Thursday, August 29, 2013

Healing Top Ten

Today marks the third week since my brain surgery. Today I swam for 45 minutes. There's nothing like water cradling a healing body. Also, I read three chapters in a book. And now I'm writing on my laptop. These were things I couldn't do not too long ago. 

I want to share a list of things I think are aiding in my healing. I know this list would look different for every person, but there may be something others can get out of it:

1. Movement and rest. I'm used to being able to move however and whenever I want, so I'm learning how to better listen to my body, and how to be patient with myself. And if I'm moving, I'm in my body, feeling it from the inside out. If I'm resting, I'm inhabiting the resting body. I do my best to be in the moment and to ask my body what it needs.

2. Sun. I can feel the sun's healing power whether I'm sitting in it or visualizing it pouring through me.

3. My favorite fun.  Okay, they may be having a shitty season, but Giants baseball--win or lose--puts me in my happy place. Even when I couldn't look at the TV because it made me dizzy, I'd listen to a game and fall into that blissful I-love-SF zone. Another pleasure: Word Trick (computerized Scrabble). As soon as I could focus, I starting playing it again. It gave me confidence in my mind's abilities, and it triggered two great healing mechanisms:  joy and relaxation.

4. Writing. It's a huge part of who I am. I was even taking a few notes with my temporarily crippled hand while in the hospital. Writing makes me feel like I'm fulfilling my purpose in the world.

5. Talking with the dead. I feel like I have easier access now to those who have crossed over: My parents, my mentor Gabriele, and several friends. It's great to just open myself up to a conversation with them. It's not as strange as it may sound; I ask a question, and they offer me their wisdom--often with a sense of humor. My friend Joe, who died in the early 1990s, played Whitney Houston's "The Greatest Love of All" for me in my head. Joe introduced me to Houston's music back in the day. I laughed through tears as I listened because it was so corny and so perfect--just like Joe.

6. Guided meditation. Before I went into the hospital, I began listening to guided meditations that focus on healing and the body--and I've continued to do so once or twice a day since. I love the way they make me feel tingly all over. These meditations can also help me relax and fall asleep when I wake in the middle of the night.

7. Appreciation. As often as possible, I gently direct my thoughts toward what I'm grateful for: The blue of a stellar's jay, Dave's arm around me, a card I received from a friend, the soft swimming pool water on my skin, a sweet and savory peanut butter cookie dipped in tea, the hair on my scalp growing in and sticking up like a baby's.

8. Looking forward. Before my surgery, we bought tickets to a music festival at the end of October. I didn't doubt for a moment I'd be able to go. When I met with the surgeon for the first time, my focus was on the future: How long before I could put my head under water? (4-6 weeks; I'm almost ready!) Would we be able to go on a road trip to So Cal in October? (Yes!) What about Hong Kong, India and Sri Lanka in November-December? (Yes!)

9. Kitchen therapy. I've baked a couple of batches of zucchini-blueberry bread. It felt like such a nurturing thing to do. And it thrilled me when Dave and our friends went crazy over it.

10. My mantras:
* I'm a good healer.
* That sensation is the process of healing.
* Everything's okay.
* Nothing has gone wrong.
* I'm getting so much out of this experience.
* I have a choice: freak out or get curious.
* Choose love.

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