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Where Is Your Pearl?
by Peggy Kemp

I broke my fibula (small long bone in lower leg) and sprained ribs on the opposite side just before Christmas, 2014. I slipped on some mud on a trail and ended up in a big pig wallow. Boy, was I muddy! After some initial swearing and frustration over my own stupidity and the ruin of our lovely plans for an afternoon of plein air painting, and with the assistance of 2 sticks and my daughter and husband, I hopped back out to the road and our car. I kept saying to myself, "It's not broken, it's not broken, it didn't happen, it's NOT broken." We went straight to the hospital emergency room (35 miles away) and found that it was cracked, but not displaced, and I would not need surgery. "A lucky break," is how the doctor characterized it.

Well, I've always been lucky, but I didn't feel that lucky right then when I was covered with mud and in a lot of pain.

Primary medical advice was to simply rest, ice, and elevate my leg as much as possible for the next 6-8 weeks. Good advice, and I did that a lot, but I was not going to leave it at that when I know so many alternative healing tools.

The first thing I did was to ask for healing help from all the shamans and healing circles I knew around the world. When I had a follow-up x-ray 10 days later, there was no sign of a crack that had clearly been there just days before. The doctor denied that my leg could heal this fast. "Bones just don't heal that fast." I refused to believe what he said.

I did a lot of conscious breathing and relaxation. I would breathe in healing energy and breathe out with focus on my leg, or imagine the healing flowing in the top of my head and down through my entire body. This was usually effective for diminishing pain, at least for short periods of time. Another effective pattern was to breathe in with my focus on the pain and out with my focus outside my body, usually into wood.

I made friends with my boot/cast and my walker and harmonized their use. I watched funny movies and laughed a lot, even when it hurt my ribs.

I've had some interesting garden journeys around healing this leg and ribs. First off, I had the "Knitting Ladies" return. They were my healers years ago and can knit almost anything back together, including relationships. There are 3 of them and they are good friends. Someone on the Hunatics Facebook group had teeth problems and someone else called in the "Big Bone Dudes" to help, so I asked them in, too. I love those Dudes! They're a lot of fun and they get along great with the Knitting Ladies. What a party they've been having in my garden!

On the down side I got sort of alarmed that I was feeling out of control, shattered, emotionally unstable, and weepy every day. That's not like me and I didn't seem to be able to do anything about it. I breathed, did Dynamind, clung to my 1-minute belief, and mentally redirected my thoughts over and over, but it didn't seem to take. I'd get over it eventually and the next day, the same thing would happen.

One day I nearly fell over and realized that I was "off balance" both physically and emotionally. For some reason I found that awareness comforting. I wasn't completely losing it; I was just off balance. Being "off-balance" is hard for a Libra! I asked Serge about it during Shaman Circle in Second Life and he suggested letting it sweep over me, and then going into my garden to do symbol change work.

I did that the next time it happened. As I walked into my garden along the familiar path, I saw a lot of signs--in Japanese! These turned to English after I laughed and said that this was my garden after all, the signs should be in French or English, languages I can read. All the signs said positive things like "You are healing well!" "You are much loved" "Your leg isn't broken anymore!" "Everything's working out perfectly!" and "You're strong!" So I was getting signs, I just wasn't reading them correctly.

When I went into my garden, all was well and calm, sunny and warm. It was tidy and lush, and a menehune was beckoning to me from my healing hut. I went in and lay down on a cool, ti-leaf covered cot and asked for a symbol of my current state. I got a Brillo pad! Brillos are a tightly coiled wire scrubbing pad with soap inside, pretty heavy-duty. What a tangle! I've certainly been wound up. I changed that into a mink massage mitt. (Later I related it to "scrubbing bubbles," which is what my leg feels like when I send healing energy to it. It feels fizzy, like carbonated soda pop.)

Then I heard a voice saying "Where is your pearl? Find your pearl and put it on." I'm a kind of literal gal, so I made my way out of my garden, in search of my pearl, literally. About 10 years ago, a dear friend gave me a beautiful Tahitian pearl that she'd bought from Aloha International as a donation. I have always worn this pearl since then, only taking it off for massages, and usually putting it back on immediately afterward. When I went into the Emergency Room after I broke my leg, I took it off because I was going to have a chest x-ray. I put it safely in the pocket of my purse and didn't put it back on when I got home. I thought of it several times and still didn't put it back on. I immediately went to my purse and got out the pearl and put it on. I felt a sense of well-being that hasn't diminished since, and I have been much better balanced and less weepy and out of control. I also felt more energetic and walked a few steps without crutches the next day. Again, I shared this feedback with Serge in the Shaman Circle. His input was that there could be a deeper level of meaning, too. "Mary Kelly wrote a book about the Path of the Pearl in which she said the pearl begins with an irritation/problem and the oyster turns it into a thing of beauty/transformation. So, maybe, the question could also be about how you are turning this problem into something that you maybe can learn from and share with others."

I have done that, and offer some practical tips for post-injury care in another article here: I have also thought about the pearly blessings I've received from this injury:

1. My loving husband has taken beautiful care of me, and our relationship is stronger and more loving than ever.
2. My dependence on him has taught me that my worth is not dependent on what I can DO.
3. My friends have been loving and supportive.
4. I have learned to ask for and accept help and healing.
5. I've had the time and space to design and bead many different prototypes for a new product line.
6. I've used different healing modalities and learned some new ones.
7. I've learned to be very present in the moment. I move slowly and (hopefully) gracefully through my life, aware of every step I take.
8. My awareness of and compassion for folks with disabilities has increased.
9. I no longer take for granted simple pleasures like standing at the sink to brush my teeth, making a cup of coffee for my sweetheart, cooking, or watering my garden.

This is how my pearl grew out of my problems. Where is YOUR pearl?

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