A Life Lived Backwards


Proceeding through life, we accumulate experience through our actions, and each experience is accompanied by some reaction. This reaction can be conscious, in which case it can be dealt with in the moment; or, it can be unconscious or subconscious, lingering under the surface as its effects are expressed in our behavior and emotions. It is not uncommon experience to pause and reflect on one’s actions with amazement, perhaps amusement, wondering what within oneself would cause such behavior. Occasionally, some of these unconscious patterns combine to cause us to reject some part of ourselves. That rejection can be discomforting. Over time, that discomfort can irritate and become dis-ease. Not all dis-ease is pathological. Some dis-ease is often cited by artists in the creative process. But for many, dis-ease will take on clinically significant proportions and become that which is glibly labeled disease. Some will accept disease as unavoidable circumstance without question. Others will pursue the illness to its source within themselves and in doing so, they will relive those experiences that have created it. By bringing them into consciousness, they will have an opportunity to correct their reaction and disarm them of any further harmful effect. Slowly the elements of the disease process are retraced, put into a new perspective and either cultivated as desirable, or disregarded as undesirable until they are rendered inactive. Retracing those experiences that have caused disease, restoring them to consciousness is the very essence of the holistic healing process. It constitutes what can be described by those who have experienced it a life lived backwards.

In the blog that follows I will relate my personal experience of the healing process. I cannot say it is a recipe for success for everyone who is faced with severe physical challenges, or diagnosed with life threatening, or incurable disease. I cannot even say that I have been healed, though I have often been blessed with some success in my efforts. Finally, it is simply my experience, a story many have asked me to tell that others may find some inspiration in it.


It was late September 1973. I had classic flu symptoms: chills, fever, nausea, sore throat, sinus and chest congestion, cough, headache, diarrhea, and extremely sore muscles and joints. I don’t think I’ve had flu so severe before or since. Usually, the symptoms would begin to wane after a few days; within 2 weeks, I’d be… Continue Reading


Back home in Seattle, a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis was confirmed in August, 1974. Eleven months had passed since the first symptoms of the disease. At the time, rheumatoid arthritis was described as the nation’s most prevalent, crippling illness. It is an auto-immune disorder. The immune system, for some reason still unknown to western medicine,… Continue Reading


It was not simply the most sincere although failed efforts of my doctors that set me on the road to recovery. Years before, I had begun to question my life as I understood life to be.  Once again, the intense pain of this disease prompted me to question the principles by which I lived my… Continue Reading


My simple, rudimentary hatha yoga practice always resulted in another of those out of body experiences. Each time this occurred my symptoms disappeared. Though they returned as I became aware of my body, and thoughts again filled my mind, my sense of wellness and well-being grew.  A thread of awareness was connecting all my daily… Continue Reading