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 had 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.
Taira St. JohnDecember 24, 2013 - 10:43 PM
Dear Carolyn, thank you for continuing to include me in your updates, and letting me know the power of your life. I like the part in your blog about your eyesight becoming stronger, a great demonstration of your healing power and faith.
I, too, use EFT and other protocols in my personal life and my public practice as a depth psychotherapist, and am grateful for the new ways of healing that seem to be continuously surfacing for humanity to know that we live in the healing love of God, and that these practices help us keep our equilibrium, and to know its genesis.
One of my ways of staying balanced (when I am able to do so!) is to envision a vertical line to God, and a horizontal line to my friends, family, associates and even my so-called “enemies” or challengers in life…Where the lines cross, I try to maintain my sight. In this way I am able to help myself stay in that perfect balance between my love and attention on God and on “doing unto others” as I would like to have them do unto me. In trying to keep a positive outlook on all as a reflection of God, I also say “false, delete” when I slip and allow a negative thought (fear, hurt, criticism) enter my consciousness. This practice helps eliminate false thoughts from taking over, and makes room for the truth of our living in grace to emerge.
Thank you for your incredible courage and goodness, and your continuous seeking that produces healing thoughts and ideas when we are most challenged.
With love for another productive and fulfilling year,
Carolyn Wing GreenleeDecember 25, 2013 - 4:04 PM
Taira! I had no idea you did EFT! Good for you! I can send you patients!
I love the idea of the vertical and horizontal lines, with your focus on the place where they cross, and their configuration as a cross. Connected to the Lord, we have more to give to our neighbor, and even, as you and Jesus said, our enemy.
So glad you’re still checking in with me, our lives still connected in this beautiful place where we live!
Carolyn & Hedy
Gail JennerDecember 24, 2013 - 1:42 PM
Wow — what a blessing to read about your journey. Amazing! And what a gift you are to so many…..I’m thrilled that you are able to share so much with others. I know how much you and Dennis helped us up here :-) What wonderful memories we have and what awesome memories I have of sharing time with you and your dad…..
I love the song….it spoke to me today! I believe the words deeply and they are a salve. Keep sharing the music that I know the Lord is giving you!!
Be well, my friend!! Merry Merry Christmas!
P.S. I’ll be giving the artbook I ordered from your website to our granddaughter this weekend….she loves art!
Carolyn Wing GreenleeDecember 24, 2013 - 2:35 PM
My dad enjoyed you too, Gail. I remember Dennis and the horses. I was so envious that he got to do that. Those were golden days.
I’m excited to have a young, creative person learning from my art book! Isn’t it fun to influence generations long after the work of doiing the book is done? I made that book in 1976. Ancient history!
Linda TinkhamDecember 12, 2013 - 8:33 PM
I am so happy to hear that you are doing so well. Last year you had me in tears with your note. I am so proud of you for being so strong. Where do you get the DVDs on EFT? I think that might be a lot of my problems. John has had another bad year. Just in the last month he had major surgery on his shoulder (his leg gave out and he fell), then his Morphine pump stopped working. So two weeks after the shoulder they replaced the whole pump. Wish we lived closer so you could help both of us. LOL
Thanks for the great news. That’s the best Christmas present I can get for Christmas.
Miss seeing you,
Linda and John
Carolyn Wing GreenleeDecember 24, 2013 - 3:17 PM
Linda, what a time you and John have had! I wish we were closer, too! It doesn’t take long to learn the bascs of the technique called EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). Gary Craig, who founded EFT in the ’80s, has free videos on his website and a lot of helpful resources. I recommend starting with his introductory videos to start reducing your stress. In 2014, I’ll be posting my own instructional videos and helpful tips on stress reduction, but I’m resting through the end of the year and seeing wht the Lord will tell me about the days to come. No clients, no writing, no working at all. Lots of singing and enjoying Jesus. Lots of people around here are sick with stuff that hangs on and on, but I’m staying pretty well because I’m being careful. I learned that after crashing last year. We just aren’t Super Woman, are we? You either. Rest, my dear. Hope to see you, John, and the new pup soon.
Mary E. TrimbleDecember 12, 2013 - 10:24 AM
Carolyn, to say you’ve had an eventful year would be a HUGE understatement. Much of your recovery, however, has been due to your own efforts, particularly in non-traditional healing. Good for you! I hope 2014 brings you continued good health.
Carolyn Wing GreenleeDecember 24, 2013 - 3:09 PM
Thank you, Mary. It’s amazing what changes in food choices plus a lot of stress releasing tapping, microcurrent, and serious prayer can do. My husband Dennis used to say we are body, mind, and spirit, and if any one of them is out of balance, we tend to get sick. It takes the concerted maintaining of all three, but what joy and freedom come from the effort! You, yourself, have known this truth and done the work for many years. That’s why you’re still going strong. May that continue as you write your books and serve the writing community so enthusiasically.
Kathie Fong YonedaDecember 12, 2013 - 10:14 AM
I look forward to your monthly updates, Carolyn. You continue to inspire so many people & to give them strength & courage & for that, I am so proud of you! Happy Holidays to you, Hedy & Hope! I think of you often & with great love! xoxo kathie
Alice TregoDecember 12, 2013 - 9:15 AM
Carolyn, I’m so glad you shared your trek through 2013 with us here. Reading your latest entry was like you and I sitting together and having a friendly chat.
As I read about your accomplishments, in mind, body and soul, as well as reading about those events you were part of, all I could think of was, “You’ve come a long way, baby!” Silly, I know, but I’m so proud that you’ve overcome so much and decided 2013 would be your year to set your life and career aright.
May you and yours have a blessed holiday season as this year comes to a close, and may promises of a new year beckon to us all.
Carolyn Wing GreenleeDecember 25, 2013 - 3:59 PM
Alice, you nailed it! This year has been astounding! Who would have thought? Here, at the close of 2013, I am in awe of the enormity of change that came about triggered by a terrifying, “incurable” disease. God uses the most effective means to get our attention, doesn’t He?
You made me smile at the thought of sitting with you in your living room. I haven’t forgotten that I have an open invitation to visit you in Utah! More likely, though, is non-stop talking at Women Writing the West conferences. I don’t think we slept much the time we were roommates. Sure was fun, though!
Thank you for forever cheering me on. I am cheering you, too, as you continue to process your life, your losses, and deciding where to go from here.
May 2014 be a place of glorious adventures for you. We can talk about it in October at the Denver WWW conference. Okay?
Carolyn & Hedy
Alice TregoDecember 26, 2013 - 8:33 AM
I look forward to Denver, then!