Wellness: The Miracle of Nature’s Healing, by Parvati Devi
When the tsunami devastated Japan on March 11, 2011, I was severely hit in my own way. I woke up that morning having had a turbulent night riddled with nightmares and feeling shaken to my core. I got up to find that my legs were not fully responsive and felt numb. Not having yet heard about the earthquake and tsunami, I felt broken and ill.
The strange numbness in my legs increased over the next couple of days. Then suddenly – out of nowhere – agonizing pain shot through my spine. My mind went blank from sheer trauma. I could not move my spine or my legs at all.
I would be fully bedridden and in pain for nearly three months. Doctors gave a medical diagnosis and asked if I had been in a car accident. I said I had not experienced any actual physical impact. I was given a 50-50 chance of dancing again, and spinal surgery was recommended for the immense trauma in my lower spine.
In my core, I did not believe that was the way for my healing. So I dove deeply into myself and surrendered to life force (God, Spirit, whatever you want to call it) as I had never done before.
Healing only happens in the state of absolute surrender. When we think “we” are healing, we interfere. We do not know Nature’s plan. Perhaps what we perceive as illness is a gift. I was technically sick through much of last year, yet was contributing socially and went through profound growth at all levels. I was not really “unwell”. In some ways, I was never better.
In a healing state, there is no judgment about what is good or bad or right or wrong. It all just is. If we get into thinking this illness is good or bad, a punishment, a burden that we must shift, then we are playing God, thinking we can see the whole picture. We see so little. We know so little. It is not up to us to know these things. We show up and get out of the way.
I had to find a place in my heart and soul that knew that whatever happened would be in my highest good. If I were meant to perform in a wheelchair (I told the universe that there was no way I would give up singing and performing) then so it would be. I had to be equally ok with it all, while holding the possibility, without attachment, that I would walk again.
A force so much greater than me was growing inside me, like life itself, enveloping me, consuming me, transforming my very cells. I did not understand how it was working. But it was working and that is all that mattered. And there was no bargaining with its omniscient power.
By June 1, 2011, I stood on my feet again for the first time.
Near the end of July 2011, I went to see my spiritual teacher Amma. Not yet physically able to sit, I was able to lie in the back seat of a car, and then barely walk up to see Her. As She greeted me, I looked into Her eyes and sobbed. I could not control my legs or spine. My body was a marionette controlled by a force other then my will. I saw there in the most visceral way that I am literally not the doer. This body is a beautiful and perfect vehicle for Divine Will. My job is to get out of the way and witness.
By the end of October, 2011, I was back on stage singing and dancing, in rapturous surrender. Doctors called it a miracle. It WAS a miracle.
My body is not the same as it was. I have had to modify my choreography in my shows. I have had to change my lifestyle and adopt new habits, ones that put my physical health at the same level of priority as my spiritual well-being.
We must always see our state of health, whatever it may be, as grace. If we are breathing, even if we are ill in every other way, then life force is still present. Life force is Divine, not for us to control. The human form is visited by it. We pay it homage. We give thanks. We learn to embody it masterfully through surrendered grace. And we get on and enjoy every moment we have while in the miracle of this exquisite human form and while on this Eden we call planet Earth.
Parvati Devi is the editor-in-chief of Parvati Magazine. In addition to being an internationally acclaimed Canadian singer, songwriter, producer and performer, she is a yoga teacher and holistic educator, having studied yoga and meditation since 1987, and developed her own yoga teaching style called YEM™: Yoga as Energy Medicine. Her current shows, “YIN: Yoga in the Nightclub” and “Natamba”, bring forward a conscious energy into the pop mainstream.