How To Begin Healing

When I found out that I had Meniere’s Disease, I died a little. I had to run to specialists and take medications that made me feel worse. Then I had to convince and educate a bunch of people that this was a real illness because few took it seriously as it was invisible. And finally, I turned to holistic cures for this dreadful autoimmune condition that no life-form should ever suffer. The holistic cures included ordering some very expensive supplements from the United States, chasing a renowned Filipino healer all the way to Amsterdam, taking acupuncture treatment in Singapore, checking-in to an Ayurveda center in India, going through a complete detox therapy in Thailand, followed by Reiki, past life regression, sound therapy, nasal therapy and acupressure. Everything worked for a few days, a few weeks and even a couple of months, but I could easily tell it wasn’t for good. Alongside this, I was also drawing hope by reading stories about people who had regressed their tumors and cured their cancers. They were true stories told by living people who were saying that something within us had the power to heal, which we all know by now. But it wasn’t as easy as believing their words. Even though it had hit me soon enough that it was time to find the answers within instead of wasting time looking for solutions outside, inspiring stories can only do so much. These stories were great testimonies to assure me that things could happen my way and that I should never give up, but they could not be applied word for word. For example, when I read about a woman’s story of shrinking the huge tumor in her uterus, I was so inspired that I bought her book and followed all her instructions of healing. The atmosphere, the oils, the packs and poultice, the affirmations, the attitude and the meditations- I tried them all. Of course, it was all correct and in synch with healing, there was no doubt about that. But it was not enough. And I was going to learn this simple truth through a long wait which included the discovery of what it really takes from us to heal ourselves even before we begin to heal ourselves.

But before I get there, let’s take at a closer look at what healing is about. Healing is not just feeling good and free from the situation or the condition that is bothering you. The conventional meaning says that healing is the process of getting healthy. And it is in ‘getting healthy’ that life’s mysteries are unfolded because ‘health’ is a word of such profoundness. It is a noun but it not limited to one or two things. If you close your eyes and think ‘square’, you know what you see. But with ‘health’, it turns into a feeling. Health is about waking up with a smile, about climbing that mountain, about caring less about being right always, about being positive, about breathing deeply, about working intensely, about being passionate, about having fun. It is all these things and more. It is the overall physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of an individual. And yet, until it reaches the point of physical manifestation, we do not acknowledge our imbalance.

When everything else fails, one dives within for answers. And now I know that’s the only place to start. I turned inward. I turned to spirituality, which in the Indian definition of the word means seeking beyond the physical senses. I read books that introduced me to the thirsty question Who Am I? and subsequently attracted Yoga and my spiritual teacher into my life. All I knew about yoga until then was that it was a sequence of difficult postures that flexible people loved to show off, while the spiritual teacher (also referred to as Guru in India) was a suspected entity, especially by parents. And so when I embraced the path of yoga under the guidance of a spiritual master, I instantly became that girl who didn’t know what she was doing. In my case, it was probably more extreme because I had a silent condition and I was seeking an unconventional solution for its healing. But since the Master had written books on the subject, I knew the path I had chosen was better than anything I had tried so far. I had learnt of a yogic tradition that had originated on this land thousands of years ago, and like most people who living on it, had no idea that yoga was a scientific technology that gave a human being everything from balanced health and clarity to bliss and liberation. I got a feeling that this science would provide the missing link as to why I wasn’t healing so far despite all my efforts.

My own physical healing was a long and demanding process because my mind and my compulsions were stronger than anything else, unconsciously of course. They had to be hacked down. For instance, my biggest compulsion was to worry about my future all the time and fear an outcome that was always imaginary. This is where yoga helped. I had to follow a strict discipline and I had to connect to the fundamentals of living. Which is why the Master handed me a broom and asked me to sweep the building corridors in his yoga center in a way that their cleanliness would not make him hesitate to eat food right off them at any time of the day. That simple activity took my over-active mind away from the equation. It was a humbling activity, engrossing, and it worked wonders for me. I swept the floors for six months, at the end of which I knew that I had swept a lot more that the floors. I had found a sudden sense of peace that I was offering my illness. A poem rose:

With words unspoken

To fix the broken

In doubt and fear

And thoughts unclear

I came to you. . .

But in the dirt I swept

And in the joys I wept

In the eggs of a moth

In this salty cloth

Barefoot to floor

Your less as more. . .

Questions exhaust

This body lost

And in fixing me

While breaking me

You came to me

And became to me

A Possibility

The ‘You’ in the poem could be the higher intelligence, healing or in this case, the Guru. In my experience, they are all connected and one. Anyway, the point is, my real healing started only when I surrendered to what had made the healing necessary. I had to go through the stages of fear and acceptance to release resistance. Surrender can be beautiful. It means you bow down and give yourself to the force that has come to teach you something. You learn to become nothing. Your medicines are on, your practice is on, your care is on. But you are off. You, that is your mind, is off. There is such a huge relief in being distanced from one’s thoughts. When I was at the peak of my illness, I would stare at the ceiling because I could not move my head at all. So I would focus on my breath and stare at the ceiling till I merged with it. This was also yoga but I didn’t realize it. This practice made me see how alive the ceiling was, how much perspective it provided, how very little I mattered before its immense presence and how everything was a part of me and I, a part of everything. So that’s what I think healing asks of us before we embark on various methods to heal ourselves. It asks us to make our mind disappear to a point where the greater truth of existence takes us over and connects us to the source of who we really are. It asks us to allow divine Grace so that our health can safely return home.