“Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.” These words come to mind now as I remember a New Years’ Eve some years ago when I voiced a desire for purpose and meaning in my life. Feeling worn out and heavy, I longed for a lighter and brighter way of life. Apparently, the conditions were favorable for a new and meaningful purpose to reveal itself, one that was not at all what I had in mind.
Life at that time was full, busy and productive. Being a skillful, goal-oriented perfectionist, I had mapped out a post-college plan according to the only pattern I could imagine at the time. Get a job. (Check – physical therapist) Get a car. (Check) Get married. (Check) Get involved in professional, religious and community activities. (Check) Get a home. (Check) Get in shape. (Check) Get a new car. (Check) Get a new home. (Check) Etc., etc., etc…..
What I had not included in the plans was: Get so busy that I lose all passion for life. Get completely weighed down with things, responsibilities and obligations. Get sick and tired of being sick and tired.
On another auspicious night my Soul responded to that New Year’s wish with a life-changing invitation. Feeling sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, I lifted a tearful heartfelt prayer: I want to feel good and feel more alive. I sensed on that night that I was at a crossroads. I knew that I could have visited any number of doctors the next day with my list of vague maladies. I could have easily received a feel-good prescription. My spirit knew that this path would mask the symptoms that I have come to regard as my teachers. That night I sensed a tiny voice inside me that was saying, “Seek the source.” I remember those words: “Seek the Source.” I was being gently encouraged not to cover up the symptoms, but to go ahead and search this one out. Find the Source. Looking back now, it was in that moment that I began to weave the first fibers of the cocoon that would hold and deliver me into New Life. Little by little, I retreated from the frenzied, important activities that consumed my days and into a very small space where I resolved to save my own life.
During the next four years, I consulted and beseeched many doctors and healers. I was ultimately diagnosed with a variety of opportunistic infections including late-stage Lyme Disease, heavy metal toxicity, systemic parasites and candida. The treatments, which were allopathic as well as alternative, often left me feeling worse than before. My commitment to complete and holistic healing was intense and whole-hearted. A relentless and determined focus overtook me and led the quest for True Healing.
One healer on the path was a lovely homeopath named Debby Bruck. Prior to our meeting, my exposure to homeopathy came in the form of remedies that corresponded to my various pathogens: Lyme bacteria, tapeworms and flukes to name a few. Some of those remedies made me quite ill and yet I was drawn to a deeper exploration of homeopathic healing. Intuitively, I sensed that my healing may not necessarily come from a specific remedy, but from a search for the true source of my dis-eases. Time and again, this search for the source led me to face the emotional and spiritual origins of my compromised immune system.
Looking back on this divine homeopathic encounter, I remember my apprehension over what else might be revealed about my illness. I had nearly exhausted financial and energetic reserves in my quest to be well. Yet my commitment to complete healing provided the motivation to examine any dark places that needed my attention. Debby was there with me and for me as the gentle, comforting voice guiding me to the core of my dis-ease.
Most of our session was devoted to the interview that Debby led as I answered questions about my symptoms and my life. In just over an hour, I was able to articulate my deep desires to explore new places, meet new people and discover more about how to live as a fully alive human being. Fear of change and the unknown were closing in on me. In essence, my cocoon, which had become my place of retreat for healing, was now the comfort zone I was afraid to leave. To break free and fly would definitely mean changes in the life I had created, a life that is good and beautiful. The fear was paralyzing me and at the same time, my inner calling to take flight was growing stronger by the day. To simply feel free and safe to articulate the truth left me lighter and brighter that day. Debby sent me home with a remedy to take for three days.
After an initial worsening of symptoms that is often common when releasing deep-seated toxins, I began to feel more alive. Within a month, I began to embrace a new phase of healing. Instead of targeting disease, my focus shifted to rebuilding my body, immune system and life in a style that reflects the Real Me.
The chrysalis stage of the butterfly’s life cycle provides the stillness and protection for dramatic transformation. Once complete the pupal shell cracks and the adult butterfly slips free. Debby later shared that the remedy she had provided was “butterfly” energy. How someone has captured that in a bottle is a wonder to me. I can only testify as one who finally took the courage to break free.
The butterfly, once outside her cocoon is not yet ready to fly. She must beat her wings for a time to fill them with blood and strengthen them for flight. The first months of 2009 were devoted to wing therapy and pre-flight training. Exercises included chopping fruits and veggies for nourishing meals, practicing yoga and hula hooping. By late summer, the long-awaited moment arrived. With renewed strength, I spread my wings and flew! With the courageous and loving support of my husband, family and friends, I have embarked on a journey to explore and empower my authentic self. I recognize this as the purpose and meaning I longed for on that New Year’s Eve so long ago and that, in truth, each moment is rich with purpose and meaning.
On September 8, 2009, I landed at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health where I will offer my seva (selfless service) as a volunteer for 4 months. This special place is dedicated to the inquiry into what creates a fulfilled human life of thriving and health. Kripalu offers the opportunity to develop authenticity, full self-expression, radical self-trust, courage and unconditional positive regard for each other. Each day I am practicing the art of integrated living, where what I think, feel, say and do are all in alignment. Abundant opportunities to live with purpose and meaning are offered in this special place.
In a sense, Kripalu is my new cocoon. Transformation is occurring and preparing me for the next stage of Life. Often at the close of yoga practices here, we bow to ourselves and each other offering the Sanskrit blessing, “Jai Bhagwan”, which means victory to your Highest Self. I am so happy and grateful for the victory of arriving in this moment, feeling good and fully alive. Jai Bhagwan!
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Written by Meridith Perry