18-Revisions Deep

18….Eighteen…

On Sale Now

Revision 18

  • The age I was when I met my husband
  • The age my kids will be when the government determines them to be “adults”
  • The approximate number of times I have read my favorite book, Lucy by Jamaica Kincaid
  • The number of revisions I have made to my memoir, The Boy who Birthed me.

The number of revisions I have made to my book. 

Granted, most of these were before turning on “public access” on the self-publishing website I’m using, but there have been at least three since then.  What this means for those of you who have bought it is that you all have different variations of the same text.

“Isn’t that kind of weird?” my husband asked today over lunch.  “Depending on when people bought your book it could be slightly different? Shouldn’t you just stop messing with it and leave it as it is?”

My answer is this:  Yes. Yes, I should.  Will I? God, I hope so.

What am I doing?! Why don’t I just stop and be satisfied with the almost 10 years I have spent writing and editing and living this memoir?  Because there are misspellings and places where the spacing is wrong and my mom got upset and my grandmother was uncertain and because maybe I misinterpreted my experiences and may have hurt someone’s feelings and I left out an important word and added many in unnecessarily.  All this inner turmoil led to a self-induced migraine last Friday (sorry, again, to my last minute client cancellations), yet here I am today, uploading another revision…

The message of my book is that we are all imperfect journeyers. We all wear masks to protect the world from seeing our perceived flaws, our mess ups, our misspellings and moments of insensitivity.  How perfect then, that this creation itself, this thing I birthed into the world, is triggering the very fears I encourage us all to embrace in my writing.

The invitation in this revision frenzy is to notice, again, that proclaiming my belief in embracing imperfection doesn’t make it completely true.  Yes, I know that we are all imperfect and I truly believe that connection lies in our ability to accept our common humanity.  I know that people’s opinions of my book don’t give me worth or take my worth away.  But sometimes it feels that way.  So what do I do with all this?

I take a break, take a breather. I notice what’s happening. I own it, write about it, share it with you.  Perhaps in doing so I will again find that higher part of me that can witness my precious fears with kindness and compassion.  Perhaps I will invite others to do the same, thus shedding the mask again, for just a moment. Maybe I will even forgive myself.

My greatest fear throughout this memoir journey has been that it will leave no meaningful impact, will have no purpose and will makes no difference.  I suppose my fears are unfounded since, for me anyway, it already has.

Please comment and feel free to share/re-post this for others.  And if you haven’t already purchased your copy, feel free to click on the Lulu link below.  But a note of warning, you might want to wait for the next revision.
Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

The Case for a Mind-Body-Spirit Connection

Integrated Healing

The searing pain in my left shin began this past July during the week that my biological father was released from a California prison.

“Stanley” had spent almost seven years behind bars after his second child molestation conviction.  This time, his victim was my young cousin.  The sentence was pathetic for the crimes committed and I made my disgust with his pending release known.

“I know it’s upsetting that he’s getting out, but Stanley is super old now. You know he is no threat to you or the kids, right?” My husband said, his arms outstretched toward me.  I took a step closer to “Andrew” and pressed the top of my forehead to his chest.

“I know that. I’m not afraid for me or the kids. I’m afraid for all the other kids out there.  It doesn’t matter that he’s 76.  He won’t ever stop, not until he’s dead.”  I said with a sigh.

Andrew wrapped his long arms around me in a vise of protection.  “Want me to beat him up?” He mumbled into my hair.

“Okay.” I said, raising my head to meet his gaze.  “You think you could get him to cough up some back-pay on child support for my mom while you’re at it?” I smiled.

“I think the statute of limitations is out on that one.” Andrew smirked.

“Are you calling me old?! Maybe you’re the one who needs a beating.” I pulled out of Andrew’s embrace, my fist landed playfully in his middle.  The tears, on the other hand, came with more force.

* * * * *

When the shin pain began the next week, I attributed it to overzealous play in the pool with my two kids.  Still, the injury was perplexing to two physical therapists as well as my chiropractor.

“Well, the MRI ruled out a stress fracture…” Dr. Morrison said while examining the computer screen.  “Let’s try some ‘Graston’ as I think that will loosen up the muscle and reduce the pain.”  The Graston technique is a popular and highly effective one used to knead out spasms and grit that accumulates in many sports related injuries.  But as exhilarating as our pool game of “mermaid ninjas” was, I hardly considered it a water sport.

Nine month later my dear friend and colleague, Jennifer Manning-Plassnig, treated me to a session of process acupressure.  This integrated therapy combines traditional acupressure with Zero Balancing techniques as well as incorporates psychological processing to enhance psycho-spiritual growth.  When, during the session, the topic of Stanley arose, with it came the familiar heat spreading out over my left shin.

“My shin is suddenly on fire.” I said softly as Jenn walked around the massage table where I lay on my back. “It got injured last summer and I don’t often notice it but right now it’s just alive with heat.”

“Mmm…see if you can magnify that feeling and describe it further.” Jenn encouraged.

Manifesting Emotion in the Body

Manifesting Emotion in the Body

“It’s red and blazing, actually pretty tense and seized up. It’s bracing itself as if it’s on the look out.” I paused for a moment, “Oh! I see it now, it’s scanning the horizon like it’s afraid something might be coming.”

Jenn expertly held points along my shin, helping facilitate the integration of information, “Tell me more about what it’s doing, what is it looking out for?” She said.

Than, as the awareness hit me, I almost sat bolt upright, “Oh my God!” I exclaimed, “It’s Stanley! This shin thing first happened right as he was being released from jail.  It’s literally on the look out for him now that he’s out! It doesn’t want to be caught off guard.” I am dumbfounded.

“Ahh, yes, it’s found a way to protect you, to be prepared.” Jenn affirmed.

“But there’s no way he’d try to contact me at this point.  It’s not even realistic that he would show up or anything. At least I don’t think so. That’s more of a fear based fantasy. And my shin? What an odd place for this to live.” I said.

“Well, when you deny your feelings of concern, they find another way to get your attention.” I could feel Jenn’s loving gaze behind my closed eyes.

“Right.” I chucked knowingly.

Jenn continued, “And shins are activated when you get ready to run.”

I gasped in reply to her insight.

“Woah.”

Jenn and I spent the next hour  processing both energetically and verbally the sensations and emotions manifested as shin pain.  The work was deep and fascinating revealing more and more layers of the puzzle.

When we are done, I feel calm and comforted. As the heat of the energy work continues to seep in, warmth expands pleasantly throughout my body; a gift of a job well done.

Of course there are times when shin pain is simply the result of jumping down a bunch of stairs or running to too hard on pavement.  Still, through the work I have done both personally and in my practice, there is no denying the power of our body’s ability to manifest unprocessed emotions in physical ways. The hope is, the more practiced we become at honoring all our feelings (even those most challenging to us), the less loudly our body may need to also speak through tension, pain or illness.

May we have the courage to listen.

Total Being Healing