If you have been drawn to read this blog article then I am assuming that you have read some of my previous blogs and have an interest in the art and science of energy medicine, or perhaps you are a fellow therapist, nurse, or carer. Alternatively, you may be one of the growing number of people “awakened” to the powerful energy shift that humanity is currently transitioning through, as we move towards a more heart centred, gentle, and collective existence. Whatever brought you here I hope that the messages I am sharing will resonate with you. They come from “the heart”, and are the result of a deeply personal experience, one that in the last few weeks has brought me face to face with my own mortality. A powerful lesson for me from the Universe on the necessity for balance in our lives, a reminder of the need to move out of the head and into our spiritual core, understanding with greater clarity the power of thought and confirming that the message I have been tasked with sharing via my work, Zu Qigong, is both relevant and “on point” for our current times.
I am not usually the kind of person who “wears their heart on their sleeve” if you’ll pardon the pun! I prefer to maintain my privacy, separating my personal and working life but on this occasion, I am openly sharing…………… so please don’t judge me, take as much or as little from this as feels right for you.
So where to begin? At the beginning you might think, but in reality, I don’t quite know where the beginning was, however the initial indication that I had a “problem” was last September. Out walking whilst on holiday in the beautiful wilderness of Ardnamurchan I began to feel unwell, breathless, extreme tiredness, a real struggle to finish the walk. Once back to the cottage I recovered quickly and put the experience down to simply getting older and not being quite as fit as I used to be or perhaps just needing my thyroxine meds tweaked! I duly contacted my GP once home (not easy in theses covid times) blood tests and ECG showed absolutely nothing wrong and indeed the GP commented on how good my results were, however, just to be on the safe side she referred me for an extended ECG tape to be carried out. Meanwhile I decided to make a more concerted effort to look after myself, improve my fitness levels and quietly got on with my life.
I am very lucky to live in a beautiful rural location so regular walks out in nature with one of my neighbours quickly became a part of my routine, venturing out 3 times a week increasing the pace and distance, often covering a good 7 miles. Yes, I was at times a bit breathless, but who isn’t? this just spurred me on to go further and faster to try and improve my fitness! Anyhow a full 6 months after my GP visit, I finally received an appointment for a 7-day ECG tape. When I returned the monitor at the end of the week, I was told that it might take a few days for them to check it but if there was anything wrong, they would be in touch. Over 2 weeks later having heard nothing I assumed that all was well, I was simply getting on with living my life and I was out on one of my long walks when the cardiologist phoned………….with that call the bottom dropped out of my world, and that of my family and friends. Having eventually looked at my ECG results the cardiologist had discovered that I had developed acute stage 2 Atrial – Ventricular block and I was at a very high risk of cardiac arrest - he was pressing the panic button. I was told that I needed to get to hospital ASAP, and under no circumstances should I drive, there was a bed waiting for me and I was scheduled for pacemaker surgery the next day. He seemed more than a little frustrated when I explained that yes, I would come into hospital, but it would have to wait until later that afternoon because I had a haircut booked for 1pm, my first in 4 months due to lockdown, and I wasn’t going to cancel it (I’m sure many of you will appreciate and relate to this sentiment) My argument being that nothing had changed other than a label had been applied to my condition, I had waited 7 months for a diagnosis so what difference was an extra couple of hours going to make! He did eventually concede that providing I didn’t drive it should be fine………….and yes it was fine, there was no dramatic deterioration - although my poor hairdresser was a little stressed out when she heard the news (thank you Mandy). I was the best coiffured patient on the ward when I rolled into hospital later that afternoon, my general wellbeing had been boosted thanks to that little bit of TLC, and I suppose it meant that I still felt in control rather than instantly handing my power over to the clinicians, but perhaps more importantly, I had bought myself a bit of quiet time to begin processing everything…. It isn’t every day that you are told you could drop dead at any moment!
I find it fascinating the incredibly powerful impact that the spoken word can have on us, both physically and emotionally, as the next part of this story demonstrates. Once on the ward I was attached to telemetry and put on bed rest, I couldn’t even have a shower being told that it would be too dangerous potentially triggering a cardiac arrest. So, within the space of a few hours I had gone from being an active, busy person living a normal life, and despite nothing having changed, other than being given a diagnosis, I had been transformed into a powerless patient – the result being my blood pressure, which is normally good, shot up to crazy levels. Every time they wheeled in the sphygmomanometer, I could feel my anxiety levels rising despite all my relaxation techniques and training, the growing concern of the nursing staff around my escalating blood pressure was impacting directly on me, making an already emotionally difficult situation even worse. Thankfully, I did manage to convince the duty doctor that I didn’t need or want medication. What did become very clear was that this whole situation was no longer about me, the autonomous individual, the soul residing in the damaged body, but had rapidly become solely about my physical clinical “condition.” – this team of specialists had taken over and were focusing on treating my illness, nothing else mattered, I had effectively become a bystander.
Suffice to say that I underwent the very necessary pacemaker surgery the following day and I am incredibly grateful for the skills of my cardiologist and the cath. lab. surgeons, they have quite literally saved my life, and yes, my blood pressure did return to normal by the time I left hospital, no medication necessary! I have made a good recovery and my body has quickly accepted its state-of-the-art electronic accessory. The wonders of modern science are indeed truly incredible, but although now physically supported by my own personal piece of technology the huge gap, the missing piece of the puzzle that surrounds care of the individual is, for me, glaringly obvious – Western medicine has become very polarised, completely depersonalised and totally out of balance, a situation that I suspect is only going to become worse post covid. There is a complete disconnect between care for the physical body and supportive care for the human being, regardless of the now widely acknowledged mind body connection. This is further highlighted when I tell you that my 4-week post op check is scheduled to happen remotely – I will be left to decide if my wound has healed correctly, and my pacemaker will be checked by downloading the information via a handheld reader, which then sends the data to the hospital using an app on my smart phone. I will only speak to a human being if they detect a problem. Having undergone what has been a life changing experience, although “fixed” physically; emotionally, and mentally I have been cast adrift by the system, left wondering how, why, what if………..? The Western health care systems are constructed to manage and/or repair physical problems but appear to be unable to join the dots, offer no support for the other side of the equation, the psychological and emotional aspect of health which for the majority of ailments lie at the root of the physical dis-ease.
Thankfully, I have the loving support of family and friends, combined with my own skills and knowledge, enabling me to learn from, and recover from this experience. I am a great believer in everything happening for a reason and using meditation, applying my understanding of our unique individual and collective connection to the energetic field, I am slowly assimilating the lessons this episode in my life has brought.
So yes, I am alive and well, my guardian angels were looking out for me – it was clearly not my time to go, and I have been given the opportunity to manifest the next chapter in my life! I have a lot more work to do and mischief to create in this lifetime and to that end I have been meditating on and pondering the big questions, asking for answers and guidance. The Universe has effectively given me a swift kick up the pants and I would like to share the insights I have been given.
First and foremost, I now have first-hand experience that stress can make you very unwell and even has the potential to kill. It is truly confronting to realise that I have, in effect, been the architect of my own life-threatening condition, epigenetics in action. Dis-ease is a construct of how we live our lives and how we think. To learn more about the science of epigenetics if you are not already familiar, I would direct you to the work of Dr Bruce Lipton, author of many You Tube films and the book “The Biology of Belief”.
It appears that I have within my genetic coding the predisposition to develop a malfunction in the electrical conduction system of the heart – over the generations others in my family have succumbed similarly. However, I could well have travelled throughout life without this genetic glitch ever impacting on my health, but unfortunately a combination of personality traits and possibly my chosen career path, combined with the stresses of modern everyday life have hit the bullseye! Physically I have always been careful about diet, exercise, sleep etc. but this coding within my genes has apparently been triggered primarily due to stress.
I somewhat reluctantly acknowledge that I am one of life’s “fixers” always keen to offer help and solve problems for others, (not so good at accepting help!) and would describe myself as an empath acutely aware of other’s pain and suffering, it was therefore almost inevitable that I would ultimately end up in the healing professions. When you throw in a tendency to over analyse, a dash of perfectionism, with a good helping of concealed anxiety - the skill to appear calm while paddling like crazy beneath the surface to keep the show on the road and there you have it, a perfect recipe for stress. I would like to bet that many of you, my fellow therapists, healers, lightworkers, can directly relate to this scenario….. an unwillingness to put boundaries in place, reluctant to ever say no for fear of upsetting others? My first message to you must be – self-care and boundaries are critical for your future wellbeing, act now before it is too late. Our own minds and bodies are just as vulnerable as those we work to support, we are not invincible, learn to ask for and accept help.
Forty years of working life, thirty being in the caring professions as a nurse then therapist, has it would seem taken its toll on my health, although in recent years as I began to explore energy medicine and develop a greater understanding of the significance and impact of other people’s energy requirements and indeed our own thoughts on our personal energetic field, I had become more aware of the need for self-care, gradually cutting my hours and slowly withdrawing from hands on therapies, making time for personal care, activities such as Qigong and meditation, therapy exchanges with colleagues…. and perhaps these changes in work-life balance would have been sufficient to ward off the drastic impact of stress on my health, but along came 2020 and the axis of my world shifted, as it did for most people. Having made the decision to begin altering the focus of my work in late 2019 I was better prepared than many, listening to my inner voice I had already begun the mental detachment necessary for change, however I did find myself initially caught up in the dense energies of fear and anxiety that accompanied the onset of the pandemic, magnified by the relentless 24/7 fear inducing propaganda waged by government via mainstream media – all adding to the stress overload on my already fragile fuse box. A situation that, thankfully, I was able to recognise and act on, as I fully “awakened” to the reality of the current situation, understanding the energetic transition / ascension occurring on planet, (a process that was foretold as far back in time as the Mayan civilisation), but it would appear not before the level of damage to my heart had reached a significant level to cause the problems I experienced in September. For me, the change was simple, I switched off all mainstream media, choosing to disconnect from the dense energy of fear and angst surrounding me and focusing instead on living my life peacefully, hence my lack of social media input in recent months. Admittedly at times, the warrior in me did raise her head and I tried to help others see the bigger picture, but I quickly realised that this was detrimental to my own peace and wellbeing, therefore reluctantly conceded that this was not my role, accepting that we are each on a unique path through our human experience with our own lessons to learn and awakening can only happen when we are ready.
My second message is that we need to be very mindful of the power of our thoughts and words, whether generated by our own minds or directed as a means of control by others – thoughts and words are energy and can therefore alter the energetic balance of the body, your own, and that of others – influencing the collective energy field. Work on learning how to switch off the mind and allow yourself to “think with the heart” – love, happiness, peace, calm and gentle wisdom. Positive thinking is powerful – the placebo effect, but when the mind takes over and spirals out of control, the monkey mind of incessant chatter, resulting in fear, agitation, anxiety, negative thinking and beliefs, the impact can be drastic and detrimental to our health and wellbeing. Be very aware of the energetic influence of those around you and how you then impact on others, discernment is key.
This brings me to my next question – how is it possible to be so unwell and yet continue to function normally? Although I had consulted the medical profession last year, in doing so I had not handed my “problem” over to others to fix but embarked on a programme of self-help. Energetically aware I made a conscious decision to improve my fitness level but also to support my body as best I could by regularly connecting with nature, using earthing, meditation, nutrition etc. and to mentally protect myself from the chaos of the wider world, choosing to live in my own timeline, constructing a reality that worked for me. I strongly believe that health is first and foremost a personal responsibility, something that so many have forgotten, living in the quick fix age where our problems are viewed as someone else’s responsibility, and the “nanny state" controls much of our lives. When help is required, it should always be a partnership between the patient and physician/ therapist. For 7 months I had successfully managed to maintain my physical status quo and although unable to repair the damage done, I was able to function as normal – the human body is amazing when given the correct support! I have no doubt that at some point, weeks, months or even years further on I would have hit a bump in the road, tipping the balance and consequently suffered a potentially fatal cardiac arrest, thankfully the wonders of science came to my rescue. For years I have been advocating the concept that health and wellbeing should not be viewed as an either-or situation, Western medicine versus holistic therapies/practices, but in an ideal world the different approaches should be blended – integrated to give us a balanced approach, the Yin and Yang of ancient wisdom and modern science. I see my own current situation as representing the effectiveness of combining both sides of the equation, I was able to maintain a holding pattern until the necessary surgery happened and I have now resumed active input in order to continue living life to the full.
My third and final message, is primarily for my therapy colleagues – having personally experienced the disconnect that exists in the clinical environment, I would suggest that you apply the clinical model with caution, be very aware of your words and non-verbal communication. Listen with all your senses, the body holds innate wisdom that deserves to be heard and respected. Each of us is unique therefore never assume that you, as the therapist, know best, keep the ego in check.
Across the different therapy modalities there has been a tendency in recent years to drift increasingly towards the clinical mindset, applying labels, treating “problems”, and over thinking / analysing; our newly qualified therapists are preconditioned to think clinically. In doing so the therapy industry runs the risk of falling into the same trap that has befallen the medical profession, focusing entirely on the dis-ease, becoming too specialised, rather than seeing / feeling the bigger picture. To truly work at the holistic level, it is vital to connect with the soul residing in the human body, the less clearly defined aspect of the human being that requires support alongside the physical entity of the body – remember we are mind, body, and soul. The real gap in allopathic health care is glaringly obvious, the lack of emotional, spiritual, and psychological support, the failure to see the whole person. My advice is not to lose sight of the wider holistic picture, switch off the left brain thinking and move into a more heart centred approach. Letting go of the ego and offering an unconditional exchange of energy, accepting that all healing comes from within, can be so powerful in the quest for health and wellbeing.
Some powerful lessons learnt, I am giving myself permission to take a few more weeks R & R… time and space to fully recover from this life changing experience. I have been blown away by the kindness of everyone who has supported me through this difficult time, I feel very blessed to live in such a close knit community where there is genuine care and concern for each other. Once I feel ready, I will ease myself back into filming and writing the on-line Zu Qigong training course, eventually getting back to offering distance therapy sessions. So for now I am signing myself off work but I will be back….watch this space.