In early 2016, I suffered a fairly serious concussion after having a car accident. When I regained consciousness in the midst of the chaos, I remember thinking something quite unexpected: “Thank you, G-d, for saving my life.”
That’s when I knew: I could easily have died. But in the face of that realization, peace washed over me and through me. Despite the recovery that lay ahead, I sensed that I would eventually be okay. G-d was with me – I was connected. It was a surreal moment of grace and gratitude that I could never have expected.
The road to recovery was difficult yet rewarding
In the weeks following the accident, although I could barely speak and I felt like I was in a daze, I was hopeful. I experienced severe brain fog, unrelenting headaches, trouble with my vision, and an inability to focus. I had no short-term memory. I understood every word I heard, but my brain could not hold on long enough to recall any of them. Like water running through my fingers, I couldn’t grasp any of it. I was extremely sensitive to light and noise, and had no reflexes on my left side. Still, there was something inside of me that told me I was safe.
I worked with a team of specialists, all of whom agreed with my neurologist: “Concussions take time to heal. We have to give it a year to see if any of the damage will be permanent.”
If? If there will be permanent damage? And wait a year to know? This was hard to swallow. I couldn’t just sit there and wait.
But what could I do?
I had always felt spiritually connected, even before this experience. My soul has been in the driver’s seat for as long as I can remember. I first got in touch with this spirituality through my relationship with G-d at a very young age and later in my teens through my appreciation and connection to nature – more specifically, dolphins, which I later realized were somehow all interconnected.
Everyone who knows me knows that I love dolphins, and that I have always felt unexplainably drawn to them. My soul journey became clear to me thanks to a recurring dream that I first had as a young teen. (link to blog to read dolphin dream)
While I had experienced some bumps in the road over the course of my life up until that point, nothing could have prepared me for this one. In hindsight, the aftermath of the accident was the catalyst for my spiritual discovery as I learned how to use it to help myself, then paying it forward by helping others.
I took the following year to heal myself. At first, I tried practical things like using software to sharpen my cognitive skills, but those efforts were premature. I had to slow down and respect the rehabilitative process. I felt my own fear: it felt like I had everything to lose, having just been thrust into unchartered waters. My reality had changed in an instant.
I prayed. I got quiet, I connected to G-d, I prayed and I meditated. Every time, I received the same answer: “Don’t fear. This is happening for a reason. Just go with it.” I knew what this meant:
I needed to work on releasing the fear, letting it go, and trusting in life’s processes and the flow of the universe again. Trusting in the goodness of G-d.
I forced myself to dig deep: The Beginnings of NML
This period of self-discovery taught me a lot. It taught me about self-nurturing, about patience for life’s most delicate processes. It taught me to become acutely attuned to my body and inner voice. But most importantly, it showed me that no matter the situation, we always have the power and choice to do something about it.
I spent time going through my emotional layers. The helplessness, feeling lost, and feeling frustrated. I removed them, one layer at a time, and what I found was an intense and all-encompassing fear. It wasn’t easy to face, but I knew that facing it was the first step towards breaking it down.
I practiced staying with my feelings, boldly facing them, resisting the natural tendency to judge or qualify them, or to define or deny them in any way. I remained there, deep inside my fear, and observed my thoughts and feelings. I observed their intensity flowing through me. I did NOTHING. This is the basis of practicing mindfulness.
For those of you who have experienced it, you know that doing nothing is easier said that done. Nothing is often the hardest thing to do: it takes the most effort, but it also yields the most profound results. In time, the veil of darkness lifted, and the space they had occupied made room for ME. For my SELF to re-emerge.
While I was still concussed with a long road ahead of me, for the first time, I felt I was starting to reconnect with myself: I could feel myself again, my personality, my essence, my purpose. The darkness started to lift and I started seeing again, slowly gaining clarity, as if an internal fog was being lifted. The physical aspects came later, while and after I worked on my brain. I kept at it.
I went inside my brain…
My spirituality and ability to sense energy had helped me see that we all have spiritual channels within us and an inner spiritual connectedness.
For some reason, I was compelled to go back inside myself after detecting the presence of an energetic imbalance, but this time, I did something completely different. Feeling less fearful, I wanted to go exploring and take a look at my brain itself. I had never done that before, but I wanted to see if I could get to this blockage, this energetic wall, this dense cloud that was holding me back and my brain from healing itself. I found it. I learned to work through it.
While my doctor did what she could to help me, I filled in the blanks through my energy work. I identified the damaged synapses in my brain, and using brain exercises and visualizations, I worked on retraining my brain, creating new synapses which then needed to be reinforced.
A week or two later, at my next appointment, the doctor was astounded that my reflexes had so suddenly returned. She could not understand how or explain why. I told her what I had been doing in my free time. She was in awe, and frankly, so was I. I was in awe of the tools that are gifted to us at birth, and humbled to have discovered that they could be used in this way.
This taught me a powerful life lesson
I learned more about myself and the flow of life in this one challenging year than in all my other years combined.
All that we need is within ourselves. It always has been. We just have to remove the layers, whatever they are, no matter how long they have been there we can do it. Afterall we inadvertently put them there; one at time and one at a time we can remove each of them. I had to remove mine. It is an ongoing process. You have to look past the fear and clear your own path. No matter the circumstances, I could still be me. I would find a way.
I FOUND MY WAY!
MY MESSAGE OF HOPE:
All of us, each in our own way, are powerful and resilient beings with limitless possibilities. We are all capable of removing the layers that hide our light. We just may need a little help and guidance along the way.