having to deal with the hospital staff (that if I didn’t know better, were out to get us) I knew I had to get her out of there. She hadn’t eaten or drank anything the entire time, nor had she had anything for the pain because everything she put in her mouth came right back out and for some reason they wouldn’t give her a shot? Her eyes were rolling back in her head and she just kept saying, “I’ve got to get out of here, I’ve got to get out of here”. This broke me. I went to the phone, called my friend Elisha back home and told her I thought I was going to lose her and would she please come. I went back to Caprice’s room and told her we were taking her home the next day. Her eyes lit up and she smiled for the first time since being admitted. The next morning, Elisha arrived with another friend, Luba, and we loaded their car with Caprice’s belongings, including her wheelchair and the 19 bouquets of flowers she had received. We waited all day until 5pm when her doctor showed up very hostile indeed. The first thing he said to me was “how are YOU going to look after her?” With a if-looks-could-kill-you-would-be-dead expression I answered, “I’ve been taking care of her for thirteen years and I can do a better job than you”. He signed her out and she was put on a stretcher and wheeled to our van and we headed for home. It was a rough trip. Roy had to drive at 40 km/hr because every little bump in the road sent her into agony, but we made it. As soon as we got home she was starving and asked for Kraft Dinner (!), which I quickly made and she ate almost the whole pot, and she did not throw up.
I just want to add that today I know this traumatic experience, which wasn’t over yet, had to happen and I can honestly say I am grateful that it did. I have come to know the statement, “there are no accidents, everything happens for a reason” is true.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Expect the Unexpected

Well! I woke up this morning in a terrible state. My stomach and intestines in knots, heart in my throat and my head hurt. That was my body. As for my mind, I was in a state of what can only be called high anxiety and panic. I’d like to say it’s all Caprice’s fault, but I know better than that. She has just pushed me where I haven’t wanted to go and I needed it. I have a quote for this moment – “your greatest need becomes your greatest contribution”. I felt a pang of nervousness as she posted my words for all to see and she said to me, “when has it ever bothered you if a person didn’t like you?” She is right! I believe in the saying – “you can please some of the people some of the time, not all of the people all of time”- so while I may feel a little vulnerable doing this, it is not the reason for my extreme agitation this morning. I kept going to my computer and a wave of dizziness would hit me and l would have to lie down. What is the matter with me I said to myself. This is ridiculous. I have never felt such a feeling of dread in my life...and then it hit me. Oh boy! Yes I have. It was October 1st, 1986 and that was the morning Caprice and I were heading to Calgary for her surgery! I awoke that morning feeling apprehensive and afraid and I just couldn’t shake the feeling something was wrong. When I went to wake up Caprice I could see by the look in her eyes she felt the same way. This is my point - even though we did not know the reason for our fear, our bodies knew. This morning I woke up intending to carry on where I left off yesterday, the time of her surgery, but this hit me and that ended that thought. So now here I am in 2010 with my body and my mind back in 1986. Talk about time travel! The tv series “Lost” has nothing on me.

You know how I learned how memories from the past are retained in the cells of the body? In November of 1987, I took a weekend channeling course in Calgary. I was so nervous about anything to do with psychic powers I thought I’d better get some training. After the morning session on the Saturday we broke for lunch and by that time I had a screaming toothache. It was so painful I was sure I had an abscessed tooth, or maybe a broken jaw! The afternoon was to be what they called processing and the facilitator looked around the room and asked who wanted to go first. She took one look at me leaning against the wall in agony and said “oh, I guess it’s going to be you.” She asked me to lie down on a mat on the floor and her partner sat behind my head and he said, “now let’s see where this pain is coming from.” He proceeded to tell me about an experience from a past life where I was a healer to the king – I know, I know, it sounds ridiculous - I was summoned to heal the king’s son, but I knew he was going to die and I also knew this was going to make the king very angry. He was and hit me across the face with a suit of armor on and did indeed break my jaw. I went into hiding and never healed again. The astonishing thing is, when the facilitator had finished with this story the pain in my jaw was gone! I was absolutely stunned and the seed was planted in my head. There is more to these bodies we walk around in than we think and I wanted to know how something like this could happen. Good thing I’ve been paying attention to my studies.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

It's a Wonderful Life

My name is Elizabeth and I live with my daughter Caprice in a quaint, little, old house in a quaint, little mountain city tucked away in the beautiful Rocky Mountains of British Columbia. This was not the case twenty-four years ago in l986. Then I lived with Caprice and my husband Roy in a luxurious 3900 sq. ft. rambling bungalow equipped with all the bells and whistles such as a swimming pool, a hot tub room, three bedrooms, three full bathrooms, family room with massive rock fireplace, living room, dining room, sewing/laundry room, fully loaded custom kitchen, double car garage, you get the picture. Roy and I owned and operated three retail stores so we were busy people…and lived a goooooood life. Caprice had been chosen to be the 1986 Alberta Muscular Dystrophy poster child. In February she was looking forward to going to Edmonton for a photo shoot with Paul Coffey (he was really good looking!!) of the Edmonton Oilers hockey team who was to appear with her on the poster. She had been scheduled to have major surgery in June to correct severe scoliosis of the spine. We had known for many years that this would be necessary and the time had come when it could no longer be put off, but she was extremely happy when her doctor agreed to postpone it until October so she could accept being poster child. In hindsight, maybe this was not a good thing, but she really did have a wonderful summer traveling all over Alberta.

The caption on the poster read “Together We Can Make It”. Caprice and I had no idea how appropriate this was for what came next.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

To Set the Stage

Long, long, ago in a time far, far away…………..has it really been that long? I ask. It has only been twenty four years but it feels like a lifetime since I unwittingly began a process of turning my life inside out, or maybe I should say, outside in.

when the inside is like the outside and the outside is like the inside” Gospel of Thomas

Somewhere in the stack of journals sitting in front of me is the date this quote first caught my attention and I wrote it down. I know if I look it up there will be a correlation between whatever was happening in my life then to today. My daily writings have been my saving grace as I struggled to grasp the secrets of the universe. No easy task for a mere human such as myself. I make no mistake in thinking I am something other than what I am – a human being. My insides have been turned inside out and outside in for all these many years and I have a record of the reasons for it all. The ups, the downs, the lows, the highs, the people, the places and the things.

when the first becomes the last and the last becomes the first” Gospel of St. Thomas

This gem of wisdom has been whirling around in my brain for what seems like forever. There are a lot of these pearls of wisdom in here and I am feeling the need to put them in some kind of order. So! Here I am, sitting in front of my laptop facing what seems like a daunting task to me. Why bother? Because strangely, I have discovered that today I am right back to where it all began. There has to be a reason why I have dedicated twenty-four years to reading, studying, meditating and putting into practice what I read, studied and meditated upon only to find that what I was looking for was with me from day one. I just didn’t know it. Imagine that! I should feel disappointed; I should feel – what’s the word I’m looking for? Deceived maybe? But I do see a reason behind it all and so today the words that I used to use to describe certain feelings do not apply anymore.

In this odd place I now find myself in there are no words in the human language to describe what I am feeling, except maybe, the word sadness. Sadness because I have discovered there is so much more to us humans than I could ever have imagined. I want to shout it from the rooftops, but I cannot find the words that would make any sense and what’s even more – what’s the word? - frustrating - is I also know why I cannot find the words. Now! Figure this out and you will know what I am presently feeling.

I am now going to attempt to unravel the myriad pieces of information circling around in my head into some kind of logical, rational understanding and while I am at it, you might as well join me. Maybe by the time it is done we will all know something we did not know before. If not, no matter, I have a feeling it will not be dull.