BEFORE my MEMORY kicked in...


 In the forties at least, mothers learned from family members how to feed their babies. My mother nursed me until probably somewhere between fifteen and seventeen months. According to her I was fed on a fairly rigid schedule around the clock as an infant. So I can safely assume if I cried from hunger before feeding time, I was left to cry until the scheduled time arrived. That taught me my feelings didn't matter.

When I was eighteen months, my brother Kenny was born and took my place in the loving safety of Mummy's arms nursing; the same place I'd occupied most of my life until then. I was too soon ousted. On top of that I had to experience watching him being nursed and cuddled in that love and safety I used to feel. I must have felt jealous and angry. Little did Mummy realize how traumatizing that would be for me, after having received her undivided love, safety and peaceful attention for my whole life so far.

Mummy was a practical woman, so she probably told me something like, "You're a big girl, you don't need to nurse, you can eat grown up food now. That didn't logically register in my mind because my mind hadn't yet developed. I'm certain I felt abandoned, jealous, rejected, terrified and angry, because most of these feelings are familiar and stayed with with me for the next eighty years of my life.

Mummy probably didn't understand why I kept my emotional distance from her growing up. I didn't want to be hurt again. As a result, I was unable to feel loved, heard or accepted and grew up convinced I was somehow flawed and defective. Unable to completely trust again, I remained distant and emotionally afraid of people most of my life.

In reality, my brain was actually protecting my survival by rewiring itself, thanks to neuroplasticity. This strengthened the physical survival part of my brain so I could grow up fairly intact. However, it greatly inhibited the emotional part of my brain from developing as it would have, had that trauma not occurred.

I'm sure Mummy and Daddy tried to show me love as best they could. But as a result of my brain rewiring, I could not give nor receive love from either of them. I survived physically, but became quite anxious and nervous with compulsive habits from age three that I can remember. They stayed with me until I discovered the tools and ability to consciously redo my brain rewiring to heal my nervous system, seventy or so years later.


Physical Introduction


I was born in Boston in 1939. World war one was in progress. Blackouts were frequent. I remember Mummy telling me she had to crawl on the floor with a flashlight at night because we didn’t have blackout curtains on the windows. One night a policeman yelled up to her saying, “Douce that light.”

My earliest memory is at bedtime. I was three years old standing by Mummy's left knee as she sat and said, "Go get the hot stuff." I knew where it was, so off I trot down the long hallway into the living room to fetch it. I watched as she painted the colorless smelly liquid on my tiny nails before I climbed into bed. It was supposed to stop me from biting them at night, but it didn't. I got used to the bitter taste and continued to compulsively bite them throughout childhood and well into late adulthood.

When I was first able to have thoughts, I knew something must be wrong with me, but I didn't know what it was. Mom often told me, “You didn’t want me to pick you up. You never let me cuddle you like your brother did." So it was all my fault. I felt misunderstood big time. I desperately wanted her approval, but never got it. I felt shamed, worthless and discounted. 

I grew up believing the worst about myself; that I was flawed and defective and didn't even deserve friends, I was told a few times, during scoldings. Not receiving any positive mentoring from anyone else, I believed everything I was told.

I married in 1964, had three daughters and separated four years and three months later. I soon began a college education program which took seven years to complete, receiving a BS degree in Early Childhood Education. However, I lacked the self confidence to actually teach on my own. For the next several years I read many self help books, which gave me valuable insights and ideas about my emotional and psychological self, as I worked at myriad jobs and training programs. 

At age 33 in 1973, I read a book by Victor Frankyl called, "Man's Search for Meaning." This was the first revelation, that I alone could change myself and my thoughts. I didn't have to change others, or convince them I wasn't who they thought I was. Victor was able to change his thoughts and views about his dreadful situation in a concentration camp which contributed to his ability to survive and write that book. So I thought, if he could change internally as much as he did, then I could also change internally. That was my first positive insight which has proved vital to me.

In 1980, my next partner/friend suddenly left me for another, which triggered an earlier emotional abandonment/rejection trauma when I was eighteen months, but hadn't been consciously aware of in 1980. As a result of this second trauma, I suffered what can be called a "psychological dissociation," a "breakdown," a "spiritual awakening,"  or "a system reboot (in a good way,)" in my "Buddy" Mooji's language. Naming the experience depends on your discipline or perspective.

I basically "lost my mind," the person I used to be was gone, as well as most of the agony of my separation from the only other woman in my life I felt loved by...my mother. I spent the next year being disoriented, not knowing which end was up.

One Sunday at a Unitarian church, I heard a talk which gave me a second significant insight as to how to change my ideas and thoughts about my life. The speaker said I was the one who created my life. Wow, I thought, if I created my sucky life, then I should be able to create a better one. That was so powerful it caused an upward swing for my life.

I made a firm decision to actually take full responsibility for my life and began to actively create a better one, becoming deeply introspective, reflective and contemplative almost daily, of my whole life. I promised myself I would not become involved in another romantic relationship until I became emotionally, psychologically and physically healthy, and I stayed true to that promise.

By 1990, my daughters had just about "left the nest" and I wanted to go to graduate school in psychology to see if I could find out what was wrong with me. I didn't find a thing. I received my MS degree, but I really didn't want to "fix" other people, it was me I wanted to "fix." So I set about "fixing" me. "I" became top priority for the next twenty plus years and made myself the CEO of my life. Nothing became more important than my own emotional, psychological and physical growth.

So over the next thirty some years, I used self help books, two television spiritual teachers, three different church philosophies, a graduate education in psychology, several psychological workshops, spent time deliberately homeless, plus several changes in personal identities, searching for why I felt so flawed and why I was so fearful of people. 

All my hard focused attention paid off as I slowly gained a clear, undeniable awareness of the Reality and what I truly AM, at the Core / Essence of this Being. By 2010, I found more and more spiritual teachers and pointers on the internet who validated all my emotional and psychological growth experiences over the past several years.

I then gained a "Spiritual" recognition of my own True Self which is a perfectly beautiful, but previously hidden, unflawed and non defective Self, that had been almost smothered by the heavy weight of conditioning and baggage, from probably well meaning parents and society.

Now, over forty years since my second emotional trauma, the previously overwhelming emotional fear of people has vanished and I live simply, joyfully and peacefully with unconditional love and compassion for myself and others.

I hope my writings can give you the reader, some clues you might be able to use in your own life, to come to fully recognize the beautiful freedom and Love you truly are, deep within your own Being.



Spiritual Introduction 


My first unusual experience was when I was about fourteen or so. I was walking up towards my parent's farm house. The cow pasture was within ten feet or so from the house and as I was walking up towards the house in the pasture, I was suddenly overtaken by a strange feeling of being One with the ground I was at. I stopped and felt an odd but good feeling I'd never felt before. It was all around me and it felt like I was One with all the ground. I never mentioned it to anyone until one winter in 2005 at a meeting in San Diego. When the question was asked if anyone remembered any Spiritual experiences from our youth, my pasture experience sprang to mind. I'd never forgotten it, so it came alive once more in my memory and I shared it not then knowing of it's great significance.

The second deep emotional experience occurred as I watched television, living with my aunt and uncle in the city. My family had no tv. I was watching two people singing together. As they looked into each other's eyes while singing, I felt a deep connection with them and between them. I'd never experienced that kind of deep connection with any person in my life ever. It seemed so real. I knew it was significant, but I didn't know why. But I did know I wanted that feeling again for sure in my life, somehow, someday.

I asked one of my counselors if he could help me experience that kind of interaction with people, after I'd explained what it was. He indicated he understood what I was asking for, but he didn't give me a clear answer and I soon stopped seeing him. Later, after the turn of the century and after I'd eliliminated most of my baggage and conditioning, I suddenly realized something big. From the upper corner of my minds eye, a puzzle piece swooped down as the last piece in my Life's puzzle. It was an absolute knowing that that television love connection was what I was looking for. My understanding of Life felt suddenly complete in that knowing. The deep mysterious formless connection with the Spirit of another Living form/body had been recognized as what I truly was, a Love connection.. But I still didn't understand it's significance.

When my life-in partner left me for another unexpectedly, one night in November of 1980, there was nothing my ego/mind could say or do keep her with me. Unbeknownst to me, her leaving triggered the emotional trauma I'd experienced as a one year old, that had never been acknowledged or dealt with, let alone remembered. My body remembered though.

Consequently a mental break of some kind happened. It could have been called a psychotic break, a psychological dissociation, or a Spiritual awakening, depending on One's discipline. I had no idea what had happened to my mind, but the next morning it was not active. The pain filled person I was the night before, had simply vanished along with most or all of the pain. The severity of my experience was not fully recognized by me, so I continued living my life, feeling very different inside, with a totally new view of my surroundings and my life in general.

I was disoriented for about a year, but in that disorientation, I  recognized my very strong left brain, controlling, self-centered self was missing and that was a good thing I knew. I seemed to be functioning only with half a brain, my right half, or my "feminine" side, experiencing emotions and feelings that were totally new to me and I thought that was a good thing also. So I didn't panic and try to find someone to help me. I was very used to dealing with things alone not ever asking for help. I didn't think I was worth helping, being the flawed and defective person I believed myself to be.

I accepted what was happening inside and followed what seemed like intuition. I saw that my rented house was a mess, which I hadn't noticed before in my stressful existence as a mother of three teenagers. I still had three teenagers and I immediately began cleaning, organizing things, eliminating clutter, retiling the kitchen floor and painting all the walls and feeling lighter than ever. 

As I was painting one wall in the hallway, I remember an experience of being completely present with the wall, the brush and the act of painting. I still remember my exact position when I felt that presence. I knew somehow that being present like that was a good thing. I was happy for that. I was also present on many days, sitting in the back yard being with the birds and squirrels. I'd look out the window as I washed dishes and was present with all I saw. That whole disoriented first year after my breakup was mostly a beautiful feeling, mixed with some short depression spells at times.

One day I was extremely depressed, sitting in my recliner. It was so strong I could neither stay there in the reclyner, nor get up out of it. What to do, I silently asked nobody? An urge or something inside messaged me and said, "Get up and go do the dishes anyway," which I promptly did and I noticed the depression just faded away.

I was soon drawn to watching a Spiritual teacher named Dale Batesole on TV. who interviewed others and was glued to him when he was on. I then found Teri Cole Whittaker on TV on Sundays. She had a television ministry in La Jolla, CA. She became my role model. I had a desire to someday become a motivational speaker like I felt she was.

I began to notice beauty in a brand new way. Beautiful things and scenery were all more intensely beautiful than I'd ever experienced as my old self. 

In 1981, when I was forty, I was at a book group gathering at the Unitarian church in California where I lived at the time. The book we were discussing was, "The Bagavid Gita." I was deeply drawn to it and simply loved it. Somehow I related exactly to what was being discussed. One evening, at the close of the session, I heard the leader saying things like, "We are all One together with everyone here in this room, with everyone in this city, in this country and in this world." 

At that point I was overcome with an intense feeling of Oneness with what he was saying, which included the whole Universe. That intense Onesess experience was beyond euphoric as I sat there. Others got up and went to the kitchen for snacks while I sat still, enthralled in the experience for a while longer. As I rose and slowly walked to the kitchen, the feeling vanished. I told nobody. I'd never before felt such an experience of immence joy along with a feeling of Oneness with the total Universe. It was incredible and I had no idea why it happened.

Throughout the eighties and nineties I had varying degrees of insights and ahah moments. In 2009 a ladder slipped out from under me. I fell and broke my back and shoulder and was forced to stop building my shed and walk around and socialize. I recognized I needed to address my fear of people, which I did for the next several years. 

Around 2010 I had another strange experience when I was walking up on an old logging road in the forest in back of where I lived. I heard the rushing creek water as I approached. It ran under the road. After crossing to the other side I suddenly felt quite different. I stopped to see what it was and realized I'd gone totally empty. The old sad, depressed person I was, with no partner, no friends, no productive work, no real home was gone. It felt just like that old self was washing down the creek as I stood there. After that experience, there was no more depression.

The only block left was in carrying a lot of shame I'd held in for my whole life. Around 2013 or so I made a list of over twenty shameful things I'd done in my life. I shared a few of them each week in my nonviolent communication group. (NVC) I'd been going to it for a few years and we all knew and trusted each other. After three or four weeks I'd shared most of my shameful events. Lo and behold they all loved me anyway, which was enough to free me from all the rest of my shame I hadn't shared. From then on there was no more shame at all. So beautiful it was. So free I felt.

As I write this book, there's only a Being living in the present moments of Life. Grace had brought me all the way Home. Things that need doing get done effortlessly. There's only much gratitude to the Universe and daily peace, joy and happiness, no matter what is going on around me, or in the world. I AM "in the world but not of it."