Updated: Jul 26
by Thea Iberall
In my meditation blog of July 23, I summarized our collective wisdom regarding tools to use to live in expectancy. But I have a deep question regarding my health. When I receive a diagnosis, I believe the test results and the doctor’s opinion. I buy into the provable fact that I have this disease or illness or medical condition that I don’t want. And as a result, I am totally setting myself up. My expectations focus on an outcome of good health and can lead to disappointment if the medical condition doesn’t go away or if it gets worse. Expectancy is being open to the possibilities, accepting the outcome and not making judgments about them. That’s pretty hard to do when I’m in terrible discomfort or if it’s my life at stake. So, if a doctor tells me I have an illness, how can I not be my diagnosis? How do I live in expectancy?
My answer is prune boats. My grandmother, who was born in 1890 in Lithuania, stuffed a walnut into a prune every morning and ate a few of these ‘prune boats.’ She taught my mother to do it, and my mother taught me. She believed food was medicine. The prunes are medicine to avoid constipation, the walnuts are for good cholesterol. My mother, who died at the age of 102, had other remedies for arthritis, for diarrhea, for bloating, and for memory loss. (see People’s Pharmacy for others).
I speak for myself and my own experience. In 1990, a friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer. I don’t remember what kind. But I know that she went to Hawaii and honestly and deeply faced and released the core pain of her life, her angers, her resentments. And a black ooze discharged from her body and she no longer had cancer. Since then, I have believed that Western medicine doesn’t have all the answers. Western medicine has made incredible advances in my lifetime and will gain even more in my grandchildren’s lifetimes, which means it is prescribing solutions with an incomplete model of our bodies. In 1990, my eyes were opened to view the human body in its totality, and I have spent the last 30 years learning about myself at the physical, emotional, spiritual, and energetic levels. Perhaps things that are labeled ‘alternative medicine’ today will make it into the Western medicine toolbox. Meanwhile, my toolbox is filled with lots of other solutions.
Besides Western medicine, I use energy modalities that cost money like reiki, acupuncture, biofeedback, systemic chiropractic, and deep-body massage. I use less expensive things like food as medicine, supplements, essential oils, aromatherapy, and homeopathic remedies. And I use free ones like energy medicine, exercise, laughter as medicine, placebo cures, spiritual alignment, mindfulness, and emotional honesty.
I have atrial fibrillation, meaning my heart is beating irregularly. I have to be on blood thinners so that I don’t have a stroke. If I am in a car accident, I will die because my blood is too thin to clot correctly. I don’t want the afib, I don’t want thin blood. I can pretend I don’t have it in order to be in expectancy, but I can always test for it with my stethoscope.
How do I now live in expectancy? My first step is to keep training my mind to be in the solution space. I talk to my heart like I do my inner child and send it my gratitude and compassion. I live in the belief that I am healthy. And I accept my state, praying for my soul’s highest and best good.
And I focus on what is in my control as a system. At the physical level, I give my body food as medicine that supports a healthy heart. I take supplements that help my heart be healthy. I walk and exercise. At the energetic level, I run my meridians and do reiki on myself. I’ve done lots of acupuncture and Touch For Health. I practice Donna Eden’s energy medicine and stress-reduction techniques and I press acupressure points on my body. At the emotional level, I clear any resentments and negative thinking. I practice living in acceptance. At the spiritual level, I meditate, I focus on my breath. I look for the good in everything. I do service.
And most of all, I focus my mind and do not buy into diagnoses. Candace Pert, who wrote The Molecules of Emotion, said the chemicals inside our bodies form a network, linking our minds to our bodies. What we think and feel releases chemicals that affect our physical bodies and can create disease. Patch Adams uses laughter, joy and creativity as an integral part of the healing process. Norman Cousins got two hours of pain-free sleep a night by genuinely laughing for 10 minutes a day. Doctors are waking up to the fact that placebos and ritual are actually curing people. Mindset.
Doing this work systemically, I have relieved myself of sciatica, fibroids, depression, a knee problem after a skiing accident, carpal tunnel, prediabetes, acid reflux, addictions, and numbness in my hands.
In 2008, Terry McBride stood in the front of a group and said, "It didn’t matter that I had an incurable disease. It didn’t matter that the odds against my getting well were a million to one.” His message? He used the power of his mind to augment the 29 surgeries he had to save him from a flesh-eating bacteria. The doctors told him he would never be free of the colostomy bag they connected to him nor of the wheelchair. He showed us his book, “The Hell I Can’t.” He was dancing at the front of the room and touching his toes, free of his illness.
We have close friends who died trying just the energetic and spiritual solutions. We have close friends who died believing Western medicine would cure them. It’s with awareness that I think it’s worth doing it all.
I am not atrial fibrillation. I believe it is a temporary condition that is in the process of leaving my body. I thank it for the wake up call and I invite it to leave. I give it strong reasons to leave by all the levels I am working at. I imagine my heart in perfect health. I practice self-care and acceptance instead of resistance. I monitor my meridians and clear my energy and emotional fields.
Am I in expectancy about it? Am I open to the possibilities, accepting the outcome and not making judgments? What I learned from Terry McBride, is my mind has to be 100% into the belief of wellness. I free myself of the Western medicine proclamation of a pigeon-hole. But because the arrhythmia words are in my energy field, I change them by renaming my condition to be an energetic imbalance. Like Shirley renamed fibromyalgia to muscle cramps. I let go of the question and keep my focus on the steps I can do, on the things in my control. The rest will sort itself out.
I agree with everything you said and I would add quantified self-devices like the Apple watch which provide objective, real-time data about our bodies. It’s a really powerful component of a comprehensive approach to our health. It has the potential to empower us and be in control of critical information about the state of our health that doctors should be soliciting from us. My doctor acknowledges that the reason I survived Covid was because of how I have built my body up using my smart watch.
Thank you. I had both an energized experience listening to your reading and also an overwhelmed feeling. All of it made sense to me and it taps into the perfectionist in me. Part of my reflection as I sat with it was to boil down what is meaningful to me and what I am gravitating towards incorporating in my life. And then I focused on my breathing because I felt anxiety and fear, and I wasn’t sure what was happening. I tried to breathe into that and released it. I did get calmer. It is monumental to me to make this shift in a sincere and disciplined way. That was important information for me and I appreciate it.
Thea says: You really took care of yourself and you used mindful breathing. I think the first step is changing our mindset and everything else is secondary. You handled it. You went in and connected with yourself. That’s mindset. Thank you for sharing that.
Thank you. As you were listing all the work that you do, it all costs money, and your commitment to all this. How many people can do that? How many people have the time, energy, resources? Which is why we take pills. Of course, it’s better for us to be aware of our bodies and doing all that. But it’s hard for the mom with two kids and working full-time and budgeting. She isn’t going to have an Apple watch and money for reiki and not even the time and space in her head to devote to that. On the other hand, somehow we have to manage to do more of that. I am blessed in that I just found a new yoga teacher. I decided to commit money and time to this. She zeroed in on my breathing. I’m not breathing right. I have a numb area in my heart. I’m not breathing into my heart. I am blessed to have this person with skill who can help me. I’m going to be doing energy work with someone else, which is also a commitment of finances. But I want to do this. For the first time in a long time, I am feeling hopeful that I am getting past these blocks. I am blessed that I have the resources. I feel badly for those who are struggling to get by day after day. They are courageous to get up everyday and continue.
Thea says: Thank you. I apologize if I overwhelmed people. I am summarizing 30 years of work where I explored all this. It’s why I separated out modalities that cost money, modalities that cost less money, and modalities that are free for that very reason. And I will put a link to Donna Eden’s 5-minute energy routine. I am aware of people’s time and resource commitments. It’s why we take a pill, it’s just easier. But I don’t think a pill works with my energy. It’s about mindset and releasing core pains and breathing.
Thank you for joining us. Thank you for this continual exploration of expectancy versus expectations. I hope you all have a restful, blessed day. Thank you so much.