Not being much of a worrier, I’d been more eager about his arrival home for the holidays than anxious about his winter drive from L.A. to Omaha. It’s a good thing I didn’t waste my worry. I’d be needing it soon enough.
The other driver crossed over the interstate median and hit his car head on. Benjamin opened his eyes to see the stars in the December sky and the flashing lights of emergency vehicles. His car was destroyed around his slender body now crushed on either side. Hours later, after the life flight to the trauma center and the shock worn off, he screamed in pain as they prepared his limbs for the surgeries to follow.
The holiday season became the hospital season.
Ever since he was a teenager, Benjamin has led a life of learning about healing. Years of meditation, his travels to India, his stint at a yoga ashram, his qui gong and kung fu. His disciplined practices had strengthened body and spirit for years. Both were now tested to their limits.
Help and hope were in high demand. Help from family and friends flew in from throughout the country. Hope was here, too, because Ben knew what he needed and what he did not.
Ben sought out the Chinese medicine practitioner to perform acupuncture and prescribe herbs. The massage therapist to turn trauma in his cells and losses in his life to be released with heartbreaking sobs. His dear doctor friends back in New York. The counsel of his junior high buddy, now physical therapist, who understands both Ben and the body.
Ben also rejected what he knew would not serve him. Too many opioids. The tasteless tray of unhealthy hospital food. Attachment to his plans for the year ahead.
He was relentless in his intention to heal. His days started with meditation and chanting followed by a regimen of tonics and whole foods, grueling exercises, and endless appointments for physical therapy and physician assessments. He perpetually pushed himself to his limit and then always just a bit beyond.
Twelve months later, he’s not only able to walk but to declare kung fu as a practice anew.
Throughout his journey, Benjamin continued yet another path—one he’d been on for the preceding four years. Propped up with pillows, he zoomed from his bed and worked on his laptop in his program at the Radical Aliveness Institute, where practitioners are trained to “understand, feel, heal, and transform on all levels of their being.”
He’ll graduate next week. This mom could not be prouder.
Happy Graduation, Healer.
How does your past experience help you to know what you need?
Do you trust yourself to know what you do and don’t need?
Who inspires you to keep on your path toward healing or a heartfelt goal?