Finding My Passion #10

Once I had regained my strength, and started to rehabilitate myself, I began researching avenues to restart my career in education. Every path I pursued shortly became a dead end. I could not seem to integrate all that I had learned, and was now able to share, with a career path that stirred my passions.

One evening, I received a text message from a family member describing a particular authors’ experience, overcoming cancer. He had recently watched a video in which this author had discussed his experience, and the alternative therapy that he had used. I decided to research this on the internet.

Writing had long been one of my talents and passions. I recall my Grade two teacher asking if I was going to be a writer when I left school. At that stage my stories were often about six pages in length. I would imagine that my class mates were writing a little over a page.

My search on the internet lead me to join a writer’s association. I remember briefly entertaining the thought of having this authors’ publisher publish my book. It was a goal that seemed so unattainable that I dismissed it almost immediately. Two days later, however, something extraordinary occurred that set me on the path I am today.

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Transcending Suffering #9

Recap:

“Heaven’s Door” #7

As time progressed, I was still bedridden. Having difficulty moving my body, I began to suffer from periodic anxiety. During an attack, unable to cope with light and most sound, I decided to play a piece of music titled “Heaven’s Door” by Jeff Johnson on my ipad. The most extraordinary thing occurred when I did…

…the throbbing ache in my head started to subside. It was replaced by a sense of peace and tranquility. I felt my body relax for the first time in weeks and I felt grounded in this human reality once again. It was as if this music had helped me to transcend my pain and suffering. I may never have an explanation as to how or why this happened, but I am eternally grateful for the experience.

As I slowly began to recover I had much time to think. I began to find my direction in life. I decided that I wanted to perform a service that would help others and add value to their lives. I wanted to teach again and I was about to learn what an exciting adventure this desire would lead me on.

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A Slight Deviation #8

It has been far too long since my last blog entry. I left my story at a cliffhanger while I was swept away by an unexpected storm. It has left me bruised and battered with a heart torn wide open. I find myself baring my soul for all to see. This is not a fair explanation for my absence but I hope it is one that will be acceptable for now. However mysterious this may sound, my experience has left me with a lesson that I would like to share before I continue with my story.

Life is a beautiful gift. The richness of of the human experience is perceived through varying degrees of emotional highs and lows. There is so much beauty in our emotions but we can only see it when we accept them as they are. The difficulty lies in not judging an emotion as positive or negative but rather accepting it as an intricate detail that enriches the human experience.

Our emotions are often influenced by our perception. I will rather touch on that topic as my story continues…

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“Heaven’s Door” #7

As time progressed, I was still bedridden. Having difficulty moving my body, I began to suffer from periodic anxiety. During an attack, unable to cope with light and most sound, I decided to play a piece of music titled “Heaven’s Door” by Jeff Johnson on my ipad. The most extraordinary thing occurred when I did…

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Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff #6

It is so easy to get caught up in the little things and lose sight of what is truly important. Sometimes we focus on the relationships that bring us down rather than the ones that build us up. Other times we focus on the small emotional hurts amplifying the pain. Mostly, we waste precious time “sweating the small stuff”. 

In life only three things really matter. In no particular order these things are; peace, love and service.

In order to be peaceful we need to be present in every moment and accept the experience that we are having. Quiet our minds, focus on both external and internal sensations and feel them. Accept what you feel, your surroundings, your experience as it is without judging it as positive or negative. Be in the moment because only then will you feel truly alive. Only in the present moment will you find peace. 

Love is more than an emotion that we feel. It is an energy exchange between all living creatures. Love exists whether we choose to be aware of it or not. Unconditional love is the purest connection any two beings can share. It is the recognition of love regardless of what behaviour or circumstance arises. Recognising love and bringing it into the conscious reality is essential to living a peaceful and happy life.

No joy can be found in a selfish life. All human life is meant to be lived in service of another. Whether you feel compelled to do this in a profession, a charity or as a role in your close relationships, it is a requirement of a happy life. This does not mean being a martyr. It means living your true nature, taking care of yourself and then sharing the best of yourself with others.

The problem with “sweating the small stuff” is while we are so focussed on the little things time passes us by. This time could have been better utilised living in peace, love and service. 

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Let The Learning Begin #5

I was finally released from hospital. My liver enzyme count had come down and while still ill, it was in my best interest to be nursed at home.

Jaundiced and extremely photophobic, I stayed in a dark room with drawn curtains. I kept my sunglasses on for most of the day and held an ice pack to the base of my skull. This offered some relief from pain and nausea. The throbbing pressure in my head grew by the day, rendering me incapable of much movement.

It was during this time that I found peace within my suffering. I continued to hallucinate beings taking care of me and they were a great source of comfort.

As I reflected on my life I was filled with regret. I realized how much time I had spent allowing my own issues and emotions about them control my behavior. I realized how little time I had spent teaching. I had turned my back on my calling and I was so caught up in the small things that I hadn’t even realized it. This brings me to my first lesson…

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The Damage #4

The searing pain in my abdomen soon spread to my chest. I felt unable to breath. My kidneys felt like two large masses in my back. I did not know one could suffer such pain and still continue to live.

My blood work had shown that I had contracted Hepatitis A. This was not obvious by any of my early symptoms as they were far more extreme then one would expect. I had been quarantined at this stage as the virus is contagious. Besides being spread by poor sanitation and contaminated food or water, it can spread by close contact with someone who has it. Hepatitis A is considered to be the mildest of the Hepatitis viruses. It is not considered to be terminal… in most cases!

My liver function tests had shown that my liver enzymes had increased to ten thousand. To explain that simply between eight and eighteen or even thirty is considered normal. In chronic liver disease they elevate into the hundreds and in acute liver disease three thousand or four thousand is not uncommon. The maximum measurement (the point they stop counting) is ten thousand.

To make matters worse I have a pre-existing kidney condition. With any kind of liver disease your kidneys are put to good use filtering bile from your blood stream. Although my kidneys held up well it was not without a great deal of pain.

I felt like a human pin cushion, having kidney and liver function tests twice a day. You would think it could not get much worse but the unexpected events of the weeks to follow, proved to be the most challenging of all.

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