The Journey: A Road Map to the Soul

The Journey: A Road Map to the Soul

by Brandon Bays


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780743443920
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication date: 10/02/2001
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 5.86(w) x 8.74(h) x 0.78(d)

About the Author

Brandon Bays is one of the most dynamic and innovative teachers in the personal-growth field today. She has appeared on stage with Anthony Robbins, Wayne Dyer, and other leading personal-development teachers. She travels worldwide giving seminars and workshops that touch the lives of thousands.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

I woke up that morning in the summer of 1992 and realized I finally had to face whatever it was that had made my tummy grow so large over the last few months. I just couldn't stay in denial any longer. Some part of me knew there was something seriously wrong inside, and that I was finally going to have to face the doctors and get it checked out.

I didn't want to believe that anything could possibly be "wrong" with me. It seemed I had been doing everything right! I'd been extremely health conscious, proactively conscientious for over twelve years. I ate vibrant, nourishing, vegetarian food, drank only pure, clean, filtered water and rebounded on a mini- trampoline every day. I lived in a little cottage on the beach in Malibu, California, and breathed fresh sea air. More important, because of all the personal growth work I'd done over the years, I no longer needed to direct my thoughts along positive lines; that was already happening naturally. I was deeply fulfilled in my marriage, loved my kids, and felt enlivened by and extremely grateful for my work — traveling the world giving seminars, inspiring others to create vibrant health. My life was everything I had ever longed for.

I'd spent a lifetime attending workshops and seminars, learning everything I could about healing the body and the spirit. It seemed my entire life was about living the principles of health and well-being — I definitely "walked my talk." Yet here I was faced with a tummy so large that I looked pregnant, though I knew I wasn't. How could this be when I was doing everything right?

Embarrassed and ashamed, I couldn't admit my fears to even my closest friends. Here I was, "an expert," teaching others how to take charge of their health, yet I couldn't even zip up my loosest-fitting slacks.

For over fifteen years I had been in the natural healing and alternative health field, and now, faced with a serious health issue, I felt lost at the prospect of going to a "regular" medical doctor. Though I knew I urgently needed a proper medical diagnosis, I had no idea of where to start or whom to call.

Not having the guts to call a friend, and with nowhere else to turn, I decided to check out the local book shop. I scanned the shelves and found a book written by a surgeon who specialized in women's health issues; one who was known for not taking out all your organs as the first option. I figured she might be an intelligent place to start, and when I called the number at the back of the book I was surprised and thrilled to get an appointment in only six weeks' time.

During that time, however, it seemed as if my tummy just "blew up" in size, and, oddly, my period began long before it was due. The night before my appointment, I plucked up the courage to tell one of my best girlfriends, Catherine, what was going on, and asked her if she would accompany me on my visit.

When we arrived at the doctor's office, I felt sick at the thought of what might be diagnosed. As Catherine and I sat chatting away, waiting to go in for my examination, I broke out in a cold sweat as fear washed through me in waves. After an hour and a half, the nurse finally came and called us in. The forty-five-minute examination was painstakingly thorough and seemed to drag on endlessly. The doctor said virtually nothing as I waited to finally hear what I feared most.

When she finished she quietly turned to me and looked me straight in the eyes. In a kind but unemotional voice she said, "Brandon, you are equivalent to five months pregnant with a tumor the size of a basketball."

It seemed as if everything started reeling inwardly as I tried desperately to somehow grasp what she had said. I made an awkward attempt at being lighthearted, saying, "Oh come on, Doc, aren't we exaggerating a bit here — a basketball — isn't that a bit over the top? A basketball is this big!" (indicating with my hands the size of a basketball), smiling incredulously and immediately feeling foolish.

Not warming to my attempted humor, she became firm and almost cutting, answering, "Would you rather I called it a beach ball? It's this big (indicating a beach ball). And not only that, it's crushing the rest of your organs. Haven't you noticed you've been out of breath lately?"

I nodded and mumbled feebly that I figured it was due to the bloating and weight gain. She said, "It's because this tumor, this 'pelvic mass,' has grown from your pubic area all the way up to your ribcage (touching my body — showing me exactly how much space it occupied) and is pressing against your diaphragm, making it difficult for you to breathe. It's grown so large you need to go into the hospital today to have further tests done so it can be surgically removed."

I felt as if someone had knocked the air out of me. I stupidly made a few more feeble attempts at lightening things up before I found the nerve to ask if I could speak to her in her private office.

As we walked down the hall, Catherine was chattering away, firing questions at the doctor. I presumed she was trying to buy me time to pull myself together and get my wits about me. We sat down together, and I asked the doctor what exactly it all meant and what my options were. It seemed the more she talked, the more dire she made things sound. Surgery was my "only option" — and immediate surgery at that.

My heart started to pound as the pressure began to build inside. I felt like a trapped animal. I finally had to come out with it: "I can't let you do that, Doc — I'm in the mind-body healing field. I've got to be given the chance to walk my talk, to try to heal it my own way...How much time can you give me?"

She became even more intense and replied that this was not something to take lightly. "You don't understand, Brandon," she said. "It's not just the size of your tumor. My immediate concern is that I could lose you within a few days because of the amount of blood loss you're experiencing. This is not your period. You are bleeding internally."

I began scrambling, negotiating from any angle I could think of. Everything the doctor was saying I was considering intelligently and logically, and I didn't want to do anything to risk my life, but I felt a strong pull — somehow I just had to buy myself some more time. I had to have the chance to undergo my own healing process, to give it my best shot.

I asked, "What if I could stop the bleeding through medical hypnosis or homeopathics or something? Then how much time could you give me?" She shook her head in what appeared to be pure exasperation, and dropped into a kind but resolutely firm tone that seemed softly patronizing. She said, "Brandon, you seem like a very sincere person, and I even believe in alternative natural medicine when the diagnosis calls for it, but your pelvic mass is just too big to even consider it."

Indicating the shelves and shelves of books lining her walls as if they were conclusive evidence, she continued, "There is not one case history in all these books of a woman who has healed naturally from a pelvic mass the size of yours. So even though you may have the best intent in the world, I can't in good conscience let you out of here in the condition you're in. As a doctor I'm in the business of saving lives, and you need to check into the hospital this afternoon."

"What if you had to give me time; how much time could you give me?" I pleaded. And so the negotiation continued, until finally, after another thirty minutes, we reached an agreement that if I could somehow get the bleeding to stop over the next couple of days, I would have one month to do what I knew how to do — to give it my best shot. If the symptoms worsened, I would call her immediately, and if after one month the pelvic mass was not completely gone, I would come back and let the surgeons do what they knew how to do — remove it surgically.

As I left her office, I looked back into her concerned eyes, and at that moment I saw that she really cared. Yet I could also see that there was no doubt in her mind that I would fail at healing myself. Quietly, with a knowing tone in her voice, she said, "I'll see you in one month's time," absolutely certain that surgery was my destiny.

My heart still pounding, I stepped out into the Los Angeles sunshine and felt that I had been let out of prison. Though I'd never been very fond of L.A., that afternoon somehow it seemed the most beautiful place on earth. The trees seemed to scintillate with color, the air was intensely fragrant, and I felt incredibly lucky just to be alive. My senses were so aware — so keen, so sharp. Life felt so very, very precious.

At that moment something radical happened. It seemed as if time stopped altogether. In that moment, all fear subsided into a deep calm, and a quiet but certain "knowing" arose from within — a knowing that I had been given a big wake-up call and that, in fact, this tumor was a gift — that it had something important to teach me, and that somehow I would be guided to heal myself.

It wasn't even a question of if I would heal, but how.

Though I didn't know what my healing journey would be, somehow I realized that the same part of me that had been responsible for creating the tumor would also be responsible for un-creating it. And in this recognition I felt a childlike innocence and trust that somehow I would be guided to discover what it was this pelvic mass had to teach me.

And so my healing journey began.

Copyright © 1999 by Brandon Bays

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