Autism: A Spiritual Perspective

My spirit has some ideas about autism that aren’t what you usually hear. What I am about to say didn’t come from a book I’ve read, or a movie I’ve watched. It comes from a core sense of knowing that I have about autism. I had a flow of words come out of me the other day as I was talking with the Mom of John, an autistic, nonverbal 19 year old, high school graduate that I began working with in October.

Autism isn’t a disability. Autism isn’t something that needs “fixed”. Autism doesn’t mean that there is something “wrong” with a person. No, quite the opposite. I believe that autism is a form of human evolution. Why? It breaks us free from the way that we have been programmed to live. It breaks us free from caring what other people think about us. It breaks us free from so many societal “norms” we’ve felt compelled to follow.

The system wants to ignore autism. Schools want to group them into a box of being mentally retarded. Because kids with autism usually need some extra help in school, schools want to place them in a class for special education, but it’s usually not clear cut like that. John was always highly intelligent, but because he was non-verbal, teachers and tests weren’t able to detect it. Luckily, his Mom knew better, and he was able to go on to graduate from a normal high school program.

The system doesn’t know how to handle autism, because people with autism can’t and won’t be fit into neat boxes. They don’t follow any of the set rules and guidelines that we’re taught to follow. Society judges them against people without autism, which is a bit like judging apples against oranges. Yes they’re human, and fruit is fruit, but beyond that, they are each uniquely themselves as we all are. The reality is that none of us should be fitting into boxes, but we get highly pressured to. Most of us succumb to the pressure around us. It’s usually only after we get sick of suffering that we break away from those chains of conformity. Heck, the system flows so smoothly and the powers that be don’t have to lift a finger, because people police each other and make it very uncomfortable for someone to speak up against the crowd, against the program.

People with autism truly march to the beat of their own drum without regard for what other people think of them, and how other people want them to be. They don’t have the same sense to conform in order to keep other people comfortable. They are just unapologetically themselves. We can learn a LOT from them. We are here to be fully ourselves, NOT to fit in with the crowd, not to just be mindless, unquestioning workers slogging along to support the system, our government, and the wealthiest 1%.

A friend of mine from high school has a son who is exactly a month younger than my own. He could read when he was 2 years old. Being that we were both first-time parents, neither of us had a gauge for knowing what was typical behavior at the various ages. But I remember talking with my friend in those days, and explaining where my own son was with his speech and inability to know what sounds letters made, let alone read. I remember telling him that the things his son was doing weren’t “normal” for his age. He was a freaking genius! As he grew, they began to suspect that he may be on the autism spectrum. Tests later confirmed their suspicions. He is highly functioning and extremely intelligent. He actually skipped a grade of elementary school, because of how far ahead he is intellectually.

Generally, when I knew him, my friend was most concerned about his son’s ability to socialize with other kids. He generally didn’t go along with how most kids were expected to be around other people. He wanted what he wanted when he wanted it, and was comfortable voicing it. He wanted the toy he wanted to play with when he wanted it, so he’d take it. He didn’t coalesce. He didn’t easily give in. He didn’t care to sacrifice his own wants and needs to make someone else feel better or to make them comfortable. My fellow recovering people-pleasers, do you see now what I mean by evolution? My friend’s son is an awesome and loving child. The fact that he is considered to be “on the spectrum” is not limiting his capacity to be amazing, especially with a Dad who so lovingly supports and encourages him to be fully himself.

A person with autism is not of this program. In fact, they come into this life already out of the program. In that way, autism is a spiritual evolution. I believe that everything in this life is spiritual, because we are spirits having a human experience. The big picture is that rather than coming in and living yet another life governed by voices of others and the outside world, people with autism bypass it by not having the same experience as the rest of us. They come in tuned out of society and it’s established structures. And what a freeing experience! I believe that it frees their minds in a way that allows them to advance to being much more sensitive to energy, to making decisions based on the energy they pick up on, and to put themselves and their needs first (read: empaths born with boundaries and self-care techniques!).

Everything is made of energy. A person with autism is so in tune with the energy around them that they aren’t going to ignore the energy they pick up from a person and pretend that everything is OK. No, they’re going to refuse to interact with them. John’s Mom told me that when John was younger, she was having him say hi to someone and he wouldn’t do it. He then asked her (through facilitated communication using a program on his iPad) why it was so important to her that he say hi to someone he didn’t know. It made her pause and think differently about the situation. How often do we expect things like that from children? Why? How much of what we do is based on what our parents deemed as important? Do we want to live as the people who came before us, or do we want to be free and do what is right for us and our children?

If kids with autism feel like they need to release built up energy in their bodies, they’re going to move and shake regardless of who is around or what is happening. In contrast, it has taken me many years to get comfortable with lying on the grass in front of a friend to ground my energy, because I felt that’s what I needed to do in that moment. Some adults wouldn’t dare do something like that for fear of what another person might think! Kids with autism don’t care what people think. They just know that their body wants them to move, or lie down, or rock back and forth, so they do it. To the rest of us, their movements or outbursts of sound may seem inappropriate or out of place, depending their location and what is going on in that moment. But, they are just experiencing the full range of life in the present moment. Why do we force ourselves and our children to sit at desks for hours on end, when we are dynamic energetic beings who need to move? Why do we expect young kids to be quiet and still for such long periods of time? Why is that deemed as so important? Haven’t we learned yet that change is the only constant and that we don’t have to keep doing things the same way just because that’s how they’ve always been done? Hasn’t enough research shown that free play is much more important to a child’s cognitive development than being forced to sit still and quiet, indoors for long periods of time?? I could argue that school is the beginning of our disconnection with nature. Trained to sit inside all day at a desk, some people never break away from that lifestyle.

When people with autism feel emotions, they don’t save them up to emote later when other people aren’t around, instead they feel it in the moment and move on. They wouldn’t understand to save up those emotions or movements to release/act on ‘later’. Why would they do that? Why do we do that? When you really stop to think about it, a lot of the ways we’ve been taught how to be don’t make much sense. Am I right? From my perspective, adulting has been about learning how to feel emotions as they arise vs stuffing them down and having them surface at an inopportune time. Seriously, I’ve spent so many hours dealing with healing the trapped emotions I refused to feel for years. Imagine not ever doing that, from the time you were a baby! Believe me, that ability (and subsequent freedom from healing later) alone makes for a GIANT leap up a person’s path of ascension! Not being able to be programmed means that they don’t have to do the work like I did to deprogram and then reprogram myself. Talk about saving time!

It has taken me up to now to really get to a point where I am tuning out the outside voices and what society expects of me, and following my spirit wholeheartedly. This means that I follow my intuition about everything. I do my best to release myself from how I think I ‘should’ be or what I think I ‘should’ do, and do instead what my body and spirit are asking of me. This means that I eat when I am hungry. I sleep when I am tired. (Work in progress, because I love the peacefulness created when most people are sleeping.) I eat what I intuitively am called to eat. I pay attention to the energy of people and situations and distance myself from anything that doesn’t feel good or in energetic alignment with me. I put the energy I sense as the most important thing when I am making decisions in my life. I listen to a person’s energy above what they are saying. People lie a lot. I can sense it. Since taking my leap of faith and putting myself first, and setting the intention to strengthen my intuition, my ability to tap into the energy and intentions behind a person’s words is through the roof! You can tell me the prettiest, most supportive words, but if I feel an incongruence with the energy behind them, I will listen to your energy one billion percent of the time. I am including this here, because people with autism are even more sensitive than I am to this energy. (Which blows my mind from where I’m standing!)

We are energetic beings. We can use our sensing to help us. People with autism do this naturally. What I have learned is that when we follow our joy and intuition and show up as our fully authentic selves, we align with our spirit. Since my own alignment with spirit (which takes a never ending commitment to showing up fully and following my intuition about everything), I have found that I am protected and that I am able to manifest things very quickly and easily. As I have flexed my intuition like a muscle, it has grown stronger. It’s no longer a whisper I hear, but a very obvious knowing that I’ve learned to trust emphatically. This means that all of my psychic abilities have also increased, including telepathy, claircognazance (clear knowing), and clairsentience (clear sensing). I know at least one example where someone with autism is highly telepathic and knows what their parent is thinking and talking to people about even when they are no where around them. I am positive that across the board, many people with autism share these abilities that are rarely talked about or acknowledged.

The program depends on us not realizing our own innate abilities and powers. It’s the only way that it’s able to keep us small and breaking our backs for the wealth and power of the elite. People with autism may or may not be aware of their power and abilities, but they are evolving the human race just the same. As we are all part of a collective consciousness, the alignment of one person has an impact on the whole. The strengthening of one person’s psychic abilities due to alignment also positively benefits the whole. One person’s vulnerability to show up as fully themselves gives everyone else permission to do the same. People with autism who put themselves and their needs first are leading us by example. Only misalignment and dis-ease are to be expected when we walk around people-pleasing and peace-keeping while we put everyone else and their needs before our own. The world doesn’t need martyrs, it needs people standing fully in their power who love themselves enough to put their own health, happiness, well-being, and alignment ahead of everything else in their lives. Trust me, people who do this and give from an overflowing cup are the ones who change the world.

We are all here to learn lessons and expand consciousness. I believe that we plan a lot of our trials prior to our birth. Because we don’t know another person’s spiritual path, we should not judge it. I don’t think it’s sad that some people have autism. I think it’s sad that they’re not generally viewed as the way showers that they are! Instead of trying to force them to conform to the way things have always been done, I think it’s time that we value their ability to shake up a system that’s broken. Think also of all of the parents who are being forced to step into their own power and truth by speaking up for their autistic children! The more people who are comfortable speaking up and stepping up in this world when change is needed, the better. Autism is just one avenue for this kind of action. I’m telling you, autism isn’t just about the spiritual evolution of the affected individuals, but it also works to transform their parents, teachers, schools, government, and the world.

We’ve got to stop trying to label people and fit them into boxes of limitation. Just as we have been told to not judge a book by its cover, we need to stop judging each other by our rented meat suits. None of us belong in boxes. We were born the way we are meant to be. Perspective is EVERYTHING! Shift your perspective to see the grander picture. Our first, human reaction to things tends to be sadness or anger, but what if instead we got more curious and open-minded? Autism is a game-changer and self-loving humans who place their alignment with spirit and the well-being of their mind, body, and spirit as their first priority are changing the world.

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Colleges and Universities are Part of the Programming

people coffee meeting team

Photo by Startup Stock Photos on Pexels.com

Consider the fact that those of us living in the US know that the history we were taught in school wasn’t an accurate depiction. European settlement and “heroes” are highlighted while the mass killing and displacement of NATIVE Americans is barely taught or extremely downplayed. Kids are still being taught the nonsense of how Thanksgiving commemorates the Europeans and Native Americans coming together to share a bounty. In the way that elementary school history is tailored to teach kids only what the powers that be want us to believe, so too do colleges and universities spoon feed us the knowledge from decided upon text books that give us the story/information that they want us to believe, in ALL subjects. This is why we must question absolutely EVERYTHING.

I understand that the fact that I was able to take out loans and go out of state for college is considered a privlege that not everyone gets to experience. I also understand the way things are set up makes a college degree a necessity for many types of professions. With that said, I want to pose to you that in this moment in time during a grand awakening where more and more people are waking up all the time to the truth that they are infinite consciousness in human form, the last thing people need is further programming from the system in the form of degrees.

The only people getting degrees should be those who are aligned with their spirit and have a strong knowing about their soul’s purpose in this life and it involves a line of work that requires a degree. Gone should be the days where high school students are blindly pushed by parents and the system to pick a career at the age of 18, and go to college right away because they feel like that’s just what they’re supposed to do. We’ve got to move past the fear-based programming, beyond focusing our energy on becoming what our families expect from us, and into a more heart-guided space of freedom and curiosity.

We have already seen young people graduating from four-year schools unable to find jobs. This is after going into MASSIVE amounts of debt as tuition keeps rising and rising! Having a college degree is no longer a guarantee for employment. Most of the time, newly graduated high school students don’t know themselves well enough to be able to choose a career and therefore a degree that’s going to resonate with them when all is said and done.

How many of us really knew what we wanted to do with our lives when we were 18? I remember picking my degree in marine biology based on my love for the ocean and marine animals. I loved animals, therefore I chose biology. I wanted to help the planet, so I chose a second degree in Environmental Studies, Conservation Biology. I didn’t know how I intended to use these degrees. At the time, I also saw going to college as a way to get out of the town where I grew up. It ended up working out, because my first career revolved around working on various wildlife and fisheries projects all over the US. Those positions required a science degree.

As I mentioned, tuition has gone through the roof since I was in school. It’s a terrible combination when we have young kids choosing to go to college from a place of fear or from pressure from their families, because it sets them up to go into many thousands of dollars in debt while possibly aligning them with a degree that they won’t use or a career that they hate. It’s an easy way to get lots of people trapped into a lifetime of debt that will require that they get locked into the slog of a 9-5 job. Read how the slog affects us in my last post “We’ve Been Locked in an Energetic Prison”.

If we, as the human race, want to see REAL change happen in this world, then we’re going to have to start looking at things, and doing things completely differently than we generally have been. We have to do new things and think new thoughts if we want different results. Part of this means assessing the pedestal that we’ve been placing higher education on. We have to be willing to contemplate if further schooling is actually teaching people how to learn and question things for themselves, or if it’s further locking them into the herd mentality where they believe everything they’ve been taught in school. And that they’ve been so trained to stay in line and care what other people think of them that they don’t dare question anything for themselves.

The peace and freedom of the human race is going to come from breaking free from the herd mentality while realizing that we know nothing about how the world actually works, because our five senses are THAT limited. We did not come into this life with odds something like 1 in 400 trillion to simply be a sheep and fall in line with everyone else. We are all different reflections of the same source/god/universe energy that is seeking out a new, different experience of the world through our own unique perceptions and actions.

Humans tend to get so locked into the belief systems that have been fed to them that they are willing to defend them with their lives — see wars waged over religious beliefs. We grow up believing that all that our teachers and parents tell us, because we don’t know any better. But, they were fed what they are teaching us. Then, we defend that knowledge and take personal offense if someone offers an opposing viewpoint to what the masses have been taught. Yet we supposedly live in a “free” society infamous for our “free” speech. Kids bully other kids who don’t ‘fit in’, and adults bully other adults through gossip, bad-mouthing, and cyber-bullying behind the safety of their screen when what someone is saying or doing falls outside of the PROGRAMMED ‘accepted norm’. You ever wonder where these ‘societal norms’ even come from? I have been really focusing on noticing my thoughts and beliefs and questioning all of them in the last several years. I really have come to know that I know very little of how this world works, so I am less inclined to hold so tightly to any belief that I have, even if it is one that I have been carrying around with me for a long time.

We’ve been programmed to be the police for each other, keeping each other ‘in line’. If you’ve never read the book “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz, then I highly suggest that you do. One of the agreements that I have found myself focusing on a lot over the last several years is to not take anything personally. The truth is that nothing anyone says or does is because of us. We are in a lot of ways, all living in own own, personal simulation game. Because there is so much going on around us at any given time, our minds have to block some of the stimuli from our awareness or it would all completely overwhelm us. So, based on our past experiences, our minds decide what is important for us to take note of. Two of us walking down the same street would have a completely different experience because our unique perceptions would be allowing and disallowing different information from entering our field of perception. For instance, I may notice flowers that are like the ones my parents used to grow in our front yard, while you may be oblivious to the flowers while instead noticing a car like the one you just bought recently. Because our individual realities are painted with what our mind chooses to focus on either subconsciously or consciously, our thoughts literally create our reality.

I am thankful for the experiences that my degrees have allowed me to have, but I also acknowledge the fact that I’ve had to spend a lot of time letting go of the beliefs that I was spoon fed in school, so that I could become a free-thinker willing to question everything I’ve been taught and had come to believe so strongly. I pay attention to my intuition when I learn something new, and only take the information that I can feel resonates with me. I release anything that doesn’t feel like my truth.

Just as someone who grew up within the confines of a specific religion has to reprogram their mind once they  realize that the church’s message is no longer resonating with them, I’ve had to reprogram my mind to not take everything touted by science as fact. The reality is that we are only being taught what our government and state wants us to believe. How many degrees of separation do you think stand between our government, and big pharma, big agriculture, big business, and colleges and universities? In my research, I’m finding not many. It’s all connected. And a the main intention behind these entities is overall control of the population and profit. This is why it’s imperative that we start releasing our grip on our beliefs, and questioning everything! We must not take anything at face value. If we want to be free-thinkers who instead of following the crowd, we must start following our own intuition and inner knowing.

Pay attention to the fact that many of us who grew up questioning everything, are usually the one in our families who felt alone and unlike everyone else. We were planted into our families to shake up the status quo. Our children are also playing this role on an even grander scale. As parents, it can be difficult to raise such strong-willed children, but it’s so important in the bigger picture. They are here to stretch and expand us and this dimension in time, while staying more true and authentic to themselves. We are meant to learn from them, not punish or drug them. We’re being shown that we need to do things differently if we want different results, so can you see the divinity of how our kids do things differently and don’t accept the answer of “oh we do it that way, because that’s just the way it’s always been done”?

Just in my healing journey alone, I have seen enough holes in science and my education to know that it’s not the end all, be all that it’s made out to be. Big pharma and insurance have far too much say in how we’re caring for people with dis-ease in this country. Doctors and hospitals receive large kick backs from both when they push certain medications and vaccinations. For example, the hospital I worked in began to require everyone to get a yearly flu vaccine even when the effectiveness of a particular year’s vaccine was shown to only be 10-30%. Do we really believe that this requirement has anything to do with preventing the flu? Question everything.

We have a bunch of mandatory vaccines being given to babies in the US which continues to increase every year, yet we have one of the highest mortality rates for babies of any country in the world. I would maybe believe that the US’ medical system and policies are on point when it comes to infant care if our babies here weren’t dying in record numbers especially given that we are a first-world country. We’re missing the mark big time. It’s time to question everything.

In my nursing program, we were not taught about Lyme Disease, something that I had been battling myself. The only mention of it to my class came because I had an instructor whose daughter had Lyme Disease. There is a huge conspiracy going on with the treatment of Lyme despite the fact that it is projected that the 30,000 new cases a year is actually probably closer 300,000. Find and watch “Under Our Skin” if you want more details about the agenda behind the lack of proper tests and treatment for Lyme. Insurance companies have such control over the treatment of Lyme, that it is virtually impossible to receive adequate antibiotic treatment without going to a specialist and paying out-of-pocket. Doctors have been taken to court and have lost their license to practice medicine over the treatment they prescribe. Doctors aren’t even educated on Lyme. When I was diagnosed, I had doctors in my  area who had been involved in my care get defensive when I told them I had Lyme, stating that there isn’t Lyme in this area. Bullshit. I know many people who have gotten it in this area. They seemed to take offense, because they weren’t the ones to figure out my mystery illness. I witnessed the most petty responses from my doctors including one that I had really come to respect. Question everything.

Alternative therapies such as homeopathy are often discredited, while big pharma medications are continually pushed on the general public through near constant commercials on TV and through advertising posted in every doctor’s office. The effectiveness of homeopathy is so downplayed even though it has been credited with the turnaround of many people’s dis-ease, including my own. Doesn’t it make sense that a treatment that’s minimally expensive, but has the propensity to get people off of their big pharma- supplied medications would be downplayed and vehemently argued against? Question everything.

We’re taught to protect ourselves from the sun, but we need it for vitamin D production. There are people who have been wearing sunscreen SPF 50 and covering up, and are STILL getting skin cancer. We have to wonder if the sunscreens are actually CAUSING the skin cancer. Try limiting sun exposure and covering up when you’re going to be in the sun for a long time. Question everything.

The two political parties roll out the same agendas term after term with slight variations to make us believe that one is doing better or worse than the last guy. It’s all the same thing being carried out by different puppets. Yet people hold such strong convictions that they turn on friends and family and allow their own energetic vibration to drop because of what the latest puppet is doing or saying. It’s meant to divide us and drop us into a lower vibrational state. Question everything.

The way to our alignment with our spirit is by jumping out of the herd mentality and following the beat of our own drum. We are all very unique versions of the same source on purpose. We should not seek from outside of ourselves for the knowledge that we all hold within.

We find our purpose when we show up as our 100% authentic and vulnerable selves ready and willing to do, say, and think new things even if no one else is doing it. That’s when we find our unique contribution to this world — through our own, unique, individual expression of the source energy that we all are.

Learn to educate yourself. Question everything. Accept only what resonates with you at your core, and release the rest. Read the banned and censored books (1984 anyone?). Expand your awareness to include the things that they don’t teach us in school. Consider that we are able to perceive very little in this world, so don’t hold tight to any one thought or belief. Much of what we’re taught is backwards from the way things actually are. Question everything.

Align with your own spirit, so that you allow your intuition to be your guide, not the voices from the outside world. We each hold all of the answers we seek.

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Navigating Through New Lands: Part 3 of my Health Journey

Photo: A glimpse of my planner for September 2012

It has been a while since I shared parts of my healing journey, so if you need a recap, you can read Part 1 HERE and Part 2 HERE.  I had a pretty nasty herx during that visit to Colorado, and wasn’t expecting that severity of chest pain again, along with vomiting and diarrhea.  So I got scared, and went to the local clinic and asked for a prednisone prescription, because it was the only thing that I knew would take the chest pain away. The chest pain was severe, and medications would not touch it.  At the time, I didn’t really put two and two together that I was having a reaction because of the injection of antibiotics I had gotten from the doctor in LA. I hadn’t really thought about the fact that antibiotics would cause my symptoms to worsen before they got better. So I wasn’t prepared to handle the 10/10 chest pain that I was experiencing. I was far from home which meant I was far away from my primary doctor or my cardiologist who could prescribe pain medication for me.

So, I did what I could to get through that time.  I took the supplements that the specialist had given me, and followed the guidelines of things I could do to lessen the herx reaction.  I was forced to lay low, and missed a lot of the fun activities with family during that trip.

I had been instructed by the specialist to have my prescriptions for antibiotics filled when I got home from Colorado and to start taking them at that point.  I started treatment on July 12, 2012, and my world was again turned upside down.  The chest pain, high fevers (up to 103 I believe), and general malaise were unbearable at times, and I really felt like I would die.  I was doing so terribly that my husband at the time arranged it so that he could work from home, afraid that something might happen to me while he was gone.  Aside from the initial instance of illness where I passed out repeatedly from near heart failure, this time in July and August 2012 was the scariest time of my life to date.  I did little more than lie on the couch in pain, sleep, and get up to use the bathroom.  Walking to the mailbox that was about 30 feet (10 meters) from our house was unbearable, because of the severity of my chest pain.  All physical activity aggravated my pain.  I was essentially on body-enforced bed rest with a 3 year old who needed me and didn’t understand why I wasn’t the one mostly taking care of him anymore.  That was really difficult for me.

I ended up getting hooked on the show “The Walking Dead”.  I learned pretty quickly that laughing at comedies, and crying during dramas made me hurt worse.  At that time, zombies created very little emotional response from me, because I viewed it as completely fake and unrealistic.  The summer of 2012 was a bit of a blur.  My severe herx lasted for about a month.  Pain medications prescribed to me by my cardiologist began working, though I was having very strange arrhythmias that I could feel.  For my friends in healthcare, on July 20th, I found out that my CRP was 491 (normal is 0-3) and my sedrate was 103 (normal is about 0-29)!  I ended up having a 24 hour heart monitor placed at one point, but then it the weird heart beats stopped and nothing was revealed.  I remember going to my primary care NP during this time, and speaking to her about how awful I was feeling and how scared I was.  She encouraged me to keep track of the kinds of days I was having by drawing a smiley face, neutral face, or sad face on each calendar day of my planner.  I encourage you to try this method for yourself if you’re experiencing a lot of ups and downs with your health right now as you move towards healing.  It can be a good way to realize that you DO have good days.

I was nervous about heading into my last semester of nursing school with the way my summer had stacked up.  I honestly didn’t know if I would be able to complete the program.  I emailed my teachers to let them know that I wasn’t sure that I’d be finishing with the rest of my class.  I knew that if the chest pain and fevers persisted that there was no way that I could focus on school and physically be able to walk to all of my classes.  But luckily, as the days went on and I continued to take all of my medications and supplements to help with my herx reaction, I started having more smiley face days, than frowns.  On August 4th, I actually got to leave the house and went to a local baseball game with my family.  It felt so good to be outside again.  Aside from doctor’s appointments, I had not left my house in nearly a month!  By August 15th, I was back in my first lecture of my last semester of nursing school.  My planner from that semester is loaded with classes, assignments, clinical shifts, doctor appointments, and events and sports related to my son.  Remembering back to how i felt during that time, and seeing the fluctuation in smiley faces and frowns (that persisted into October), I am amazed that I pulled it all off!!  I completed the semester with my class and went to my Pinning Ceremony on 12/13/12.

By the end of that year, I was feeling a lot better.  In fact, I only kept track of my good and bad days into the beginning of November.  I was feeling more back to myself, and because I had been off of the prednisone since July, I was losing the extra weight gradually.  I don’t think I was prepared for my emotions that released following my Pinning.  The whole thing had been emotional, listening to students and our professors speak, one of which was undergoing treatment for brain cancer that eventually took her life.  She had been the one who fostered my love of working with the babies.  After the ceremony, some of us went outside.  It was just us students.  And I started bawling my eyes out.  I was excited, sure, after all I had worked so hard for this day and had overcome so many obstacles to get there.  But more than that, it was like this thing that I had been focusing on for so long was no longer my focus.  I realized in that moment how much school had been keeping me going.  It redirected my focus and allowed me to focus on something bigger than myself, bigger than all of my problems at the time.  It felt like all of my accumulated stress and sadness of the last 3 years began flowing out of me through my tears.

This portion of my story culminated with me taking and passing the NCLEX exam in January, flying home with my son to see our family, and then landing my first full-time Registered Nurse position in the local hopsital on the oncology unit that I started in March of 2013.  As this was happening, my marriage was coming to a close.  By May of 2013, I was living on my own, working full-time as a Registered Nurse, and taking care of my son on my days off.  I continued traveling to LA (and then to one in San Francisco) regularly to see my Lyme Disease specialist and was having my labs closely monitored.  I continued taking oral antibiotics daily, as well as other medications, and many handfuls of supplements.  I was tired after my 12 hour shifts in the hospital, but my heart felt full, because I was using my experiences to help other people.  I used what I had been through to draw in even more empathy and compassion for all of the patients who crossed my path.

I began to feel a lot better, because I was no longer hiding my truth behind the busyness of nursing school and I was following my intuition to a new life for me and my son.  It took moving through a lot of fear.  I had to let go of a lot of ideals I was holding in my mind’s eye.  I had, after all, really wanted to create an intact and happy family for my son that I did not feel I had as a child.  I had to let go of something I had comitted to, because I had to start fully putting my happiness and health first.  For so many years of my life, I had always put myself last, not feeling worthy of love, not loving myself.  My illness forced me to put myself first for a change, and it was a very uncomfortable process.  But I can tell you that from where I am now, it was a very necessary process.

You see, I have now worked intimately with thousands of people as a Registered Nurse, and I also have people reach out to me now with serious, mystery health issues of their own.  We all seem to have a common thread, an underlying lack of self-love.  It can take years to recognize it.  Maybe you’re reading this and can relate, or maybe it will open your eyes to it for the first time ever.  Think about it:  do you take good care of yourself in all ways? Do you love and accept yourself (and show it) fully? Are you always putting other people’s needs or the seemingly endless needs of the world before your own?  Do you supress your emotions to make other people feel more comfortable?  Are you a people pleaser and/or a peace keeper?  We’ve all got to dig down deep to get to the cause of our dis-ease, or lack of enthusiasm about our lives.  I have found self-love to be paramount to my healing in all ways body, mind, and spirit.

If you’re struggling with chronic illness, I encourage you to really look at your relationship with yourself first and foremost.  Loving myself and taking good care of myself has been my biggest, foundation-building lesson from my dis-ease.  Even at Part 3, my healing journey did not stop here…to be continued.

Work With Me

If you’re on a healing journey of your own, and are feeling overwhelmed reach out to me at peacefuljellyfish@gmail.com.  I would love to work with you to create some healing and transformational magic in your life!

Thank you for reading!  If you liked this post, please like and share it.  Much love!

Time

assorted silver colored pocket watch lot selective focus photo

Photo by Giallo on Pexels.com

Time is a strange thing.  There are times in my life when time seemed to stand still, like the night I spent in the hospital on the verge of heart failure while I was waiting for a surgery to save me.  Then there are times when time seems to speed by so fast that it takes my breath away, like summer days spent traveling and snorkeling with my son.

Today has me emotional.  I know I am not the only parent feeling this way today.  Where I live, today is the first day of school.  I walked my new 4th grader to school today.  And now, after getting back home and reading a really touching post by one of my best friends from college on this, the day after her son turned 16, I sit in a puddle of tears.

I know that many people I know have had to take their kids to college and support them as they leave the nest.  From where I am standing, that remains a reality difficult for me to fathom.  Still others have new high school students today.  I know that some friends may wish that they had a 4th grader today.  But, as with everything, our experiences are all relative and what we have going on in our own lives is what really counts for us personally. Today, my mind is thrusting me back through the years.  It’s funny how with every milestone, I get transported back into time when my son was a baby, newly born.  It’s not in a way where I am wishing that he was a baby again, but more just wondering where the time since that day has gone.  As normal as this whole back to school after summer thing is for humans, it always reminds me of the version of him, or incarnation, as my friend Michele put it, that I will experience and say goodbye to this year.

It’s the part of parenting that people don’t often talk about.  The thing that you don’t even realize until you become a parent yourself.  The part where you welcome and then say goodbye to all of the various incarnations of your child that you are so blessed to witness.  As my friend Michele Rosa Gee wrote so beautifully today, “Birthdays bring a fascinating combination of emotions as a mother.  Not only am I celebrating the person I see before me in this moment (which is what we normally do on people’s birthdays), but I’m nostalgic for the many incarnations of this boy I have seen through the past 16 years.”  She goes onto say something else that really spoke to my Mom heart and that was “And I am amazed at the depth of sadness that I feel as I project into the future the growing separation that is natural between a mother and child.”  I think this goes for birthdays, and other milestones like crawling, then walking, dressing themselves, and all the first days of school, and every other monumental occasion that we, as parents, get to experience during our child’s life.

For some of us, me included, this time is also dotted with a lot of time spent away from my child.  My son’s Dad moved out of the house when my son was barely 4 years old.  Prior to that time, the only time I spent without my son involved hospital stays and time spent in class during nursing school.  I had never experienced a night away from my son, let alone several at a time.  You would think that over time, this would become “normal” for a mother, the back and forth, the time spent without your child.  But for me, it has never felt “normal”.  For me, it has been the most difficult part of my divorce.  As a Mom, I feel like I should be with my child all of the time.  Maybe that’s my mind and ego speaking, but it feels like it’s my heart.  After living this way for over 5 years, splitting the weeks and holidays with his Dad, it is not an easy thing for my Mom heart to get used to, especially when I hear someone say that they have rarely spent any time away from their child.

But I have come to trust mine and my son’s journeys.  I know that regardless of the apparent shortcomings of this arrangement, it is better for all of us.  I know that my son is being raised by two people who are much happier apart than they were together.  As someone who experienced the contrast of parents who didn’t get along, but stayed together “for the kids”, I know that I would rather spend time away from my son than to have him grow up surrounded by tension and negativity.  Because I believe that there are no coincidences in this life, I have to accept that reality not only in times that feel good and magical, but also in times that feel difficult and unnatural.  I have seen what illness has done for me and my life, and I trust that when things feel hard, there is growth and expansion happening for me, and for my son.  I hold onto that knowing that we are both always being taken care of and that we will get from this life exactly what we each need.

It has been really interesting to see how I feel during significant milestones now that I am more conscious that I have ever been before.  As I learn to be more present during all the moments of my life, I feel more acutely aware when a milestone will be a first and a last at the same time.  There is no little brother or sister to walk to the first day of 4th grade in a few years, so, I can’t even hold onto the illusion that there will be another day when I walk a 4th grader to class on the first day of school for the first and the last time.  Just as I practice mindfulness in other parts of my life and know that this moment is all I ever truly have, today is the only day I have for this milestone.

As I move towards deeper levels of self-awareness and acceptance, and into deeper levels of consciousness, I am reminded daily of how difficult it can be to stay fully present with our kids.  I think it’s one of the things that kids are meant to do, expand us in ways that don’t feel possible.  For instance, when my son is trying to get a rise out of me by singing loudly in my face, and I am feeling the need for a stimulation time out, it is hard to stay present.  My mind wonders and I wish for a future moment of peace.  I think that it is generally easy to stay present with ourselves, how we’re feeling, and what we’re experiencing when we are alone.  I meditate regardless, but when I am alone, I have the quiet and space to check in with my higher self frequently over the course of the day.  But I know that the real test comes when I can keep the same peace and hold the same space for myself regardless of what is happening around me.  I intuitively know it.  It feels like one of the big keys of life.  I witnessed this as a Registered Nurse in the hospital.  When I started out, I felt like I needed a quiet place with no distractions while I charted everything about my patients into a computer.  The more seasoned nurses laughed at that requirement, because they had already learned that kind of peace and quiet did not exist within that environment.  After over 5 years of working in the hospital, all I needed to get my charting done was a working computer.  I became so good at focusing on what I was doing at the computer even with distractions all around me, that at times I wouldn’t hear another nurse ask me a question.

It’s all about being able to tune out the distractions from our environment, the people around us, and our own minds so that we are able to stay present and at peace during anything that shows up in our lives.  When we realize how important our own internal peace is, and we learn how to achieve and maintain it through even the most trying of times, we unlock the key to happiness in our lives.  Of course, this doesn’t mean ignoring our feelings, but it does mean realizing that each moment has something worth experiencing.  Today, I was really present in the experience of walking my son to his first day of 4th grade, which is why I feel so emotional about it.  Everything that has happened in my life has cumulatively led me to exactly where I am right now, and to how I am feeling right now.

With each milestone, I am reminded of the imperative need for me to get out of my head, so that I can soak up the fleeting moments I have with my growing son.  I am reminded of all of the past moments that will never exist again and the years flash on a screen in my head, birth, 1-year-old, 2 years old, 3 years old, 4 years old, 5 years old, 6 years old, 7 years old, 8 years old, 9 years old.  I think part of it is that we equate parenting with so many tasks: the meals, the snacks, the trips to school and back again, the extracurricular activities, the homework, the play dates, the baths, and the bedtimes.  Sometimes we humans go on autopilot, and do more than be.  We quickly seek to accomplish all the tasks as efficiently as we can, zooming around left and right.  But, as we do this, and we turn life into a series of tasks and activities, we sometimes forget to slow down and soak in the moments that truly define our lives.

As I become more conscious and therefore more present in my life, I feel these milestones all the more strongly, because I am very aware of the preciousness of each moment with my son.  If being a Mom and experiencing this as reality through the powerful manifestation of a son that grows and changes with each passing day doesn’t wake me up to only living in the present moment, I don’t know what will.  It can be a somewhat painful process, being a Mom and watching your son grow and change, grow and change, but wow, what a wonderful ride.  Right?!  Isn’t it beautiful that etched within each of our children is the powerful lesson that NOW is the only moment we have with each other?

We can’t relive a moment that has passed, so we must soak in every moment we have, so that we live with no regret in our hearts, and more joy in our lives!

Thank you for reading!  If you enjoyed this post, please like and share it! Much love.

Do you need uplifted and reminded of how wonderful it is to be alive today?  If so, listen to Brett Dennen’s song “Blessed” HERE