Monday, February 13, 2012

Waking Up the Eternal

If there's one thing I can't stand, it's to dwell in a sea of self-pity for very long. Sure, it's frustrating to get sicker, feel bad all the time, and fight seemingly pointless battles with healthcare providers. But there comes a certain sense of strength and empowerment in taking action to heal oneself, even if those efforts result in only temporary relief.

After feeling spiritually and physically exhausted on Friday, I woke up Saturday with the urgent sense that I needed to shut the hell up and take matters into my own hands if I were to find any respite in the days that lie ahead. I've gotten to the point that fluid buildup in my chest cavity is so bad that I can't even perform simple tasks like mowing the lawn or walking up a few steps without feeling like I've run a marathon. The fluid is pushing against my heart and lungs so severely that it seems impossible to catch my breath. I stared out the window at my wild, overgrown lawn, healthy and full after recent rains, knowing that this was the only day to catch up before the torrential downpours started again. Try as I might, it was all I could do to get the mower started before I was spent. But as fate and good karma would have it, my good friend (who also happens to be my boss at work!) called up and insisted that he'd rather see me at work on Monday than see me kill myself over my lawn. He showed up soon after and put an entire afternoon in whipping that half acre into shape. I felt humbled and overwhelmed with the realization that I do have friends that truly care about me and recognize when I truly need help, even if I'm too proud to ask.

At any rate, the point of my post here today is to talk about awakening the healing energy inside of us. Sometimes we need a little help to do that. I had a very strong intuition that I needed to call my dear friend Jen Hilman at and schedule a massage to at least find some relaxation and stress relief. What actually happened is a very different and amazing story, in the most positive way that I could have ever imagined.

I met Jen that evening at Guari Movement Studio to begin our session. After catching her up briefly with my developing state of affairs, she began to formulate her plan of attack and asked if I had ever had any real energy work done. I had tried some, sporadically, in the past, but never as a real focus in the form of massage or anything. Hell, I've only has a few massages in the past, and most have been either the kind that lulls your body into an oily mess of soporific bliss, or deep-tissue sports massage to work out shoulders screwed up from holding a 20 lb. camera on a rocky fishing boat for eight hours a day. To put it mildly, this was an altogether different experience entirely.

Jen was determined to "wake up" my body's own trapped energy by combining several techniques from her extensive experience, as well as letting her own intuition guide her to try some new skills that she's been learning. First, by gently and then more aggressively rocking my entire body along the axis of my spinal column, she began to stimulate and release my Kundalini energy from its captive state. (This may all get to sound a bit New-Agey, but I'm not apologizing. I can tell that you this is a very real and visceral experience, as there are truly certain unseen energies that govern our bodies just as our heart, liver, and nervous systems do. Anyone who doubts this is failing to see the bigger picture in terms of our health. Just like those science books we grew up with where you peel back one transparent plastic page to see the next layer of the body, this could be considered the "missing page" at the very back... the one that is not visible to the naked eye, but is quite present nevertheless.)

She began to work my circulatory system into play and stimulate the energy in my hands and feet, which are always freezing now due to my liver's inability to regulate body temperature. She vigorously beat (mildly, but it still hurt so good!) each inch of me to stimulate my entire venous and lymphatic systems. And, in a procedure I can only describe as "tuning the instrument" she loudly vocalized a tone into my crown and base chakras, essentially opening up the doors on either end of the long, dark hallway of my spinal column, and breathing tone and fire through the passageway to set the flow in motion.

This was not at what one would describe as a traditional relaxing Swedish-style massage, although I found the entire process quite calming in the same sense that an athlete gets high from a rush of endorphins. Rather, I was awake and on fire and felt totally "in" my body for the first time in quite awhile, since often I tend to project away from the sense of my own physical self to avoid the pain and harsh realism of my disease.

The feeling lasted the rest of the night, throughout the next day, and I was surprised to find my swelling today is at its lowest level in about two months. I feel calm, centered, and invigorated. So, naysayers can shut the hell up. Whatever sweet Jen did worked, and continues to do so as I write this. I don't know what tomorrow may bring, but knowing that there are keys to unlocking something deeper, more powerful, and ancient within myself than this disease, and that there are loving and skilled people in my world who care enough to do this work... well, that gives ME the strength to keep going.


  1. Voo doo... I kid! Sounds like it worked well and I'm glad you are feeling better! Stay open and try everything!

  2. Thank God for Jen's healing hands. Love you Pat!

  3. Dear Pat. Thank you for sharing with us/keeping this blog, and for this particular post. Jen's work, and yours (including your openness), sounds beautiful. I'm so glad you were able to get some relief, and that more of your wonderful life force has been brought forward. You are in my thoughts...