I had work to do. Plans to make. People to call. Meetings to be arranged. Money to be made. And…my book came out the day before the planned cruise. No time to promote it or be around to do what needed to be done.
But…I had paid for the cruise and made a commitment to my friends who were also going on the cruise with me.
There was no way out. I had to go.
I had plenty of help back home. My publisher was busy with his plans. My website designer was working on the site. My social media person was all in. A team of friends had asked to plan a book signing party for me and they were handling it. Bills were paid before I left. And all the details of the next few weeks were on my calendar.
“Okay, Billie. Take a deep breath. Relax. All is right with the world. You can do this vacation-thing!”
So I did.
Once on the ship, I was pulled into a fairy tale. A new world made by man floating on the high seas. Every where I turned was “fun.” Every person I looked at had a smile on his or her face. People said “hello,” “good morning,” and “have fun.” And they meant it.
The cruise ship was full of people from all over the world. From the staff to the cruisers! It was hard to be a “bah-humbugger” on the cruise ship. I began to relax a little and enjoy the new friends and experiences I was making.
I’m a lover of spas so that was my first place to visit. I decided to try acupuncture because of my ankle that was broken years ago and still periodically flares up with inflammation. I also wanted some relief from my long-time sinus congestion that never seemed to go away.
I had studied a little about acupuncture and learned it is based on the idea that there are energy pathways in the body. These pathways need to be free to allow energy to easily pass through the body to our vital organs. Acupuncture helps to unblock these pathways so the body can heal itself.
Some people reading this right now think this is crazy. I ask this: “Why do Westerns always take a pill to heal themselves?” I hate pills so I’ll try anything else that will keep me from becoming my dad with his pillbox filled with meds for morning, noon and night. Ugh.
My doctor was from China and had been trained in his country. He was adorable and I immediately fell in love with his calm spirit and his sweet attitude towards this woman who had a hard time relaxing and was filled with questions about the procedure.
I asked him a lot of questions and he calmly answered them all.
And then I asked him this. “Why should I do acupuncture?”
His answer: “Why not?”
He got me on that one. I had no answer to his question. So – I gave it my all and signed up for 4 sessions.
The needles were not painful and neither was the process. Day one and two were calming and the massage he gave on my neck and back afterwards was especially nice.
Day three. Well — was another matter.
He did his thing with his needles and as always, left me alone for about ten minutes in the quiet spa room with the lights low and the music lower.
And a few minutes into my quiet time, the tears began to roll downwards from the corners of my eyes. What was happening? Why was I crying?
I could not stop the tears and I could not wipe them either. I was afraid to move because the needles were everywhere and I didn’t want one to hit my eye. So I lay there and felt the pillow beneath my neck fill up with salty tears.
And then I realized — I was on a soul walk. I’ve never been on a soul walk but I knew what it was — somehow.
I was walking through my old home. My beloved home that I sold a year ago. I had made the decision to sell and I never looked back. It was the right thing to do at just the right time. I had sold it and most all of my possessions and I thought I was happy and content about that decision. But maybe…
The soul walk was taking me throughout the home where my ex-husband and I had spent so many years together enjoying our life and creating lovely memories with our children and grands. The home where my mother-in-law had resided with us for 10 years before she passed away. The home where many parties happened and laughter was our medicine.
The home that became my refuge and safe place when my marriage fell apart and my husband’s decisions shattered our future together as a man and wife and as a family.
As I walked through my home, I could smell food cooking in the kitchen. Sunday food reserved for family and friends was being prepared. I didn’t see anyone in the kitchen but I knew mother was there making her roast beef and cheese potato casserole. The chocolate cake was sitting on the kitchen counter as the centerpiece to the food of the day.
I saw my grands swimming in the pool and Poppy throwing them in for fun. I saw the backyard that mesmerized everyone who saw it and a fire in the fire pit was ready for smores.
The koi pond pump at the front of the house was humming and the waterfall was cascading over the rocks. The sounds and the smells were painfully real.
Even my precious animals that are now in heaven were there as I wandered from room to room. They were watching me and one ran to the back door and looked back at me as if to say, “let me out so I can jump in the pool too.”
The soul of my beloved home was speaking to me. Each room had a message and as I left one for the other, I felt I was leaving behind what I thought I had left behind a year ago. I thought I was done with my home of the past, but my soul was telling me something different. There was still some healing to do and today — it was going to happen. “Why not?”
I heard the back door into the game room slam. The same slam that my ex-husband created when he walked in with food from the summer kitchen towards the dining room. He couldn’t close the door quietly because his hands were full of the Daddy burgers he had made for the family. My daughter coined that phrase when she was little and it stuck forever as a part of our family language.
And then I heard his Hummer leaving the driveway for good and I looked outside at the dust wake from the gravel road he was leaving behind — for those of us he left behind. No more Daddy burgers. No more Sunday meals together as a family. No more slamming of the door. It was slammed for good.
This soul walk came out of nowhere. I wasn’t expecting it and I thought all these feelings were long gone. Why was this happening now?
My “Why Not?” doctor quietly opened the door and I lay there feeling embarrassed that I was crying. He said nothing at first. I kept my eyes closed hoping he would not see the wet pillow and the tears. But he did. And without words – he dabbed my eyes with a tissue and patted my arm.
I asked him what was happening. He said, “You are healing the hurts. The pathways are opening and you’re letting out the pain.”
I told him I was embarrassed and he said, “No need to be. Just let it go. You are on a good path. You are a sweet lady. You are very much loved. Whatever you need to release is telling you to let it go.”
More tears! I could say nothing.
He left me alone again while the needles did their work.
The soul walk was done. I could not recreate it after he left the room. It wasn’t up to me to recreate it – it was up to my own soul to take me where I needed to go and evidently that soul walk was over. And the message was:
That part of my life was over. That part that I thought was over — still had a little healing to do and had buried itself deep within me waiting for just the right moment to be released.
I knew I needed to cruise on to this new life that I was enjoying now and finally be healed – forever. The memories of the past were still there but the pain that I had endured had rolled to the pillow beneath my neck.
The silence in the dark room was warm.
I knew I was still growing and learning how to live in this body with peace and tranquility instead of work, work, work, go, go, go, forget, forget, forget, keep going, keep going, keep going, don’t think about it, smile, put on a happy face, keep going.
My soul was speaking and letting me know I was in my lesson learning mode now and the soul walk – for this moment in time – was over.
And as always for me, the Lessons Learned from this soul-walking, pin-cushion experience projected onto the screen of my mind. I Learned:
A vacation or even a quiet room could do wonders for opening your mind to the things you need to let go of. Turn off the lights. Turn the music low. Be still and know that God is waiting to walk with your soul for healing and restoration. Go, go, go will never do the healing.
Trying new ways of healing is a good thing and may just be the thing you need. Why is a pill always the answer? Be willing to experiment and research unique opportunities for healing.
Sounds and smells are very much a part of our bodies. They take it all in and the energy they produce becomes a part of our energy. So play great music that touches your soul, enjoy good foods, and remove any toxic people or situations that will attach themselves to you and mess up your beautiful walk on this planet.
Our souls are speaking to us and we need to learn to listen. We need to let go and let it take us on our daily walk in life – not just when we lay down to sleep but when we are fully awake and alive in our daily routines. Our soul wants to guide us. To make life easier. To create a more fulfilled and happier life. Listen to your soul. She is much wiser than you!
On my last day of the cruise, we strolled to the back of the ship. I took a picture of the wake the ship was leaving behind in the Caribbean. It was a big wake and I leaned on the railing mesmerized by the churning of the water and wondering what was happening below the surface as the wake parted the waters.
I remembered hearing that our body is made up of 98% water. The sea and I understood each other as I leaned over the railing and took in the salty air as a good memory into my being.
And my pin cushion experience came to mind:
The pin cushion doctor had created tiny wakes in my body with the tiny needles used to release pressure in this body of 98% water.
Those needles churned up my soul and awakened me to “stuff” I needed to deal with that had been buried way below the surface.
And as a final salute to my soul walk, I mentally stood there and tossed the salty tears of my past into the waters of the sea. And just like that — the death of my marriage and the future I thought it would bring with it – was finally laid to rest in the Caribbean.
I turned and looked at the big ship filled with laughing, happy souls. Old souls and baby souls were laughing together on this big ship in the sea and all was right with the world.
Life was good! Although things did not turn out the way I envisioned it, it had actually turned out better in so many ways.
Then quietly my soul whispered to me and said, “Next up. Plan a family cruise to have fun together. Play together. Laugh together. They have some healing to do too.”
I smiled at the idea and then I replied to my beautiful soul who loves me so and said,