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Might have been that Mercury was retrograde for most of the month, or the new puppy, or the deadlines at work, or the excessive traffic on our under-construction roadways, or the family emergency at the start of December that left my darling little mom with a broken shoulder and the entire family in a whirl, or it might have been Hanukkah, Solstice, Christmas as usual with all the gifts to find and good cheer to embrace; it might have been one extra pull on my energy or the myriad, but the outcome was not a second for blogging. And, oh, I’ve missed you – the inexplicable cyberific connection. I’m so grateful for your energetic support. Seriously. When writers thank readers, it’s for real. There’s a delicious symbiosis that occurs in the ethers as you tend upon our words, thoughts, ideas; and the comments and praise sure help too. So, I yearn to resume the connection and to conclude the Lump Lessons narrative in the first months of the new year. It has been two years – wow – since I began to blog at the end of treatments for breast cancer. Two years that went by in a flash, and yet it has also been two years… and it’s an auspicious new year now – 2012 – and I’m ready to shift into a fresh endeavor. Something that’s born in the turbulence of the new Mayan winds.

So, as this dynamic time period called 2011 wanes, may you feast to your heart’s content on the rising of the Light, and feel the Love – pause, breath deep into your belly, release slow…ly, and feel the steady pa rump pa pum pum within. In awe, L.

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So, where were we? Oh, yes, we were frolicking along the path with our heroine en route to a second round of exploratory surgery (lymph node dissection) in May ’09. At this point in the journey, the terrain begins to shift as she …

(Wait a minute. The author might want to distance herself by writing in third person, but, no. First person is the truth and the way for me to fully integrate my Lump Lessons, so first person it must be.)

… the terrain begins to shift as I grow out of my little brown serious suede journal as is spelled out in that journal in a passage written after a Reiki session:

Julie Connor, the Reiki master, had hands so hot they were sweaty.

(Excuse me again. I need to veer off path for another moment as there’s a persistent wild hare pouncing about my feet. [Scroll to the bottom of The Gate Keeper to find my author’s note about wild hares.] Well, this hare insists that I tell you Julie’s story. The story that she told me in empathy and to reassure me of hope.)

Ten years ago, Julie was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer. Her’s was an arduous journey that involved differing pathology reports and visits to three of New York’s top hospitals, and two rounds of surgery. The first surgery removed half of her thyroid in the Spring of 2001, and then the remaining half was removed in Autumn just weeks after 9/11. In Mid-Winter 2002, she drank the prescribed radioactive iodine to destroy any remaining cancer cells; and in June of the Summer of ’02, a CAT scan and MRI detected another tumor with potential lymph node invasion in her neck. A third surgery was scheduled and just three days before, a friend called to wish her well and suggested that Julie ask her son Ryan for help. Ryan was only five years old. The idea was so absurd that Julie felt she had to give it a try.

“Yes, Mommy, I can make that lump go away with my love,” Ryan replied.

Julie & Ryan

The little boy then bowed his head and put a hand on either side of Julie’s neck, closed his eyes for several seconds, then opened his eyes and said, “I have to do it again one more time today and two more times tomorrow.” So, Ryan did touch his mother’s neck twice on Wednesday, twice on Thursday, and on Friday, when Julie showed up for the appointed surgery, the lump was gone.

Julie has been practicing Reiki and studying energy healing systems ever since. In her words: “This sparked a huge interest in what it would be like to touch another human being with the intention to heal.”

Ryan also studies Reiki and is a Level II practitioner, as well as a bright, creative, and typically energetic teenager with an active academic and social life.

(With a twitch of its tail, a satisfied hare has bounded off back into the forest. Now I shall continue on my path with the journal passage in May 2009 that portended an attitude shift.)

Julie Connor, the Reiki master, had hands so hot they were sweaty. Because I had a hunch that Julie is a psychic sort, I asked her before I lay down on the massage table to inform me of any visions or impressions that she received while touching me. My experience with Reiki is that it’s from wordless realms – beyond the intellect – and so practitioners try to keep their minds out of the way of their intuitive or spiritual guidance. My wordsmith self wants to attach stories and ideas to the experience, and I tend to have visions when I lay on hands, so I asked and I was rewarded.

She said, “Salt baths every other day.” Julie is not the first intuitive to recommend salt baths. Renate Moore repeatedly bade me to take Epsom salt baths as a detox and energy balancing agent. My problem with salt baths is that I rarely if never give myself time to soak in a bath. I take showers with a mission to get clean and get on with it.

Then Julie said that she saw an open window with curtains blowing in the breeze, and the beach. I yearned and so anxiously quipped that I hoped the vision was of a pending vacation rather than pending hospital stays; but also took note that it was another reference to salt water and relaxation.

Lastly she said, “You must do art for pleasure and just for yourself;” and I started to cry.

I don’t know how to do art or anything purely for pleasure. Everything I do is goal oriented with motivation for self improvement or healing, so that I might serve; and, for that reason, everything feels like pressure, so, frequently, I don’t do it.

I think I recently went on strike. I stopped writing in this journal because a few people told me that I “should write about the breast cancer experience.” The word “should” made me not want to write at all. But I love to write.

Maybe I can write through the feelings of pressure until I return to my authentic heart. And maybe I can write in color?! I can take baby steps toward pleasure, buy a big journal without lines so that I can doodle and scribble and feel free to muck about.

(to be cont.)   L.

ps: Reviewing this lump lesson prompted me to turn off the computer, dust off the box of Epsom salts I bought a year and a half ago, and take a bath. Next time, I’m gonna get messy before the salt bath. If that’s your pleasure, I hope you’ll do the same.

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