If you ever run into me at the corner bookstore, chances are pretty great that I’m in one of two sections: young adult fiction or self-help/alternative health.
Finding me in the YA section is no surprise, because I am obviously there to see what’s new, what’s over done, and inevitably mutter to myself, “How in the name of all that’s holy did THIS get published? The first page has three typos already!” or “Good grief, this is my story! I’m doomed, my life is over–oh, wait, no it’s not, oh, phew! Thank the Green Goddess.”
Finding me in the self-help/alternative health section is not really news either. Many of my posts, tweets, and status updates mention one of my favorite new thought authors, Shirley MacLaine. The day I met her was AMAZING. Still wishing for that book-to-movie deal with Shirley playing one of my book’s characters. Everybody has heroes. Don’t judge. 🙂
I’ve probably read just about every book on achieving balance in life. I’ve tried it all. Just off the top of my head?
Astrology, biofeedback, neurofeedback, Heart Math, iridology, reiki, massage, tarot, runes, detoxifying foot baths, chiropractic adjustments, juice cleanses, raw diet, vegetarianism, paleo diet, rotating diet, yoga, crystals, magnets, smudging, herbal remedies, Bach flower essences and remedies, essential oils, vitamins and minerals, probiotics, water (distilled, filtered, reverse osmosis, room temp, cold, hot, pinch of sea salt), ear candles, tree hugging, meditation, shamanic journeying, prayer, drumming, singing, dancing, candle lighting, incense, laughter therapy, talk therapy, special baths…
Most of these things have offered temporary relief, a few are part of my routine.
Best advice? The line from the Jeff Daniels’ movie, The Answer Man,
“Never take advice from someone you wouldn’t change places with.”
Oh, speaking of the top of my head, I once had some kind of eastern massage done that involved the practitioner pulling my hair really, really hard. I didn’t know that was what she was going to do, so I was just beginning to relax and then she started yanking away. Afterward I used the bathroom and my pee was a weird dark color. I returned to get my coat and the woman said to me, “Well, your kidneys did a lot of releasing, so be sure to drink extra water today.” So apparently it worked, but I never went back.
I am not against mainstream medicine, but I like to try solving issues without it first. I mean, if I woke up in the middle of the night and my house was on fire, I wouldn’t just shut off the smoke alarm and go back to bed. I believe there is a reason our bodies feel pain or discomfort, and popping a pill to shut it off is sometimes necessary but I’d rather get to the root cause. Besides, have you seen the pharmaceutical commercials? The side effects are beyond disturbing. It’s not just the black tarry stools or possible death, it’s the cheerful tone of the voice over. And what about the one that could result in risky behaviors such as compulsive gambling or random sex? I want to know how they read the script without cracking up laughing or going into manic Robin Williams voice changes. That takes serious skill.
But that’s not to say that complimentary medicine doesn’t have it’s odd moments either.
I’ve had acupuncture done three times. The first time I was out-of-town, out of Tylenol, and desperate for a wisdom tooth to stop hurting. The person put the little needles in my wrist and face, and hooked up electricity to it. He left the room for a few minutes and when he returned the left side of my face was nearly convulsing. “Is…it…sup…posed…to…do…this?” I asked between twitches. There was no charge for the visit. The second time was when an acquaintance convinced me to give it a retry, insisting that acupuncture isn’t like that. The entire time he was sticking needles into me and twisting them, he kept saying “It’s not supposed to hurt. If it hurts, the person is doing it wrong.” It hurt. I didn’t try it again for ten years. The last and final time was on a whim. As I lay on the table I realized that while it may be beneficial, I do not like it even when it’s done right because I cannot relax the way I do when I’m receiving a massage or energy work. I have friends who have had great results with it.
I tried the neti pot. It is akin to waterboarding. I do not like drowning myself. I have friends who swear by it.
In my 20s, I used to go to a guy who laid crystals on my chakras, then used aromatherapy and tuning forks to adjust my energy. It looked and felt weird, but I always felt refreshed afterward. He would always place his hand over my abdomen and caution my consumption of white flour and white sugar. I didn’t listen. When I was in the emergency room with excruciating gallbladder pain, the place he touched was EXACTLY where it hurt. I had to lose an internal organ to learn that being thin didn’t necessarily mean I was healthy. Nearly 15 years later I found out that there are numerous studies linking gallbladder disease to food allergies. Ugh.
The thing about any healing modality–even mainstream ideas like eating a balanced diet and getting plenty of exercise–is that you have to want it to work. You have to show up and be open to change. If you’ve read any of my past posts, you know I’ve struggled with Hashimoto’s and fibromyalgia and food allergies and a bit of depression at the cyclical nature of autoimmune hell. It is horrible to feel sick and run down all the time and have medical experts shrug at your medical mystery status. Nothing worse than feeling invisible and unheard.
Just a few weeks ago, people twice my age could do laps around me. Life had chewed me up and spit me out again. I was in so much physical pain that I couldn’t bear to take a shower. Some days I couldn’t even type and I would have to pull the covers up with my teeth. I was nearly resigned to just exist in pain for the rest of my life. My world became very, very small. I barely left the house. I was also stuck on my manuscript revision, unable to figure out a key piece in the story. Totally overthinking it. I was losing hope. It was the blackest dark-night-of-the-soul, stuck-in-the-muck-of-the-cocoon that I have ever experienced.
That was when I did something different. I stopped trying to fix it myself. I accepted help from a friend.
I had two Pranic healing sessions with her. It is nearly indescribable. The best I can say is it’s like reiki on steroids or an ocean of grace washing over you. It was like I took off a bad, outgrown outfit, and changed into a new, comfortable ensemble. Two weeks later, I still have an overwhelming sense of gratitude. I wake up without my alarm. I am alert without coffee. I do not hurt. I laugh. I have hope. My doctor cannot believe my thyroid lab tests show stabilization after 7 years of erratic results. (Usually labs take 3 months to show significant change, mine had major change in just a month!)
Just a couple of hours after the second session, I had a lightning bolt on my manuscript revision. I have been writing non-stop, and when I get up after hours of typing…I don’t hurt. My joints aren’t stiff. My mind is clear. My heart is full.
I don’t know how or why it worked for me, all I know is I am grateful for the miracle. I can’t explain it, and I don’t really want to explain it. Something shifted in me. I know in my core that I am done being sick.
Brace yourselves dear friends, fans, readers, and fellow seekers–I’m BA-ACK!
I am thoroughly enjoying the creative process of revision and I cannot wait to share the publishing process with you. The best is on its way, and I am ready to receive and share it. It’s like being a kid with a box of chocolates: I’m anticipating what’s inside each day and marveling at the surprising ways things are happening!
I’ll let you in on a couple of secrets:
1. The “aha moment” that unlocked my writer’s block is directly connected to the title!
2. I know what the cover will look like, who will be on it, and which photographer will help bring it to fruition.
Now, back to that exciting twist I’m polishing…