For the last month, I have been on hiatus from my work in clinical practice helping others heal. Beyond that, I've taken a conscious pause from planning, deciding, or even thinking about the future. In reflecting on the cancer cells growing in my body, I recognized that I have lived my entire life (as far as memory can go) in a state of achieving. I've done this by pushing with sheer fortitude of will, and let me tell you: I am POWERFUL! But this constant achievement (of which I am super proud don't get me wrong) has come at the expense of constantly engaging my body's survival mode to keep going. Something had to give, and my body certainly called me out.
So in all of my best thinking and research and consulting with the smartest people I know and meditating and praying...the one thing that I was CERTAIN of is that I needed to stop.
Stop having commitments. Stop trying to accomplish things. Stop future-pacing (living my present in service to a specific future). Stop pushing.
Let me be clear: there is absolutely a time and place for all of the above. It's just that I have done that so much in my life that I recognized the need to press 'pause'.
When people ask me what I'm doing to heal, my answer is this: "I'm not doing anything."
Not that I'm ignoring anything or being lazy or burying my head in the sand or refusing to participate in my healing. Just the opposite, in fact. I am SPECIFICALLY doing nothing. I wake up in the morning and follow what my body feels inspired to do. In all things, I am waiting until I feel pulled or inspired to do something, rather than making decisions with my intellect.
This means that a few weeks ago while visiting my Dad in New Hampshire, I wanted to go ice skating (for maybe the third time in 15 years). I skated for nearly the full 90 min of open rink time, with only two tiny breaks. This is huge! I felt so much joy at being able to move my body, I would burst into fast skating for a few laps, laughing with happiness. This is how I used to feel running, before a brain injury meant I can't do anything with impact (like jumping, or even going for a walk more than 10 min). I was so proud of myself for being able to get my heart rate up for that long, and still feel amazing at the end.
During that trip, I went to see old friends' band perform. I've always adored the pianist's style of playing accompaniment for vocals, and wished I could play like that. In my newfound spaciousness, I was inspired to ask him for a piano lesson. (The only lessons I've had are in solo piano, and not since I was a young child.) That 90 minutes was like magic. I've had trouble learning new things since sustaining a significant brain injury 5 years ago, but I was able to learn so much new material. I had one moment of brain overwhelm where I couldn't process anything else, so I paused the lesson to do a few quick Fascial Flow Method™ exercises and I was able to get right back into it and learn for the rest of our session! And now I have enough material to go practice for months...and since then, I've continued to feel drawn to play the piano more than I have in years.
By pausing much of the chaos of my daily life, not only has this created space for me to be inspired toward creativity and connection...
I am delighted to report that both tumors have gotten noticeably smaller, and are hurting much less!
I have not abandoned the idea of supportive nutrition, reducing EMF exposure, getting adjusted, or other physical support strategies. But the thing I have done EVERY SINGLE DAY WITHOUT EXCEPTION is to look inside for places where I am holding old pain, and ask my spirit what it needs to feel safe again. Mostly it is about letting go of trying to control everything. And this is no small task for someone who has held tightly to trying to control every little thing my whole life! It's is a daily practice, and I am far from perfect here.
But based upon the experiences I shared above, and even more, I know I'm moving in the right direction.
Still, at least 3 times a day, I catch myself wanting to plan the future, wanting to plan what my business might look like, how I want to participate in my community, to revise my goals. And I gently stop myself and say, "No, it's not time for that. Now is time for rest."
So for now, this is my healing plan: to continue resting, allowing myself to simply BE without 'doing', and allowing myself to move only when pulled via innate inspiration rather than cognitive deciding. If (and only if) my healing stalls, then I will reach for more strategies.
And more amazing news! I had a huge breakthrough in the organization of my first book, and I so look forward to sharing it with you soon :) For now, I will share the working title:
Overcoming Chronic Pain and Anxiety
with Simple Body-Based Brain-Hacking Strategies
The very best part is this: these last few weeks, I have found myself happy, clear and inspired as the default baseline more consistently than in recent memory. That is, I haven't needed to use my amazing strategies of coming back to center nearly as often as before. So for all the amazing exercises and brain-hacking strategies, the one that's my current fav is REST ;)
This is why I never wanted to create a "protocol" for patients - because we all need different things at different times. Other times in my life, fish oil was the magic thing that turned depression around (because I had a nutritional deficiency). Other times, fascial work has been the magic thing (because my body was stuck from trauma). Right now, it's rest.
It is my deepest wish for you that you take from my journey NOT that you need specifically 'xyz exercises' or 'rest' or 'fish oil', but that the thing that will always heal us is figuring out what your body and spirit need to support the innate self-healing capacity that we all have inside. I am here, living and breathing proof for you to see, that the body heals itself when you give it what it needs. Healing is an inside job.
Satya Sardonicus, DC, CACCP
Champion of Human Potential
Founder | Chrysalis Studio PDX
PS, local to Portland and want to hang out? You'll likely find me at the ice rink ;)