Saturday, August 14, 2010

Forty improvements

I still feel good. Hurray!

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.

  1. no more post dental surgery bad breath
  2. improved sleep
  3. no more palpitations
  4. less tachycardia (documented in blood pressure monitor log)
  5. less chest pain
  6. more stable blood pressure
  7. higher average blood pressure (closer to optimal)
  8. infrequent dry mouth
  9. less volume of urine
  10. increased desire to do things
  11. ability increased to deal with mental challenges
  12. tasks previously frustrating now seem moderately easy
  13. waking only once a night often
  14. waking usually only twice a night when stressed
  15. falling asleep more easily
  16. return of sexual desire (when not tired)
  17. more swollen glands (before San Diego retreat)
  18. more sore throats (before San Diego retreat)
  19. more pain & inflammation in damaged right eye
  20. recovered quickly from strep throat infection
  21. immune system mounting fevers
  22. able to eat cow dairy (mmmm ice cream)
  23. able to drink caffeinated tea
  24. able to drink decaf coffee in morning
  25. orthostatic intolerance less severe
  26. able to stand long enough for personal care like showering, meal preparation and clean-up
  27. recover from overexertion more rapidly
  28. can take short walks (20 minutes)
  29. less soreness after exercise
  30. shorter duration of soreness after exercise (weights, yoga)
  31. at retreat, danced freely one song and did not get sick
  32. can manage on less sleep when necessary
  33. reduced mind chatter
  34. able to do small projects around house
  35. rarely feel cold, except when tired
  36. rarely get wired, hyper state
  37. recover more quickly from wired state
  38. feel lighter, more expansive
  39. more optimistic most of the time
  40. experience waves of gratitude and love
In the last few days, the unfolding of energy is working hard to heal my emotions, especially those associated with my marital relationship of fifteen years duration.  My partner went to Northern California when I left for San Diego and stayed an extra 8 days.

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.

Monday, August 2, 2010

I'm feeling FABUILOUS!

The Trivedi retreat ended yesterday after 5 pm, and boy did it transform my state!  My excitement is as palpable as champagne bubbles!  And indeed, I even drank champagne yesterday, for Trivedi (known to those of us who love him as Guruji) brought out champagne for all of us to have several tiny sampler glasses.  This was surely one of the highlights of the retreat for an alcohol-intolerant PWC like me, who can't even remember the last time I indulged in a few delicious tastes of that bubbling wine.

Here's what happened.  Twenty bottles of cheap champagne were poured into a large glass vat.  Volunteers filled 200 tiny cups and gave us each one as Guruji guided us to observe the size of the bubbles, the way the bubbles felt on tongue and palate, and the overall enjoyment of flavor and smells.  Then he took 10 minutes to work with his mind to send 'instructions' to the champagne to transform.  Samples were distributed again where we could all compare the blessed and the unblessed champagne.  The blessed champagne had bubbles that were much smaller, abundant, and better distributed.  The taste was also improved.  He did the blessing a second time and we got a third cup.   I even had a fourth cup when they had some extra.

He did this demonstration to help our minds overcome resistance.  We are all so skeptical.  Since we don't understand what he is doing and why it works, we tend to think that it can't really make a difference.  After all, how powerful are thoughts?

Well I have experience with the power of negative thinking.  I know how I can make myself depressed.  I how can make myself tremble with fear.  How I can make myself sleepless and restless, angry or self-pitying.  All such emotional states have a toxic impact on my physical state.  They make it worse, each in their own creative way.

Although I believe in the power of positive thinking, I've had less noticeable success in this area.  If I'm feeling down, I'm not so good at changing my thought patterns and seeing immediate results in my physical state.  It is easier to fall than to climb a mountain, easier to relapse than repair, easier to fall from grace than to regain it, easier to lose money than to recover my losses.  That has been my life experience, and therefore it has become deeply ingrained in my thinking.

Yet I have 'talked myself' out of pain during dental procedures (without anesthesia/lildocaine) by diverting my thinking onto pleasant, happy memories.  I have shifted my conscious awareness away from my surgery site so I never needed painkillers after my eye surgeries. 

Trivedi makes me aware of my connection to the Divine.  Since I believe God has unlimited power, and certainly the power to create miracles, all I really need to do is remain aware of that amazing, expansive connection.

Energy flows naturally.  We see that with heat, with light, with electricity.  It's in its nature.  It is its nature.  As the physicists tell us,  both particle and wave co-exist in all matter.  The Divine healing energy is always flowing but I often block its flow through me with my thoughts.

I won't bore you with all the details of the retreat (at least not today.)  The important thing is that, by Sunday afternoon, when I closed my eyes to pray for what I wanted at the beginning of each blessing, I suddenly realized that I have already received EVERYTHING.  My body and mind could take a little time to catch up -- the way Dr. Cheney described his body taking eight months to realize that it had the heart of an 18 year old and no longer needed to tamp things down.  So I ended the retreat asking not for physical healing, but for things like more loving relationships, abundance, creativity, and peace of mind.

When my friend came home at lunch time, he said I now seemed just like he remembered me when we met some 28 years ago.  That was the most awesome testimony I could ask for.

For those interested in being part of a Trivedi ME-CFS study, you'll hear from me soon.