Sick? Emotional? The Past’s Sneak Attack

For years, I’ve been Queen of the Mind / Body / Emotion / Spirit Connection …

What that means is … I’m a dot-connector and always have been. As a kid, when I connected the dots logically in school, teachers smiled and complimented me saying I was a good student.

When I connected the dots in other ways … like seeing a connection between my dreams and life, (I dreamt of being in a car accident, with the boy I was dating behind the wheel, the Friday night before we were in a very real car-train wreck on Saturday night, yes he was driving), and when I talked about how the stars and planets have an impact on us, casting my own Astrology chart when I was 16, I was not always rewarded with a pat on the head. I received quizzical looks, like the RCA dog with its head cocked to the side. Other times I was flat out laughed at. I learned to not fight these reactions. Now I nod and smile, praying for the person’s enlightenment.

Question: What is your experience with the Mind / Body / Emotion / Spirit connection? Please share in the comments below.

And sometimes I go unconscious to these connections – especially when I am up to my neck with the Over-Achiever Mask. Or in denial under the Fairytale Fine or Suck It Up Buttercup Masks. When under any Mask, I forget about my connect-the-dots superpower.

Sick?

Anytime I get “sick” I know to look for the deeper meaning. A few weeks ago, when I got a sore throat on an airplane ride home from vacation it took me a few days to dive into the meaning of the illness. It was easy to assume that being on a freezing cold airplane for three plus hours surrounded by coughing and sneezing people was the culprit. But I can usually knock that stuff out in a few days by gargling with hydrogen peroxide and pounding the Zinc. Not a dent – I got worse by the hour so wound up in Urgent Care when I saw blood coming out of me. Diagnosis: Sinus Infection.

It wasn’t until a few days later when my temperature soared higher and my voice became a thin whisper (not good when you make your living by talking with people!) that I started to journal about MY mind / body / emotion / spirit connection. By loosing my voice, what wasn’t I saying I pondered? I couldn’t find any unspoken words clogging my brain or throat. Next I looked up “Sinus” in Louise Hay’s “You Can Heal Your Life” book. Who in my life is an irritation? Got rid of those folks a while ago. (Although coughing and sneezing people on an airplane are certainly an irritation…)

So, is a cigar just a cigar? And a bug just a bug? Maybe so, I thought.

Connecting The Dots

Closing my journal, I flipped open my calendar to reschedule more client sessions and saw the fun little sticker on May’s last weekend – “Memorial Day” and my body stiffened. Bulls-eye, that was it – I had been so busy with work pre-vacation, then enjoying the heck out of vacation in New Orleans, I’d completely forgotten.

First Dot: I donated a kidney to my father and the surgery was on the Friday of Memorial Day Weekend 30 years ago. While the transplant was a success, (in fact our match so successful, my father needed less Cyclosporine – the anti-rejection drug – than most people need) yet, my father died 6 months later. For YEARS I collapsed being a failure in life … into the fact that the ultimate goal we all wanted, which was my father to live long and live well … failed. Sometimes, I still have trouble separating these two facts.

Yes, sometimes we have to UN-Connect the dots that aren’t actually true connections but collapsed meaning. I’m going to say that again. Sometimes, we have to UN-Connect the dots that aren’t actually true connections but collapsed meaning.

Anyway – I call these kinds of anniversaries Events of Lasting Impact. Anniversaries like death, divorce, abortion and medical procedures aren’t gift or card giving events. These are the quiet, internal anniversaries that we don’t talk much about because we can see in some people’s eyes the, “aren’t you over this yet” look, or have heard pontifications like, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” or “he/she is in a better place” or “god doesn’t give you anything you can’t handle” made by people with an inability to BE with the hard stuff … these reactions tend to shut us up or shut us down around that Event of Lasting Impact.

Question: What Event of Lasting Impact sneaks up on you? How does it impact you? Please share in the comments below.

Second Dot: This sinus infection was my Past’s Sneak Attack, ripping off the Fairy Tale Fine, Suck It Up Buttercup and the Busy, Busy, Busy Over-Achiever Masks.

Truth? The six weeks before leaving for vacation, I’d been outrageously over scheduled and almost every night found me collapsed onto the couch watching what I call cotton candy TV. (BTW: That is one of my first clues – checking out like that – that I am wearing a Mask like Suck It Up Buttercup or Overachiever. Both leave me with little energy at the end of the day.)

Third Dot:  The morning I saw that Memorial Day sticker, I began to think about how I’d been checked-out of my emotions and consciousness around the time of year. That afternoon I went into an intense 90 minute coughing fit. I tried every trick I know to halt a coughing attack – teaspoons full of honey, Ricola cough drops, slowing my breathing to a meditative cadence, sitting as still as possible. Nothing worked. I coughed so violently I gagged and coughed up blood, along with some really icky gunk from my lungs. Then the dots connected like lightening – grief lives in the lungs. I was coughing up my grief around disappointment … around failure, and then another grief came to light …

Fourth Dot: I have been afraid to have any expectations about putting my book into the world … so much so that it has been impacting my completing the editing of my book. I was heartsick at the realization. And glad to see it at the same time. I yearn for my book’s release because I know with every fiber of my being it will help women of all ages. After the coughing subsided, I curled up in a fetal position, and let the tears flow.

The gift of slowing down and connecting dots is Wisdom and Self Love.

The Wisdom:

  • When we do something from a space of deep love, generosity, optimism and hope, and that something doesn’t quite work out the way we wanted or expected it to, it hurts.
  • When life events turn sour fast, it hurts.
  • When someone cheats, betrays or dies, it hurts.
  • When accidents that alter reality happen, it hurts.
  • We must be with these things, even if nobody else in our life can be with us while we are being with them. We have to be with these things as best we can when they happen, and we have to keep being with them as Events of Lasting Impact on their anniversaries. Because our Mind, Body, Emotion, Spirit connection remembers.

I am forever blessed to have so many people in my life that can be with me as I be with my current or past pain. You know who you are. Thank you.

The Tools

One gift of my recent Past’s Sneak Attack is that I remembered a slew of tools I use for so many other non-card-giving anniversaries. One of my favorite tools is Ritual.

I created a ritual on the first anniversary of my father’s death. In my journal that year I wrote how he would hate for me to be maudlin and mope around. He loved life and celebrating, so I got the best bottle of champagne I could afford and cranked up Willie Nelson and Jerry Jeff Walker on my stereo and danced, cried and sipped all night long with a good friend. I repeat a version of this every year – fortunately with better and better champagne! Knowing ahead of time how I am going to celebrate keeps the Masks off and the Past’s Sneak Attacks at bay.

In my journaling a week ago after that great cough attack, for the first time – I connected the dots of Memorial Day – a holiday where we memorialize the sacrifice and generosity of service men and women – and the transplant. I wrote a dozen or so ways I might memorialize the death of my very big goal to help my father, my kidney a gift of love and generosity. I’m still noodling on this, and am confident I will move into next year’s Memorial Day season prepared to celebrate and be Mask free. And, as my father would say, with a little luck and a tail wind, I will celebrate without illness, emotional meltdown or self-defeating behavior!

So love, what Event of Lasting Impact is coming up in your world? What is the Ritual you’d like to create around it? I am brilliant at helping people find their way through grief and to create ritual and ceremony, and would love to support you to consciously meet your next Event of Lasting Impact with consciousness and strength.

Let someone be there for you, especially if you typically push others away. As I always say, Vulnerability is our Greatest Strength. By being vulnerable to myself, I learned deep truths and ways forward. That is the power of vulnerability.

If you are ready for support and to discover the strength in your vulnerability reach out to me via email info@catwilliford.com or on FB.

Love & Light,

Cat

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