In 1983, I joined a market research company. A few months into the job, I did a presentation to a client accompanied by my account senior and group manager. It wasn’t my first presentation. Every time I looked up during the presentation, my manager was feverishly writing notes, which I took to mean he didn’t like what he was seeing and I started to become unglued. It got so bad that at one point, the Eastern regional sales manager asked me to explain the numbers on a chart, and my response was, “I don’t know, that’s just the way they came out of the computer.” The moment I uttered the words, I knew I had blown it and the presentation went downhill from there. By the end of it, I was a total mess! Afterwards, neither my account senior or manager said anything, but on the way out of the building I declared to myself that I would never let that happen again. And for the next 23 years, I didn’t!
I recently made a similar declaration as it relates to my experience with the symptoms of Parkinson’s.
Let me explain.
In the last three weeks, I have experienced a wild roller coaster ride of sleepless nights, high anxiety and intense symptoms, all resulting [I believe] from Bowen therapy purging.
My days have been characterized by higher than normal anxiety, extreme tension and trembling in my arms and hands, thick mental fog and significant difficulties with balance and freezing. What is more, I have been waking up every night and laying awake for a couple of hours trying to quell the tension, trembling and discomfort in my body by focusing on my breath and repeating my healing mantra. It has been intense!
This turmoil has prompted some insightful reminders. The first one came over a week ago. I woke up one night in a state of anxiety, tension, trembling and discomfort and while I was focusing on my breath, trying to understand the fear that was causing the symptoms [and trying to go back to sleep], it came to me that I was afraid of letting people down, disappointing them and not being loved, especially as it relates to my children. I suspect, that this is a fear I developed during childhood as it relates to my parents. Interestingly enough, the song, Could You Ever Love Me Again, by Gary and Dave, popped into my head at that moment. If I let you down, disappointed you, could you ever love me again?
This insight was important for two reasons. First, it helped me understand why I was feeling fear in that momentT[his awareness will help dissolve it]. Second, it confirmed my belief that I am purging unresolved emotional energy at night through my dreams. In other words, Bowen purging is taking place at night.
Later, after the insight, I was laying there worrying about trying to get back to sleep, wanting somewhat desperately to not feel the symptoms I was experiencing, when I had a reminder. Rather than being afraid of not getting back to sleep and rather than being afraid of feeling the symptoms I was feeling, I needed to turn around and walk right back into the symptoms, right back into the fear. Take the fear out of the fear! So what if I can’t get back to sleep! I can always nap during the day! And so what if my hands are trembling! It’s just my body reacting to an unconscious belief, and it’s temporary, it’s not going to last forever! It wasn’t long after that, the symptoms started to subside and I fell back to sleep.
The next night, I awoke to a recurring dream where I find myself back at the market research company I used to work for, and I’m walking around the building unable to find my office, not being seen or noticed by anyone. It came to me, that this dream represents my fear of being irrelevant. It also mirrors the feeling I had while working for this company, that I never belonged there.
Earlier this week, I had a couple of other insightful reminders. First, that I need to make sure that my thoughts and actions are aligned with my higher purpose. There is a reason why I am experiencing this health condition [and the fear that created it]. The universal-energetic-intelligence wants me to experience this condition [for whatever reason]. I need to stop resisting the experience by being frustrated and constantly thinking about not wanting it. I need to surrender to the will and wisdom of the universal-energetic-intelligence.
Last night I had another reminder. I need to stop focusing on the experience I don’t want and start focusing on the experience I do want. This is not easy when I’m constantly confronted with challenging symptoms. And yet it is essential especially for getting the body out of the fight or flight mode into the joyful dopamine and serotonin producing mode. So I need to stop focusing my attention on the experience I don’t want to have … loss of balance, freezing, trembling, fear and sleepless nights … and place my attention and give thanks for what I do want [act as if I already have it] … to have a body and mind that exist in a state of tranquility, to swim, play the guitar, sing, cook breakfast, type at the keyboard and drive down to Keswick to visit my children.
Oh yes, I had one more reminder. It was a reminder of what Indian spiritual teacher, Krishnamurti, said when asked what the key was to living in peace, love and joy. His response was this, No matter what happens, I don’t mind.
The declaration I spoke of earlier came in the midst of all this chaos, and it was this: I am not going to be ruled by fear. I’m not going to run away from it. I’m not going to do everything possible to avoid or not feel it. Rather, I’m going to accept it as a neccesary part of my experience, and I’m going to trust that my life is unfolding the way it is meant to and I’m going to have faith that no matter what happens, I will be okay.
One final point. As for that disastrous presentation I spoke of at the beginning of this post, while my account senior didn’t say anything after the presentation, he did walk into my office the next morning and hand me his written evaluation of my performance. It began with, “I couldn’t believe it as I watched you crumble before my very eyes!” Ouch! Hopefully, I don’t get the same sort of review from the universal-energetic-intelligence at the completion of my physical journey 🙂