Being Present in Healing

My recent trip to the American West was, among other things, a test of the holistic approach to disease that I have followed for the last 33 months. My approach is perhaps best described within Deepak Chopra’s definition of quantum healing:

“…the ability of one mode of consciousness (the mind) to spontaneously correct the mistakes in another mode of consciousness (the body). It is a completely self-enclosed process” (Quantum Healing).

Essentially, this mind-body consciousness is a type of “intelligence” (Chopra’s term) attempting to restore balance in a body that is diseased. It was this “intelligence” that made sense to me when I first read Chopra’s book in the early 1990s and again in 2010 when I removed myself from medical care.


Undoubtedly, it takes a certain amount of desperation and frustration to walk away from medical science, which is not a route that Chopra, a medical physician, advocates. Rather, he argues that medical science can be a viable partner in working with the innate intelligence of the mind-body connection, with the following caveat:

A man-made drug is a stranger in a land where everyone else is blood kin. It can never share the knowledge that everyone else was born with” (Quantum Healing). In other words, every cell in our body has a kind of intelligence with specific tasks and abilities. All cells in the body work together, ever adjusting to what is occurring.

The inherent intelligence within the mind-body connection is one that medical science has yet to duplicate but it does not mean that medical science cannot assist us in our healing. It can and does–for many. Regardless, awareness of the mind-body intelligence can change our lives just as being aware that every decision we make and every thought we attach to affects our physical body directly and immediately.

That is where stress starts, and with increased stress comes imbalance, and when the imbalance is great enough, there is disease and yes, sometimes irreparable damage. The state of disease for anyone is unique but also may be integral to the individual’s purpose as Anita Moorjani suggests:

The reasons for…illness lie in [our] personal journey and are probably related to [our] individual purpose. I can now see that my disease was part of why I’m here, and whether I chose to live or die, I wouldn’t be any less magnificent” (Dying to be Me).


Disease as a state of health is how one has lived and continues to live. Just as lupus is not cancer—although in both the body is under attack and in both the autoimmune system plays a major role—directing disease is as unique to the individual as is the optimal level of health outcome.

What that outcome is and how long it may take is just as individualistic as is the degree of recovery. At the very least, an awareness of the inherent intelligence of the mind-body connection provides an alternative to  dealing with disease. At the very most, it can change drastically the course of a disease.

The reason why not everyone manages to take the healing process as far as they can go is that we differ drastically in our ability to mobilize it” (Chopra).


My experience with “incurable” disease is limited to lupus and Sjogren’s Syndrome, the current names for the disease that has been present in my body for at least 35 years. Some medical experts have told me autoimmune disease has been present since childhood. As I am now a sexagenarian, that’s a long time.

My last rheumatologist told me, “There’s just so much wrong with you and it’s been going on for so long.” That is probably still true for that rheumatologist and the entourage of doctors “on my case” but it was not true for me.

I was seriously ill, and I knew it, but I believe “when we get in touch with that infinite place within us–where we are Whole–then illness can’t remain in the body” (Dying to be Me). My intention is not to be smug or simplistic–nor am I speaking of mere positive thinking–my awareness of the inherent intelligence within my body-mind connection opened me to how I live as well as how I have lived. It gave me a place to begin some 33 months ago, and for me, it has meant drastic changes.

My life does not resemble the life I once knew, nor will it ever. It is not a life free of disease—not yet and maybe never will be–but it is a life aware of the possibilities in each moment I have. It is a life lived from within, and only now do I see the world as it really is, moment by moment, the only reality I ever have.

Finding Story Anew

My last two blog posts have been an examination of my current mind-body consciousness, specifically my meditation practice and eating habits. I share Deepak Chopra’s belief that a change in one’s consciousness or awareness affects a change in one’s physiology at the cellular level.

I don’t remember when I did not believe in the mind-body connection but I know that reading Chopra’s Quantum Healing helped me consider what quantum healing may mean for me. I first read the book in the early 1990s and again just recently.

Old Woman Tree; KMHuberImage; Tallahassee Park in Winter

Of course, my current level of awareness is quite different these twenty years later. Then, I was completely attached to outcome—clinging the Buddhists call it—meaning my attention was always focused on the end result. Mostly, I was on a pendulum, swinging back to the past and then to the future without a thought to the moment. No wonder I never felt free.

Becoming aware that the moment is where freedom resides broke me open to Chopra’s “field of infinite possibilities” both physically and spiritually. Now, every facet of my life is fluid as I focus on what is and not what might be, which takes a lot more energy but in every moment, there is more energy.

Nowhere is this more evident than in my writing. When I began blogging, my writing focus was entirely outcome based: I set myself a certain number of words per day, I joined various writing challenges, and I troubled my readers with my angst over whether to plot out a novel scene by scene or just write it out by the seat of my pants. In nine months, I produced 220,000+ words in what I have come to regard as my daily writing practice. It is as valuable as my daily meditation practice, and  I don’t regret a word.

I was so attached to the outcome of writing– was it a novel, was it a memoir, was it a compilation of essays–that I abandoned story in search of format or genre. I could not free myself of what my words might become until I settled into the moment to write. One word after another, each sentence emerged from life rather than artifice. I re-discovered how I write.

In writing from the field of infinite possibilities, format/genre didn’t matter nor did structure, which is not to say that format and structure do not matter. They do and are critical to a successful outcome but like story, they have their moments for each writer to discover. For me, that meant having to know my story first, and I wrote in a way I have never written.

Having always appreciated a good story, I was well aware that I did not know the structure of story so I found out from those who did. I read, I watched movies, I discovered scene, and I wrote every day. I began to see snatches of story and I was reminded of John Irving’s response to the question of how he writes: “I start writing my autobiography and then I begin to lie.”

Pond in Winter; KMHuberImage; Tallahasse Park in Winter

I am writing an old woman story, and I am an old woman. If one can come of age at age 60, this woman does it. I cannot say that she is sympathetic or even likable—yet—but she exists in more faces and more places than is comfortable for any of us. Age or aging is still a thorny subject, and we have many clichés and euphemisms to avoid the word old.

But what can a woman make of a life at 60, if she has just awakened? That does sound rather autobiographical but I was lying before the end of the first paragraph–such is the way of story. For all I know, the old woman story—for lack of a better title–will remain part of my writing practice, as publication is not the outcome it once was for me. It’s too soon to tell.

For now, I go to the writing every day just to see what happens  with the old woman for I have not lived her life, although an old woman myself.

Getting Physical

Sjogren’s Syndrome has had my attention these last few days. Sjogren’s affects gland secretion, which means there is a general dryness throughout the body. It is often in the company of lupus so it’s been a joint effort. However, I’m happy to report that I have remained more in the moment than not and am simply working through my symptoms—dry eyes, dry mouth, fatigue–as they make themselves available. It is intriguing.

In examining these two autoimmune issues, I focus on what is occurring throughout my physiology rather than considering cause and effect. This began two years ago when I walked away from traditional medicine, and with a little knowledge of quantum healing, I began creating a diet for myself that would not make me sicker. I needed a distraction and food, which had been such a comfort, seemed the logical choice.

It was a no-brainer to eat whole foods and eliminate processed/refined products but I discovered I could not tolerate all whole foods, especially carbohydrates. Ultimately, I stopped eating yeast, gluten, dairy, and soy but mostly, I stopped eating almost all sugars, including fruit. I ate meat and still do, infrequently, but I receive more than my required protein amount from almond butter, plain goat’s milk yogurt, eggs, broccoli and even almond cheese, just to name a few sources. I quickly discovered that getting enough protein is not an issue.

Mostly, I found myself engaged in an experiment for health and not a diagnosis for disease. My physiology became my laboratory. As my sugar and high carbohydrate intake dropped, my joint pain began to decrease. Yet, not all sugars are equal. For example, I tolerate apple cider vinegar but no other. When I discovered that apple cider vinegar is a main ingredient in Eden’s Organic Brown Mustard, I finally found my condiment. This mustard is a marvelous addition to any sandwich.

Bread proved elusive until I learned of Paleo Bread—almond and coconut are my preferences—yet another source of protein for me. While the bread is expensive,  a local health food store is providing me a great discount. The bread is a significant source of fiber, contains no refined starch and is extremely low in carbohydrates. Yes, it is an acquired taste but like my ever-changing physiology, my taste buds are not what they were.

I discovered that change at my 60th birthday dinner. The waiter brought a complimentary birthday chocolate sundae, which I ate because it was my birthday and because I wanted to see what reaction I would have. Immediately, I was overwhelmed by the taste–too sweet, too much. For the next few days, that taste stayed with me, mostly in the form of carbohydrate cravings. No one is immune to the physiology of them.

In response, I ate more almond butter and drank more chamomile tea (with Stevia) until my physiological system evened itself out. By the way, the only natural Stevia that I know of is SweetLeaf; all the others have either sugar or a sugar substitute in them. Every time I meet up with sugar, intentionally or no, my physiology alters significantly. This may have been true all my life or not. Doesn’t matter.  I discovered a connection.

In quantum healing, perfect health is an ideal, of course, but its heart is “…the junction point between mind and matter, the point where consciousness actually starts to have an effect” (Deepak Chopra). That junction point is when “…quantum healing moves away from external, high-technology methods toward the deepest core of the mind-body system. This core is where healing begins” (Chopra).

My experimenting with nutrition is only the beginning of my understanding quantum healing. Mine is an undertaking that many question to which I can only respond that for the first time in 30+ years I have a connection to my body that is not external or chemical. It is right for me. I still have Sjogren’s and lupus symptoms–no worse and perhaps no better–I haven’t paid attention to degree of discomfort for I have been busy in my physiology laboratory.

“The healing mechanism resides somewhere in this overall complexity, but it is elusive. There is no one organ of healing. How does the body know what to do when it is damaged, then? Medicine has no simple answer….A man-made drug is a stranger in a land where everyone else is blood kin. It can never share the knowledge that everyone else was born with” (Chopra).

Yet, I am not unrealistic, either. I do not believe I will attain the health of a sexagenarian who has generally taken good care of her emotional and physical needs. I was not that person for 58 of my 60 years; I am only that person now. Thus, whatever healing emerges is from an awareness born of the mind-body connection. For me, it is about appreciating the incredible complexity that is my physiology and doing everything I can to support my body in its never-ending quest to provide me health. I am much more careful in how I live.

Our physiology communicates mainly through pain or discomfort but it is in the examining of the communication that we gain a broader perspective of our physical self. Physically or emotionally, we do not operate well on deprivation. No living organism does. Quantum healing is going beyond physiology—cells, tissues, organs, and systems–to that mysterious “junction point between mind and matter” where healing begins.  It is intriguing.

(All Deepak Chopra quotes excerpted from Quantum Healing: Exploring the Frontiers of Mind/Body Medicine, New York: 1990, Bantam Books)