A Story of Miracles
by Alisha Hayes
Today, sixteen years ago, my womb birthed a baby
with azure pools of light for eyes, drenching all
in divine love. From that warm clutch,
God individuated into a whimsical pied piper,
achingly tender with little ones, yet who
lunges through hundreds of pounds of
testosterone and muscle for the touchdown.
In the shape of an inverted heart, that blessed pouch
gave me sons who hug me so tightly I gasp.
Each time, I try to impart all my love,
for all time, in case it’s our last time.
For, today, too, I am told my womb is laden
with cancer. How can a bowl of life spill death?
Just as when I bathed, with my fingertips and rose
water, my sister’s baby girl who was
unspeakably beautiful, perfect and… stillborn.
The only way it makes sense
that the plush of creation
could be the creaking armchair
of destruction is that God knows better….
That, today, my womb is birthing me.
That, she, like women do, is sacrificing
herself for the greater good so I will cease
doing so unnecessarily. The martyr within,
with her darting eyes and pleated brow,
must languidly lay herself out upon the pink
rose strewn altar of unconditional self-loving.
Today, the womb of the Divine Mother is rebirthing me.
She wraps the warm body of her love
around me and croons, “I bequeath you
the collective empowerment of your sisters’ birthing
joy, forgetting all anguish, when they hold
the only child of God in their arms.
And you are all the only child of God.”
She murmurs, “I speak love into the cells of your living
temple that they may be
fragrant, like a crushed rose winding,
nonetheless, to the Light.
I drip the honey of receiving onto your tongue. Let go,
let go needing to be needed.
Your beingness is sufficient.”
I whisper, “Mother God, today, I lay down my life
for you.” She demurs,
“Then pick it up and truly live!
Heart first, tongue first, swaggering
with the fruits of your self-loving.”
“Yes!” Today, the prickly pear
of self-denial ripens into a juicy
pomegranate dripping a sweet
“Yes!” to life. Therefore, I will say No
when I mean No.
I will be true to myself.
If I want love, I will be love.
I will be free.
Today, indeed, my womb is birthing me.
First, I clutched the billowy Italian bedspread my mother had given me to my chest and wept. Then I just stared at the bedroom walls painted a discomforting red in the rented house that never felt anything like a home to me. My saintly doctor of almost twenty years had just given me the news at 6:00 am that I had aggressive uterine cancer, necessitating the immediate removal of five organs. Gradually, my lifelong habit of spiritual devotion gathered itself about me and I burrowed my head into the shoulder of my Lord. I still can’t adequately explain the peace that blanketed me. I heard within that the cancer was the arbiter between freedom I had assiduously sought but had never been able to grant myself and imprisonment within limiting beliefs and unnecessary martyrdom. I also knew that the potential surgery portended an upward change of consciousness for me.
Thanks to J-R’s teachings, I could believe that the cancer was for me, not against me. Not that I didn’t get afraid. Over the months of the adventure I am about to unfurl for you, I shook plenty.It would have been far easier to have just let my kindly surgeon ‘cut it out’ of me then to do what we MSIAers do—utilize our inner and outer resources to decode the messages encrypted in challenges, having faith that are sent straight from a loving God. That I received a new lease on life from this seeming death sentence is yet another validation of the work we do that returns our gaze upward.
The First Ordinary Miracle
I contemplated calling my family. My sister, Krishna, is five years older than me, a gynecological surgeon and a Southern Baptist Republican. For fun, she’s a general in the U.S. army. We are quite different and I could never find a bridge to her. We were so distant, it would not have been odd for me to not call and tell her I was possibly dying. However, I intuitively picked up the phone and called her first. She took my call in the middle of her busy medical rounds. When she heard my news, decades of estrangement melted away. She explained the gravity of my situation but also why it would be highly desirable to keep some of the organs of which the current grade of cancer implicated excision. For example, she told me that removing ovaries in a woman under sixty-five increases the odds of every cause of death.
Though she did not believe I could go into the “spontaneous remission” (I now believe remissions are likely not just “spontaneous” but are the natural result of conscious choice and effort) that would be required to reduce the surgery she called my doctor and requested a second opinion on the biopsy. Over the next two months, she oversaw my medical care and offered to come take care of me for a few days after surgery. (She is also the Founder/CEO of a National Medical Board Review Company and this was her busiest time of year so it was a grand gesture on her part.) That I magically got my big sister back was the first miracle in this story and I have cried tears of joy more than once in wonder upon it.
Prayer Communion and J-R
A few days after the diagnosis, my soul sister, Heide, hosted prayer communion for me at her home for the ten or so friends I’d told. Someone brought food (refuting my habitual offer to feed everyone myself) and folks chatted amicably. I went into the bathroom and collapsed on the cold tile floor, because while this soirée seemed just like the spiritual/ social gatherings we’d had for decades, this one was in honor of…my cancer. Life was not ordinary anymore.
They laid me upon downy plush white blankets on an elegant bed and stood in a circle around me. Michael was at my head, Heide tenderly held a few fingers of my left hand, a man clutched my right hand tightly as if to say he had me, and two women gently clasped my feet. All the others embraced each other while everyone prayed and chanted over me. The intimacy and physical touch made me feel safe enough to finally let the child in me sob. Feeling baptized, I melted into my friends’ eyes beaming love and then my gaze lifted up into the countenance of J-R. I “heard” him say that if I wanted to change my consciousness, I would have to make healing my number one priority, and by doing so I would be transformed. He suggested I confess my ignorance. We both agreed that would be super easy. He told me he had kept himself from me physically so that I could become the minister I am. I asked what kept me away from knowing him more inwardly. He said it’s that I don’t take enough time for myself—to do SE’s, write, relax. Then he told me he had never left me and he never would. This time my tears were soft as a Balinese sun shower.
All I Need is An Ordinary Miracle
Krishna’s insistence on a second opinion, necessitating a one week stall of the surgery, bought me time to find my faith, and I didn’t look back. I intuited that I needed some sort of surgery for spiritual reasons, even if the cancer were to disappear completely. I recalled J-R saying karma can be cleared with the knife, and that going that far out of the body because of anesthesia can usher in transformation. Several folks reminded me that it did for him in 1963 when he received the keys to the Traveler Consciousness. I believed it would bring a blessing for me. Oddly, my mind seemed to have been temporarily hijacked regarding the issue of surgery and I never questioned having it until after the surgery but um, too late. I appeared to have been in the “bubble”of what seemed to be a spiritual action. Of course, I would have preferred to receive the blessing in a considerably gentler way, but there is no greater romance than falling in love with what is.
Though I felt in congruence with the lesser surgery, the cancer grade was too dire for the surgeons to agree to it. As well as being fond of the aforementioned body parts, I wanted more time to avail myself of the highly compelling message being sent. I told my surgeon, Cedar Sinai’s finest, Dr. Li, that I wanted to delay the surgery. He was not having it. He told me a month or two would afford me nothing to lower the grade to be less invasive and in fact might be enough time to allow the cancer to metastasize (spread throughout the body) requiring chemotherapy and possibly taking my life.
Fortunately, God intervened. Both labs that evaluated the original biopsy and a doctor’s office misplaced my pathology slides! The odds of both doing so are staggering. Apparently, it’s not good for a doc or laboratory’s street cred to lose cancer slides. While they were all flustered and busily pointing fingers at each other, I was in awe, thanking God for buying me more time sans scary talks about how I would die without immediate surgery.
I started focusing on putting myself in a place to receive an “ordinary miracle.” I wanted to soften the immensity of what it would be to release cancer from my body in just weeks. I didn’t want to scare the parts of me that needed to be in cooperation to affect this paradigm shift. So, receiving an ordinary miracle became my intention. After all, miracles hold us to their chest like cherished lovers everyday—an infant’s first breath, a déjà vu, a storm being weathered we were sure would demolish us…So, this would be just another routine marvel.
Take Care of Yourself First…
Heeding J-R’s directive to prioritize my healing, I started reducing my workload as a counselor and business owner, and withdrew, at least temporarily, my bid to be a supermom and super wife/caregiver. Spirit playing hide and seek with the slides and me standing in my truth and telling the docs I was delaying surgery bought me about six more weeks. I got down to the business of courting an ordinary miracle on every level. The stakes were high; I was game.
I did not feel the need to “fight” the cancer as t- shirts I was gifted, and the internet, both advised. Please note that I’ve had a worse attitude with lesser things, like a head cold. I suppose there’s something about staring into a one-way tunnel of light that illuminates one while also inspiring them to look back over their shoulder to make sure there’s no unfinished business to complete.
I read that cancer is for folks who can’t say no. Yep, that was me. Steve Chandler, who is mentoring me in being a life coach as well as a counselor, asks a brilliant question, “Are you truly serving or are you pleasing?” Hmm, sometimes I was truly serving. Sometimes, I was overdoing to please. I had been a compulsive doer; it was time to honor my beingness. I am deeply grateful to my husband, Michael, my sons, Josh and Danny, and our two assistants who took up the slack and calmed my panic over mounting medical bills so I could prioritize my healing. It’s not lost on even me that while I was doing a fraction of the things I used to do, no child’s limbs fell off, and neither the household nor business folded in upon itself. Hmm, maybe I’m not nearly as important as I thought I was…
As I gingerly let go of some of my responsibilities, my life started to became a revelation of working with my body’s rhythms instead of demanding it to adapt to my [ego’s] workaholism. I slept much more. (I was experiencing a fatigue I had never known was possible. I would collapse in bed, wracked with pain and exhaustion, as my body tried to heal itself.) I realized that I had had the belief that I was worthy of existence—especially to my very high achieving family—only to the extent that I, well, achieved. However, it’s just my misunderstanding of how to create space in my life that makes me overdo and over-give. It became important to understand what part of me I was serving—my beingness or my ego? My husband Michael says life’s a dance between making it happen (the male side) and allowing it to happen (the female side). While I was healing, I came more into a state of flow, of feminine receptivity and life became so much more…healing.
God Can Work Through An Imperfect Vessel
I used to think I had to be balanced and “have it all together” to facilitate and to do the counseling work I do. My highly not-together life had already kindly demonstrated that this belief was nonsense but if I was in any doubt, the cancer blew that mythology out of the water. I worked with clients just hours after I was given the cancer diagnosis. I looked in faces distraught about issues seemingly far less than cancer, and I focused on serving and loving exactly where I found both of us. I co-facilitated our class series, Awakening to The New Jerusalem, the next day after my first visit to the oncologist. I just did what I normally do, which is to ask that I disappear so Spirit may appear, surrender into the divine unknowing and love whomever is in front of me. I worked to assist folks to find the very faith that was being severely tested in me. When we think we have nothing to give is precisely when we need to give so that we discover we have plenty to give, if we are coming from the infinite source of giving itself—God.
I did not tell clients or participants for quite a while and they later said they had no idea anything was amiss because, well, in that moment of being gathered together in the name of the Lord, nothing was. I learned that it’s nonsense that I can’t do the work when I am personally taken to my knees because it’s not about me at all. God is doing the work and in my experience and, to my undying gratitude, He is not limited by a highly imperfect vessel. It seemed that all that was required was the one thing in my pithy job description which is: get out of the way. Apparently, our loving and openness is enough.
God Loves all Its Creation, Even Cancer
I was unsure if I should tell everyone I had cancer. I didn’t want folks to worry or tell me what a terrible thing it was. I didn’t want clients to stop calling. I had to process my belief that I was a spiritual failure (now there’s a contradiction in terms) if I had cancer. There’s all this talk about how if one stays in a positive state, they will never get sick, and certainly not get cancer! Well, yes, but I think that’s also oversimplifying things. That dictum does not take into account each individual’s unique and intricate karma. Nor that illness itself can clear karma and also deliver spiritual healing if one has the eyes to see the opportunity. But can’t it come in an easier way? Apparently, sometimes yes; sometimes nope.
I worked weekly with Roxann Burroughs, Byron Katie’s daughter, who taught me Katie’s work of sacrificing limiting beliefs so that one lives from free-flowing consciousness. Roxann told me the story of when Katie had a profound illness and was dying. Her lungs filled with fluid and she could not breathe. She said there was not a single argument in Katie with this reality. Katie was ultimately accepting and peaceful. At no time did Roxann experience any stress or confusion from her mother despite the dire, painful condition of her body. She said as long as she physically touched her mother, she too was peaceful and that it was the sweetest time of her life with her.
Then as fast as Katie went down, she came up. She started breathing on her own and stopped dying instantly. The hospital set up hospice care, a walker etc. for her, but Katie needed none of it. She came back into life as wondrously as she had started to die. Afterward, Katie said she just couldn’t find a problem with the illness, the dying, any of it. She was in complete cooperation, come what may. Roxann said she’d never been in the presence of anyone, or anything, more still. She said she didn’t believe Katie’s illness was the result of any lack of spirituality on her part.
So maybe illness is not a failure; maybe it’s actually a success ready to bloom all over our world, if only we look a little more closely for blossoms masquerading as thorns. If creating a life-threatening illness is not failing then perhaps we are never failing? Perhaps our only job is to bring back our experiences to the Father so that He may learn more about loving through us. Maybe we really can dance through this thing called life…
I slowly started telling folks my story, with candor and vulnerability. It felt wonderfully freeing! My ministerial blessing is all about opening myself to receive. I recall Michael saying that if you won’t receive, you’ll be put in a position where you have to. Okay, okay, I get it…I started asking for light, prayers, seeds, prayer communion. I was overwhelmed by how graciously and lovingly folks received the news, and so I started telling everyone. I sent out emails asking for prayer communion and was bowled over by all the folks that showed up. I wept through most prayer communions, so grateful and moved by the loving being directed towards me. I posted on MSIA’s Heartreach list. Cards, seeds, emails, and flowers started pouring in. I wept repeatedly at your kindness. I still have a bulletin board of all the beautiful cards I received during this time that reminds me to reach out to others in a similar situation. I have no adequate words to thank you and so this article is part of my attempt to do so. Every single expression of your loving healed me…heals, I believe, us all.
Healing Via Chanting and Other Alternative Therapies
Just a few days before I was diagnosed, I had become a patient of Dr. Mark Holmes, a deeply studied and gifted Oriental Medical Doctor and MSIA minister. I shared my diagnosis with him and was moved by how highly intended he was towards my healing. It seemed to be a spiritual set up as Mark had been my client for four years before this, with the intention to deepen his spiritual attunement and ability. I was now a grateful recipient of our work together. I believe the clarity of his consciousness and the keys of healing he holds allowed me to receive the deeper medicine in his needles, herbs, hands, nutrition and presence.
He did some fascinating techniques such as chanting the Ani-Hu outwardly, and his initiatory tone inwardly, directing the energies toward the cancer in the uterus. He also utilized a Chinese medical visualization technique to dissolve tumors that starts with “Dissolve” and progresses into ‘Disperse, scatter, dispel, come loose’ to ‘Completely break up’ to “Gone, disappear” and ending with “Healed, recovered, done, finished.” There is a viral video on the internet of a tumor shrinking (seen on ultrasound) as three Asian doctors utilized this technique:
Every session brought a new revelation of inhibitions towards freedom to sacrifice and spiritual expansion to live into. I was inwardly urged to jump off the cliff of what I knew, and Spirit was there through a sage and steady Mark, sometimes pushing, sometimes catching me. Through it all he demonstrated a spiritual mastery with healing to a level I have rarely experienced.
You Can’t Afford the Luxury of a Negative Thought
J-R wrote the book, You Can’t Afford the Luxury of a Negative Thought for folks with life threatening illnesses. If I haven’t confessed enough already, here’s more. I didn’t think to pick that book up during my illness. However, I did make the concept my directive towards health. I started ‘babysitting’ my thoughts and subconscious beliefs.
Roxann helped me to slow down my thoughts so I could be more aware of them. She explained a brilliant analogy from Byron Katie. She asked me, “Who would you rather be—a person burning a baby alive or the baby?” Of course, I said I’d rather be the baby. She told me that when I speak to myself unkindly I am being the person burning the baby, which feels awful. I didn’t want to be that person so I started slowing down and observing my thoughts and reframing them towards loving.
I realized the cancer was an irrefutable message that I can no longer tolerate, perhaps even survive, my reaction to perceived oppression. A few days after I was diagnosed, someone yelled harshly at me. I slowed down my thoughts and observed what I was saying to myself—things like “they don’t love me,” “they are a jerk,” “I want to die” …(seriously). I then realized how mean I’d be if I was saying these things to a woman who was just told she has cancer. So, in that very moment, I changed my thoughts to: “They love me—they are just hurting. I love me. God loves me. I am just going to walk away while they calm down…”
I observed that if I pay attention to my thoughts in that moment, I don’t react. I remain centered and don’t take their upset personally. I was given an image to help me remember this. There’s little I like better than being warm and cozy when it’s cold and raining outside. I get so excited when water actually falls from the sky in LA. I was shown I could be like that—be safe and comfortable in my center even when others were storming outside me. Just as I love the rain for the opportunity to snuggle by the fire, I can welcome discord for the chance to go deeper into my heart.
After I started sacrificing my inner critic and reframing my thoughts in a much more loving way, my outer relationships tended to reflect my sweeter inner relationship. I developed a mantra during this time about everything that occurred: “What’s good about this?”
Mark Holmes told me that according to Oriental medicine, worry weakens the immune system and that speaking kind words, thinking kind thoughts and winning in your fantasies strengthens the immune system. He also told me that J-R said that the basic self will win in a contest of will so it is important to keep images in our mind that we want more of rather than just demanding of ourselves to cooperate. Speaking kind words moves us into the center and allows the abdomen to relax and digest foods, herbs and supplements to strengthen the immune system to be competent against cancer, environmental poisons, stress, etc.
Healing Crises and An Even More Dire Diagnosis
Then suddenly I had a healing crisis that ultimately cleaned out some of the cancer. I manifested a kidney infection so severe that I had 104-106 fevers for six days. I could not keep down a single antibiotic or even water. Dr. Crane insisted I go to the emergency room immediately. I believed there was a higher order happening and that I was not to go to the hospital. Michael and others combined their significant healing arts and I was able to stay home and recover despite my advanced illness
The errant pathology slides had finally been found (LOL). I had gotten an appointment for the second opinion my sister had insisted upon with the director of Cedar Sinai’s Oncology Department. Though I was still very ill with a kidney infection, the director insisted our visit could not wait and I got out of bed to see her. She had called a whole conference of docs and pathologists to review my slides. Their pronouncement of my impending mortality was far more dire than the original lab’s. In excruciating detail, my doctor painted a picture of tumors all over my uterus and cervix. Wow. Nothing like the brilliant, brash director of a world-famous oncology department to intimidate you. Understandable, however, I was puzzled as to why I, a normally independent woman, kept being reduced to a child when I spoke to the doctors. I had to chuckle when I recalled that my father, big sister, big brother, stepfather and brother-in-law are all MD’s and so I reflexively became juvenile with physicians. Oh, boy, something else to sacrifice.
Two More Ordinary Miracles
So, now I had an even worse diagnosis. However, this one was from the initial biopsy done six weeks before and I had done massive healing work since then. I requested a second biopsy. The doctor said doing a second biopsy could liberate cancer cells into the rest of my body and she strongly advised against it. However, when they had finally found the slides, my doctor was so chagrined about losing them, he had offered to hand deliver them to the pathology lab himself (Beverly Hills doctors don’t do that). Then he left them in his car. For five days. In the California summer sun. This necessitated the second biopsy. God has a great sense of humor, don’t you think?
I told them I would come back to Cedars-Sinai for the second biopsy in a week. I had done the USM CHH Lab two weeks before and wanted to do the USM Practicum the following week as well. I still had a 104 fever late Thursday night and Practicum was the next day, Friday, in retreat several hours’ drive away. I would need a miracle to go on my own to a seven day, fourteen-hour-a-day workshop. That night I offered up a fervent prayer for another ordinary miracle and drifted into a feverish sleep. I woke several times that night drenched in sweat. I changed my pajamas three times in the night. The next morning, I woke with no fever! I dressed, found a travel doctor to see my son, Joshua, who had just come home ill from India, took him to the doctor, came home, literally threw things in a suitcase, and collected son #2, Daniel, to drive him to his football game on the way to Practicum. He’s the Quarterback, the leader of the team, and if he was not on time, the coach would punish the whole team. We were running fifteen minutes late, yikes! I prayed for a time warp in our favor and magically traffic opened up at rush hour in LA. (That may be the biggest miracle of this whole deal.) We got there one minute early! I drove somewhat dreamily to the desert and walked into the Practicum classroom that evening, pale, thin and weak but spilling over with gratitude and delight.
God Loves all His Creation. Gestating with Cancer cells
That week at Practicum, lifelong emotions were released, deep secrets were revealed about a major life change the cancer was unceremoniously telling me I needed to make, unconscious beliefs were reframed and lots of love was made—both within myself and with the few hundred “strangers” who embraced me as their own.
Finally, I was ready to dialogue with the cancer cells. I freaked out my trio partners who said my entire voice, body and demeanor changed, that it was the cancer cells speaking, not me. The first thing the cells asked was,
“What do you want?”
I could not answer that. I said, “I don’t know. What does God want? What does Michael want? What do my kids, authority figures, parents, clients, friends etc. want? What does it matter what I want?!”
The cells said, “Lifetimes and lifetimes of saying yes when you mean no, of bending yourself into what you thought others wanted you to be, of deciding what you wanted based on what you thought would please others. Is that how you want to be? We are here for you, not against you. What. Do. You. Want?”
They kept repeating just those four words over and over. I had to beat pillows, stomp, kick, yell, scream and cry like a child until I was doubled over before I could answer that question. Finally, I sat up, eyes open wide and the following spoke out of me like a stridently rose tipped dawn coloring up the darkest night:
“I want to live! I want to live. For the first time, I want to live here without qualification. I’m bigger and badder and stronger than you, cancer cells. The light could wipe you clear in an instant. I want to live.”
They said, “As soon as you allow yourself to be free and to stop dancing around the god of opinion and playing small like a native worshipping St Elmo’s Fire (Illusion) we will go away.”
I asked, “Did it have to be this way?”
“Because it’s time for you to say yes to yourself. For you to truly live. You were not doing it another way. It’s been lifetimes coming. You have many gifts. It’s time to believe in yourself and use them. What do you want?”
“I want to live. I want to be healed. I want to know true love. I want to say yes when I mean yes and no when I mean no. I want to do my work and classes. I want to know I will thrive. I want to believe I can go into remission right now. I want to be cancer free. I want to live.”
Their very last words to me: “Very Good.”
I saw the cells were birthing me, not killing me. I flooded them and myself with unconditioned forgiveness and love. I understood so much more how God loves all His creation.
The Second Biopsy. Ordinary Miracles, Indeed
I went home and got the second biopsy. I got the improbable news that in just six weeks, with no medical intervention, the cancer had moved down to a much lesser grade, which meant I could have the lesser surgery My doctor was very surprised and could not explain it. We can, right? Love heals all and love healed me.
Spiritual Healing AND surgery
The surgery was scheduled for the next day. I did wonder about still doing the surgery at this point since I had received spiritual and physical healing. I recalled a story a friend told me. She had surgery scheduled for breast cancer. J-R told her she had received a major healing of her breasts. She asked if she still needed the surgery. He said, “I told you that you had received a spiritual healing. I did not say you were cancer free.” So perhaps having surgery does not refute also receiving spiritual healing. Perhaps they can go hand in hand. Maybe one amplifies the other. Maybe spiritual healing comes in more than one form…and from the beginning of the diagnosis, I did believe I needed a surgery to clear karma and to be the arbiter of an upward change of consciousness.
So, I prepared for surgery with Mark. We blessed my uterus. I affirmed it was not where my mothering or my womanhood reside. I thanked it profusely for wrapping my babies in loving and safety and said a tender goodbye to it. We then went outside, put all the karma I wanted to release with the knife into an etheric bag, tied it up with a physical, satisfyingly large, crackly log and tossed it down the mountain. We watched it bounce down and break up like the burden the character in the movie, The Mission, was carrying did. In fact, to encourage me to feel brave, positive and to keep sacrificing everything less than love, I listened to the song “Heaven and Earth” from The Mission over and over as they wheeled me into surgery and as I released consciousness,
Love is the Healer
When they opened me up just seven weeks after the original dire diagnosis, one doctor said they found no cancer and the other said they found almost no cancer! The biopsy of the uterus they removed showed the cancer had gone down from covering most of my uterus to less than five percent of it. My surgeon seemed flummoxed, like he almost couldn’t believe it, though the empirical evidence was right in front of him. He told me, “Keep doing what you’re doing because it worked!” Yes, thank you, I shall. There was no fighting of the cancer and no medicine bombs to blow it up. The cancer cells simply uncloaked their hooded, gaping mouths, told me the truth I could not tell myself, and revealed that underneath fear is love waiting to be kissed fully on the mouth.
An Ordinarily Miraculous Awakening
I awoke from surgery in bliss and fully lucid. I cheerfully informed the nurse I was ready to go home. She stared at me incredulously and told me to go back to sleep for a few hours and then they would then be transferring me to my hospital room. I implored her to tell my doctor I was totally cognizant, my vitals were good and I would likely be able to stand and dress with little help, and so to inquire if I could go home now. She departed, shaking her head.
Michael came in and gave me the good news about them finding no or almost no cancer. I told him I experienced Jesus present. Here’s a few words of many I recorded on my phone that I heard immediately after surgery. To me, his words are for us all which is why I share them with you here.
“Allow me to work through you in ordinary ways which may seem miraculous but you, with a wink, will know the ordinariness of the spirit in extraordinary ways. Do not get caught up in amazement or surprise for God’s works are more ordinary than this world’s musings and wanting to worship. Do not waste time with guilt, sorrow nor regret for I breathe through you, talk through you and walk through you. The ego and the unconscious may get in the way but are also God’s creation. You can walk as living love all the days of your life in a way that is better than you can imagine. Do your work simply. Just embrace it and celebrate.”
Just after I finished receiving this epistle, the nurse came back in, looked at me perplexedly and incredulously informed me that my surgeon said I could go home. Forty-five minutes after awakening from major surgery, I dressed myself, Michael and Mark helped me into the car and I went home! Once home, they both worked on me to take away the effects of the anesthesia, scalpel, nerve and circulation irregularities from the surgery. A few other friends came by, did prayer communion and celebrated with me late into the night. Best of all, my youngest son, who had his whole football team praying for me, ran in the moment I got home and gently embraced me, thrilled I was fine. It was so good to be home, in all the meanings of that word.
A few days later I made it down the stairs on my own and was at my kitchen sink fastidiously washing a piece of fruit. I sank to my knees sobbing, as I realized I didn’t have to be quite so careful anymore. The cancer was gone! I dissolved in gratitude. I’d been living with this over my head for almost two months. I melted into the joy of having received the miracle of your loving and of the work we all do, which put me in a place to receive one of God’s ordinary miracles.
Toes to the Fire, Moving Forward
Because I did not allow them to remove more organs, I still need to be checked every three months for five years. I don’t mind my toes being held to the fire. I am stubborn and could backslide into the consciousness that allowed the illness. In my experience, change is not a fixed point, it’s a process that needs to be persisted in to move the dial and keep it spinning upward. As I write this article, just a few months out, I am embarrassed to see the things I have forgotten to live into daily. I hope I have made it abundantly clear that I don’t think I did anything special. I can’t even cure the cold I just got. I’m not going to judge myself (much)- I will just keep bending my knee in surrender to the God of love that healed me. It continues to be a day-by-day, moment-by-moment choice of whom I’m serving, especially since I have gone back to handling many responsibilities.
Speaking of which, I accomplished little the two and a half months I had cancer and then was recovering from surgery, and yet I was never happier. I am reminded of when I had the HINI Flu and Pneumonia at the same time (apparently, I don’t get subtle messages, up until now). I accomplished little that month either but at the end of it I was utterly content. I remember driving to Soul Dance (a spiritual dance evening that I facilitate) contemplating what the theme of the night would be—loving, joy, peace…? But I did not have one single quality I wanted more of. I was complete. Why? I had stopped doing and was simply being. No wonder my ministerial blessing says over and over, “There’s nothing for you to do but to simply be and receive.” I so want to emulate J-R when he said, “What I do is done from the state of being, or I don’t do it.” That’s my lofty goal to aspire to. Um, I mean that’s my divine way of being to live into.
I can no longer think I can afford the luxury of a negative thought or allow myself to be in a toxic environment for too long. I must remember to slow down my thoughts and to speak kindly to myself and others. To take care of myself first so I may help take care of others. I am highly motivated to remain, or at least return to, the expanded, loving, and at times impeccable consciousness that put me in the place to receive healing.
This experience has given me more faith to believe in ordinary miracles and endless possibilities. It taught me that matter is really consciousness and that life responds to our thoughts and vision. And yet, just because we don’t “succeed” or get what we want, doesn’t mean we flunked holding a positive image or failed at loving. To me, it means, that God loves us so much that, though we may not see all the intricacies of our karma, all that occurs is for us, not to us. That She has more faith in us than we do ourselves and holds us to our highest spiritual potential.
Passing it On
I recently worked with a client who was diagnosed with cancer almost a year ago. He said he had been conditioned to adopt society’s perspective—that cancer is something to be fought against, feared and hated. I gently assisted him to dialogue with the cancer cells. He found the same thing I did: They were not against him. They were simply the arbiters of a life and death lesson about loving himself more. He wept at the experience of them loving him, him loving them and of how much he must love himself and God must love him. He’s now thriving. Will the cancer go away? We don’t know yet. But his experience of the cancer and of himself is transforming into one of loving and wonder instead of fear and hopelessness. I worked with another woman who approached things similarly and she has a clean bill of health. I want to emphasize that we can’t go for results—there are just too many karmic intricacies to consider—but we can always go for the loving.
If a friend has cancer, please shower them in love. Perhaps don’t overwhelm them with “miracle stories” (including my own) or “cures” as everyone has their own unique destiny and karma—but trust they will find the path that is best for them. But do know your love heals.
I have learned that what I feared most (cancer) is really as an act of loving sent from an adoring God. I see ahead a life of vibrant, radiant health as I serve and love others as I have been served and loved. My story, ongoing as it is, is yet another validation of the J-R tenet I am most in love with: “If you would know the secret of soul transcendence, look only for the good in people and things and leave all the rest to God.’”Thank you, J-R and thank you, all. I love you.