I — — — — struggled — — — — to — — — — — — recall — — — — — the — — — — — — next — — — — — word — — — — — — in — — — — — my — — — — — mind, — — — — — — — as — — — — — I — — — — -talked.
My speech had become so slow. Simple words were evasive. Holding even the shortest conversation took inordinate amounts of energy.
Doing laundry commanded the utmost focus.
Cooking became unsafe as I would leave food on the stove in forgetfulness, and it would burn.
These are just a few of the insidious effects of a brain injury caused by toxic mold in the school where I was the assistant principal and principal. I spent 3 months in speech and occupational therapy, and even more months in counseling. My immune system became severely compromised. My ability to think fast, multi-task, motivate and lead, read, talk, remember, all became skills of a previous journey in my life. Anger, shock, and deep depression took over for a few years.
My anger and depression during this most challenging time must have been horrendous to be around. I could tell I wasn’t ‘me’ anymore. I spent the first few years feeling my life was turned upside down. I played the victim role well in some aspects. However, in other ways, I owned, with strength and courage, what had happened to me, and decided I would try to make something good come out of it. My doctors said whatever I could recover cognitively in the first year after my injury is about all that I would recover. 15 years later, I still am not ‘buying’ this premise, and each day I seek ways to strengthen and re-develop my shattered cognitive processes.
Along my healing journey, I worked with a medical intuitives, homeopathic doctors, acupuncturists, chiropractors, psychics, traditional doctors, environmental doctors, shamanic practitioners, reiki practitioners, sound healers, nutritionists, and other alternative healers. While no one practitioner provided the magical solution, each one helped me to understand how this brain injury may have come about, and how I could make the best of this challenging situation. At some point, probably unknowingly, I began to embrace this challenging situation as my teacher.
Here’s what I learned. Traditional medicines, and even most supplements, only added to my symptoms. Exposure to any chemicals, in addition to mold, worsened the symptoms. Doing too much or working too hard for a solution seemed to make the situation worse. My health, and the course of my recovery, were delivering a very powerful, profound, and challenging message to me: I was to live in this time and on this planet in a different way than I thought I was intended to. Simple words, but very difficult to accept.
So, I have spent the past 15 years retooling, rediscovering, and re-inventing my self. My purpose. Why I am here.
Actually, I wasn’t really reinventing myself, I was just getting in touch with who I had been all along, and realizing I wasn’t allowing myself to be me! I was not being true to my higher self, my essence, my passion, my heart.
In her book, Dying to Be Me, Anita Moorjani writes about her journey to ‘the other side’ as she lay dying due to the cancer that had ravaged her body. While in this coma, Moorjani was able to observe all the doctors trying to save her, and then the same doctors telling her family the end was near. She could also feel her loved ones grief as they sensed her slipping away. Moorjani, on the other hand, felt the greatest joy, beauty and relief that she had ever experienced while she visited this other realm, which she describes beautifully. While in her coma, and visiting this other realm, Moorjani felt she was given a choice to physically die or to come back to our reality, and teach others what she had learned while journeying through this near death experience.
Moorjani did come back to this reality. Her body miraculously began to heal within hours of waking up from her coma. Her recovery was unexplainable by her doctors. To Moojani, though, she now believes her recovery occurred because she realized we are all connected, we are all meant to live on this earth in a most unconditionally joyful and loving way, and that we are each precious gifts.
Moorjani came to understand that if we choose to live in complete unconditional love, if we choose to live from our hearts without restriction, if we choose to completely love our selves, then our vibrational energy and light will be amazingly expansive and joyful. I believe this, and my journey is about trying to live with unconditional self love and unconditional love for everyone.
Do I pull this off every day? Nope! But, I am trying.
Meditation in nature has helped tremendously.
Over time, I will share tidbits, stories, nuggets of wisdom, and humorous vignettes about the vulnerable moments, dark memories, shameful mistakes, wonderful lessons, and beautiful love that have carried me to this point in my journey. I share these moments of my life, not out of vanity, but out of love and hope that perhaps others will glean wisdom and support for their own journey.
Along my journey, I have enjoyed writing. Writing brings me peace, healing, and joy. It’s taken me a lifetime to figure this out, but we are here on this earth to to do what brings joy, peace, healing, and love, and so I share from my heart through my writing.
I used to say my brain injury turned my life upside down. Now, I say it turned my life right side up. It is this incident and challenge that has taught me there is a very different way to walk our path. The people who have helped me to best understand this and how to love unconditionally, are the ‘alternative’ practitioners who have guided me along the way, a small circle of loving friends, and my family. I hold sincere gratitude for their love and guidance.
Thank you for taking the time to read these stories and poems. Each word that you read brings more healing to me, and, in turn, I pray and hope brings some healing to you. Thank you for sharing in my vulnerabilities, my heritage, my challenges, and my love.
Blessings and peace as we each seek to honor our selves, each other, and the Spirit that connects us all.