I want to begin this post by acknowledging all the support and concern those around me have expressed in so many ways, I am grateful for your outpouring of kindness, love and compassion. Your support keeps me grounded and makes it easier to be embodied in my human body and experience through the challenge of facing a medical issue and surgical procedure.
Then I’d like to address the response I received from a few spiritual professionals/practitioners, who I presume to be well-meaning, that have suggested indirectly or stated directly that I am not ‘walking my walk’ as a spiritual professional/energy healer by choosing to have a surgical procedure…and there are only a few people that fall into this category (and I’m reiterating that I do believe their response came from a place of concern, but it had more bite to it than was helpful…so, hopefully, this response will raise awareness and offer other options for responding to or offering guidance and/or supporting friend, family, colleague, or client health decisions going forward).
I suppose I’m writing this to provide facts about my upcoming procedure (it’s not really a choice…choosing to not have it would be choosing to have it later in potentially urgent/life-threatening circumstances) and to share my perspective on the decision to proceed with surgery…which is 100% aligned with my spiritual practice, profession, beliefs, and values. The reason I want to share my details and perspective is to provide constructive feedback about the few well-meaning, yet unhelpful, statements I’ve received so we – especially spiritual practitioners – can respond in a way that fosters trust and safety.
So here are all the details about my health, my decisions, and my perspective about how aligned this choice is for me…
It was, in fact, the very same adrenal gland tumor I will be having removed from my physical body April 8th which placed me on the path of (w)holistic healing I am currently on. The tumor got my undivided attention about 12 years ago when it put my body into a multi-system symptom storm and was accidentally found during a scan of my kidneys. My health had been unraveling slowly on all levels – mental, emotional, physical – for decades by the time this tumor was found, but it was the tumor itself that forced me to acknowledge all the uncomfortable feelings and painful baggage I had carried with me throughout my life. I tried seeking healing and medical solutions at that time because I needed HELP to feel better and had no energy resources or bandwidth to tackle this issue on my own… however, no medical solution could be offered at that time so I found my way back to holistic modalities for relief.
For nearly 11 years, I successfully decreased physical symptoms with my non-physical, (w)holistic approach to healing. In the process, I also decreased the mental and emotional health symptoms I had long struggled to manage since childhood. During this time, I also developed a higher level of self-awareness and self-acceptance than I never imagined were attainable, much less sustainable, to me while succeeding at being symptom-free using an intuitive, non-physical approach …all while facilitating healing in all these ways and more for clients using the same approach.
Late last year, I noticed a return of some former symptoms that indicated it was time to review my physical body. At the start of 2021 I learned that the tumor had grown and that my labs were indicating high cortisol levels in my body, a sign that medical intervention is necessary in order to save my other vital organs near the site of the tumor and possibly my life.
I just want to repeat that for those in the back: I made/am making a choice to have a potentially life-saving medical intervention. It is a signal from my body that I heard through all my senses that it is time to approach this tumor from a physical perspective. Spiritual, emotional, and energetic approaches have proven to be highly effective and most useful for more than a decade…and now it is time to address my physical body. I am a whole person: a body, mind, emotions, energy, and soul/spirit…and because of that, it is beneficial to me to be willing to consider my wellbeing from every aspect – not just one. I believe that there is no separation between all our human aspects, so to listen to the body is to listen to the spirit. All parts of the whole person are connected and function dynamically, simply meaning that everything affects everything.
Addressing my physical issues at a physical level does not make me less of a spiritual person or professional. It simply means I choose to acknowledge all aspects of my being. It means I am listening to the messages of my body and that I ‘walk my walk’ by practicing exactly what I believe to be a balanced, wholeness-based approach to healing, growth, and being human.
To question whether I am ‘doing the right thing’ or to suggest that my choice to physically remove a tumor goes against my own spiritual practice must be either a misunderstanding/not having all the facts or details, an overstepping boundaries, or a (conscious or unconscious) bypassing of the physical aspect of the human experience. It is not helpful to the recipient. It can foster mistrust in self, discourage listening to and/or trusting your own body wisdom, and it can elicit stressful emotions.
I am making decisions about my body, which is part of my whole being, and I trust the messages it sends 100%. I do not believe in a ‘one size fits all’ approach to healing or wellness, much less to being human. If I were to have a heart attack – one of any number of ‘issues’ our physical human bodies are capable of due to the dynamic relationship of function between our felt, sensed, and lived experiences – I would not choose to pray for healing my heart or to address the emotional/energetic cause of the heart attack, but instead would seek emergency medical care at the hands of a (hopefully capable) surgeon. I believe all types of healing and wellness can coexist and, in fact, are complementary to one another…especially if and when we learn to listen to the signals our body gives us as guidance toward fulfilling what it needs.
Alternatives to questioning choices that differ (or seem to differ) from your own in this or similar situation/s, I encourage people to ASK QUESTIONS. Here are a few questions that foster a sense of supportiveness and safety while also ensuring your well-meaning concerns are addressed:
- Are you exploring alternative solutions or ideas?
- Are you considering a second opinion?
- What type of support do you need? Fix-it support, listening support, or some other type of support?
- Would it be helpful to have another perspective or hear suggestions?
Another alternative is to simply state your support, no questions asked…and this is highly recommended if you are not in the person’s inner circle of family, friends, or practitioners. Here are a few statement of support suggestions:
- I trust that you know what you need.
- You are a good steward of your own wellbeing.
- I know you will do what is right for you.
And sometimes the best option is to say nothing at all…sometimes no feedback is necessary.
I am currently and will continue to choose what is right for me, regardless of judgment or shaming. I will continue to honor myself by showing up in integrity with what I practice, preach, and teach by listening to my body and doing what I know deep within my body and bones is best for me.
I hope that if you are reading this will do your best to honor your humanness on all levels, uncomfortable and complex as it can be to embody all that the human experience entails. I hope that we all individually and collectively, especially those in spiritual roles, will remember that our physicality is part of our spiritual experience within our human body. May we honor and trust each other to tend to our individual and collective needs with love and acceptance…
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