Life is an ongoing series of peaks and troughs. Lets imagine the peaks as gorgeous, green valleys, through which you gleefully skip in your plaid pinafore, your pigtails swinging in the breeze (sorry if you’re a dude and not into this look for yourself); everyone you pass smiles at you, wishes you well (gives you free food?), birds perch on your shoulder, animals and inanimate objects gaze lovingly at you, tailor your dresses and make your meals all while humming a happy tune– culminating in all of you, inevitably, bursting into song. Too far? Lets just leave it at this — you’re feeling great and everything in your life is going well.
Now for for the lows. Personally, my lows tend to involve me over thinking, overeating and feeling like the embodiment of the big “L” word, and I don’t mean Lesbian, I mean Loser, people. For me, the lows usually come from a combination of: feeling frustrated with things that are out of my control (personal, health and family), feeling fat because I can’t work out the same way I used to (I’m not fat per se but I have gone from 125lb to 135lb in the past 6 months), feeling lonely (new city and haven’t found “my people” yet), and that I’m not where I’m meant to be, or doing what I’m meant to be doing in life.
Apparently, the experience of ups and downs is something we all share. Unfortunately, my Instagram feed begs to differ. Every time I go on there I see people, ordinary civilians and glorified celebrities alike, looking well rested, well fed and decked out in the finest treads. I know what you’re thinking and no, I’m not an idiot (all the time). Unless they gave me that Masters degree by mistake… hmm.
My point is, I am well aware that no one’s life is perfect. But I also know that life is unfair and that some people are dealt harsher circumstances than others. I also know that when life sucker punches you, say, by you getting laid off or having a string of health problems, hypothetically speaking of course…. the healthiest thing to do is to accept, go with the flow and practice gratitude…DAILY. In the spirit of this Buddhist inspired mentality and after a conversation with a friend, I sought out a Reiki healer. Let’s call her…Shenaz. No idea where that came from and I might change it later, but anyway. I first found out about Shenaz on, wait for it…Instagram. She was a Reiki Healer, based in LA with a considerable number of followers (at least to me, with my modest yet trusty 800). Standing in her bedroom, looking into her phone camera, she preached love and light and offered her followers advice for restoring their inner balance. At this point, with my string of bad luck, I was prepared to try anything that might help, so I reached out. We scheduled a FaceTime call and she seemed nice enough. She had a very thick European accent. If you have one of those I will probably like and trust you quicker and more easily since I am also European…at least until Brexit goes into full effect 😦 I also remember thinking she smiled A LOT…perhaps an unnatural amount? Not like a subtle smile either. More like the grin of a cheshire cat accompanied by a burst of nervous laughter. Hm. Slightly off-putting. And yet, I went on with our FaceTime conversation, explaining my situation to her and asking for her advice. Her diagnosis? My energy was unbalanced and I was vibrating on a low-frequency, which explained why I was attracting such bad luck. She told me that she could heal me and in exchange, I would teach her how to improve the quality of her videos, from a producer’s standpoint, and how to edit using Premiere Pro CS6. Seemed like a pretty good deal for someone still actively searching for work, let me tell you!
Since I was essentially being healed from all my woes for FREE, I showed up at her place with a grande Starbucks vanilla latte for her. She left me waiting outside for 45 minutes. When she eventually came down to collect me, she was really friendly but in a “Im wired” kind of way. Her apartment was nice but very cluttered and messy. It was a studio, so she had her queen bed next to a “healers table” next to an actual dinner table next to a vanity next to the kitchen — very tight. Her skittish little dog (I think a chihuahua) was going nuts. It was just weird energy. Anyway, by this point I had already taken the bus here, bought her a latte and waited 45 minutes. I was committed. We sat at her dining table on high stools and she did what seemed like a body scan meditation with me. She started it sitting opposite me but by the end of it she was standing directly behind my chair (“When the heck did she get THERE!” I later thought, panicked) . She didn’t lay her hands ON me but I could feel the heat from her hands as she made them hover over the back of me, moving them up and down, from my head to my lower spine. Now, if you know me, you’ll know that I like meditation. It helped me a lot in the aftermath of a serious accident that left me bedridden for almost a year. It was the one place I could go to find peace and accept the fact that my life at 27 wasn’t quite how I wanted or imagined it would be…but that was okay. Because it had to be. And that one day I would make up for the lost time and be happy again. So as I sat there in this strange lady’s apartment doing this bodyscan meditation with her, I wasn’t afraid because it was familiar to me. When I opened my eyes, I remember feeling a bit light-headed. She said that this was because my “energy had cleared”….I don’t know. She then went onto tell me about her past as a drug addict and prostitute…
I couldn’t just make a b-line for the door. That would have been extremely rude…so I stayed and taught her some shooting and editing tips and helped her craft one of her upcoming posts. Then as I was gathering up my belongings to leave and heading for the door, it happened. I slammed my toe into the corner of her wooden bed frame and it broke. Legit broke. Like you could see the break and my toe doubled in size within 5-10 minutes. It was baaaaaaaaad. I am pretty stoic so I just kind of looked at it. Looked at her. Looked at it. “Oh! It’s fine!” she said. Me– “Mmm. I don’t know… I think it’s broken.” She looked concerned and said ” Come! Sit here, on the floor, and I’ll heal it.” So, what do I do? Programmed to be polite until the death (stupid British/Catholic upbringing), I go over there and essentially give her my toe. She places her hands on it and presses down. Fuck! It’s so sore!! I grimace a bit, but definitely don’t utter those words aloud. Then after a minute she announces with a smile — “All Better!”
BULLSHIT! I would just like to say that I could not walk home on that foot AT ALL and had to limp! Within the hour, my toe had turned a majestic, almost royal blue and got so incredibly fat that I couldn’t comfortably fit it in any of my shoes!
The moral of this story is — well, there are a few, but here are my main takeaways. Number 1, don’t let wackos or anyone you don’t trust mess with your energy because I sincerely believe that the universe caused me to break my toe (I got confirmation from the nice, though sadly NOT male and hot doctor at Cedar-Sinai Hospital that my toe was in fact badly broken. The nice lady doctor told me I would need to ice it regularly, wear a splint and cumbersome, I mean TRENDY! black boot for 3 months until it healed— SEXAAAYYYYY) in order to a) teach me that lesson and b) to make sure I never saw that strange woman again!
For me, lesson number 2 was that, yes, life can be shit. Not everyone will experience what you go through and many cannot relate/empathize. Things happen that get you down BUT, and this important — how much you CHOOSE to DWELL on the shit, kind of dictates what happens next in your story. When you brush off the bad experiences and keep pushing forward with as much hope and optimism as you can muster, good things start to happen, eventually. But you’ve got to keep believing, and not in a half-assed way either. You have to go all in and TRUST. As someone who has been close to death, I have to think like this, because it’s the only way that I can find the strength to keep going.
Lesson number 3, try not to look externally for people to help or heal you. Try to look inside yourself and find your own strength. Try to trust and rely on yourself and try to believe that you’ll be okay…in the end.
“Everything in the Universe is within you. Ask all from yourself.” Rumi