Journey to the four directions.
The Journey to the Four Directions.
Jim Montrose, Ayurvedic Health Consultant, March 2019.
As a Gerson care giver and instructor I have seen many patients who have responded well to the physical/action steps of the Gerson protocol, but occasionally we get a patient that has lots of difficulty with the bland food and the detoxification practices. Recently we had an unusually difficult patient that was not responding well to the protocol and was experiencing distress and a weakened condition. I had to learn to first align myself and then assist the patient in aligning with her own self as a road to achieve aligned healing rather than action based healing of the typical Gerson protocol. We took a journey to the four directions.
My role is usually to help the patient gently developing new habits of food, detoxification and living for themselves and then we encourage them to face the spiritual journey that leads to true lasting healing. My new role in this case was to assist the patient take a journey to find their re-acquaintance with their spiritual passion and path specifically with this healing, to learn to access their knowing and trust it, and then expand it to the broader realms of their life. I learned to hold a space for exploration and evolvement to a new healthy pattern of being rather than the stricter path of action of the more typical Gerson program.
The native Indians of North America and South America, utilize the medicine wheel in mapping the conscious journey of healing, the mastery of your life, to wholeness, awakening to the Dream, wherein you become the Dreamer and leave behind being the dreamed. The journey in the South American traditions starts with the South, the source of illumination and navigation as the Southern cross points the way for travel in the Southern hemisphere just like the big dipper and the Northern star do in the Northern hemisphere.
The South is the Serpent and represents the physical realm of the flesh. The work in this direction is to shed the roles and identities that no longer serve us. To transcend the old patterns we have outgrown and discern the new we wish to become. Writing our outworn roles on a piece of paper and physically burning them in a candle or fire is a great ritual to symbolize the discarding of the old.
The challenge I faced was my tools (action steps of Gerson protocol) failing to help our patient. I had to renew my approach, my knowledge, and view of healing techniques. The doctor suggested Gerson modifications and I added astringent foods to get the diarrhea under control. I had to trust that the patient’s response was appropriate as every cell in her body has an intelligence to heal if only properly activated. As she challenged some of her beliefs and values that created the situation we saw small changes and had to trust she was activating a new story to live by that activated the cells and support her response the best in the moment. Later we hoped to activate reversal patterns we knew with the more familiar treatments to balance among other things the sodium and potassium levels.
I let go of my typical role of strictly holding her to the strict food regime. I gave her a variety of foods until she found foods that she liked and didn’t throw up, we were sometimes quite off the Gerson procedure, but I trusted we (patient, doctor and I) were being led to a solution. I adopted the role of collaborator in her experimental search for a food program, path, and encouraged her accessing her own knowingness. It seems so easy when we read about the best way to help someone with cancer or have had success with previous patients by gently enforcing the Gerson protocol, but when we try to care for our patients or family and it gets into the nitty gritty of doing the program the messy details sometimes reveal themselves and we find out how multifaceted the problem of assisting a patient or family member really is.
This led me to the West, represented by the jaguar and symbolizing fear and death as a deep part of the inner world and the divine female. It speaks deeply of healing and the cycle of life and death in our journey through life. Our task here is to let go of the fear of the unknown to be renewed to serve all life.
In the West, I let go of the fear of deviating from following of the protocol to tailor the care to our patient and become a collaborator in her healing experience. I relaxed into a broader role of supporting her explorations. I learned to renew my approach and vision of the healing process. I trusted that her body intelligence will lead us to a new (better) approach for her specific situation. I had to surrender to letting the journey of discovery be the action and process we took.
Leading me to the North is the hummingbird where the still in the midst of turmoil offered me a space for self reflection. I accessed the wisdom of the ancestors offering calm in the midst of furious activity that allowed me to go into uncharted territories at peace no matter what happened around me. This is no ordinary fixed identity of how things should be. It moves from an experience etched into every cell of our doing to a new vision (map) of beliefs and values. This is the same type of insight we often experience when we takes on a pilgrimage to deal with something we are seeking. It allows us to bring home a healing peace and beauty to self and world. It is not an action step but one of non-doing of realization of a new perspective or map of your existence (like what comes from meditation). For me it gave me peace and the map of the new way to support the patient.
We found peace for ourselves (still in the midst of the turmoil) through regular meditation, accessing the knowledge of all creative source. In the calm she let the healing peace and beauty from her inner world spill over herself (she became lighter and more confident – allowing us all to breath lighter). We let God/Source inform and trusting the patient, I let go of thinking I had to do something to create the change and let the patient and God/Source carry on with their work (I got out of the way). I became the supporter of the patient in their unique process (which we always have tried to do but never had to do to this extent before).
Finally arriving at the East, where we obtain visionary re-birth. We answer the questions of: Who am I? Who is asking the question? The North is represented by the Eagle who represents the broader vision and the Condor that sees into the past and the future. In this direction you must lose yourself to find yourself. Develop the wider perspective where I can grow a new body by employing the Eagle vision to see the healed state in the future. The non-doing of visioning the future shows the way to integration. The Eagle vision dissolves the belief in separateness and opens a future that drives you forward to the self you are becoming, a self that needs no intervention, therapies, nor healing, that will take care of itself.
In the East, I found the broader perspective (Eagle vision) – seeing the wholeness in everyone, the evolution of the patients journey back to self and my journey back to trust and connectedness of all though my own connecting and aligning myself to support and advocate for the patient in finding her own alignment, trust in self knowing, and connection to the self she is becoming. This alignment is where her true healing and my own occurs!
In Loving Service,
Jim Montrose, Ayurvedic counselor
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Copyright March 2019