Even though there have been some days when I was really tired, and a few nights when I could not fall asleep until 6 am, I still feel better than I did before. My fatigue has a different quality to it -- less of a sick fatigue feeling, more like the fatigue I used to feel when I was overworked and under-rested.
Nevertheless, I find during low energy states that I start doubting everything.
Am I really improving?
Could this be my imagination?
I'm not doing nearly as well as I like to think.
Many variations of these thoughts flutter through the synapses of my brain. I grab onto them, letting them weight me down with self-pity, fear, and disappointment, collecting them until I am more tired, more sick, and more wired.
I know this pattern too well. It's one that developed as ME-CFS became chronic. As fluctuating symptoms sent me on an emotional roller coaster, leaving me frustrated and powerless, I gradually discovered ways to gain some control. If I become hyper-alert to slight fluctuations in my physical state, I could avoid the worst symptoms.
Thus, if I realized I needed to eat before I felt hungry, I could avoid the crushing symptoms of fluctuations in blood sugar. If I put on socks and a sweater the minute I felt cold, I'd be less likely to get a runny nose. If I sat down, or did yoga, as soon as sensations in my feet indicated I'd been standing long enough, I could avoid a full-blown attack of POTS. Thus, this hyper-vigilance served me well in becoming proficient at my own self care.
But it also limited me because I became conditioned to think that my limit today would be the same as my limit the day before. I wanted a certain modicum of stability and predictabilty. And so, without realizing what was happening, I slipped from caution into fear.
As I lay in bed the day the San Diego Trivedi retreat ended, I noticed the fearful "What if?s" arising in my consciousness. What if I feel sick again when I get home? What if I get stressed again on the flight? Will I lose everything I've gained? I had an internal dialogue, trying the subdue those anxious thoughts. Yet I knew they would return more insistently when I returned to the environment in which I'd been sick for so many years.
Enter Linda White, a shaman/healer living in San Diego, who had given me a ride home the first night of the retreat, and who had offered to help me work with "those conditioned thought patterns and beliefs that have to change in order for us to get well." "The key to not falling back into old patterns," she said, "is to develop new patterns to heal and replace the unconscious conditioning."
I could see how powerful was the downward pull of my mind, how I kept identifying with my sick body and wounded spirit-mind even though I wanted to identify with the new radiant, expansive, energetic me! I made an appointment for the next day, where I learned two affirmations that allow me to return to that radiant, expansive state even when I am tired.
Next, while waiting for my flight to board at the airport, I wrote a list of every little way in which I have improved since meeting Mr. Trivedi on April 30. I knew I'd return to this list the next time doubt, fear, and fatigue clouded my awareness of my transformed self.
Nearly two weeks later, everything on the list is still 100% true. And while I returned to the list to type this blog post, I never had to look at it. I merely remembered it and felt my inner organs smile. Then I could do the centering technique and move back into a peaceful state.
Here is my list, weighted towards my physical symptoms.
- no more post dental surgery bad breath
- improved sleep
- no more palpitations
- less tachycardia (documented in blood pressure monitor log)
- less chest pain
- more stable blood pressure
- higher average blood pressure (closer to optimal)
- infrequent dry mouth
- less volume of urine
- increased desire to do things
- ability increased to deal with mental challenges
- tasks previously frustrating now seem moderately easy
- waking only once a night often
- waking usually only twice a night when stressed
- falling asleep more easily
- return of sexual desire (when not tired)
- more swollen glands (before San Diego retreat)
- more sore throats (before San Diego retreat)
- more pain & inflammation in damaged right eye
- recovered quickly from strep throat infection
- immune system mounting fevers
- able to eat cow dairy (mmmm ice cream)
- able to drink caffeinated tea
- able to drink decaf coffee in morning
- orthostatic intolerance less severe
- able to stand long enough for personal care like showering, meal preparation and clean-up
- recover from overexertion more rapidly
- can take short walks (20 minutes)
- less soreness after exercise
- shorter duration of soreness after exercise (weights, yoga)
- at retreat, danced freely one song and did not get sick
- can manage on less sleep when necessary
- reduced mind chatter
- able to do small projects around house
- rarely feel cold, except when tired
- rarely get wired, hyper state
- recover more quickly from wired state
- feel lighter, more expansive
- more optimistic most of the time
- experience waves of gratitude and love
The first night of his return, I felt a hollow in my heart center which led me to talk with him and realize, to my amazement, that the next phase of my healing journey is about our relationship. At the end of the retreat, I had thought, apparently mistakenly, that it would be about finding my path of service and work.
But the energy of the Trivedi blessings unfolds in ways we can’t anticipate.I remember Guruji Trivedi stating on one of the knowledge calls that he can’t know what will bring happiness to any individual, since for one person leaving an abusive relationship might be the path while for another finding a soul-mate will happen.
Two days later we argued about something that had been bothering me for quite a while. I wanted to ‘let it go’, but I felt my anger flare. It was apparently unimportant enough in the big scheme of things that I can no longer remember what we argued about a mere two days later! But argue we did.
In this unhappy state, we went our separate ways until, in late afternoon, when I was sitting in bed feeling sick, I initiated a conversation and found the heart-hollow feelings of the previous evening re-emerging with a new level of awareness.Had I journaled soon afterwards, I might have remembered what that was. But the memory is gone now…for more thoughts and feelings came to fill all my consciousness. (And I guess my memory still has a lot of room for improvement)
Shortly after our peaceful reconciliation, I became aware how quickly I improved, how my swollen gland diminished, my sinuses cleared, and my temperature regulation began to function better, giving me a chance to write an earlier version of this post, which disappeared when I went to save it.. GRRRR! Anger flared strongly again that night about my continuing-to-malfunction computer despite my having spent two weeks restoring it with a new OS, reloaded drivers and programs.
Late that evening, while I lay in bed trying to relax, I saw a pattern in my life that I had never before noticed. The awareness started with admitting that the very things I was judging in my partner were issues I also had: e.g. being self-absorbed, starting and not finishing things, taking on too much, not acting according to the priorities I want to choose but out of old conditioning.
The most powerful of these was seeing how much I had been self-absorbed since coming down with ME-CFS in 1987. That trauma, on top of the traumas of a failed first marriage and a beautiful intelligent daughter lost to autism, left me in the vulnerable state of looking outside myself for a fix. I didn’t know what I wanted or what I needed to fix. Yet I believed that a loving, nurturing man would make me feel better. And so I fell victim to men who offered care-taking, who were willing to put up with my self-absorption and neediness, who seemed strong, able-bodied, and emotionally together, all the time being blind to who those men really were.
It seems now that everything I have been angry about is coming to the surface and that I no longer have the capacity to ignore it. I feel how these emotions disconnect me from spirit, making me contract into a hard tight dense being which doesn't allow the energy to flow freely through.
Guruji Trivedi reminds us that we are all capable of being perfect conductors of divine energy. We just have a lot of resistance, unlike animals and plants, all of which respond to one blessing. Most of us humans need one blessing after another as we struggle to release ourselves from physical, energetic, and mental-emotional patterns that create resistance to the currents of grace.