Out of the Blue

{This is a post from my new blogsite. See Luminous Blue if you’d like to read more of my experiences from this past year’s journey with my daughter, interwoven with Elizabeth’s memoir and poetry.}

On Friday, November 4, 2011, my world completely changed. My older daughter Elizabeth, 21 at that time, called me as I was finishing a qi gong class at home.  She was in tears, having trouble breathing and said something was wrong, she was in so much pain she was headed to the Student Health Center again.  I knew it was serious, as this girl doesn’t cry, and has a very high pain threshold. I immediately said I’d meet her there, jumped in the car and tried to center and calm myself as I drove.  As I walked in to find her, the kind doctor was telling her to go to the ER at UMC.  We asked if she could go home, drop off her car and pick up a few things, and he said yes, but not to delay.  He also called ahead and made sure she knew to tell them she was having chest pain, so she’d be seen quickly.  Apparently he had a very good idea that she had mediastinal non-Hodgkins lymphoma from looking at her, as her face and neck were quite swollen, and that a large tumor wrapped around a vein was causing the swelling. She’d been having pain in her right upper chest for weeks that another doctor had been dismissing as allergies, and treating her with prednisone.

We didn’t learn the exact diagnosis until after her biopsy on Monday. However within hours of arriving at the ER, her chest x-ray showed us a large mass in her chest, about the size of her heart, just to the right of it. It was shocking to see. Elizabeth was healthy – she’d rarely been sick, had been treated with homeopathic remedies most of her childhood, ate organic whole foods, was a vegetarian since age 14 and had been a dedicated yoga student much of her life. How could she have a mass the size of her fist in her chest? How could she have cancer?!

Our dear friend Ann Marie, Elizabeth’s doctor, came to sit with us as we waited hours for her be admitted.  I walked outside with her at some point, and started sobbing on her shoulder, “no, no, no, no, no….!” I was worried about all kinds of things, from the cost of the yet unknown treatment and her limited insurance cap, to her being able to complete her semester as a junior at the U of A, to how she would cope emotionally with the diagnosis of cancer, but I did NOT think she would die. That was not in my world of possibilities yet. I couldn’t even imagine my world without Elizabeth.

We were moved very slowly and gently into that reality, and for that I am deeply grateful. For the eleven months we had after this day, nine of them believing and trusting that she would have a full recovery and live a long, healthy life, and the last two months knowing she would die, I am grateful. Every moment was a blessing. She and I did a lifetime of healing in that time, she lived fully and richly, and in the end, she became love itself, showering us all with love, and in a state of grace that I’m blessed to have experienced in this lifetime.

Flowering of the Heart Resources

As Zelie and I are preparing for our next series of the Flowering of the Heart class this Sunday, I want to list some wonderful resources here. These will be used in our class, and will be useful for anyone interested in doing self-inquiry and self-reflection…

We have been doing The Work, a process from Byron Katie that is very simple, and very profound. It is a way of beginning to really hear our thoughts and judgments that are often playing in our head, and to question the truth and reality of them. This is way to begin doing The Work – we will go into it in much greater depth in the class.

You begin by making a statement, such as “My mother shouldn’t be so critical of me”, and then asking 4-6 questions:
1.Is that true?
2.Can I absolutely know that it is true? (this one usually shifts my whole thinking of the situation!)
3.How do I feel/react when I have this thought? (do I feel anger, disappointment, do I close myself off, distance myself from the person, etc?)
3a.Can I think of a reason to drop the thought? (don’t try to drop it, you really can’t)
3b.Can I think of a stress-free reason to keep the thought?
4.How would I feel without this thought – who would I be, if it were not possible to have this thought?

Finally, turn the statement around, finding 2-3 ways that feel as true or truer
example: “my mother should be critical of me” (since she is, and accepting that that’s the reality can bring great peace, and it is often serving in some way, even if we don’t like it)
“I shouldn’t be so critical of my mother” (often, we are judging someone else for what we are doing ourselves)
“I shouldn’t be so critical of me” (we are often actually judging ourselves much more than anyone ‘out there’ could possibly be)

Pay attention to the place where you feel a shift, where you have some insight or release, or feel some peace – then let it go, no need to analyze or intellectualize it, trust the work will unfold in perfect timing…

If you want to watch videos of the process and download forms to do the work with more details, see The Work, Byron Katie’s website. One of her books I recommend is “Loving What Is”.

Another great resource is James Wanless’ Voyager Tarot card site and set of cards. Zelie and I have been using these cards for over 10 years, and they continue to show us new insights and perspectives after all these years. His website has a “card of the day” feature, where you can ask about the energies of the day, or relating to a particular issue, and then click and have a card drawn that has incredible images to work with, as well as an interpretation to read. Even better to have your own set of cards, but this is one easy, free way to have access.

Soon I will post more about ho’oponopono, and Dr Ihaleakala Hew Len’s work with a modern adaptation of this ancient Hawaiian process. In the meantime, you can use these phrases anytime you are having a conflict or difficulty with a person, or even a situation or event (work, etc…): “I love you, I’m sorry, Thank you, Please forgive me.” Repeat each one 3 times, directing it toward the thought form, or the person. The order of the phrases doesn’t matter, nor do you need to feel or believe the statements – simply use these words, and you will see amazing shifts!

looking forward to seeing those of you in the class Sunday! blessings to all…

Flowering of the Heart class


We were both joyful and sad to have the 4th of our first series of our Flowering of the Heart class a little over a week ago – it was wonderful to have such a beautiful group of women join us each week for deep exploration, laughter, meditation, discovery, and more… and we have missed them and our Sunday ritual already! However, we are happy to have another 4 week series starting soon, on May 24, as we continue our deepening process…

Here are the wonderful women who joined us for the first series!

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