With the gift of hindsight, I now recognize that my health crisis in early 2017 was divinely orchestrated by the Universe (aka, God, Source, Divine, Higher Self, etc.). After nearly a decade of minimally treating my symptoms of exhaustion, chronic pain, and stress, my body literally broke down on me. By the time I was a 30 something year old working mother of three young boys (under the age of 10), I hit rock bottom. Even though I refused to admit it at that time, I was totally overwhelmed with juggling my family and career. I was overly committed to my career, where I spent most of my time and energy. On most weekdays, I would leave my home at 6 am and would be back after 8 pm. I was lucky if I got to spend 30 minutes to an hour with my husband and children before bedtime. On the weekends, I was so tired from the work week that I would sleep most of it away.
In any case, the reason I think it is worthwhile to share my story here is that while going through my health crisis was very painful and essentially took away the life I worked so hard to create, I am so very grateful it took place. For so many years, the Universe gave me so many chances and signs to slow down and reassess my life (mainly through physical and emotional symptoms), however, I was so involved with advancing my career and material goals that I was simply clueless. I believe the Universe had no choice but to orchestrate a health crisis to force a 360 degree reset in my life. More importantly, this crisis was "the" event in my life that catapulted me towards my spiritual
awakening, transformation, and unfolding of spiritual gifts. I hope that sharing my personal story with you will give you hope and faith that our human breakdowns on planet earth (or what we often refer to as "Tower" moments in Tarot) serve an important role in honoring our soul's essence and journey.
So here is my story!
A Decade of Coping with Chronic Symptoms
By early 2017, I had no choice but to leave my corporate career because the nagging chronic joint and muscle pain as well as brain fog and fatigue that I suffered from for almost a decade became unbearable. The pain became so extreme that I was spending most of my day in bed. Probably about 10-14 hours per day, yes, in bed either sleeping or resting. I truly felt like I was half-alive or as others would refer to as, half-dead. In hopes to bring some comedy relief to my sad situation, my husband nicknamed me "zombie wife," inspired by Drew Barrymore's role as Sheila Hammond in the Netflix series "Santa Clarita." Zombie was a good description of how I felt. I was chronically tired, even with lots of rest and sleep. You know you are exhausted when even keeping your eyes open to watch television is a chore.
During this period, I was so confused as to how I let my health get so bad. The symptoms started off as minor annoyances and I recall voicing my concerns at my annual physical exams and my primary doctor would explain to me, year after year, that it was "normal" to feel pain and fatigue. These symptoms were essentially my body's response to the increased stress levels I was experiencing as a young working mother and he thought that I would feel much better if I worked on my "self-care" routine. I took his advice to heart and tried different things to take care of myself, including massages, talk therapy sessions, exercise, ladies night, weekend family outings, solo vacations, etc. These activities may have created temporary relief but no real results. Deep inside, I knew something was up with my body.
What made things even worse for me was the fact that I saw other working mothers around me (happily!) maintaining and succeeding in the game of balancing family and work life. Comparing myself to their experiences made me constantly question myself as to why I felt so drained by the daily grind. I often asked myself, why can't I do it too? This internal dialogue inevitably always left me feeling like such an utter failure. Now looking back, I realize that most of my relationships with these mothers were superficial so we probably only had the time to highlight the positive side of parenting. I guess what hurt the most was when my own family did not understand my feelings and would make snarkish comments like, "So and so also has 3 children and she has pretty demanding career. I wonder why you are not feeling well. What do you think you are not doing right? Maybe you should try going to church?!." Even though I knew in my heart that their intent was to be helpful, their comments were indeed hurtful.
Finally a Diagnosis (actually several), Lots of Doctors, No Improvements
After almost a year of getting my veins poked and my body parts scanned, I was finally diagnosed with Sjogren's Syndrome, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Depression and Anxiety. For another year or so, I spent all the energy I could muster to seek the care of numerous western medical doctors across the United States, taking their recommended medications. I consulted more than a dozen specialists and started to notice that my doctors were prescribing me medications given to Lupus patients because no proven therapies were available on the market for Sjogren's Syndrome patients. My doctors' rationale for prescribing these medications was that this disease acts a lot like Lupus too and would potentially have a stabilizing effect on my hyperactive immune system and high levels of inflammation. Unfortunately, even though my future was counting on this to work out in my favor, my "experiment" with these medications had the exact opposite effect. They actually amplified the severity of my symptoms and created more health issues for me, including gaining 60 pounds within a 6 month period.
At the same time, I was also trying out several anti-anxiety and anti-depressants to treat my depression and anxiety. I have to admit that these medications put me in a "zen" like state, essentially numbing me from being able to process any feelings or emotions. Although I did not want to feel numb, I took them anyways since it made me stable enough to deal with my new reality. This was just a temporary fix while I figured things out and learned new strategies to cope, I convinced myself. This experience was difficult enough for me to adapt to and I did not want my family's quality of life to suffer any additional blows from my inability to be emotionally stable. Living as a zombie wife and mother may have sucked for me but it was indeed tougher on my husband and children.
My Unique Path to Healing Physically, Emotionally, and Spiritually
Since my physical and emotional healing processes were going so slowly and I was in bed most of the day anyways, I took the initiative to study up on all things related to self-development. Audible was the easiest way to learn so I listened to all the books I could find on a range of topics from self-care to religion. Even though I was not a fan of organized religion as an adult, I went back to my roots and began to re-read the Holy Bible and also made a few visits to my brother's local Christian church. I went with an open mind but honestly the setting and messaging just did not resonate with me anymore. Having been raised in a devout and traditional Christian home, perhaps somewhere in my subconscious, there were still layers of suppressed emotional debt (mainly in the form of guilt and fear). Although I recall that church was a great place to socialize, most of my memories are quite negative and have left a bitter taste in my mouth. My earliest observations as a young child was noticing how much energy and time my mother would invest into church activities, even at the detriment of her children's needs. I often wished and prayed that she would direct that energy into our home life, which was often unstable, both financially and emotionally.
After my short stint revisiting Christianity, I knew that it was not the right path for me. I moved on and continued to listen to various authors from all walks of life, from pop culture influencers that have gone through health crises like Yolanda Hadid to prominent religious Buddhist leaders such as the Dali Lama and Indian Yogi Jaggi Vasudev, publicly known as Sadghuru. Like Christianity, many of their religious and spiritual teachings resonated with me. Still, the notion of prescribing to one particular religion did not sit right with me and I came to a peaceful understanding that not "one" particular religion is right or wrong or holds all the entire "truth." Rather, each religion holds its own version of the truth and is beautiful in its own right. If I needed to put a label to my new philosophy, perhaps the terms Spiritualist or Universalist would most accurately describe my views. One pivotal outcome of my self-study journey was that exploring other religions like Buddhism, Hinduism, and Taoism led me to start a daily meditation practice. Eventually this practice helped me re-establish my connection to spirit and also prepared me for my spiritual awakening and transformation.
Having read everything available on mainstream self-development, the Universe must have seen that I was ready to move on to more esoteric information. I say this because I "accidently" began to stumble upon materials about metaphysics and divinity tools including astrology, numerology, akashic records, past life regression, mediumship, and so on. These materials were really out there for me, I mean it was a whole new world of information that I would have never entertained in my pre-health crisis self. Many moons ago, as a devout Christian, I recall viewing astrology and numerology as mere pagan practices, which had little value and were primarily there for entertainment purposes. After my health crisis, however, I was a whole lot more open minded and basically willing to explore everything, I mean absolutely anything that would help me heal, regardless of how irrational and/or non-scientific it may seem. Ultimately each of these divinity tools got me a step closer to truly understanding who I was, for the very first time in my life. These tools also provided (and continue to until this day) guidance on my life's purpose and how to honor my soul's essence. It taught me how to live a high vibrational life through the universal laws of the law of vibration and law of correspondence.
As I was beginning to dip my toes into the metaphysical and spiritual world, the opportunity to see a psychic reader literally fell on my lap. It happened while I was out in San Francisco getting a second opinion from a holistic/naturopathic doctor and also attending a close friend's baby shower. During the baby shower, I met an old high school friend that I have not seen or spoken to for almost 20 years. We spent time chatting about what was going on in our lives and at one point my friend mentioned that she was in the process of a career pivot and that she had consulted a psychic reader in San Jose to get some advice. She then asked me if I was spiritual and I responded, "I think so?." To be completely honest, at this point, I did not even know what the distinction was between religion and spirituality. My friend must have intuitively sensed that I was in need for direction because she went on to sharing details of her reading and proceeded to give me her cell phone number. I texted her on the spot and I got on her schedule for the following day, a day before my flight back to the East Coast.
The next day, after an hour long Lyft ride to San Jose, I arrived to the address I was given and warmly welcomed by Lanka, a petite woman with the biggest and brightest eyes. We sat in her living room and she began my reading by laying out her tarot cards and crystal ball. This was my first time having a personal reading so I was not too sure what to expect but I was very happy that I felt safe and comfortable. Naturally, I set my expectations very low and would of been thankful just walking out of the reading with helpful advice on how to improve my health. To my pleasant surprise, this reading was so much more! Lanka started off by explaining to me that my physical breakdown back in 2017 was divinely guided by the Universe, to give me an opportunity to focus solely on my healing journey. She mentioned that I was born with a wide range of "energy" and therefore, very hypersensitive. I told her I had no clue what she meant by "energy" and she explained to me that in basic terms, it means that I feel everything around me very intensely (i.e., vibes from other people, my environment, and the collective consciousness). She described that as I grew older, I developed the ability to flick emotions on or off, basically numbing myself so I would not feel so heavy. Not having protected myself, the accumulation of negative and toxic energies in my etheric body manifested through stress-related illnesses. She emphasized that moving forward, it was crucial that I protect my energy. This meant truly putting my needs first and retreating from people and things that drained my energy.
My Path to Transformation is the Spiritual Path
So, after I got back to the East Coast, I was still processing the information from my reading but knew it in my heart that her gift of connecting to spirit should not be feared but viewed as a divine channel that spirit utilizes to deliver messages that we need to hear. As someone with a strong connection to spirit, she was able to read my energy and essentially served as a translator and interpreter of the things and feelings I was experiencing. Because she understood my physical, emotional, and spiritual condition, she provided me with valuable guidance in terms of what I needed to do to heal, which included integrating western medicine with Traditional Chinese Medicine, energy healing, and meditation. For the next few years, I explored these areas as well as many others that came my way and made progress in my physical and emotional healing journey. As I began to regain my health back, I also worked on reconnecting to my spiritual side and discovered my own passions and spiritual gifts in energy healing and mediumship. My reading with Lanka was one of many events and signs that the Universe sent my way to highlight the notion that there is so much more to discover, beyond what we see in our 3D reality!