My story-Jane Donald (written in 2010)
This is taken from the preface to the first book I wrote Sacred Ireland Sacred Messages from Sacred Ireland which was published in 2010. This book came about as a result of my search for self-empowerment and healing. It is one of the positive outcomes of a ten-year struggle to regain my health and well-being and to recover from Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, a condition known as Post-Viral Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Immune Dysfunction in North America .As the birth of this book and the path I have been following since I first became ill are so intricately linked, I would like to share my experience with you. It has been a difficult, but ultimately enlightening and life-changing journey.The first time I was conscious of my body being under any physical strain was back in May 1999when I was just twenty five. While water skiing, I pulled the hamstring in my left leg very badly. This injury triggered a devastating spiral into severe ill health which was to last until 2009. ME changed thedirection, understanding and outlook I had on life beyond anything I could have imagined. Despite continual visits to a physiotherapist, the muscle in my leg wasted. At the time I was very actively involved in playing senior club hockey in Dublin. I was struggling to stay fit and keep up and subsequently trained harder and harder. That lasted until one evening in October 2000 when I felt a blockage and pain in the area below the centre of my ribcage (which I now know to be the solar plexus chakra) and I could not get my arms and legs to work. The following day in work I felt ill, lacking in energy and nauseous, so I left and went to see my doctor.
I got an appointment to see a gastric consultant for February 2001. In the intervening four months I trundled on with a sick stomach, blinding headaches, lack of energy, fatigue and a feeling that I can only describe as being a nasty cross between flu, food poisoning and a hangover.When I finally saw the consultant in question I was diagnosed as suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome. Since there is no established medical treatment, the advice I was given was ‘to rest, not to climb any mountains,’ (I like hill walking) and ‘to continue working’. There was no mention of a serious neurological illness or the term Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. In my complete ignorance I decided to take a break. However, being the lover of sports that I am, I chose a snow ski holiday reasoning, quite seriously, it was all downhill! This proved to be a big mistake, my body could not take the stress of the physical exercise and it made the illness very severe for the next eight years. Physical exercise even just walking would be an impossibility for me for almost a decade.
The general medical consensus is that if you have ME for longer than two years, there is little chance of a recovery. Myalgic means muscle pain and encephalomyelitis means an inflammation of the spinal cord. Varying degrees of disability, illness and disruption are caused to people’s lives by the symptoms. It is a complex and debilitating physiological illness involving neurological and endocrinal dysfunction and immune system dysregulation which is not improved by bed rest and can worsen with physical or mental exertion. It is estimated there are at least 12,000 ME sufferers in Ireland and 17 million worldwide. In May of 2000 I found a doctor who had some experience in trying to treat ME and energy problems. Prior to this the only medical test I could get was an adrenal saliva test, which a doctor I contacted in the USA did for me by post. Such is the difficulty in getting appropriate medical treatment in Ireland. Pacing yourself and resting are very important in the attempt to stave off the worst symptoms.
There are few doctors in Ireland or worldwide with even a basic understanding of ME or a willingness to learn more about it. The fact is that many doctors remain uneducated about ME and there is, as yet, no medical diagnostic test oragreed established course of medical treatment. Each patient experiences ME differently and can have a wide variety of seemingly non-related symptoms. In August 2000 my twin sister Lyn who had been collecting magazines about holistic therapies told me that she had read that Reiki might be useful for ME sufferers. I had never heard of Reiki and was sceptical as I knew nothing at all about it. The next day I was in a shop when I saw a huge poster advertising Reiki sessions. I made an appointment immediately. It had an amazing effect, like plugging in to a power source and getting recharged. I began to learn Reiki myself, completing the three levels to become a Reiki Master. The meditation involved proved very useful as I was experiencing a lot of sleep disturbance, ranging from insomnia and sleep deprivation to sleeping for seventeen hour stretches at a time. It helped me calm down the “tired but wired” feeling in my body, a trademark of ME. As I was forced to spend long periods resting and lying down over the following eight years I had ample occasion to improve my meditation techniques. The main turning point came five years into the ME when I got stuck on the bathroom floor for four days without being able to reach my mobile phone. I had been having difficulty standing up and often could not feel my body from the waist down. Later I was to find out that I had a lack of oxygen going to my brain. Physical collapses were part of my daily life, as I was pushing myself to remain in employment, but usually I was able to reach a chair or bed and I always kept my mobile close at hand.
It was during these physical collapses that I found meditation particularly useful to remain calm, patient and emotionally adjusted. This incident happened after a particularly stressful and busy publishing deadline in work. On another occasion I had got stuck while out walking the dog on a damp autumn day. I had no other choice but to lie in the field for six hours before I managed to crawl on my hands and knees back to the house and warmth. My dog Oscar was very good about it, waiting patiently by my side throughout.Oscar was a wonderful source of strength, always happy to see me no matter what state I was in.At some stage during the four days on the bathroom floor I swore in utter frustration and desperation, ‘Jesus Christ give me a break!’ A curious thing happened, I felt like I was floating above and outside of my body. It felt like a wonderful freedom, no illness, suffering or fear just a sense of being still and that was really me, I was not just the body that I could see lying on the floor beneath me, I was something more.
When I recovered, I wondered what I could do to improve the situation in terms of how my work was organised. I telephoned my Mum to explain where I had been, she was concerned and worried obviously but had no idea what advice to give me. She felt, as I did, that I needed to keep my job going for practical purposes. At the office, I knew that if certain work procedures and practices were tweaked, it would be an enormous relief to me, but that solution proved not to be possible. I went to my local health centre to see ifI could get help there. The nurse actually laughed in my face and told me I had an illness ‘from the twilight zone’ and kept asking me how much I was earning and pointing out how young I was and how well I looked.The difficulty with ME is that it is not recognised or known about by the medical establishment. It is not part of the health system so any treatment, medical or holistic, you try in an effort to improve your situation,must be paid for and so you obviously need an income.
In practical terms ME creates the following dilemma for many patients; Is it better to stop work in order to rest but have no money or should one struggle on working and be able to afford treatments but not get enough rest for them to be fully effective?I was in a situation where my employers wanted me to stay on in my job and I could work from home. I decided to continue working and made a substantial investment in various treatments to try to heal myself. I really believed I could. I had had a strong feeling from the very beginning of my illness (despite all evidence to the contrary, what doctors had told me and what I had read about this “incurable” disease) that I would get better and that I was supposed to be learning something from the whole experience.
Coming up against a brick wall as regards human help and solutions I pondered what else to do. I tried to remember and figure out how I had managed to achieve that state of stillness on the bathroom floor where I had experienced wellness for the first time in five years. I realised that when swearing in frustration and despair that I had inadvertently really asked for a break and that is exactly what I was given. Up to this point I had been reading, researching and focusing on medical and holistic ways of relieving physical symptoms. But armed with this new experience I began to focus more on my ultimate goal, what I really needed, how I wanted my life to be. I simply asked to be shown how to be well and happy. A curious thing began to unfold. I started to get led to people and treatments that could help me at a given moment in time, the right time.
I found myself on the Internet site of a Welsh lady who had recovered from ME. I had already tried and implemented most of the advice she was giving but my interest was grabbed by a programme called the Empower Programme I looked at the website, it promised to help me “connect to my higher intelligence” to “unlock my potential within”. I still did not understand what was involved or what this meant so I gave the woman in Wales a call to find out more. ‘It sounds wacky,’ she said ‘but it works, there is even a section specifically for ME.’ Based on my conversation with her I ordered the programme. It turned out to be a remarkable, in fact dramatic programme. I could literally ‘command’ my own body and mind to make positive changes instantaneously, purely by asking. This led to spontaneous physical movements where the physical body went into a state of vibration as a result of the “Higher Self” implementing these instructions. My body literally moved of its own accord and went into vibration while I was doing the programme. It was very strange, but it was helping greatly.
Gradually I found I was making it my own, incorporating it constantly into my daily life as the healing brought more and more issues to my conscious mind for healing. I asked more and more for healing, awareness,insights and anything that would make me well and happy. I started to use the meditation skills I had learnt to visualise myself happy and healthy. You often hear the phrase “listen to your body” but I also started to talk to my body constantly, to ask my body to regenerate itself and to ask my physical organs, body systems, cells, electrons, protons etc to work properly and to their optimum for me and my body to heal itself.
After five years the doctor I had been attending decided to test me for mercury poisoning, I had no amalgam fillings in my teeth and so it had not been considered a problem. It is rare to find a doctor in Ireland who would even think to test for mercury or heavy metal poisoning. Mercury can come from a number of possible sources including amalgam fillings, vaccinations, fish, crop seeds and sprays. Mercury can be transferred from the mother to a foetus in the womb. Heavy metal poisoning is also implicated in several other neurological illnesses for example Parkinson’s and Alzeimhers. It turned out I had ten times what is considered the safe level of mercury in my body. It took three tough years to get the mercury out of my body using mercury chelation, infrared saunas, chlorea, charcoal, the Empower program and TBM (Total Body Modification).
Shortly after the mercury-poisoning discovery a holistic therapist I had been attending recommended that I see a therapist called Roy Stapleton who practices TBM. I followed the advice as it felt positive. TBM involves muscle testing to find areas of the body that are weak and it then corrects the Functional Physiology (how the body works). On the first visit Roy identified and switched off three viruses, it felt great, like my body was no longer fighting a huge battle against some unknown enemy. I attended Roy for a year for regular sessions before he suggested that I learn TBM. He was teaching it and thought I would be good at it. I was still very much struggling to function and hold down the remnants of a “normal” life but again it felt correct for me at that moment so I did it. TBM is a channelled healing technique from Utah in the USA. When learning TBM, I found I was being overwhelmed by the energy and was finding even the effort of sitting upright difficult, let alone reading or understanding the manual. Roy began to adjust and do the corrections on me. Once he did that, I was able to repeat them spontaneously. I was learning by transference.
Now I practised TBM on myself on a daily basis. It was like I had known this information all my life but had somehow forgotten it. The only thing I can compare it to is the natural instinct I had while playing sport, innately knowing what to do and when to do it. It was obvious to me. When I was qualified and wanted to start taking on TBM clients, I consciously put the thought out there; how do I go about getting clients? I received an email from the ME Trust asking me to do a piece for the Irish Independent Health Supplement on useful treatments for ME. There was a photo of me on the front page and inside was an article on TBM. The phone began to ring with people looking for appointments. As I practised TBM, I found I was healing myself and helping others. People also started to ring and ask me to clear their house of negative energy. Doing healing sessions on people or house clearing was not a type of work that I ever had any notion of doing, I had learnt the TBM to treat myself and improve my own health situation but now it was leading me down another path.
While receiving a TBM treatment from Roy one day, I was lying on the plinth relaxing with my eyes closed when I felt a profound shift in my energy and feeling of well-being. I opened my eyes to see Roy pale and shaking, clutching the corner of his desk. ‘Jesus Christ’ I said, ‘Are you ok?’ Roy replied, ‘That is the point, Jesus Christ just came down and poured your mercury load into a chalice, I saw him.’ So it was working! If I asked and followed the energy I was being led where I needed to go.
In November 2006, a colleague sent me an email about a treatment called the Perrin Technique and how an osteopath in Manchester called Dr Raymond Perrin had “accidentally cured” an ME patient while treating them for back problems. Dr Perrin wrote a book and trademarked his treatment calling it the Perrin Technique. I made an appointment for December 2006 and flew to Manchester to see him with my twin Lyn. You need a chaperone as part of the treatment involves the osteopath massaging the lymphatic system in the chest to relieve the toxic load on the body. Lyn had been experiencing similar health problems to me since she had a bad car accident. She had been diagnosed with fibromyalgia but I figured she also had ME, as anecdotally it is hereditary. I thought Dr Perrin would be interested in identical twins for his own research and education in treating people with ME. He also diagnosed Lyn with ME and told me that I had so little oxygen going to my brain I should not be standing up and walking around let alone working. My head was ‘like a deflated football,’ he explained.We began flying to Manchester every fortnight until March 2007 when an osteopath in Dublin started to dothe Perrin Technique. Part of the Perrin Technique includes a self-treatment regime with self-massage and back rotation exercises. But Lyn and I both found when we combined it with the Empower Programme and said ‘give me what I need to have the best Perrin technique healing for me for my highest good,’ our bodies moved spontaneously correcting themselves energetically. Again we had learnt by transference healing. I found the Perrin Technique to be a very difficult treatment for someone who is ill and weakened with ME. Even though I had already done two years of mercury detoxing before I even started the Perrin Technique. You actually need to be quite physically robust and well as it is very tough going and quite dramatic when you first start and the toxins that have built up in your body for years begin to shift. You definitely get worse before you get better.
Browsing in a book shop one day around St Patrick’s Day 2008, my husband, Paul, came over to me and said, ‘there are CDs over there you need to look at.’ It was still a novelty to be back out in shops since years of ME had meant avoiding them. I still tired easily so I simply said to myself, ‘show me which CDs I need for my highest good.’ I was drawn to two CDs by best selling authors, Esther and Gerry Hicks entitled The Amazing Power ofDeliberate Intent – Living the Art of Allowing. I started listening to these CDs knowing nothing about TheTeachings of Abraham which Esther Hicks channels. They had a profound effect on me, with symptoms of ME that had been going on for eight years just dissolving. Again it was like I had known this information all my life but had somehow forgotten it. So I listened to every bit of The Teachings of Abraham. I learnt for the first time about The Law of Attraction in a book called “Ask and It Is Given.” I realised I had been consciously using the Law of Attraction without knowing what to call it since I had stumbled on the realisation after the bathroom floor fiasco.
Shortly after this in April 2008 I attended a talk given by Dr Deepak Chopra. Again I had the samesensation that I had known this information all my life but had somehow forgotten it. His advice is to ask the big questions in life. I consciously put the thought out there: “What is my life purpose?” Four days later at a World TBM Conference in France, a curious thing happened. A TBM practitioner from Las Vegas began talking to me about my throat chakra being blocked and said, ‘You are trying to make a change.’ ‘I know,’ I said, ‘I am trying to give up work.’ ‘Ah’ he said, ‘what you need to know is your life purpose’. ‘Yes,’ I replied in shock. ‘It is not this, not TBM’ he said. ‘I think it has to do with publishing. I work in publishing,’ I replied. ‘Ah’ he said again, ‘Have you heard of Esther and Gerry Hicks?’ I nodded. ‘You are going to channel books.’ I was stunned and disbelieving. I had been given the answer to the question I had asked only four days earlier.
I came home wondering what this could possibly be all about and how would I ever know how to channel books! I had been reading The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. There is an exercise where you write three pages of meditation she calls “Morning Pages”. I am not a morning person and so I was trying to do it in the evening. I was struggling with the whole thing, nothing much was happening, no flow; it felt like I was forcing it.One evening, spontaneously like automatic writing, my hand took off answering questions I had just been wondering about earlier in my head. I was writing furiously, not knowing what I had written until I read it back. It contained amazing, really profound advice on all the questions that I had been asking in my head. I followed the advice and continued to ask questions and get answers about how to improve my physical, mental and emotional well-being. I began to wonder again about channelling books. How would anyone be able to do that and how would one go about doing it?
During the summer of 2008, I was wandering from my office building to the canteen when I felt drawn to a big old sycamore tree in the middle of a roundabout in the business park. I could feel a sense of buzzing or vibration around my head. The next tree did the same and on the way back a beech tree did the same. When I got back to my desk, I took out a piece of paper and wrote down the message each tree had given. It was like a stream of consciousness or automatic writing. For the next eighteen months I continued to follow the energy and inspiration where I was drawn to it, and to write and collect messages. Sometimes I would just be driving along and be drawn to a particular place. Other days I would set out with friends and just go where we felt inspired and drawn to, always following intuition and where the energy was taking us. “Mystery tours” we call them! My instinct was to take photos and collect messages for this book. When I asked what to call the book…. my hand wrote Sacred Messages from Sacred Ireland. When I asked how to publish the book, my hand wrote… set up a publishing company and call it Halleluaj Press. Since I had started to feel better I had been in the habit of shouting “Halleluaj!” as I got out of bed because I was so happy to be feeling better and I was finding standing upright and functioning was becoming so much easier! The messages are presented exactly as I received them. The punctuation and the spelling were given to me.Hence the spelling of the word Halleluaj. The energy was insistent on the spelling of Halleluaj. The messages are grouped according to county only to help the reader to locate the places in their minds eye easily. Remember this book is the story of my healing journey so it reflects places and counties that I was able to visit as I carried on living my everyday life with its ups and downs, and responsibilities. The messages were received and the photos taken in the moment. Considerations like the weather, the time of year, the season or the best conditions for photography were secondary. The important thing was the inspiration and the magic of the moment in that place where I was inspired to be at that exact moment of time for me. This book is about living and being in the moment. It is about being vibrationally aligned to your source energy in that moment.Each message was received upon visiting the place, feeling the energy and being in the vibration. So the message and the photographs are integral to each other.
The messages in this book are meant for feeling, quieten your mind and allow yourself to feel the vibration of the messages. Feel them in your heart, the heart knows and is an ancient wisdom. They are lessons and nourishment for the soul. The mind and ego give us a contrast to the heart and soul.
In August 2008, I was doing a healing session on a lady called Carmel Costello. At one point she asked me what I was doing. Since I was following my guidance and intuitively healing, I asked myself, ‘What am I doing?’ The answer came back, ‘Working with the angels.’ This was news to me, but because I trusted the guidance, I answered ‘Working with the angels,’ and Carmel said no more. After the healing session, she askedwhether I knew I was doing IET. ‘What is IET?’ I answered, never having heard of it before. IET (Integrated Energy Therapy) is a channelled healing technique by Steven Thaver in the USA that uses Archangel Ariel’s energy. Carmel is a practitioner and Master Teacher. Subsequently I did the course and became a qualified IET practitioner. This was the first time I learnt or read anything about angels in my life. The only prior knowledge I had about angels was from the Christmas story. I had overheard people talkingabout angels when I was learning Reiki years earlier but had not paid much attention.
As I had been regaining my physical health, pregnancy seemed like a real possibility. I was now thirty five years old and had been struggling with my health since the age of twenty five. My doctor had decided to send me to a fertility consultant. I had the appointment date. Given the ignorance and prejudice surrounding ME in Ireland he was protecting me and warning that the particular consultant he was sending me to did not believe in ME. Therefore I was not to mention ME or mercury poisoning, I was just to say I had been “a bittired.”The consultant would be unhappy that I had been on steroids for eight years but she was the best in her field. The anecdotal record of the treatment of ME patients by the medical system is not a proud one and I have had personal experience of the negativity. As ME is a holistic illness in that it affects every system in the body, it is not an illness suited to a mechanistic type medical system or model of specialisation where each doctor only knows about one area of the body and not about the whole. I was not happy; I did not have much faith or trust in a doctor who was so blinkered. My feeling was that I would be fine and get pregnant when my body was ready. So I asked for guidance and gave thanks for a baby at the best time for me. The conventional wisdom would be not to get your hopes up. I did the opposite, I believed and expected to have a happy healthy pregnancyand baby using the healing methods I had learnt.
A healer from Cork, John Collins was recommended to me in September 2008. I followed the positive vibe I felt and went to see him. I instantly felt a deep connection of mutual understanding. He has a powerful energy. He read me like an open book. He was the first person I met who knew how to help me manage and use my sensitivity to energy. How to consciously switch it on and off and also how to tune in and tune out of energy. He explained how to protect my own energy levels and well-being and how to only use my sensitivity to energy when I need to, for example to tune in to a person or situation. He also explained that I was Green Man energy like him. This explained the deep feeling of connection to nature and why nature was giving me messages. It also explained my ten years working in a gardening magazine and my love of nature. Regarding the baby, he told me I was correct. I did not need medical intervention, I was simply to keep giving thanks for the baby I expected to come. After ninety minutes of talking to this man, I realised I felt like myself in my physical body and knew who I was for the first time since I was a very young child. My well-being improved so dramatically after just one visit to John Collins, I stopped taking the sixty supplements a day and weaned myself off the prescription drugs that my doctor had me taking since 2001.
For some time when I asked questions about my job, the message was to give it up at Christmas 2008. I hadbeen experiencing resistance to this message mainly due to financial concerns but now they dissolved and I handed in my notice in work intending to do TBM healing for a living and follow the energy to where it took me and collect these messages. It felt wonderful. In hindsight the timing was perfect given the economic downturn globally in 2009, which affected all businesses and jobs greatly. 2009 proved to be an emotional roller coaster of a year. In January I had a positive pregnancy test. When I did a scan it showed that I was already twenty weeks pregnant. The next day my dog Oscar died. The day after my second scan in March, my Dad died. He had been suffering from bone cancer. He died following a failed operation to relieve bleeding in his brain, the result of a fall. Thankfully in the end he died peacefully in his sleep twenty minutes after I had done healing on him. My Mum and I were with him. It had not been possible to tell from the scan whether our baby was a boy or girl. When I asked what the name of our child was, my hand wrote Samuel, Jacob. We had not for a moment thought of either of these names. I looked up Samuel in the baby name book; it is a biblical name meaning “gift asked of God.” Samuel, Jacob was born on 30th June 2009 to much joy. For most of July my Mum had been in hospital having tests. She had had a liver transplant in December 2003 following primary liver cancer. The cancer was caused by dye put into her body prior to an operation as a young child. Now, again, in August she was diagnosed with cancer, and unfortunately it had spread extensively. She died less than seven weeks later, roughly six months after Dad. One day just before my Mum died, she woke and said to my brother and I, ‘What are we all doing here anyway, what is it all about?’ I remember thinking she is not much longer for this world if she has started to ask questions like that. My mother also died peacefully in her sleep shortly after Lyn had done healing on her.
The messages in this book (Sacred Messages from Sacred Ireland) often reflect questions I have been asking myself about life and death over the last eighteen months. Remember energy always follows intention. This is the sharing of a personal experienceover several years for what it is worth. What have I learnt? Open your heart and mind. Allow yourself to awaken to a higher consciousness. Ask for help and guidance and then when you sense a response, follow the energy when and where it leads you and take appropriate action. Trust your feelings and intuition. Do what feels good,not what you think you should do. Always act from your heart with pure intention and you will have inner happiness and well being.Your body has the power to heal itself if you can learn to find and tap into that power and allow that power.I now have made a habit of self-healing and meditation on a daily basis, just like brushing my teeth. I am still,and always will be, filled with questions about life. Life still has ups and downs, dramas and challenges but I know now how to tap into the energy of inner peace, stillness, knowing and wisdom that runs through us all.Don’t expect it to be easy, but be easy with yourself and those around you and enjoy life. I trust this book will be of genuine help, empowerment and enjoyment to people in their everyday life.
Love and best wishes,