The Gift in Adversity

BY Parvati

I just returned from being in England over the past few weeks. On a professional level, it was an excellent, full on time performing and teaching, moving my projects forward, meeting great people and finding out more about the world and myself. But what I learned was beyond all of this.
The day after my first show at the Mind Body Spirit Festival in London, I developed severe laryngitis. This may seem like a tragedy for one who uses her voice to perform and teach. But for one who has made a promise to the spiritual path, I know that the universe has an amazing way of keeping us honest and on path. Adversity is nothing other than a gift in disguise.
As I allowed myself to soften into the physical and emotional discomfort I felt having absolutely no voice, I found myself inundated with memories from what seemed to be a past life memory in London dying of consumption (tuberculosis). At that time, my lungs were full of fluid. I could not breathe, and I felt silent in my ability to voice feelings of powerlessness. In the present, what lingered was resentment of having died in a state of sorrow. So I welcomed these feelings as part of healing my laryngitis.
However, my memories did not stop there. As we toured through England, I was also reminded of another time in the UK when water filled my lungs. I had stones tied to my feet and was being drowned for my beliefs, likely when I was a healer, accused of being a witch. In that lifetime, I also died with water-filled lungs, with unspoken beliefs.
As my laryngitis moved into bronchitis, I had every opportunity to meet these emotions and send myself love and understanding so that I could deeply heal. In the bustle of the full on 18 hour a day schedule I had there, there was little room for formal sitting meditation practice, which I believe if I had had, I would not have fallen ill. I needed the inner space to process what was arising. Release through my body was the only way it could be expressed, due to my busy-body schedule.
Being in England with fever and illness was an opportunity for me to forgive and let go at a deep, soul level. In the present, my business meetings were fruitful, people supportive, shows and workshops excellent (one was even sold out) and products sold. Spiritually, I was being asked to come more fully into the present. The fears I carried from those past experiences were colouring the here and now.
As I walked through the British streets, rode the London tube, watched the people come and go, I consciously had to remind myself it was 2013 and I was physically free and breathing freely and had the freedom to say what and how I felt.
I understand time to be like Russian dolls, each moment inside the other, not linear like we think time to be. There is no past or future, but an eternal now in which all unfolds simultaneously.
Whatever arises for us in the moment, as we practice mindful awareness, is exactly where we need to be. For me, it was in healing the past to be fully present and allow myself to grieve and heal.
Who knows what my next trip to the UK will bring. For that matter, who knows what the next moment will bring. That does not matter. I feel grateful for the opportunities I did experience and am open to what unfolds.
May we each have the courage in each moment to meet it as it is, without reservation, without judgment so that we may shine the eternal light we truly are.
Enjoy each moment,