Moving to Alaska began as a spectacular adventure. My life reached a peak I had never imagined possible. After my 40-hour workweek, I explored Alaska on weekends and holidays. I built a tight network of wonderful friends and was literally “On Top of the World.” Six years later my world came crashing down, dragging me into three years of total disability in the isolated, great white north. Ultimately, that led me to something even more spectacular.
For two decades I pushed through pain, fatigue and various symptoms to work full time in Oklahoma. The diagnosis was Mitral Valve Prolapse, a heart condition. Medications and physical therapy treatments were prescribed. I raised a family, divorced, and fell in love with Alaska during a vacation. Increasing job stress and burnout in my graphic design career signaled new physical symptoms layered on top of old. I packed and headed north, seeking a less stressful job in Anchorage.
Updated medical tests showed I had NO heart condition. My confidence in Western Medicine diminished and I phased out medications. I managed the pain via physical therapy, heat, exercise, diet and essential oils. I studied personal growth, spirituality and healing. I was on the path to gain better health and independence.
Menopause signaled depression and insomnia, which affected my work performance. Personnel changes created incomparable stress. I had done my best to adapt, but I compromised my personal values. I wanted to change my career to the Healing Arts. I visited two career counselors, who advised against it. I was stuck trying to survive at work and make the best of a deteriorating situation.
A decade from retirement, I felt financially unprepared. A subliminal driving fear began to rule my life. I kept my job and started a business to create more income. I rented the spare room, was a vendor at two fairs and took two trips outside Alaska, all within four months. It was a great recipe for stress overload.
During the second fair, I came down with a terrible sore throat and within a week was too ill to work. Completely baffled by waves of debilitating fatigue, I pleaded with God, What is happening to me? What did I do wrong? It simply came to me, This is not all about you. I knew then, whatever this experience was, somehow it would help me to help others.
Diagnosed with Mononucleosis, I did not recover within months. Numerous tests and medical consultations determined the diagnosis of Chronic Mono and Fibromyalgia/Chronic Fatigue. Western medicine had little to offer, but I was locked into that system by medical insurance. Payment for alternative therapies had to come from my disability benefits. Even with that brutal scenario, I was determined to find a way to recover.
It felt like the worst flu I ever had plus a 300-pound weight on my chest and a plethora of other symptoms swirling about. I could not read one paragraph without having to rest 20 minutes. Even listening to music would further exhaust me. Bathing was an infrequent, elongated chore punctuated by rest periods. The hardest thing I ever had to learn was how to do nothing. It was mandatory that I find solace in stillness and silence as my muscle tone wasted away. The second hardest thing I had to learn was how to ask for help. I had to call on family and friends to grocery shop, clean house or give me rides. I was often too fatigued to answer the phone, but just hearing the message would lift my spirit, “Somebody cares.”
Repetitive relapse cycles proved any forward progression had to be in micro-units. After six months I tried the treadmill at home for two minutes which produced shin splints. When finally able to walk outside briefly, it was a tentative blend of toddler and elder. My brother reported our 90-year-old mother could walk faster than me.
It felt as if I was moving through wet concrete but I did my best to research alternative therapies. I could barely sit at the computer and sometimes pushed beyond safety to seek salvation from a living death. I learned Feldenkrais, bought an expensive massage bed, heat packs and cushions. I experimented with essential oils, supplements, diet changes and received Johrei. All offered minimal symptom management, but I was grateful for any negligible relief. My total disability created an intense desire to find something to heal me, not just manage symptoms.
One theory is that Fibromyalgia is triggered by a trauma. I reviewed my life to determine the onset of symptoms and when they increased. I identified the possible traumas, but didn’t know what to do about it. My previous experience with traditional psychotherapy had not provided any effective solution. I had done much personal inventory in 12-step work, which enabled me to deal with it on a conscious level. I had done my best to own my part and clear away the wreckage of my past.
The first two years disabled, there was no way I could travel. I longed to see my mother, and wanted to meet my new grandson. I finally gained enough recovery to attempt it, but I required wheel chair assistance, pillows, heat packs, blankets, essential oils, and much meditation to endure it. A four-hour delay and heavy fatigue required I lie on the floor at the airline gate. The trip was entirely too much for me and I lost two months worth of gain.
I returned home to discover the shock of the loss of disability insurance benefits without prior notice. I had to make a desperate, heart-breaking decision to leave. Alaskan winters were too hard for me. Keeping my condo would be a financial drain. I had to move before winter’s impending arrival in less than two months. I was powerless to do much of anything myself.
Thank God for family and countless friends. Again, I had to ask a lot of them to do really huge things. I could barely make decisions of what to keep and what to give away. I was totally overwhelmed. I made a plane reservation and lists with instructions. My perfect home disintegrated into chaos beyond my control. That was my perception anyway. Upon entry to the central packing area, previously known as the living room, a friend exclaimed, “Oh! Everything is in Divine Order.” Alas, all I could do was walk away from the mess with no sense of emotional closure. My tears were abundant as my plane took off, and I watched my Anchorage home disappear far below.
My dear mother opened her heart and home in Kansas where I grew up, but made it clear she wanted us to live independently. It was the first time I had spent any length of time there since Dad died. My grief was doubly magnified. I missed my Alaskan home and I missed my Dad in this home. Mom and I were just beginning to adjust when my oldest sister was dismissed from the hospital and needed to join us. We sat on Mom’s couch like two invalid bookends. It was difficult for everyone, but we struggled through it with love and tolerance.
I unpacked with indescribable difficulty, since any storage space for my things first had to be cleared of my parent’s decades of accumulation. The plan was to remodel the basement into an apartment for me, but I stayed with Mom until that could be managed. My oldest daughter spent a week clearing and redecorating the basement living room. Finally, I had a space that felt like mine even though I was sleeping upstairs in the guest room. (Gratefully the stairs are equipped with a chair lift.) It was months before I was able to resume my micro-units of attempt at recovery.
My friend in Oklahoma, Linda Esser, had told me about a powerful tapping technique she was practicing. She said it had healed people from Fibromyalgia. I thought, “It might work for those who are still able to function, but she doesn’t know how sick I really am.” I was not able to travel by car to Oklahoma. The four-hour trip would require three days of rest plus a driver. It sounded strange, but I did my best to search online for the demo videos to try it. I watched testimonials, but the fatigue would overcome me before I could find the “how to” videos.
I had hoped to keep ties to Alaska and arranged with a friend to inhabit his duplex in Anchorage the next summer while he worked in Denali Park. With minimal energy recoup I headed north. As usual, I made the trip in two segments with a one or two night layover in Denver allowing me to rest with family. My ability to be a passenger in a car required my seat to be reclined, my eyes closed, plus the radio and driver had to be silent. Even that was exhausting.
Back in Anchorage I unpacked and sorted things left behind. Then I resumed micro-unit attempts of recovery. I reported my return to Linda. She suggested I start making a list of my entire life’s hurts and traumas in order for her to teach me the healing technique. I slowly began to work on the list.
Faithfully seeking a way to completely heal, I continued to study spiritual and healing masters. I listened to audio books as I continued my massage bed treatments and essential oils. I practiced many types of meditation but still struggled with the practical application of concepts. Desperately, I inquired of God, What would I do if there were an earthquake, if I had no electricity for the massage bed and my supplements fell into a crevasse? How would I manage to survive? I knew there must be a way to be healthy without the aid of equipment or consumable products, and I was determined to find it.
After two years and ten months I had slowly regained limited energy when I realized I was spiraling down into relapse again. My pain and fatigue increased and my digestive system would not tolerate much food. I cried out in desperation to God, Where is my teacher? This student is ready. I knew if the student is truly ready the teacher has already appeared, so I began to inventory my life to discern who it might be.
I called Linda, who had recently completed certification as a practitioner of the healing protocol she had suggested. It’s called Faster EFT, Emotionally Focused Transformations, developed by Robert G. Smith. I didn’t have my list complete, so I called to ask what she knew about fasting, now that my body would not assimilate food. She immediately began to teach me Faster EFT over the phone. I was still skeptical but desperate enough to try. During the first phone session half my pain vanished, and the release of fatigue was dramatic.
When Faster EFT worked immediately, I was gratefully amazed and had an instantaneous, synchronous revelation. This will work on anything, if I use it. This will be the healing wave that carries me out of the sea of disability. I will do this as my new career in healing arts. Enthusiastically I practiced the techniques daily. I visited Robert’s YouTube channel to study and practice more. Linda continued phone sessions for several weeks to address and release the emotional charge of past traumas. I purchased Faster EFT training DVDs to learn and heal more.
Within ten days of daily practice I was able to grocery shop without the motor cart, stand in line without extreme fatigue or pain, and sleep without a pill. I noted in my journal, “As I walked outside, I could feel the big difference in my muscles . . . so much more relaxed and fluid, kind of like pudding. My jaws were not in spasm, but relaxed and springy . . . I have not had any flicker of depression, nor felt lonely . . . I even did some bending and reaching . . . some of my leg aches are now the good kind, from rebuilding muscle. I am really getting my life back and way better than before. This is stellar spectacular!”
My healing progressed daily as I practiced Faster EFT. In six weeks, at the suggestion of both Linda and Robert, I began to share the skills with others and help them improve their lives. I was impressed that every one I worked with experienced a positive effect on some level. It didn’t take their belief, only willingness. It’s just a simple system that works if you use it.
Physical strength and stamina increased with regularity as I continued daily tapping. In four months I left Alaska and returned to Kansas for winter. I supervised the completion of the basement apartment remodel and created a place to call my home. Two months later I began driving weekly to Oklahoma City to take the Faster EFT practitioner course. Classes met every Monday and Tuesday evening for six months. At first I paced myself slowly, making it a three-to-four day trip. By the end of the course I was able to make it an overnight trip.
Today I am highly energetic and building my worldwide business as a Faster EFT practitioner. When symptoms arise I use the techniques to heal every area of my life. Faster EFT enables my conscious and unconscious mind to communicate with each other and my body. It releases stress, clears the negative emotional charge of past traumas, changes unconscious automatic behaviors and replaces them with a deep inner peace and joy. These skills enable me to change my perception of my past and the world around me. I experience the freedom to change how I feel. This enables me to be free from pain and fatigue, free to live longer, be happier, feel more love, and make more money. Faster EFT gives me the power to control my thoughts and emotions. Any time, any place, I can effectively use these simple skills to practice the spiritual concepts that were previously beyond my reach. I continue to heal my life and teach others how to heal their lives. Thank God it’s not all about me.
When I returned to Alaska the second summer, one year after I began daily practice of Faster EFT, my M.D. was very impressed with my recovery progress. After examining me, he stated, “Well, you can’t argue with success!”
Grace owns and operates Denali Dragonfly Options, a worldwide healing arts practice, where she is primarily a Faster EFT Practitioner and Life Skills Coach. She presents public seminars and does private client sessions over the phone, Skype, and in person. She is writing two books, one is her story and one about how Robert Smith developed Faster EFT, including the techniques. Grace is her own best testimony to the power of practicing daily Faster EFT. For more information, contact Grace at (405) 443-4086, www.DenaliDragonfly.com or email DenaliDragonfly@gmail.com.
*As published in the book Speaking Your Truth: Courageous Stories By Inspiring Women, a compliation of 49 stories.