You're invited to join the introductory Free To Heal series on October 26, November 2, and November 9 from 11:30am - 1:30pm PT by signing up on the Now What?! calendar. Participants will receive complimentary materials and the opportunity to explore a model of healthcare that meets the intersecting crises of our day.
Leopoldina would never have gone to the emergency room if she were not in enormous pain. Her gut had been screaming at her for almost the entire day. It took a lot to make her stop working and just lay down. The problem was it did not help. The pain continued no matter what position she was in. That was why she put on her mask and walked to the hospital. But each step was difficult because she was perhaps more afraid of going to the hospital than she was of her pain.
First of all, she dreaded even saying her name. She clenched her jaw anticipating it. No one ever got it right. Even when she tried to change her name a little just the way she spoke seemed to make her incomprehensible to the people behind the desk. So, she just went through it, saying as slowly as possible, “Leopoldina.”
Because of the pandemic the waiting room was not so busy. After checking in she found a chair by the window and sat down to wait until her name was called in a way that was barely recognizable to her. A young, tired woman with sad eyes above her mask took her temperature, and looking into Leopoldina’s eyes asked if she could touch her belly. With hands in latex gloves that felt so cold that Leopoldina flinched when they touched her, the young woman prodded Leopoldina’s belly. She said there was nothing noticeable there and that Leopoldina did not have a temperature and her blood pressure was good. The only thing left was an x-ray.
Leopoldina returned to the chair by the window in the waiting room. The pain was excruciating. She closed her eyes and instantly she remembered how once when she was a young girl, she had this pain before. Her mother took her to a woman who talked with her for a long time, asking her about herself, and then gestured for her to lie down on a cot with a flowery spread over it. The woman asked permission to move the cotton of Leopoldina’s blouse and skirt aside. Because her mother was there, close enough for Leopoldina to see her, she nodded yes. As the woman exposed the tight flesh beneath the garments, she began to sing a soft song, almost under her breath. It was soothing. Just remembering this Leopoldina took a deep breath and let it out slowly. The memory was so clear; she could even smell the room now with its herbal aromas. Continuing the melody, almost like a hum, the woman rubbed a warm egg in its shell over Leopoldina’s spasmodic belly. She rolled the egg with each light rub, moving it in a concentric circle, all around Leopoldina’s belly, over and over, singing all the while. Little by little the spasms began to recede until they stopped completely. The young girl opened her eyes then and looked up to see her mother smiling.
She, the woman and her mother talked about how sometimes at cycles of a woman’s life her body rebels and resists, frightened of the unknown. Leopoldina’s mother nodded saying this had happened to her when she first got her menstrual cycle, and then again just before she became pregnant. It was even happening now, her mother said, because her cycles were changing. That is why she brought her daughter here. This woman had helped her also.
Leopoldina was startled out of the memory when the radiology secretary came to take her back for the x-ray. Leopoldina looked down at her hand that was resting on her belly which had softened considerably. The memory of her mother, the woman and the warm egg, was still with her. Leopoldina smiled and said, “Sorry. I think I’m OK now.”
“Are you sure?” the secretary asked.
“Yes,” Leopoldina answered. “I am sure. I don’t think I need the x-ray.”
Walking home Leopoldina began to sort through how her body was changing as she was done bearing children and was alone, without her mother and her other family members to offer her support. She would have to give that support to herself now and even share this memory with her daughters. She was glad she recalled this story; without the pain it could have been lost forever. Everything was so different these days but that made the memory even more valuable. Yes, Leopoldina said to herself, this story was important for her girls to hear.
Leopoldina’s story is an illustration of one woman’s discovery of what healing really is in contrast to how healthcare is delivered. If you are curious about how a systemic change in healthcare could happen from the bottom up through grassroots empowerment, experiment in the Free To Heal series. --
Free To Heal empowers participants to reclaim memories of mind-body unification that are stored in our cellular matrix. Without over-simplifying the intelligence of original medicines, Free To Heal explores how the industrialization of healthcare has attempted to erase the innate healing wisdom we all carry. Utilizing tested interventions from a Cultural Library of Sustainable Health Resources, Free To Heal aims to train culturally sensitive, trauma informed Sustainable Health Practitioners to meet the health consequences of climate change at family and community levels.
Join Dr. Stephanie Mines in an emergent community process to evolve a Free To Heal experience. Everyone who registers will view a ten-minute introductory film demonstrating a Free To Heal experience.
Following this free introductory series with the Now What?! community, an immersive and detailed training in the Sustainable Health model presented by the Free To Heal series will be offered by The TARA Approach. To learn more about this training, visit the event webpage: