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One Woman’s Journey, Part II

Today’s post is a follow-up to Part 1 from December 2nd, about a patient of mine, Kari, who was facing certain challenges both physically and mentally that are quite common in today’s society. Here is a link to Part 1 if you haven’t read it. Over the past 3 months she has undergone profound transformations on many levels and has put a bit of it down into words to share. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did!

Hello, this is Kari. David asked me if I would like to post a follow-up to his post on December 2, 2010. Of course I would; the past few months have been …. amazing.

About a month ago I went to an Introduction to Zen Meditation class at Blue Heron Zen Community (where David is a member). At the start of the class, we each introduced ourselves and said why we had come. When it became my turn I stated my name and then for the “why are you here?” part of my introduction, I felt the words “I have a back injury and blah blah blah…” forming in me, ready to spill out as they had so many times before. The words ran up my spine, as if this was their spotlight and they wanted to take it. After all, my visit to the Zen center was due to my meeting David and deciding to enter his care as part of my quest to quiet my back pain. I met David at my chiropractor’s office where I had gone to quiet my back pain. I had gone there on the advice of my trainer who I had gone to in my efforts t to quiet my back pain. I had met my trainer through… oh, the story is so, so long. Anyway, my mouth opened to say those words “I have a back injury and blah blah blah…” when part of me screamed “No!!! I will not define myself that way!!! I am NOT defined by my back injury! I am not!” I closed my mouth, I paused, I smiled, I took a breath, and I started again. With a big smile I said “I am here because I am seeking ways to bring more peace to my body, mind, and spirit.” I felt an incredible surge of joy and I laughed to myself. I felt like I had cut the line to an anchor embedded in the rock, mud or whatever of the seabed; I left that anchor on the seabed and sailed far, far away…

The other day at work I had an interesting experience. My eyes felt tired so I took my glasses off and closed my eyes for a minute.

When I opened my eyes, I looked around a bit before grabbing my glasses. I am very nearsighted with astigmatism so what I saw was my same office, my same world, but everything was in a blur and looked so different. My computer was still there, the text on the screen was still there, but to read the text I would have to lean far forward towards the screen until the text became clear enough. The papers on my desk were still there, but to discern which paper I needed I would have to pick it up and hold it close to my face. Everything in this world was hard to do without extra effort. Everything I needed was there but on the fringe of me being able to use it effectively. I put my glasses on. The text on the computer is easily readable! The paper I need is right there! Everything in this world was easy to do and needed no extra effort. Everything was there, in arms reach when needed. Same office, same world, but two different environments and totally dependent on how I chose to view them. One environment involved extra effort for every task, one environment held ease for each task. The environment with my glasses off equaled extra effort to complete even simple tasks, but using the tool I have been given – my glasses – I could see clearly and function effectively. I had the tool, the power, to choose which environment I wanted to be in. I could choose how I wanted to view and work in my office. Just like the moment in the Zen center when I chose how I wanted to describe myself. I can choose how I see my world … and how I see myself! I can choose!

These are just two examples of many marvelous experiences I have had in the past few months. Am I “all better” now? No, I have much work before me. But even with the knowledge I have more work to do, I bask in the joy that I have experienced an overall decrease in pain, an overall increase in peace in my mind, and several explosions – watch out, I may go supernova on you! – of delightful discovery. I have more clarity regarding the paths and tools available to me, and with this improved view I am better able to choose how I want to proceed on my journey. I can choose. Yes, I choose!

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