Spent the day on the East Bay today. So many intersections. Here are a few highlights:
First, I met with Sandy, a friend from Hawaii. A month ago, when Sandy heard about my diagnosis, she gifted me with $100 of Mangosteen juice. Today, I picked up a new supply from her.
We started talking about mothers and she shared a powerful story. One of her friends was a devoted mother. She did everything for her kids who are now in their twenties. In the last week, all three of her kids told her in their own way that she was not a good mother. She was shocked.
She told Sandy that she had not been loved as a child, so she made sure that her children knew that they were loved. Sandy observed that the love that she was giving to her children was the love that she never got. She was not loving her children how they wanted/needed to be loved, but instead how she wanted to be loved.
For lunch, I met with ServiceSpace friends at Cafe Gratitude. We were talking about 10 day meditation retreats, fears around money, and one of our dear friends who has Aplastic Anemia. One of the volunteers summed up the whole conversation with an insight about equanimity. She said that it is not about reaching a destination whether that be financial security, enlightenment, or a clean bill of health. Meditation helps us embrace whatever arises with equanimity. It’s not about changing outcomes; it is about changing our present moment reactions.
After lunch, I headed to my mom’s house. She and my step-father were busy planning a trip, so for the first half-hour I just sat on the couch while they ironed out the details. I wanted to talk to my mom alone, but she seemed to want to talk in front of my step-father. I asked her a few questions about when she was pregnant with me. She mentioned one story about my father that revealed a scarcity mentality. My mom said that one of the soldiers my father was in charge of had an expecting wife, but wanted to buy a set of encyclopedias. My father felt the need to explain to this soldier that he needed to save his money for diapers, baby food, etc.
While in Hawaii, my uncle told me that one thing my father told him before he died was that he was satisfied that he had provided enough financially for his sons in the event of his dying.
My father seemed really concerned with financial security. Interesting how this concern gets transferred onto me, especially now when I’m dealing with medical bills and a lack of a steady income.
I only got to talk to my mom for about 20 minutes, but I was grateful for that and left for dinner at my friend’s house.
Backing Into the Future
My friend Michael made some fresh organic vegetable juice, guacamole with cucumber slices, and baked brussels sprouts chips for dinner. After we chowed, he offered me a healing session with modern Tarot cards. He asked me to pick three cards: one each for the past, present, and future.
For the past I drew “Transformation,” which in the classic tarot card deck is the Death card. It talked about rebirth.
The present card was “Solitude” that stressed the need to spend time alone in meditation, prayer, and solace.
The future card was “Heartbreak and Loss” that emphasized the need to go through the darkest aspects of life to find the Light.
Michael read into these cards what I had been sensing for months now. First, my egoic mind would like these cards in the reverse order. In my mind, I have already been through heartbreak and loss with the loss of my career, broken relationships, and the diagnosis. In the present, I spend time in meditation and prayer which leads to a future full of transformation. What a great story!
The reverse order, however, paints a different picture. The future holds more shadow that I need to be aware of. Michael emphasized that the cancer was a very small part of my spiritual development. I had the idea that if I made peace in all my relationships that this cancer would cure itself. I was in a rush to heal all these relationships to try to get rid of the cancer as soon as possible.
I even had the thought that if I healed the cancer, I would be a well-known and sought after Jedi Master: “The circuit is now complete. Now I am the master.”
These cards humble me and make me realize that I have more cleaning/clearing to do. The solitude card reminds me to go slowly and take care of myself. The heartbreak & loss card keeps me looking for shadow and blind spots.
Like Michael says, without an agenda the true path becomes clear. I’ve been so focused on my agenda to heal the cancer that I’ve lost sight of the present moment. I’m like Sandy’s friend who raised her children with the agenda of healing her childhood. If I drop my agenda of getting rid of the tumor or becoming enlightened, then true guidance and spiritual growth will come. It all comes back to equanimity and being in agreement/alignment with whatever the present moment offers–not wishing ANYTHING to be different.
Great meal at Cafe Gratitude followed by nourishing juice made with love by Michael.
Did morning prayers and exercises, although a shortened version, since I had an early appointment.
What a day of relationships. Spent time with wise elders, ServiceSpace volunteers, my mother and step-father, and Michael Brabant–a powerful healer.
Learning to navigate with an agenda-less rudder.
I kept a log of kûkae today. I’m using this to monitor my health, not for blog readers. :)
7:30 AM blood followed by medium BM
8:30 AM Large BM with a little blood
11:00 AM Large BM with a little blood
7:00 PM lots of bloody sediment, although not a lot of blood
8:50 PM small sediment with very little blood
Every few days, I seem to clear out a lot of my colon in one day, followed by days with small BMs.