I remember her coming home to say “I have a brain tumour.”
The GP said: “We found it from your blood”
The Physician said: “It’s in your brain”
The Specialist said: “If it’s 1mm bigger we have to operate. Through the eye.”
This was my partner and I thought I could help her. I was in chiropractic school at the time...
The Biology lecturer said: “Scientists don’t know much about tumours or cancers. What we do know is “The Three P’s” - it’s “Purposeless, Profound, Proliferation.”
The Philosophy lecturer said: “The consciousness of a cancer cell is “I’m going to do my own thing.”
The Neurology lecturer said: “Joint movement is the strongest regulator of the mid-brain which up-regulates Tumour Killer cells.”
The Epigenetics lecturer said: “A conservative estimate is that 70% of cancer and tumour cells are triggered from environmental factors, how we eat, how we move and what we think.”
Why my partner?
The tumour was a catalyst for radical life change in her. It catapulted her into yoga teaching. It released a hormone which made her feel like she was always pregnant – meaning her joints were loose and open.
She was loving her yoga students maternally and practicing knowing 1mm was the difference between life and death. Within 12 months she was the lead teacher in a popular school and healthy. She changed the way she ate, moved and thought. Found purpose. And we separated.
We separated after almost a decade together.
Coping with separation was challenging, with my first year of work being overseas in a Singaporean Medical Centre. My employer birthed a charity for sexually abused young women and it was growing fast. She needed a year sabbatical to focus on the charity and gave me the keys to her corporate practice – this is where I cut my teeth.
The contract was ‘stress-management’ of the corporate elite. So, vice presidents of major IT companies and directors of banks, along with politicians and top lawyers in the city.
I spent my day working, studying neurology and reading commentaries on a book called the Bhagavad Gita (Yogananda Volumes were my main interest).
When reading these books, I started experiencing jolts in my spine and a pain in my breast-bone like an opening. This gave me the idea there was more to reading spiritual books than I was aware of at the time.
Soon, my employer’s twelve-month sabbatical was over and I had become very disillusioned with the chiropractic industry amidst a personal breakdown.
I remember saying to my teacher one year earlier “All I’ve got is my partner and work.” My teacher said “Well, that’s all you could want. If you have your family and your work, that’s all anyone wants!”
My identity was based on an expired relationship and a job title – which now were both gone.
So what did that leave me with? I didn’t have any sense of purpose.
I found myself genuinely having no care to wake up in the morning. I tried drinking and partying but that just made things worse. My memory was becoming a little shaky.
To escape self-damage through problem-drinking, I flew to a silent monastery for one month near Burma, losing 10kg. I hardly slept or ate. I remember one night the monks saying a storm was coming ‘please get an extra blanket’. I thought I’d be tough though and not get one but ended up nearly dying from how cold it got. It was a hard month but it showed me no matter what was happening, it was absolutely possible to simply sit, meditate and be happy.
I then travelled to Thailand and experienced the fury of an earthquake. Watching the world rattle around me showed me how frail human life was amidst our own personal life stories.
Back in Australia, a good friend offered to live with him. He and his best friend had both lost their Mothers to brain cancer. It was a great house across from a friend’s yoga studio and walking distance to work.
For months I’d walk to this new job in the rain, arriving with wet socks. The job was literally ticking boxes. Miners would come through and I’d say, “Lift this box” and if they bent their knees I’d give them a tick. If they didn’t, they’d get a cross. One day the physician said “You’re not ticking the boxes on the page? What are you doing?”
I had problems.
One day at work, I noticed a miner with something not right. I went to the doctor’s page and wrote “Cranial-Nerve lesion, possible brain tumour.” The Occupation Physician said “What are you doing writing in my section? Please stick to your job of ticking boxes!” I thought I’d surely be fired now.
Weeks later he came back and said “It turns out you were right, you might have saved the man’s life.”
My friend and I had one night been laughing over a YouTube video that had more than 30 million hits. Some guy saying gleefully over and over again “ Oh my God! A double rainbow!” The next day on my way to work, the clouds cleared and there was a double rainbow. I took a picture of it to send to my friend.
I started feeling better. Healing. And even went on a few dates with a girl – I called her Butterfly. This is when serendipity and inescapable coinciding began to emerge in my life.
I showed Butterfly the double rainbow picture and she freaked. Directly under the rainbow was her building – her bedroom window. She thought I must be some kind of stalker.
This serendipity was the first signs of Kundalini Awakening- understanding the walls of imagination and reality were porous. It was a madness of sorts.
I started using superfoods, yogic- breathing, stress-releases while listening to spiritual talks to recover my body.
One spiritual quote echoed strongly. It was by a guru called Mooji who said “It’s not the snakes who need to wake up, it’s you.”
I started to notice how the stress releases where working their way up into my pelvis, heart and throat. Talking to my friend’s husband (who owned the yoga studio across the road), he said “this sounds like the three granthis (knots) of Kundalini.” I told him about the quote that was playing within me and he told me that it was from a place called Arunachala. Just hearing the name was making me emotional.
I then felt compelled to go to India.
I found cheap flights, time off work and received a random phone call from a friend to get a visa, which I had forgotten about, on the final day of having to lodge it.
Arunachala is known as the mountain of fire. There is a lot of magic in this place. It looks a lot like Mt Newman in regional Western Australia, the place where I grew up.
The morning of arriving at the mountain, an announcement came through “The mountain is closed.” It had caught on fire!
The mountain of fire was on fire.
The holy men living around the mountain were very upset saying “This is auspicious” and the men at the gates said “Sorry, there is no way you can go up the mountain this week.”
I hadn’t come all the way to India to not climb up that mountain. I snuck up a back way behind the ashram and reached the summit two hours later.
All the smoke had gone to the top of the mountain. Also all of the butterflies had gone to the summit to escape the fire. When I got to the peak of the mountain, it was just white smoke all around and big butterflies were coming at me from all directions. It was surreal.
Then came a voice in the clouds. It was my ex-partner. Her soul saying to me; “All I ever wanted was for you to see (“C” echoed loudly) how beautiful you (“U” echoed loudly) are (“R” echoed loudly) with or without me (‘E” echoed loudly) in your life.”
The CURE – was finding love without attachment...
An Excerpt from Simon's story for our new men's project "Made By Scars - the men's series"
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