Wendy Lerman Blog

An addendum to the website http://www.wendylerman.com

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Today Is My New Beginning

I've been dreaming of this day for so many years and it's finally here, my new beginning.

I start my first Reiki class today and I already want to blog about the experience but it may have to wait until tomorrow.

I already have a list of people that I want to treat in addition to the countless strangers who will cross my path. By mid April when I complete the 2nd level I will be able to begin.

This is better than Christmas!

All my AS and other cancer friends (and their families), please try and get some Reiki now to help with your treatments.

Love and Light,

Wendy

posted by Wendy Lerman @ 6:47 AM 1 Comments Links to this post

Monday, March 14, 2011

Full Disclosure and Prayers to Japan

My entire life— up until a few years ago—has been spent in denial. I was the “queen” of defense mechanisms to shield myself from feeling and to keep those around me at arm’s length. I was weak inside but my walls were indestructible—nobody could break through, though there were many who tried. There was, by far, a severe misconception going in my head. All that time I believed I was strong but in reality I acted the part for so long, I came to believe it. Deep down I believed that if I were to open up I would become weak…vulnerable, and become swallowed up. I’m ashamed by how long it took me to learn but I am also comforted to know that I am not alone in this and maybe I can be of assistance to any one of you. I will now re-emphasize my reasons to share my experiences: they are for any reader that may possible identify with something I’ve said that may assist them in a direction that leads to their own “AHA!” moment.That being said, this particular post is more about disclosure of who I am in an elaborate sense. I had no intention of writing this evening and even if I had, my topic would be anything other than this.

Today is my birthday and I am so proud to admit I am 43. I know! I don’t look it! And a majority of the time I don’t act it either! I always say “You don’t stop playing when you get old, you get old WHEN you stop playing!” This topic will be elaborated on another day as today I need to confront my fears by letting you in. I’m so grateful to be alive and at the same time, I am a complete and utter mess over the devastation resulting from the earthquake in Japan.

My intentions of how I would celebrate my day of birth were to let the day take me wherever the wind blew. There would be no rushing anywhere! Because we are having company tomorrow I had to tend to some chores around the house and I ended up cleaning the entire day and evening. It certainly didn’t have to take that long but unconsciously I chose to because I needed to avoid facing Japan’s disaster. When all was said and done I finally put my feet up out of sheer exhaustion and began to…think. Oh no! This is what gets me into trouble. I decided to go online or watch tv but it can’t be avoided. The news is everywhere! If I am not in constant state if pre-occupation then it cannot hide and I have no choice but to surrender to it and all the emotions that go with it. Of course I couldn’t predict this disaster but I sensed something of great magnitude was about to happen and that has to be the most unsettling feeling ever. All I want right now is to climb into my closet! You can run, but you cannot hide.

Anyone with a heart is going to feel terrible over these types of catastrophes right? I know I am not alone in my feelings and I also know I am not alone when I say that my gift/curse is that I feel things on the most personal level there is—I feel everyone’s pain as though it is my own. Okay I will say it now…I am an Empath and I was born this way. It’s been progressively getting worse (since I broke through these walls) and I am finding that I cannot control feelings—especially when they are not even mine. I realize how weird this sounds and I am going to take it one step further by sharing just a few recent experiences.

I went to Au Bon Pain many times during my hospitalization with my IV pump and all. One day as I was standing in the back corner of the crowded elevator, I became flooded with emotion (which is nothing new to me). My room was on the 15th floor and elevator rides at Brigham can seem endless because it stops at almost every floor. In most circumstances I don’t learn the specifics to the feelings and in time they go away. I thought to myself “summon some patience to make it to my floor and get out of here!” and just then a woman turns to the doctor standing next to me and proceeds to thank him for all he did for her father even though he was moments away from taking his last breath. The tears began to flood, I couldn’t stop them and as I looked around the elevator, I realized it was full of (only) his family, the doctor and me. They all turned and looked at me! I was trapped and all I could do was to tell them how very sorry I was. If that wasn’t bad enough, I got off the elevator and sobbed hysterically all the way down the hall to my room— which was not private. I had nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. I felt very embarrassed.

On Labor Day weekend, my co-worker’s son (who just turned 21 and was also a co-worker) was murdered. I used to be able to keep myself together while attending wakes but not anymore. I got through the procession line and just when I thought I was in the clear, I had a major anxiety attack. I ran through the funeral home and out the back door gasping for air and clutching my chest that hurt so bad that I believed I was having a heart attack. As I burst out the back door I practically knocked over a woman and her sister who were out there getting some air. The woman was my co-worker. Do I need to say more? Of all people to see me this way but the woman who just lost her son! And it ended with her consoling and trying to help me! That day woke me up to the fact that I needed to find some help.

I always knew I had an extreme level of empathy and although it felt like a curse very often, deep down I knew it was a gift that I didn’t know how to use. On the bright side, since in addition to feeling my emotions as well as other people’s, I feel them all, therefore, I get the good ones too!

I am very recently discovering how to proceed in fulfilling my purpose here on earth. I know that my gift of being an empath allows me to relate to everyone and should be utilized in helping navigate life, it’s meaning, and our purpose. Now that I figured out how to heal my “self”, I can now learn how to heal other’s “self” with the help of Reiki. Reiki One, here I come (in 5 days), and not soon enough.

With love, light and many prayers to Japan,
Wendy

posted by Wendy Lerman @ 12:51 PM 0 Comments Links to this post

Monday, March 07, 2011

The Impact We Have vs How We Were Impacted

My birthday is coming up and I can still hear the story playing over and over in my head. Mom and her friends were finishing up with their weekly Mahjong game when mom’s water broke. I was in such a hurry to enter the world that I was born in the hospital elevator. I was supposed to be named Kimberly and my big sister was so excited that she wrote me a letter to welcome me home and it began with “Dear Kimberly”. My grandmother threatened to disown my mom if she didn’t choose another name. And finally, giving birth to me was the start to all of mom’s medical problems and it all went downhill from there.

I was never too fond of my birthday because it caused me anxiety and guilt. My birthday served as a reminder of the nineteen year struggle my mom faced until she could fight no more. I know she would have become ill whether or not I was conceived and she knew it too. I know this now but I didn’t for many years. I also knew she had feelings of resentment toward me that she wished she didn’t have— she too felt guilty for it. And I also know that she loved me and she still does.

Feeling guilty for being born and causing the dynamic of my family so many changes left me feeling like a burden. I always seemed to have either and ear infection, strep throat or a stomach virus. If my mom picked me up and sat me on the kitchen table, she didn’t even have to speak a word—I KNEW we were heading out to the pediatrician, panic set in and I would begin crying.

Thinking back to my earliest years, I realize just how resourceful I was. I must have been three or four when I woke up in the middle of the night and my bed was wet. I went into my parent’s room for help and I remember so clearly how distraught my dad was as he climbed out of bed and proceeded to change my sheets. The next time it happened I decided there was no way I was going to cause anyone to be upset with me and I handled it on my own from there—all of it! Emotionally I became on my own from that very evening. When it got to be too much for me, I went into my closet with my pillow and blankie and cried where nobody could see me and nobody could hear me. This was the day I created my wall–one with which remained for over thirty years until I awoke and decided to do the work.

Let me make it clear that I no longer harbor any resentment or blame toward any of my family members. Everything I share is for a reason—awareness!

I still cry on my birthday because I am reminded of all the years we suffered as a family, but my tears are now combined with tears of joy–for being born—for being alive… and for having this opportunity to pay it forward.

With love and light,
Wendy

posted by Wendy Lerman @ 10:03 AM 4 Comments Links to this post

Friday, March 04, 2011

Confronting 71-A

The struggles I’ve faced in the past, the ones I presently face and the ones I will face in the future all have, or will have, meaning. I can choose not to share any of my experiences or insight and believe me, sometimes I don’t want to, but I know doing this is part of my purpose-to plant seeds. What anyone may or may not pick up is their choice and out of my hands.

There are many who ridicule my ways and may not think too highly of me. I knew to expect it. This very thing is what has been holding me back since 71-A and that’s a very long time!

How I think of it is very different from how I feel. How I figured it out was by doing a lot of work, going back many years. I heard the (unofficial) therapist in me asking “and how does this make you feel?” Well, I feel conflicted at times. On the one hand I am fortunate enough to see (or hear) how I have helped others in some big or small way. On the other hand, I am sometimes made to feel exactly how I felt when I was in 71A, different and almost non-conforming. I have been avoiding a confrontation with a seventh grade experience! It almost sounds silly to say. It defined me and it took years for me to revisit because it was buried (repressed) so deep that I forgot. Because I did the work I was able to find the source. I also found and uncovered a lot more and will either share them when the time is right, or save them for my book.

To think that some of our current day struggles directly relate to childhood experiences is not a new concept. It is however one that we often choose not to make time for. My hope is that by me sharing what I uncovered and how I learned and grew from them, perhaps others will do the same for themselves.

I went through the stages of grief from a seventh grade experience— Sadness, depression, anger and lots and lots of resentment. All the “what ifs” and how different my life would have been if only! What I have come to realize is that yes, my life would have been different and perhaps I would have went on to medical school. Perhaps I would have been a professor at MIT or Harvard. Perhaps I would be published and world renown as someone who contributed to the greater good of mankind. As we all know, that didn’t happen but what I have come to realize is that I had a direction in life that has not changed, only the road I took to get there.

I am human just like the rest of us. I continue to make mistakes and have many flaws that I am constantly battling to improve. And I now choose not to factor in what anyone says about my work and the progress I make on a daily basis. I’m shooting for all the A+(s) I can get!

WL&L,

Wendy

posted by Wendy Lerman @ 9:14 AM 0 Comments Links to this post

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Navigating out from the Rabbit Hole

A Rabbit Hole (RH) can open below us at any moment during the day, or you may even wake up in one. Come on, did you ever have something happen first thing in the morning and say to yourself “Darn, I sure hope this is not indicative of the day I’m about to have!” And yes, your entire day does get worse and worse, and worse until the moment arrives where you transition into a fight or flight mode that eventually depletes all your energy. Then what are we left with? We have no fight left. We have no flight left either. All we are left with is that very familiar feeling of mourning, though we don’t recognize it as such. And that is the problem. Let me break down a few scenarios-

Whether you woke up in a RH, or tripped into one first thing in the morning, choose one:

A> I hope my day gets better!
B> I hope my day doesn’t get worse/my day cannot possibly get any worse!

If you chose B>, stop here! Your day is going to suck right up until the point where you have to go to bed from mental exhaustion or hide under the covers because you don’t have the physical energy to fight or run either. I chose B> today. Instead of hoping my day got better, I hoped that it didn’t continue to get worse-so of course it got worse. I was supposed to state my intention in the positive “hope it gets better”.

If you chose A>, good job but don’t stop here. Now you must: Acknowledge your fall and make the choice to uncover the pieces.

Take this time for you. This is your “Me Time”. Pamper your body, mind, spirit and soul— whichever way works for you. And if you don’t know by now which ways do work for you, then that is where you start! Where do you go to retrieve inspiration/rejuvenation? Or what activities do you do to get this feeling? If you don’t know, then it’s time to explore, try and experience new things. You’re looking for something that puts you in a creative type of mindset, that you enjoy, where the only thing you feel is serene and “In the Moment”. And no, I am not talking about things such as retail therapy or having a few drinks to drown it out. There are many things we do to either force ourselves into a better state of mind or drown out/avoid doing the work. These methods, while sometimes useful, only serve as a temporary fix.

What many don’t seem to grasp is that every single life lesson is a complex and fairly lengthy process. You don’t just go through a period of time that makes you feel bad inside and then just get over it. We are supposed to take every significant bad or noticeably negative experience and find our own meaning from it—because there is one. There is a reason. And a little hint to you all-it’s not about whatever it is that happened where you found yourself in “that place”, so stop thinking about the incident or confrontation or tragedy….and focus on how it made you FEEL—then—begin to dig into yourself and revisit the pains from your past.

To do this, find what way works for you. Whether it’s writing down the memories to self-analyze, utilizing music to trigger past memories or talking to someone who’s trained to recognize the defining moments you’ve missed along the way. We must FEEL to Heal.

Always remember, this is hard work but it also requires “Me Time”. And also remember, the answers always appear—in time—and, out of nowhere. You’ll need to be in the moment— via “MeTime”—so that all your senses are open—and with a clear mind to pay attention to what is within and around you, all the while, allowing your emotions and instincts to be your guide. It's a journey within your journey.

Wishing a safe journey to you all~

WL&L,

Wendy

posted by Wendy Lerman @ 1:09 PM 1 Comments Links to this post

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Another Rabbit Hole? I'm Not Ready!

I didn't fall into a Rabbit Hole (RH) today, I woke up in one. Spent the entire day and night in one (though I didn't recognize or acknowledge it) and just now put two-and-two together. I can't count how many times I've made this same mistake. I mean this goes back my entire life...well until now.

I just worked so hard to climb out of the last RH. I haven't even recovered from it yet, so why has another appeared so soon? I'm not ready!

Essentially I learned two things in this area:
1>We don't always fall into a RH, sometimes we wake up in one.
2> It doesn't matter if whether or not we are ready. We don't get to decide and sometimes they do appear back-to-back.

I know, it really stinks but it's truly for our own good.

Well, I gotta get busy piecing it together.
To be continued…

posted by Wendy Lerman @ 9:06 PM 0 Comments Links to this post