This too shall pass!

Vipassana meditation is one of the oldest meditation technique of India.

Vipassana literally means to see things as they are in reality.

It is a process of self purification by self observation.

 

So there I was with uncertain health and the life I knew destroyed by MS.

I decided it was the perfect time to try again a silent 10 days’ meditation retreat.

 

That was my first meditation marathon!

This time I went an hour away from Montreal to the Goenka Vipassana meditation center https://www.suttama.dhamma.org/.

 

We would wake up at 4h in the morning to begin our first meditation.

We would meditate for more than ten hours every day.

We were not allowed to talk or read or write.

We were not allowed to do any physical exercise.

We ate very little.

 

This time I was able to sit in meditation for hours everyday.

It was everything but easy!

It was painful at times in my body.

It was boring at other times.

It made me sleepy sometimes.

 

It was also fascinating to spend so much time just observing.

Nothing external could distract me.

I could observe all my internal distractions! And they were unending!

 

This is the perfect place to practice just being!

 

I experienced the first of the three universal truth of life: impermanence. Experiencing this truth was one of the most valuable lessons of my life.

Just sitting still, trying to watch my breath, as the air goes in and out of my nose. I could observe how everything in my field of awareness is constantly changing.

 

Sensations in my body change from one moment to the next.

Emotions flow through me like the waves in the see.

Thoughts come and go at an amazing speed like the clouds in the sky.

Everything is changing. Only my awareness remains unchanging.

I am the observer of all the phenomena that constantly arise and fall away.

 

I came back home with a new mantra to put on my wall: “This too shall pass”.

If something unpleasant is arising, rest assured that his too shall pass! So relax!

If something pleasant is arising, just the same, rest assured that this too shall pass! So relax and enjoy!

 

This teaches us to go beyond duality!

It helps us to develop equanimity: the ability to be with something whatever it is, the ability to go beyond the mental labels of good or bad.

It helps us welcome whatever appears.

 

“Praise and blame, gain and loss, pleasure and sorrow come and go like the wind.

To be happy, rest like a giant tree in the midst of them all,” Buddha teaches us.

 

This was the beginning of meeting myself, the beginning of getting to know myself.

 

Do you ever spend some time getting to know your precious self? 💜

Sense of identity

Who am I?

 

My second relapse of MS clearly affected my cognitive abilities.

This time my memory was severely affected.

This left me unable to do my usual work. All my actuarial knowledge had been deleted from my memory!

This is when I knew that the life I knew had ended!

There was no more room for denial!

 

I had to stop working.

This was devastating to me for many many years!

I was really faced with what I was identifying myself with?

 

What we identify ourselves with consists of an endless list.

 

Who am I?

Am I my name?

Am I the daughter of this woman and this man?

Am I the friend of this person and that person?

Am I the wife of this man?

Am I a mother (ok that one does not apply to me: I don’t have kids)?

Am I my body?

Am I a woman?

Am I a Canadian or a Mauritanian?

Am I my thoughts and beliefs?

Am I the voice in my head?

Am I the emotion I am feeling right now?

Am I an emotion I memorized that is stored in my body?

Am I the story of my life?

Am I a disease or diagnosis?

And above all for me in this instance: am I my job?

Am I my title?

Am I my role?

Am I what I do?

Am I what I have?

Who am I beyond all those identities?

 

For many years I suffered from the loss of my identification with my job!

For so long I did not know who I was!

 

Through meditation, through education, through self-enquiry, self-reflection and self-study, I connected with the simple but profound joy of being!

 

I discovered that I did not need any identification to exist.

 

I AM.

 

Just BEING is enough. I exist. That in itself is the miracle!

I started to feel grateful for the miracle of being alive!

 

From this, anything can be added.

I discovered a whole new way of life.

I use to want to have, then do, to finally maybe be.

Now I am learning to BE first, then DO, finally HAVE, even GIVE.

 

Who are you? What do you identify yourself with? 💜

Perception

Reality just is.

Everything is neutral.

We assign meaning to events, situations, conditions and circumstances.

 

At first, when I was diagnosed with MS, I thought that was the worst thing that could ever happen to me. In fact, the worst thing that ever happened to me was not listening to my body, not listening to myself, not listening to life.

 

The worst thing that ever happened to me was clearly not listening to my intuition!!

Listen to your intuition!

 

Years later, I learned a lot.

I did a lot of work on myself to transform and change myself: to heal myself.

Then I thought this diagnosis was the best thing that happened to me because it healed me!

 

“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change,” Dr Wayne Dyer teaches us.

 

Now I think MS is just something that happened.

Not the worst, not the best: just a thing part of my life journey.

 

Everything is neutral until we assign it meaning.

 

Perception is a mental and spiritual faculty we all possess.

It is our point of view.

 

We have the ability to give meaning to any situation.

We have the ability to choose our reaction to whatever comes our way.

 

Truth be told, our reaction to an event, situation, condition or circumstance is not even our own, even though we think it is.

It is based on our conditioning: our family, our culture, our society.

It is based on the way we learned to view life. It is based on our subconscious programming.

It is not really our point of view. It is the point of view shaped by the world around us.

 

From my experience, I have to admit now that in reality I do not know if something is good or bad from my limited human perspective. I am learning that it is so much more empowering to withhold judgment.

 

Not judging allows us to remain open so the good in any situation can reveal itself to us. Nothing is only good or only bad. We live in a world of duality. Everything comes with its opposite.

 

It is human to quickly judge.

It helps to move through a situation if we pause our internal judgment and get curious.

 

From the point of view of our soul, everything is neutral.

From spirit point of view, nothing is good or bad.

 

“Letting there be room for not knowing is the most important thing of all. When there’s a big disappointment, we don’t know if that’s the end of the story. It may just be the beginning of a great adventure. Life is like that. We don’t know anything. We call something bad; we call it good. But really we just don’t know”, Pema Chödrön teaches us.

Do you know you get to choose your perception? Do you know you have the power to perform miracles through the choice of your perception? 💜

Listen

Listening is the first step in healing and in life in general.

Noticing what we are noticing is the first step in awareness practice.

 

I did not know anything about listening before I was introduced to this practice by Marie Lise Labonté http://marieliselabonte.com/.

 

I did not know my body could speak!

I did not know my emotions could speak!

I did not know my intuition could speak!

https://mouninabounaaly.com/listen-to-your-intuition/

I did not know LIFE could speak!

I did not know LIFE was alive and so precisely intelligent and loving!

 

We can begin listening to what is very obvious like our body.

Listening, just like noticing, is a skill with a beginning but no end.

We can always refine these skills. We can always go deeper.

 

Before we can listen, we have to allow life to happen.

Allowing leads to listening.

Only when we allow whatever is happening to happen can we begin to listen.

 

To listen is to be humble. To listen is to give up our illusion of control and recognize we don’t control LIFE.

 

To listen is to love. To listen is to know and trust that whatever is happening is actually happening for our highest good.

 

We can begin, like I did, by listening to our body.

Our body is divinely intelligent.

Our body does not lie.

Its symptoms are not random.

They deliver a precise message.

 

We listen with total acceptance.

We listen with complete non judgment.

We listen with an open and receptive attitude.

We listen with the right hemisphere of our brain.

 

The right side of our brain in the YIN side of ourselves.

The YIN side of us listens.

The YANG side of us acts.

YIN and YANG form a complete whole.

We need both aspects in healing and in life in general.

 

I began studying awareness with Mary Morrissey http://www.marymorrissey.com/.

 

With our awareness, we can notice what we are noticing.

 

Can you notice your left hand?

Can you notice your right foot?

Can you notice the tip of your nose?

Can you notice the gentle breeze on your skin?

Can you notice the smell in the air around you?

Can you notice the sounds in your environment?

Can you notice the thoughts you are thinking right now?

 

Are you listening? Can you notice what you are noticing? 💜

Surrender 💜

There is an Infinite Loving Intelligence in charge of this Universe.

Every moment there is only Infinite Intelligence happening.

This life is perfect in all its perceived imperfection.

 

In 2010 I had my second relapse of MS.

I lost all sense of coordination and equilibrium.

I was alone in Dominican Republic for a course on the silence within.

The relapse was so severe that I felt I had no choice other than to SURRENDER TO LIFE!

This is the best thing that ever happened to me!!

This has been my greatest lesson!

I am not in charge of life. LIFE IS IN CHARGE!!

I began my journey of learning to SURRENDER more and more every day to LIFE.

I began discovering that there is an Infinite Loving Intelligence guiding and orchestrating this whole Universe!

 

I had studied surrender as part of the yogic philosophy.

I had learned surrender intellectually.

That time in Dominican Republic I experienced it first hand!

 

There was nothing I could do.

I had to accept life in all its drama.

That was the most humbling experience!

 

We are not in charge of the universe. We don’t make life happen. Life happens.

There is no arguing with life. She is always right!

 

I never wanted to surrender my ego like that.

I thought: I will make it happen! I thought: I will be in charge!

What an illusion! A very limiting one!

 

I had to let go of my will to make things any different than they already were.

I was invited to surrender.

 

I accepted to let go of control and let life take over.

 

I began the lifelong journey of learning to surrender to life.

I began learning that being a partner with life is much more powerful than my own limited will.

 

First we set an intention for what we want.

Then we work as best we can with the expectation of attaining our intention.

Finally we surrender the result. It will happen: probably not on our terms, but on life’s terms.

 

Surrendering is opening to the unknown.

Surrendering is letting go of ourselves and the way we think life should be.

Surrendering is very scary to the ego or the personality!

Surrendering is opening to the mystery of life.

Surrendering is relaxing in the moment and being open.

Surrendering in not resisting nor ignoring life: it is allowing it.

 

Are you aware there is an Infinite Loving Intelligence guiding and orchestrating this whole universe? Can you relax and trust in it? 💜

Change is life

Life is change. Change is life.

In fact, change is our nature.

 

We can look at nature for a model.

Nature changes every moment.

We and nature are the same.

 

Not only is change possible, change is inevitable.

Change is constant.

 

Change has been my greatest interest for as long as I can remember!

I have always been so curious about our potential for transformation!

 

Why? Obviously because I wanted to change so bad!

 

In my early teen years, I suffered from an obsessive compulsive behaviour with a fancy name: Trichotillomania. Simply put I had the compulsion of pulling my eyelashes and eyebrows! It made me feel so miserable!

I began very young to wonder about change!

 

I also started smoking tobacco and marijuana passionately in my teen years.

Some years later I wanted to quit.

I found that change was so difficult that it seemed impossible!

 

Years later, after a diagnosis of MS, I kept pursuing my passion: yoga!

I found out that if you can breathe, you can practice yoga!

So happily I did both: breathe consciously and practice yoga 😊

 

Vigorous yang yoga was impossible physically for me at that time.

Yang is about becoming.

 

I was fortunate to discover the gentle practice of yin yoga.

Yin is about being.

 

There are 3 steps to practice yin yoga:

#1 Find your comfortable edge in the posture. This appropriate edge changes all the time! It is always new!

#2 Stay still and surrender.

#3 Stay there for a while: three to five minutes. This is the time to get to know your mind, to develop your focus, to awaken the observer in you!

 

I learned yin yoga during a week-long workshop with Sarah Powers http://sarahpowers.com/

 

I also did another yoga teacher training course: Mind and meditation, level 2 Kundalini yoga https://www.3ho.org/

 

All this training gave me evidence that I can in fact change!

All this training pointed me to the fact that change belongs to the realm of the mind!

If you can change your mind, you can change your life!

 

I used to think meditation was impossible for me.

Now I found that sitting still for short periods of time, watching my mind, was actually possible!

 

What a revelation to discover I could actually change!!

What a relief to discover that I am not fixed a certain way!!

I quit smoking and I stopped that compulsion!!

 

But we have free will. We can resist change.

By thinking the same thoughts over and over again we are sure not to change.

 

First we become aware of the stories we tell ourselves over and over again by awakening the observer in us.

Then we can start changing our self talk by choosing to tell ourselves what we do want.

 

When we choose our conscious thoughts, our subconscious mind will start believing what we tell it.

Our subconscious mind has no sense of humor: it must accept anything we tell it.

 

Do you believe you can change? 💜

Uncertainty versus Control

There is an important difference between uncertainty and control.

Uncertainty is life.

Uncertainty never ends.

Comfortable with uncertainty

The only thing we ever have any control of is our current thought, as Louise Hay says in her famous book You can heal your life”.

The only thing we can control is our inner state of being: our thoughts, which dictate our feelings.

The only thing we can control is ourselves.

We create our own inner weather, as Mary Morrissey says so beautifully.

We need to realize this.

We can create paradise in our mind. We can also create hell. We choose.

One summer, a few years ago, I was in my backyard in Montreal sunbathing.

One day I feel like my life is really a paradise.

The very next day I feel like my life is really a hell.

But nothing changed outside of me! Only my thoughts about my situation changed!

This drastic realization made me wonder about the power of my thoughts?!

We also have control of our reaction to whatever life brings to our doorstep, as Scientist Gregg Braden says so poetically.

We don’t create the weather. We don’t control life. Nothing is under control.

We certainly create our reaction to the weather and to life.

Gregg Braden teaches that the quantum field we live in is a mirror for what goes on inside us.

The quantum field is also the container in which reality unfolds.

It is also the bridge between you and me.

Our mind creates our body and our reality.

This is very hard to accept, especially when we hate what we unconsciously created!

We don’t want to hear we have anything to do with our disease and our life!

Our first reaction when we hear this is to feel guilty.

I certainty felt guilty for many years out of ignorance!

But I learned: “Knowledge is Power. A Lack of Knowledge is A Lack of Power”, as Dr. Bruce Lipton says.

We are not guilty nor victims. We are responsible co-creators.

If we move past this guilt, we can get to a place where we realize our responsibility. With responsibility comes great power!

This is huge. This changes everything!

We have the power to change from the inside out, as Dr. Joe Dispenza says, so that whatever we created, for instance MS, can be transformed into health!

This does not mean that we consciously create MS!

Not at all!! This is important!! We do not consciously create our disease!!

But we can take responsibility and create health!

This is when we remember to be kind and loving with ourselves.

We can be gentle with ourselves on the journey to change from the inside out.

We remember those wise words from Lao Tzu:

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

Do you know you can choose your thoughts? Do you know you are a powerful co-creator with life? 💜

Comfortable with uncertainty

Uncertainty is an ordinary fact of life.

Uncertainty is always present. Uncertainty never ends.

Only death is certain. Timing is uncertain.

Life is not more uncertain after a diagnosis of MS.

Such a circumstance can make us more aware of the uncertainty of life.

My life always seemed so certain!

But from birth onward there is really nothing certain about it!

I never knew! I had never been aware of this fact!

I had been living on autopilot before this diagnosis of MS!

When I was young I decided that my life was going to be very predictable!

I will be in control. I will control every aspect of it.

The first thing I began studying after I was diagnosed with MS is uncertainty.

When you receive such a diagnosis, uncertainty becomes very scary!

What is going to happen?

Most of us live in an illusion of security, of predictability, of control, of certainty.

We drown in our external life just to make sure we don’t get in touch with our inner life.

I began realizing the illusion I was living in: the illusion of control!

We resist this basic truth that life is uncertain.

We deny it with every fiber of our being.

We distract ourselves not to face this basic fact of life.

We spend a lot of energy trying to avoid uncertainty.

We work too much. We eat too much. We shop too much. We drink too much.

We use legal or illegal drugs. We gamble.

We are addicted to the people and places around us.

We do anything not to relate to life directly!

I understand! I was just like that!

I used to do most of these things so I would not feel being alive.

All these activities are not the problem.

They can become a problem when they keep us from relating to life directly.

I was blessed to come across one amazing book:

Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion by Pema Chödrön.

It is a jewel, a true gift! I recommend it to anyone!

This book is about meditation and Buddhist wisdom presented in such a gentle way!

We get comfortable with uncertainty by getting curious about ourselves and about life!

We get comfortable with uncertainty by realizing life is uncertain for everyone!

With this book I began learning what uncertainty really is.

Uncertainty is life.

Life is like nature! We all know the weather is uncertain!

I began to relax with things as they are.

It is very calming for the nervous system to learn to relax in the midst of uncertainty.

All we can do is learn to get comfortable with uncertainty.

We must find comfort in the uncertainty of reality said Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoché.

Can you observe that uncertainty is an ordinary fact of life? 💜

Remember who you are!

As we embark on this journey, first we remember the truth of

WHO we are and WHERE we are.

We are infinite spiritual beings of the universe having a finite human experience.

We are a soul. We have a personality.

Our personality can be all that we think we are.

It can be the only thing we know about ourselves.

This was certainly the case for me before this diagnosis of MS came as a wake-up call.

I thought I was separate from my body, separate from life, separate from everyone.

I thought I had nothing to do with my body, with my thoughts, with my life.

I am realizing that in fact I am at the center of my own experience.

We are a vibration living in a vibrational universe.

Everything is energy. We live in a sea of energy.

  • We don’t breathe ourselves.

We are being breathed every moment.

We can choose to breathe consciously. This brings us back in the present moment.

Our only point of power lies in this present moment.

  • We don’t make our heart beat.

We don’t digest our food.

We don’t make our hair grow.

There is a life force in us and all around us and it is doing it all for us.

There is a loving intelligence in us and all around us giving us life every moment.

  • We don’t make ourselves think. Thinking happens all the time.

Whether we want to or not. Whether we are aware of it or not.

Our power lies in choosing our thoughts.

Nothing matters more than what we are thinking right now.

How we feel informs us of what we are thinking.

There is a loving intelligence guiding us, loving us, supporting us.

There is a power giving us life, giving us our every breath.

We are miracles.

If you don’t believe in miracles, perhaps you have forgotten you are one.

The first nine months of our lives everything was done for us.

This love and support does not stop when we are born.

It is ever-present. Life is ever-present to love us, support us, guide us.

Inhale fully.

Exhale completely.

Let us remember and be grateful.

Inhale deeply.

Exhale. Let go.

Let us remember and be humble.

Love is in us and all around us.

Love is in our every breath.

Who are you? 💜

About 💜

This blog is about healing multiple sclerosis (MS).

This blog is to help endMS on our planet by sharing my own healing story.

I found there are three essential steps in healing:

#1 We need to accept the present reality, which in this case could come as violently as a diagnosis of MS and/or the physical manifestation of a disease like MS.

Allowing life is crucial if we want to move forward.

We learn that LIFE LOVES US, as Louise Hay says, and that LIFE HAPPENS FOR US, not to us.

#2 We need to change. We literally have to become someone else, as Dr Joe Dispenza says.

We need to change as a whole: body, emotions and mind; thus changing our energy.

We need to connect with our soul through our intuition.

We need the willingness to shift our perception of ourselves from victim to powerful co-creator.

#3 We need to forgive and release.

We need to let go of judgment and criticism.

I will focus my posts on either one of these three steps.

Healing invites us to fall in LOVE WITH OURSELVES!

Healing invites us to fall in LOVE WITH LIFE!

I will also write about CONSCIOUSNESS.

My Biography

Before I received this diagnosis of MS, I was halfway through the exam process to become an actuary.

I was trapped in the prison of my rational mind and I did not know it.

As I just became a Kundalini yoga teacher, I suddenly received this diagnosis.

Actually I did not receive the diagnosis. I denied it as best as I could.

Then I took another yoga teaching course.

Just as I became a Kripalu yoga teacher, I got even sicker.

This is when I decided to accept this brick wall that had fallen on me and my life.

I SURRENDERED TO LIFE!

I began studying myself more closely, studying life, studying healing.

I became a holistic bodywork practitioner certified by Marie Lise Labonté.

It is a practice to liberate the body, the emotions and the mind.

All this lead me to my own healing.

In fact we don’t heal from MS, it is MS that heals us.

You won’t heal from your disease; It is your disease that will heal you, said Carl G Jung.

I want to share with you what I learned.

I want to inspire you to take the road less traveled!

Those three steps that I learned and that sum up healing in a nutshell, they are actually a way of being, a way of living.

They are not something we do once and then move on!

They are something we do again and again and again.

They are who we are.

#1 We allow life now and forever after.

#2 We flow with life because life is change.

#3 We forgive. We don’t judge. We let go.

Do you think you can open yourself to allowing? to change? to forgiveness?

Listen to your answers from within.

Share them with me in the comments below. 💜