Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

When you're looking at your self in the mirror, you have to remember that that image is only a part of you.~ Judith Jamison



Ever since Jeff and I set the intention to heal the tremors that have been with me for years, I've been giving a lot of thought about mirrors, how I see myself and seeing myself through the eyes of others from the past along with a concept called mirror neurons.

During this morning's meditation, I had a brief moment where I felt the fear of paralytic polio and seeing myself through the cold rejecting neglectful eyes of my mother -- and then I shifted to remembering the wonderful vision I had of a Being that was pure Love and came to me to get me through the mess of my childhood... and I reflected on mirrors and how we see ourselves and how fear and love can't co-exist...

I used to be incredibly self conscious about head and hand tremors. I recall people's stares and inquiries that I internalized so that I was in fact creating a loop for the tremors to continue. Fearing that the tremors would happen and someone would see them increased their intensity. I also fed the fires of self consciousness that would not allow my nervous system to heal from all that went before with how others saw me after I contracted paralytic polio sadly including my very own family members. When I returned to school in September after contracting paralytic polio at the end of my kindergarten year. I was using two crutches and was in a full metal leg brace wearing red polio shoes. My mother and grandmother made the decision that my beautiful long hair needed to be cut into a pixie haircut because it was just too much trouble to care for. I had put on weight because I had been paralyzed for several months and was unable to exercise.

So last week, after having a flashback in the locker room (details not important) at WaveHealth after a great swimming workout, I realized that I needed to create a new internal mirror for myself that was filled with love, compassion, kindness and faith!

I decided the tremors are invisible. They are healed and gone. I am beautiful, strong, confident. The girl who experienced paralytic polio and violence is gone. I am creating a new biology, neurology and neuromuscular net free from the constraints of those experiences.

Last Friday, after declaring that the tremors are invisible, I am healed and I can trust with every fiber of my Being that everything is healed, we bumped into a dear friend of ours who has known me for years. I hadn't seen her in a few months. We had a moment. That moment when you haven't seen someone in a couple of months and they can't get over how good you look and how steady you are and they look you up and down and you tell them the latest happenings in your healing journey and they say, "Ooh I've got goosebumps." Yeah that moment! She chose to use the word steady - not me and we both knew that she was referencing the tremors.

I train my eyes to see what I am creating and to trust that the healing has already happened. I smile and feel gratitude overflow in my heart and I feel a well spring of joy leap from my soul. Fear had become a habit and an addiction because of the chemistry associated with the stress response. I train myself through meditation and observing my thoughts throughout the day to replace fear with love, strength, confidence, determination and realizing how invincible I am to have lived through the hell I lived through and to be here now.

I know the Truth!

And it's not that the mirror lies, it's that I get to create the Truth I want to see in the mirror.

Last Saturday I was blessed to find a new hairstylist after not getting my hair done for 5 months! I found Jen LeBlanc at Star Salon & Style through a friend I was blessed to meet, Michelle Rigano, a member of Marc Fucarile's Boston Marathon team. It's the first time I went to get my hair done and I did not feel the need to address "the tremors" because I was confident they are healed. Jen and I talked about what we were going to do with my hair and she made sure that her vision was my vision. She created an absolutely stunning style for me and was also able to get rid of a lot of the weight of my hair that I no longer needed to carry around with me. It's an outer reflection of the transformation that is happening within me mind, body and Spirit and a letting go of the past. We talked about running, races, paying it forward, healing, creating our lives rather than reacting to what we think is and just had a wonderful time getting to know one another. One topic of conversation that never came up - tremors! New found freedom in my thoughts creates a new outer reality.

I am creating a new image of myself as a woman and as a runner. I am using the concept of mirror neurons to help me keeping company with elite runners and watching videos and movies about runners who are swift of foot and champions of the sport.

In Joe Dispenza's, "You Are the Placebo," he writes,

"But how do you and I become supernatural? We have to begin to do what's unnatural - that is to give in the midst of crisis, when everyone is feeling lack and poverty; to love when everyone is angry and judging others; to demonstrate courage and peace when everyone else is in fear; to show kindness when others are displaying hostility and aggression; to surrender to possibility when the rest of the world is aggressively pushing to be first, trying to control outcomes and fiercely competing in an endless drive to get to the top; to knowingly smile in the face of adversity; and to cultivate the feeling of wholeness when we're diagnosed as sick.

It seems so unnatural to make these types of choices in the midst of such conditions, but if we repeatedly succeed, in time we'll transcend the norm and we too, become supernatural. And most important, by your being supernatural, you give others permission to do the same. Mirror neurons fire when we observe someone else performing an action. Our neurons mirror the neurons of the other person, as though we were performing the same action. For example, if you watch Serena Williams hit a tennis ball, you will hit he ball better than you did before. ... And if you witness someone self-healing from a disease by changing his or her thought processes, you'll be more prone to do the same."
p. 300-301.

I see myself from the inside out; as lean, healthy, strong, steady, confident, joyful and vibrant. After a very long winter of limited physical activity, I can see my body transform as I run, cross train in the pool and strength train. I had several people tell me last weekend how vibrant and well I look. Do I run and look in the mirror to see if that's true? No - I don't need to because that's who I am and how I look; because I am making new choices and creating a new present and future for myself. I feel the heal, transcend all that went before and transform as I get ready to toe the starting line two weeks from Friday at the Harvard Pilgrim 5K Finish at the 50.

Mirror mirror on the wall who is the most bad ass of them all? That would be me!


I chronicle the first 7 years of my healing journey after being diagnosed with post polio syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease as a survivor of childhood paralytic polio and 9 years of childhood domestic violence in Coming Home:A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility.


In Journey Well, the journey continues in the wake of my nephew's suicide on 3/4/11 and the events of 4/15/13. Through my journey of healing and transformation, we learn that no matter what life circumstances happen to us, we can always find a way to journey well.


50% of book proceeds from all of my books, available on Amazon are donated to the Arredondo Family Foundation whose mission is to provide a helping hand to those experiencing a tragedy and to provide education on matters relating to military, veterans, military families, and the issue of suicide.

I am working on my new book, Feel the Heal: An Anthology of Poems which brings together my best poems of the last 8 years and will include my latest poems as I continue to feel the heal and move forward in my life.





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