What a difference a year makes!
At this time last year, I was in my sixth day of Gerson Therapy, with Dan making nine fresh juices a day and all of my time and energy focused on stopping the onslaught of the scleroderma that had already reduced my lung function by 40%. I haven’t had my new pulmonary function test, yet, but I was doing so well last time I saw my lung doctor, that he said I didn’t have to return ever, unless I wanted to.
In February, I got very sick — flattened for the entire month. It turned out to be a huge blessing, for I began watching some DVDs on Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), which my husband Dennis learned in the 1980s and we did in his office to help people get free of traumas such as automobile accidents, PTSD, and rape. Without releasing the stored stress in their bodies, our patients couldn’t get well.
Tapping my meridian points along with the DVDs, I realized I had not dealt with the trauma of my mother’s illness and death, or those involving Dennis or my dad. All of the stress of a decade of caregiving and worry was still locked in my disrupted energy system and had contributed to my succumbing to the “incurable” autoimmune disease.
As we know from acupuncture, it doesn’t matter what you call the condition, the issue is freeing the chi to flow. As I tapped, I found the energy that was released was available for me to get better, and also to be more creative. I was beginning to mend.
I also began treating myself more regularly with my father’s invention, microcurrent. Three months before, Milly Ng from Hong Kong had come to my house to show me the microcurrent treatment techniques she developed, one of which was a treatment for the eyes. In her practice, she used it to restore the sight of a boy who had been blind for two years after his babysitter shook him violently.
In March, I broke my two-year fast from animal protein with a small amount of lamb. It was Passover. How appropriate! I have continued with a little meat each day, and a high percentage of plant-based foods, along with a high concentration of nutrients through juices and smoothies. The combination has been working really well for me.
Throughout this year, my health has improved, with setbacks here and there as I fell back into old patterns of working too many hours on the computer and not taking the time to eat or rest my eyes. This was particularly bad during the last months of working on my new book. I had to make a certain deadline in order for the book to be ready for the book events that were scheduled in October and November. It was a strain, but Eternal River, Volume III, The Next Thirty Years arrived three days before I left for the first event. Whew!
In June, I had the joy of being at the promotion of my granddaughter Gracie to high school, and the high school graduation of her sister, Anna. Best of all, since Gracie’s was in the morning and Anna’s in the evening, I had the whole day with them. I already knew they were each receiving a plethora of awards (the teachers asked Thomas and Myong if they had any more children, or maybe they asked them to please have more children). It isn’t just their academic prowess or stellar citizenship that makes me the happiest, it’s who they are as young women of good character who are strong women of God, secure in the knowledge of His love for them.
Meanwhile, the Lord had started sending me patients who had “impossible” conditions — a shoulder that, even after three surgeries, was still so painful that the man could not sleep. He suffered from the depression that comes from unremitting pain. After a month of treatments, he was sleeping through the night and his pain was greatly diminished. There was a man with severe PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and a woman who, following surgery for the reattachment of her retina, had been blind in one eye for five years. Using a combination of microcurrent with meridian stress release tapping techniques and other protocols Dennis taught me, I approached each patient’s problem as a matter of imbalances in their energy (chi), and treated accordingly. What can I say? Energetic medicine works.
The Great Valley Bookfest in Manteca was a marvel of organization and accommodation. Having been to literary festivals where our outdoor readings were in competition with rock bands and the PA systems of other presenters too close together, this festival, with its forty authors and many offerings of activities and presentations, was pure pleasure. Best of all, I got to spend time with the Modesto Greenlees, Mark and Debbi, and their clan, including my adorable, talented, and creative grandchildren and their children, who are musical, artistic, articulate, and so cute! The biggest surprise, though, was the sudden appearance of my cousin Caren, her husband Andy, and Virginia, wife of Caren’s brother, Mark. I hadn’t seen them in many years. It was fun to be talking about a book in which all of these relatives are a cherished part, and to be able to point them out to the audience as the faces that went with the stories.
Nancy Cardoza was my driver and assistant for the bookfest, and also for the Big Read event two weeks later. “Joy Luck Club” was the featured book, and Lake County celebrated with such events as a chess tournament, a learn mah jongg event, and a chance to try Chinese food paired with local wines. I was thrilled to be talking on the Chinese American experience, and felt my new book was so perfect for the event since “Joy Luck Club” was part of my journey to peace with my heritage.
The final event was a book release party hosted by the Lake County Arts Council. Nancy Cardoza read passages from the book, and I talked about what each one meant to me. When you have to reduce thirty years and many lives into 400 pages, there isn’t room to meander. Each story must count for something. Why did I feel moved to include the ceramic calico cat with the broken face? the French blue bowls? the fragmented jade plant? There were truths hidden in each one, and the discovery led to revelations that enabled me to embrace my life wholly, including my mother’s mother, who had always frightened me.
Interestingly, I did not emphasize at any of these book events my father’s invention and development of microcurrent, which occupies about a third of the book. Though my father’s accounts of how he came up with such things as the electronic Tsunami Wave, the “Q” swab holder, and microcurrent interferrential are fascinating, and the stories from the Olympics, clinics and practitioners are glorious and exciting, I feel the book is not about microcurrent; it is about who we were and how we changed through the events that crowded those thirty years. It’s how our desire to respond to the needs of others brought about both invention and inventive ways of bringing truth and understanding among peoples and individuals. Ultimately, it’s a love story. Writing it helped me accept it all with gratitude.
These last months of 2013 have been the most astonishing I can remember. Not only did I complete the book that took me twenty years to write, I began recording music that has sat around mostly unsung since the 1980s. Three videos of them are on this website. Just click on Music in the title bar.
Three years ago, I was in shock from the deaths of my husband and my father. Two years ago, I was better, but still struggling. This year, I am helping others with bereavement and the stress that can be overwhelming at this time of year. I’ve combined the techniques I learned from Dr. George J. Goodheart, Father of Applied Kinesiology, and meridian stress reduction protocols (including EFT) I learned in my husband’s office. It’s a thrill to watch people get free from things that have haunted and hurt them since childhood.
It has been a year of completion, of coalescing, of seeing the shoots of creative projects that have lain dormant as bulbs underground for many winters. Just this week I resumed work on a book that I started in the ‘90s and abandoned when my mother got sick. I have been recording the 200 songs I’ve written since 1982 — first so I wouldn’t forget them, and then so others could have them in their lives for strength, for solace, for joy. They’re nothing fancy — just me and my guitar and sometimes the story behind the song — but at last they can go out and do their job.
If I could hear this year from start till now, I would say it sounds like a train starting up from the station, slowly gathering speed until it is a rushing roar. These last three months have brought significant change in my direction and lifestyle. It’s been the most productive year of my life, and the most surprising. I feel I was born for this work, and it’s only just begun.