The reflective water image above is a moment I captured during a very special time in a very special place, with a very special person. I spent nearly three weeks, holding a healing immersion for a beloved family member who has been suffering with chronic illness for seven years.
During this rare and beautiful time, we dove deep into the many facets of human love, pain and dysfunction; and the mysterious weaving of sacred space, the human body and the frailty of the psyche. An insightful friend called it "A house call from the Divine."
This precious time showed me a new model of healing, a way to bring consistency under the umbrella of a strong, prayerful space for transformation over several consecutive days -- tuning into all facets of the human experience: Body, Mind, Heart and Soul.
Each day began with meditation in front of a beautiful altar, dedicated to the healing journey of this special woman I've had the privilege to love for most of my lifetime. Each day was rich in a customized diet of cleansing foods, supportive supplements, transformational practices and hands-on healing. I provided for her a container with complete holistic care, tailored for the needs of the chronic concerns of body and mind that have haunted this beautiful woman for too many years.
When issues run deep and long, like this, every part of the individual is impacted, and each part of the downward spiral interfaces with the next, making it very hard to even imagine a life beyond the walls of the contracted current reality. Traumatic events precipitate physical breakdown, and a weakened body becomes ripe for trauma, often complicated by the toxins of drugs and a mind stuck in the past. When the perfect storm of factors come together, it damages the spirit and perpetuates a spiral that can be very difficult to break in the confines of every day life.
So we took a journey outside of the daily rhythms and the location that had kept her spinning around and around in the familiar stories that had served to anchor her mind, heart and physiology in a replay of the events that led to a life crash all those years ago. In this new and sacred setting, I witnessed her pull herself up day after day, meeting the demons of the past and choosing healing instead, with new scripts, prayers and programs designed to instill presence.
Since the body can hold tightly onto the memories of the past, it felt important to establish entirely new rhythms, to unravel the things that were no longer serving life, and bring to the table ways to reprogram through body awareness, breath, energy healing, prayer and new ways for the mind to view reality.
I saw her power returning, sparkles of life shone in her eyes daily, as we enjoyed life affirming education and foods that are pure and detoxifying. I witnessed her joy and her laughter and normalized mood, as we worked together to restore the circadian rhythms of her body with consistent times for sleep and nutrition.
It brought me great joy too, bringing together so many of the amazing healing tools I have acquired over the last 25 years of my professional life. More importantly, I was able to hold this loving space for her without an agenda. Ultimately, it is her life, and what I could do is offer a new possibility, a template from which to begin anew with the powerful insights and wisdom that comes through both the light and the darkest of times.
This beautiful woman has stumbled since returning to her old environment. I had hoped she would be able to relocate somewhere else without all the triggers of the past. Space and environment can be just as relevant in healing as what is happening on the inside. But that was not her choice. As complex and debilitating as life can be, we can always choose a different perspective, even if on the we are on the road toward death. Before we ultimately leave the earth plane, we are faced with a series of deaths, and thus opportunities for rebirth, opportunities we can choose to step toward, or not.
My heart is a bit heavy today, after seeing her struggle since we completed our immersion together. Yet, I know that all we discovered during that retreat by the waters of the New Jersey Shore still live inside of her. I wish the time we shared could have been longer. Sometimes people need a total reset, and a hand to hold along the way with a dedicated "guide-ess," the affectionate term she gave to me during our time together.
Life is rich with opportunities for renewal. The trick is creating the right recipe for change at the right time, and the willingness to step through the gates.