This is one of the most important Magical events of my life: a miraculous healing.
“The healer must be well grounded and able to be present and clear in all four dimensions of being at once: the physical, human energy field, Hara, and core essence dimensions.”Barbara Brennan
In the summer of 2007, I was 22 and had achieved the biggest business victory in my then 4-year career as an entrepreneur. I ran a home improvement marketing company, a simple and perfect industry as it allowed me to work with simple products and services and learn the fundamentals of supporting myself outside of the constraints of being an employee.
This built foundational skills that could transfer to almost any field and allowed me to make my own schedule and be free. My goal that summer was to achieve $100,000 in contracts. I knew that if I could do that as a student working part-time, then I could definitely run a company big enough to provide a good living after school. Later on, after business expenses, I ended up earning $94,000 my first year after graduation due to this business, which was seasonal and only needed attention eight months per year.
I reached my $100k sales goal on June 24th. I still remember the feeling in my car, looking at my clipboard and the signed check of a deposit, catapulting me over my goal early. Elated, I was on top of the world. So thrilled, in fact, that I wondered what greater goals merited attention— and ended up securing $256k that year.
This was a time when my focus was almost entirely material. Save for casual meditation practice and intellectual engagement with Taoist philosophy, I wasn’t studying Magic, much less working it consciously. I wasn’t praying, I wasn’t chanting mantras. I wasn’t even curious. Yet life has a way of waking us up, of reminding us why we’re here, no matter how far distracted we may have become.
A celebratory dinner with my two top managers was designed to reflect on the past, and plan for the future. We met at Blue Nile Ethiopian restaurant in Ann Arbor, MI.
By then, in August, right before school started, I didn’t walk into dinner excited, positive or happy. It felt like an obligation. I was reminded of my initial goal in launching a business: to learn how to build a successful company so my artwork could thrive, my creative dream of being a professional artist like Dali or Chihuly could be realized, and because I wanted to build a life as an artist, not for something that was just a means to an end. (I now know that Service and Surrender can lead to ultimate fulfillment… if only Michael A. Singer’s extraordinary books were on the reading list… years of strive would have never been. But then, the ego’s wounds of looking back at those years wouldn’t have existed as things to be healed, and the gifts that arose from them wouldn’t exist either. As I look back now, I align with gratitude.)
At that time, most nagging was this distracting voice in my head that said: “You’re farther away from your chosen path.” There was this knowing, deep down, that even art, with its joyful delights and brilliantly vibrant colors, wasn’t my primary path in this life. It was fun, thrilling, beautiful, a way to connect and share with others… but it wasn’t “it.”
I sat there, with my managers Mike and Steve, wondering how long I had to keep up the front of politeness, the front of caring about drywall and painting and power washing. Wondering if they noticed my lack of sincerity, despite what I felt were pretty decent acting skills and a practiced front of enthusiasm.
Lying to myself, lying to them, about how interested I was… hurt. The liberating powers of true authenticity weren’t fully known to me until later in life, resulting in the book you are now reading.
Suddenly that which should have saved me filled me with dread. I felt a cold chill up my spine, noticed the goosebumps, the raising of hairs. A sense that something really, really bad was about to happen… had already happened…took over my mind with no rational explanation. I saw my dad was calling—dad never called—and I stepped away to take it.
“I saw the doctor last week for a routine colonoscopy,” he said, in a regular, level voice, “and the test results came back.”
And I knew why he was calling me and there would be no other reason that he was going to say, “I have cancer.”
Those were his words, coming from a man who had never been sick for more than a few days, who worked hard and worked out, who had social support and enjoyed casual poker games in the nicer parts of Detroit, who I used to play Squash with and who was the emblem of stability, the emblem of strength.
And as all that raced out of my head in less than a second, I automatically thought, “Ohh, fuck fuck fuck” for about a second—and then I realized I had to be the supportive son, not freak out, appear grounded, give him what he needed. I would want the same for myself.
So I said, “Wow. What can they do about it? What are you planning on doing? How are you feeling? What can I do to help?”
Meet My Dad
My dad, bless his soul as a compassionate and kind man, did a big thing for me—in saying he wanted me to focus on school and work, those things that were important, and that he would deal with this himself.
He cared about self-reliance, and while in the present day I might have the ability and patience and tenderness and kindness and love in my heart to help him, back then… I didn’t. Growing up in a male-dominated, heteronormative, suburban society, I barely recognized half of my emotions, much less knew how to process them.
My mind became coldly practical, in the days that followed.
It was 2007, Michigan was going into a recession before the rest of the country. I interviewed for and received the beginnings of an offer from Google, but really wanted my own business, for the freedom and lack of income ceiling that provided. Now, with a sick parent, the final straw: There was no way I could accept a new job and have to jump on a call or drive 60 minutes to an ER on short notice. I needed the freedom only entrepreneurship could provide.
Fast forward through the months of doctor consultations, chemotherapy, and endless hours of waiting. I’m on my way to Whole Foods and got a call that dad was rushed to the ER.
The nurse said that his intestines had literally burst during a colonoscopy. The inflammation of his guts from months of chemo may have played a factor, and he was being prepped for emergency surgery. He could die at any moment.
Random facts from biology came into mind. If the colon bursts, that means all of the stuff inside—stuff your body is purposefully keeping from the rest of itself—is getting everywhere. Polluting healthy tissue. Creating acidic burns. This was a pretty shitty scenario.
Bad News and Expectations
Time blurs. I arrive at the hospital, wait with mom, and we hear that dad really wasn’t doing well. Mom and I are talking in the waiting room, an elevator opens and the kidney doctor comes out in scrubs that don’t look entirely clean.
He had a somber look on his face and a hand twice its usual gripping strength is connected to a voice “Oh God, oh God, please let him be okay,” and I just knew that something was up because doctors don’t just leave in the middle of a surgery unless the best or the worst has already happened and was this it, this was too soon he was so young and wait let the doctor speak.
“Would you like to talk in a private room?” Mom can’t get up.
We ignore the others nearby while they did their best to pretend they weren’t listening. We encouraged the doctor to speak.
“Larry’s kidneys aren’t functioning,” he said. “I’m going to try and get them going and try to help them work, but ultimately he’s going to need dialysis—for this level of shutdown, possibly permanently—but if we’re lucky, just several months.”
Just several months of being attached to a giant machine to clean your blood for you.
Or you die.
Just tubes and pumps and total dependency on foreign technology.
Just a knowing that every three days when you drive to the hospital to get hooked up, it’s because you’re literally dying, and would die if you stopped the car and waited long enough.
For several agonizing hours, as tubes go into and out of your body, the process is reversed, the ever-flowing toxins of life kept at bay, as your body automatically makes more, seemingly unaware it has no place to process them.
“Oh God,” my mom said.
We asked more questions. “Yes, he could die.”
Randomly, in the next several days.
I asked him if he knew if it would what would affect the surgical outcome. He said it depended on the operation and how things went. A few pleasantries, words less significant than me seeing my dad one last time before all this started and him saying, “I love you and remember me at my best, not at what you’re about to see” and so everything else escaped conscious awareness.
And the doctor left to go back to the OR.
My mom was too out of it for me to have a positive impact on her, and even if she had more composure, I was, for a long moment of incredible nothingness, completely speechless. I think she might have actually gotten up at that point to talk to nurses, to keep her mind occupied so her emotions wouldn’t overwhelm—a trait of avoidance I picked up over the years, but one that, if it could be excused at any time, this was one of them.
I picked up my computer, walked away and opened a homework file. That was my own technique for avoidance.
I could tell she wanted me both close by and at a distance. She didn’t want me to see her like this but wanted us to be close together. I felt the same. I stared at the screen. My brain literally wouldn’t function normally. I started looking for things to do—files to delete, documents to open. Figuring out how to access an internet among infinite distraction and popups. The world was a haze.
Escaping the Moment
The avoidance took over. It was me, so powerfully that the fog turned into syrup, covering everything, blurring details in massive static.
A nagging desire to escape the present moment.
I stared at the screen, looked down the hallway. Fluorescent lights. Looked down the waiting room. Fluorescent lights and prime time news on TV—something with the Middle East.
The reporter’s voice was a buzz, blended in body parts half-formed words of two dozen comatose family members, all sharing the cold terror of the unknown as strangers on a bus that might or might not crash, as everyone either thought about their next meal or how they could ever eat again, and my legs keep crossing and uncrossing, two cups of instant hot chocolate cooling on the table, and the reporter going on and on, those half-formed words and “The hopes of that man were not in vain” she said, intelligibly—and then more static over the world.
I felt… strange.
I felt, stranger than strange. This feeling, familiar. This knowing, absolute and within. This… stillness.
It’s as if my emotions simply turned off, my thoughts ceased, and a completely relaxed stillness, a calmness of being, was all that was present. For a flash of unmeasured and immeasurable time, there was nowhere to go, and nothing to do. It was the cliché come to life, and in that awareness, it did not matter.
I saw my hand move, my field of vision changed. Without really thinking about it, without really intending it, I knew what to do.
Pretend to journal, so they couldn’t tell. A document with many lengthy paragraphs, so anyone watching would think I was doing something normal. I dimmed the screen and focused on the empty space between the lines.
Miraculous Healing Training in Reality
I thought of my earlier training, between ages twelve to fourteen. I would have felt ridiculously embarrassed to just stand up, cast a circle, call the corners, evoke ancient deities of healing and chant—especially without my incense and crystals.
Everything part of me wanted to do, I realized, sitting within that stillness, in a time shorter than it took to read these words—I realized that none of that was necessary.
My mind had 1000 questions, and the part of me that liked to feel smart and say “this is the type of Magic that requires no props.
They’re all just tools for consciousness.” The voice of Frick teaching Merlin that the highest level of Magic was the one of pure thought.
Another voice, soft, existing, omnipresent and not coming from any identifiable source: “Let’s go.”
A gentle push, on the top of my back.
I sat, but no longer stirred. In stillness and knowing, here in my power like it had never been lost, only forgotten. The pilot light was always on, always on, for times such as these.
This was who I was at my core. I was not a Wiccan. I was not a Reiki initiate. I was something else, something more. The words didn’t matter.
Knowing was a reality. Not a hope, a wish, a thought. The knowing was a seeing.
Flashes of images: My dad, well and happily walking around. A clean bill of health. The flow of sparkling healthy fluid, following the natural melodies of the body. His kidneys flowing properly, pumping like organs in a symphony with his bladder, his heart.
No damage. No problems. No life-threatening situation.
He is whole.
He is healed.
Simply and completely.
This I intend. This I manifest. This I will.
In about 33 seconds, it was over. The knowing was my sole and entire identity. It didn’t warrant analyzing. I knew what happened as surely as an apple is an apple. My ego returning, a thought arose: “my dad is no longer in jeopardy.”
There was no need to re-initiate that incredible feeling, to try and continue. Work was complete.
I closed my laptop. Stood up. Took a breath. Had some hot chocolate.
Sat. Opened an essay on Developmental Psychology.
This tingling… it wasn’t yet time to begin working.
Even though the entire manifestation might have taken less than a minute and it built up to one peak moment – that experience was draining in the sense of running a mental marathon. Or perhaps a spiritual one… I didn’t know what to call it. I observed myself, curious to discover changes so dramatic and so rapid.
I knew the feeling…just as releasing certain fluids can temporarily deplete vitality in men, releasing… dare I say it… releasing Magical energy seemed to have temporarily drain something else.
I knew without thinking that it was just like lifting weights, and after a certain recovery period… well, that didn’t matter.
Back to Reality: Good News
Despite the fatigue, my mind kicked up again—somehow this primal reactive part of me hadn’t completely shut off but was just shoved to the side to make room for something greater.
So to avoid it again, I tried to review my psych notes and looked over to check in on mom, and the elevator door opened again with the same doctor. Mom got anxious and started to freak, but in that same instant, the Reptile in my brain ceased, and the stillness returned. And I knew with calm clarity that things were fine.
“How is he? How’s he doing? Is he alright? What happened? Did he… is he…?” she said in hobbling rapid fire.
“He’s actually doing a lot better,” the doctor said. “We’re sewing him up. We’ll put him on dialysis for a few hours to be safe, but his kidneys started working properly approximately five minutes ago. Based on how they are now, he almost definitely won’t need dialysis for months. I don’t know what happened, but it seemed like his body just kicked into gear. To follow protocol, we’re going to monitor him closely for a few days, but I don’t expect anything serious.”
The shock on mom’s face had been replaced with confusion.
So sudden and pure, that space when reality shifts and the next logical step doesn’t happen.
She was worried about and expecting something so opposite, it was as if her system didn’t believe him, couldn’t allow relief after so much danger. She kept asking questions for confirmation.
They continued talking, the compassionate physician and the disbelieving bystander.
“Thank you,” I said. Our eyes met. Mine were calm and happy; he were the carefully controlled, neutral expression of a physician. Mom was in good hands and wanted to fulfill her curiosity. There was nothing more I needed to know.
I rose and walked away for more hot chocolate.
I hope you enjoyed the story of that event in my life.
I love you.
I believe in you.
We are one.