Article

The Turning Point

by Vicky Bowker Jeter

Suzanne graciously offered me the opportunity to write this article for Innerworks Publishing's, "InnerWords Messanger," because since she began working with me in the Spring of 1988, my life has completely transformed in the direction of my dreams. Gradually, over our time together, I have realized my capability to live the life I choose. And if I can do it, it is possible for just about anyone. So, she suggested I might share a piece of my journey.

I was born to parents struggling with addictions to alcohol and cigarettes. I was two months premature, with the umbilical cord wrapped tightly around my neck. This distress resulted in Spastic Cerebral Palsy. I walked with two Canadian crutches until I left home at age 19, and have used a cane at times as an adult. When I was first married, also at 19, I clung bravely to the kite-tail hope that love and marriage would magically lift me out of my family legacy of addictive chaos. As very often happens, hidden deep in the shadows of my marriage family, addiction was their legacy, as well. When the stark reality that "Addiction is a family disease," finally broke through my layers of denial at the end of a horrendous eight years of distructive cycles with my husband, I hit bottom. My marriage and an entire family was lost to the ravages of the disease process that completely eluded me even though, and perhaps because I had been raised in it. While I, myself, am not physically addicted to any substance, the co-dependent partner is often as affected or moreso, than the addict. The challenges before me in finding and rebuilding the pieces to my life were sincerely daunting. The turning point looked like this:

I left my house for the last time in mid-September, 1989. October 15, would be my 27th birthday; I went to my mother's in San Jose, California to ease my isolation. We celebrated on the 16th with a family outing to the beach at Santa Cruz. I sat there on that beach as the evening sun sank toward the waves, praying and watching my 87 year old grandfather walking in the surf with his great grand children. The kids were scurrying to fill a mote around their sand castle. Watching them wildly chase after the waves as they went out, only to be knocked down by the force of the tide incoming, I realized that the ceasless battle of my life was being played out for objective view with adorable simplicity, and as if for the first time, I understood my exhaustion.

In that moment I saw myself walking to the waters edge with a bucket; when the waves came in I bent down calmly to meet them; the bucket filled effortlessly. While waves receeded I walked to the mote to fill it, and then back again to the incoming surf, easily dancing with the rythm of Life to meet a desire--it was possible to live differently. But how? Well, in order to get where you want to go, the first step is candidly seeing where you truly are; Life was getting ready to show me.

Exactly 24 hours later--October 17,1989 at 5:04 p.m., my entire family was gathered around my brother's kitchen table in San Jose--my hands, laying gently on the surface, suddenly felt charged like an electric shock that raced through my body--my brother was yelling, "Earthquake! Everybody out!" Instinctively, I dropped to all-fours. As my body attached to the tumultuous floor something heavy fell from above me and smacked the back of my head--I froze for the longest five minutes of my life through an unbelievable noise. At 7.1 intensity, the center of the Loma Prieta quake was none other than the mountains parallel the beach at Santa Cruz. I was in awe of the synchronicity of place and time; I was profoundly grateful we were not dead, missing or at the very least trapped in Santa Cruz subject to countless unknowns. I was in awe of the message I had been given not only about the status of my relationship with Life, but also that I could change it with the courage to learn new steps to the dance.

Today the foundation of my dance with Life is based on a commited and deeply personal spiritual practice and a balance of self-care that is rarely more than a day or two away from the front burner of my attention. In particular, this means consistently getting enough sleep; eating steadily a diet that is right for my body--this is an individual and unique quest, which for me took some study and naturpathic support; drinking enough fluids, which I never imagined is so important as it truly is until my body got balanced; taking care of my feelings and my choices, leaving others to manage their own--a skill which I gained largely from Adult Child of Alcoholic (ACOA) 12-step support. This was the first step my earliest counselors helped me make just prior to my finding Suzanne; and having a variety of resources to support me, such as well established friends and like-minded interest groups. Building my support system went like this:

I met Suzanne about a year before the end of my marriage when she did her
"Acorn to Oak Tree" Self-esteem Workshop at my church. I reached out to her the next day, and made my first individual appointment for counseling.
I have counseled with her ever since over the years with a few healthy breaks in the rythm of our relationship.

The first tool we found to be profoundly beneficial for me is journal-writing. Writing is an artistic passion for me, so it energizes me to write out significant events, dreams, etc., to allow forming the words to help me discover deeper messages in the eventful guideposts of my life. Life speaks to us in unique ways designed for each individual to hear; developing a personal artistic inclination as a path to self-discovery is definitely one way to reveal guidance and manifest personal preferences. The next step was to invest in a field of education that intrigued me. This helped me to revitalize areas of friendship, and realize while I was in grief, I also had my whole life ahead of me. Within the next four years I was licensed as a Practitioner of Religious Science. This is an ecclesiatical professional license specializing in exercising the operation of universal law and personal faith in conjunction with the power of choice to co-create with God in Life.

At this point, I was ready to begin to "give back," in some ways all that I had been given to heal. Of course, the giving brought on deeper healing and opportunities that multiplied. By this time, I was beginning to realize the processes that heal us are one-in-the-same processes that manifest our dreams; the only distinction is where we happen to be on our path with each opportunity. So, I began to imagine how far my vision for my life could take me.

It had been seven years since my first marriage was completely disolved, and I knew that "best of all possible worlds," if I was going to build the life of my dreams, I wanted to share it with a life-mate. So, I set out to attract my husband of today. I began to write him letters as if he were really "here" to talk to. I began to appreciate masculinity in every little way I could sincerely, to build an atmosphere of genuine safety and joy around me for men. I began to see little things in men and in couples that I knew I wanted in my mate; I would stop in the moment and claim them as being in my life--I knew that as momentum behind this began to build, one day it could show up in a complete package--the person and his life to match mine. Literally, on February 14, 1995, my husband Vernon walked into my life. For several months we had no idea we were meant to share a lifetime, but we were robustly married on
October 12, 1996.

When married life had well integrated for both of us after five years together, I told Vernon I was back on the healing trail. All of my previous experiences had been supporting a bi-product conviction that I could substantially improve my ability to walk if I kept praying and seeking through my whole program. I wanted to intimately understand and "befriend" my disability, Cerebral Palsy. I began research and study; soon I was on a combined program of Bio-feedback and Therapeutic Yoga, both of which taught me bodily awareness and meditation techniques I will keep with me for the rest of may life. My yoga instructor, Linda Palmer, was a direct trainee of Deepak Chopra, and introduced me to his program titled, "Synchrodestiny," (The study and practice of synchronicities cumulating into miraculous transformation.) which would mark the last MAJOR bend in my road leading to where I am today.

I have not actually met Dr. Chopra, but while I was studying Synchrodestiny, which is extensive, he met me in a dream-space for a very brief but pristinely clear exchange: He said, "Be silent, and be still--something wonderful is about to happen!" Waking, I could not imagine what was coming, but I knew by the qualitative sensation of the experience it was "something" important. Within a couple of months I was quite synchronistically introduced to my current mentor, Dr. William Emerson, who is a leading-edge pioneer in the field of Pre- and Perinatal Psychology and Health. (Focus on the experience of coming into this life, from the moment of conception through our first experiences after birth, and the vital importance acknowledging this holds for the quality of individual lives and who we each become. Dr. Emerson's website is emersonbirthrx.com) Entering into his training program to heal and repattern my life from the grass-roots of my distressed birth on up, my journey has literally come 'round to my beginnings, and I have found myself FREE! What I have done, you can do also through seeking and following your intuition and guidance to the authentic self.

In closing, not enough can be said of the countless teachers and fellow wayfarer's to be found on a seekers path. Here, as ever along my way, I extend my profound gratitude to Suzanne and all of those who have so specifically dedicated their time and unique talents to see that I get where I am headed -- and most preciously to my beloved parents and family: We got here on a mutually agreed contract, and while they could not give me all that I needed, they taught me how to seek and find what I needed for myself.

 

Vicky Jeter, Religious Science Practitioner, poet and author, has her collected writings available at www.authorsden.com/VickyBowkerJeter

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