My wife and I recently travelled to Ecuador for vacation and to pick up our daughter, Brynn. She had been living there attending university for winter/spring semester. This would allow us to see a beautiful country and have a relatively inexpensive, fluent Spanish-speaking tour guide. The country was very beautiful and everyone we met were very friendly and helpful.
We did have one adventure that was very frightening, after I could process it! We took a white water rafting trip for 2 hours down a River outside of Baños which should have been a class 3/4 trip except for the rain storm the night before that turned our river into a class 4/5 trip! When we arrived at the put-in point our team (the three of us, one guy from London, and two ladies from Bath, England) had to demonstrate proficiency in paddling instructions and wearing our Personal Flotation Devices. Each of the two rafts had to come up with their team name, which we chanted after completing each of the rapids. Our name was Staying Alive.
The height of the trip was getting caught in a class 5 hydraulic for about two minutes (seemed like hours). I remember thinking I had to hold on and NOT let the raft tip over! Hydraulics take their fair share of paddlers lives! The other thing I rememberd was how to survive a hydraulic – swim to the bottom and then swim perpendicular to the hydraulic flow. If the hydraulic flow was too strong for you to swim to the bottom with your PFD, you might have to pop it off! Yet my PFD is my friend, my comfort food! Would it not be dangerous to let go of my life line? To this day I don’t know if I could have done it. There are strong attachments to habits and fears!
Well Staying Alive stayed alive, and all the team members left safely for their next adventure.
I wonder how many of us allow our attachments to define our opportunities and in turn tell us which road to take at the fork. Sometimes a road less travelled gives us different opportunities.
Last week Cody was attacked by a large dog. Cody is my 5 year old, 10 pound poodle that hangs with me at my office. I noticed right away that he was in respiratory distress and had a broken rib. As I was taking him to the animal hospital in Twin Oaks, I was yelling at him to hang in there: “Don’t you die on me Cody!” I told him how strong he was and that we’d fix him all up. I found myself asking my inner guide to save him and told God he was a good dog.
The doctor took him back immediately and prepared him for surgery. While I waited for news of his condition, I did a contemplation, something I frequently do to quiet myself and listen. I realized that I was making demands of Cody for my own benefit (I would feel better if he stayed around). I wasn’t considering his spiritual needs. I immediately changed my tune! May the Blessings Be – Thy Will be done! Cody came through the surgery well which surprised the doctors and he has continued to improve every day.
On reflection, isn’t this what we frequently do? . . . ask God to fix us? Tell God that we have this condition or that problem. True healing comes from surrender. It is through surrendering and detachment that we can learn our responsibility in our problem. At the point of surrender, we can listen to that inner Voice. Too often we focus only on the end goal and forget that it is the journey that takes us through life. It is through the journey that we serve others and allow others to serve us. It is through the journey that we may learn to live a life of grace and healing.
My journey into healthcare began way back in 1976. I was working as an office supply company delivery-boy in Tallahassee, FL. My only skill-set from my undergraduate education that I could use in that town was programming computers and, alas, no job positions open. I drove that little white Ford pickup around to everyone needing office supplies for about six months before I got a job with the State of Florida using COBOL to program mainframe computers utilizing über-technology – card punch cards.
During this time, I read many books on alternative healthcare and holistic philosophy. It was then that I began my continuing study of homeopathy. I guess the epiphany I had was “there has to be more than this?” Modern medicine was (and remains) reductionist in its thinking. Everything could be distilled into the molecules and processes that define life (similar to the recently “discovered” God-particle by our particle physicists). Where was the magic in that? It took away my involvement in my own health! “Something was rotten in the state of Denmark!” Holistic medicine allowed for the interaction between the mind and the body. It viewed the body as a complex system of interactions between multiple variables and an ever-moving point of balance or homeostasis. This described a web-like model in which everything was a result of, and causal to everything else.
There was more than the molecule!
This was a turning point and the beginning of my journey into healthcare.