In 2018, I received an email from famed animal communicator Anna Breytenbach. It said:
“If you’re wondering why it’s been awhile since you heard from me, it’s because I’m on sabbatical this year. A period of recuperation is the priority after dealing with a life-threatening illness for 18 months that finally forced me to stop work completely six months ago. I have come through a period of intense medical treatments and am back home for a southern winter of hibernation and regeneration. Please understand that my communications with the outside world are therefore on hold until full strength has returned – at which point I look forward to creating new workshops and offerings to assist you with telepathic animal communication. Thank you for your patience as I take care of this animal body!”
Of course, I don’t know any of the details of Anna’s healing journey, but her email made me pause… I’ve noticed a LOT of ‘light workers’, healing facilitators, counsellors, bodyworkers, or energy-based therapists going through serious illness, cancer etc the last year or two. So I wanted to share my thoughts on this topic. Again, not saying that any of this applies to Anna! Her email is merely the catalyst for my thoughts…
When we work with a lot of prana and are in the energetic/metaphysical realm a lot, our spirit strengthens and we often feel that energy can/will suffuse and support our physical body.
However, we are NOT just energy/spirit/ki. We have incarnated into a PHYSICAL body. So although the physical body feels like it’s lagging behind, or slowing us down, or we assume it’s being fed/sustained by the prana… take heed!
The physical body is a precious, sweet companion on this journey. It requires honor, nurturing, gratitude for working so damn hard to keep up with our fiery healing souls.
And because we are CARNATE we must put the physical body first! Just like a tribe must slow down for the babies and elders, we must slow down our soul work for the physical body – always checking that it’s okay. Do you have everything you need? How about some extra nurturing and care as we’ve been through a big challenge? Or, we’ve just helped a bunch of people, so let’s take extra care of you now.
Healing myself from a supposedly ‘incurable’ disease (and staying healed for a quarter century now) taught me to stop beating my body’s ass to keep up dammit! It taught me to stop using my mind and indomitable spirit (my giant will) to rule my body. It taught me to stop being frustrated at my body’s inability to keep up with the flow and outpouring of my spirit, or the creative works of my mind. To change that frustration into gratitude.
Oh sweet little body, running as fast as you can on your chubby little toddler legs; trying so desperately hard to keep up with us. Wait. Let me sweep you up into my arms and cuddle for a while. Let’s rest beside this beautiful creek in the cool grass and splash your sweet toes in the water, as the laughter buried in striving bubbles up to the surface again. Look, I packed a yummy, nourishing snack for you – eat, refresh, revive – then we will resume our walk at a more enjoyable pace.
Or perhaps this illness is actually something our higher self planned to dance with? We’re not usually here for everything to be all love and light. If we wanted that, we could have just stayed in heaven/spirit-form. Life here on earth is all about the yin and yang, the interplay, the dance, the teaching of light and dark. My friend Dr. Juliet Ghodsian (who also healed herself of Crohn’s Disease) says it brilliantly:
“One thing that has helped me work through trauma that happened in this lifetime is to understand that it works to increase my power and strength as I heal it. As you heal your dark, so increases your light. Balance is found with equal power of creation and destruction. In order to face powerful energies of dark, you must be able to hold an equal and opposite energy of light. So, great darkness helps to build great light as you heal and work to clear it. In order for us to step into our full magnificence, we must rise up and grow our light equal to the intensity of the dark acting upon us. Only then can we transmute it.”
We walk this process, this healing journey of learning how to lean into our trauma, to transmute the darkness, to walk the pathways through our own deep, tangled, scary forest. Then to face the monsters that are in the forest – the fragmenting of our psyche and energy body that happened as a result of the trauma – requires a great willingness and gathering of our energy. Through the process of leaning in and healing ourselves, our trauma is transmuted into power. So the healing process is something that grows and produces personal power.
And when I talk about ‘power’ I’m not talking about ‘power over’ or dominance. I’m talking about real power; gigantic compassion and a rock-solid integrity, a mastery of the IT IS state of simple spaceholding for the highest good.
You can see how our higher, wiser self might consider this a very worthy endeavour.
I remember standing at a Christian healing rally with a preacher from Africa, 4 years after I’d been diagnosed with Crohn’s and 1 year after I’d left the medical treatment protocols. I’d thrown down the gauntlet; I would heal myself, or die trying, there was no alternative. As I stood there watching people get up out of wheelchairs, god said to me, “Go forward today and healing is yours.” I stood there pondering the offer and then said to god, “And what would be the point of that? What have I suffered FOUR YEARS for? To say to everyone else with this disease: ‘Oh healing is easy, just go find yourself a miracle’?” And I remained where I was and did not go forward to receive healing. THAT is a karmic contract at work.
By the time I healed myself and published my healing protocols in the first edition of Listen To Your Gut in 2000, there were virtually no other healing options for this “incurable” disease. There was me, or Elaine Gottschall’s SC Diet (which put you into remission, but you had to stay on the diet the rest of your life), and that’s it. Aside from individual practitioners who’d had success with their local clients, healing yourself from Crohn’s or colitis simply didn’t exist in the greater consciousness at that time. I actually got hate-mail from people livid with rage that I would dare suggest such a thing was possible (and give people false hope). But just like the 4-minute mile, which was also thought to be impossible, once someone does it, then that unleashes a kind of ‘permission’ on the planet and opens the door for many other people to also do the formerly impossible.
However, there was one point in my healing journey where I was ready to give up. To admit failure, and call it quits. I was 22 and came home from Tokyo for Christmas (it was supposed to be a surprise visit) but unbeknownst to me, my family had all booked to go away for Christmas. So I ended up in the house in Edmonton on my own.
The day after my family left, I went into one of those free-fall-off-the-cliff flares that can happen with Crohn’s and was doubling the water level in the toilet with blood from my colon. I hadn’t eaten and barely drunk any water for 3 days due to crazy painful mouth ulcers all over my mouth and down my throat. I had slept only in brief snatches due to the continual pain. There were mini-craters in my thighs where my body was literally eating itself to survive – only someone with severe Crohn’s understands how it’s possible to lose 15-20 lbs of muscle in less than a week.
And I’d had it. I’d tried and I’d failed to figure out how to heal myself. I was SO tired of being ill and I was ready to surrender. I lay in my bed and said to god, “I’m ready. I’ve lived a good life, I have no regrets, I’m ready to go.”
And god said to me, “It’s not your time.”
“What do you mean, ‘it’s not your time’? I questioned, “I’ve had enough, I don’t want to do this anymore. I’m ready to die.” I felt so weak, so insubstantial, like my spirit could just lift out of my body and float off.
God repeated, “It’s not your time.”
I was confused. Surely it was my choice whether to live or not? Then I felt myself getting angry, “Well then I’ll go get a knife and slash my wrists.”
God said, “It doesn’t matter, you still won’t die.”
Now I was sputtering, “Fine. I’ll get a gun and I’ll blow my head off!”
God said, “And I’ll send you right back down.”
Whaaaaa?? Well that stopped me in my tracks, especially since I was in the process of exiting the Christian church and didn’t even really know about reincarnation. I said, “What do you mean, ‘send me back down’?? There’s no ‘back down’… there’s heaven and there’s hell, and I’m ready to go home.”
God repeated, “I’ll send you right back down.”
Terribly frustrated by this point, I yelled out, “Well if I have to live, then GIVE ME A LIFE!!! Because I cannot live like this anymore!!”
At that moment, a complete and utter peace descended upon me and I slept for 12 hours straight. When I woke up, I began to drink and eat simple foods, then I picked up the SC Diet book (which I’d read but avoided implementing) and continued my healing journey and exploration.
So what changed? I CHOSE LIFE.
There is a tremendous healing impetus that is unleashed when we actually choose to be here and choose to engage fully in life. Before this point, I was okay to be here, it was fine, but it didn’t really matter to me. I had never been afraid of death and often longed to ‘go home’ – even before I was diagnosed with Crohn’s.
When I screamed at the divine, THEN GIVE ME A LIFE, it was the first time that I requested to be here. And I spoke that intention out into the matrix.
It changed everything.
My second brush with death, as I continued to walk the tangled darkness of my healing journey, was due to massive poisoning from my mercury fillings. I’d had all 10 fillings removed in 1 week with no detox or immune support. We didn’t know back then how dangerous that was. It triggered me into intestinal hemorrhaging, filling toilet bowls with bright red blood and clots the size of my thumb. We phoned the GI at the local hospital late at night and he asked me a few questions, then told me I’d be fine to come into the hospital in the morning. I hung up the phone, walked to the bathroom, released another toilet bowl filled 3/4 full with blood, looked up at my husband and said, “You need to take me right now.”
I then proceeded to have the most lovely, peaceful, restorative NDE (near death experience) in the hallway while my mother prayed over my sightless eyes and my husband grabbed a taxi rather than wait for the ambulance. By the time they carried me into the taxi I was back in my body, giggling and reassuring both of them that everything was just fine. The nurse in ER was completely freaked out when my hemoglobin tested at 30 out of 140 and couldn’t figure out why I was still conscious, let alone smiling and cracking jokes. Because here’s the thing: It was not my time to die.
That experience produced my second book, The IBD Remission Diet and the Absorb Plus elemental shakes; which have since saved the lives of thousands of people. Out of great darkness comes the opportunity to transmute it into great light. Do we trust our soul’s journey?
So while other people may get very worried when a loved one becomes ill, I am not concerned. Because I know that if it’s not their time, ain’t nothing gonna kill them! And if it is their time, then it’s part of their life plan, it’s in alignment with their highest good.
I also know that death/transition to spirit, doesn’t separate us in terms of love, communication, or closeness. I’ve had too many dead people talk to me to succumb to that illusion. Physical death only separates our physical bodies – as if your loved one has cloistered themselves in a monastery, so you can never see or touch them again, but you can talk from time to time.
I believe that a big part of walking our healing journey – this transmutation of darkness into light – is developing our spiritual and energetic self. Taking a workshop or course in intuition development, or animal communication, will help you develop your ability to connect and listen to your own body. Integrated mind/body healing therapies like advanced craniosacral, hypnotherapy, or acupressure tapping are also very helpful. Because the body is the subconscious. The body is the densest part of the soul.
If you’re finding this all just too freaky-deaky, here’s my trick for the interrogative/critical mind – which is valuable and we don’t want to lose or minimize that faculty: When I am engaging or in the space of spiritual/energetic things, I say to my critical mind: “Please go sit in the corner (of my brain), I value your input and I trust you to observe everything so we can discuss it LATER. But for now, you need to go silent and sit quietly so I can fully enter/participate in this space.”
I repeat that request as often as needed and do not allow that part of my brain to get a word in. Because we cannot enter fully into other states of reality or perception without suspending that critical mind. The critical mind is like a booming, screaming soccer fan and the world of energy is a whisper on the wind. Then as we develop those abilities, the whisper gets louder and stronger and often involves more sensory feelings or other signals. And that’s part of the delight of it – seeing how your perceptions work/communicate/show up.
Some people have 1 or 2 senses/aspects that predominate. Some people feel everything in the physical body first, and then the ideas or images float in. Everyone is different. You may also find it helpful – while still in critcal-mind-suspension state – to write down your images, ideas, impressions, thoughts, bodily sensations, etc. With no judgment or assessment. Don’t worry, you can go full Rambo with your skepticism afterwards when you let your critical mind back in and you debrief together.
So when illness comes for you, do you move into the darkness and use the gift of your healing journey to learn how to transmute darkness into light? Do you trust that all things work together for good? Do you trust your soul’s journey and your soul’s wisdom?
THIS. This is how you heal dis-ease in the body of a healer, lightworker, caretaker, counsellor, revolutionary… all of us… namaste.