The First Step to the New You

Feb 28, 2023
Barefoot steps on a beach

Many start their quest for healing pushed by some physical symptom. They get ill. Or, in my case, they break a bone. They look for a solution. They want to heal a specific issue. But a healing journey, once started, takes you much further than you ever dreamed of going. If you answer its call, it will take you to the root cause of your symptoms or dis-eases. It will show you the truth. And when you know the truth you can finally be free.

My healing journey started with the fifth bone that I broke playing polo. Those of you know have read my books “The Polo Diaries” know the whole story. I had previously broken four bones, healed them through surgeries and immobilisation, then trained again and played polo again. Until one day when I broke the fifth bone, a collarbone shattered in five little pieces. The coincidence of 5/5 drew my attention. But I didn't know what it meant. Until someone told me that the number 5 is the middle one between 1 and 9. “Like between life and death”, she said. “You’re in the middle. Which way do you want to go?”

I chose life. And I chose to heal. Deeper than just going through another surgery, I chose to do things differently, to go to India and try out an alternative medicine: ayurveda. And from this first step, others followed.

The following fragment from my book “A Horse Called Bicycle” tells the story of how I started my healing journey.

The  good thing about breaking a bone is that you must make time to heal. And once you start on this journey there’s no way of knowing where you’ll end up.

I went to India thinking I was there to heal my shoulder. The Ayurveda sanatorium felt like a small boutique resort, nestled up a hill overlooking the Arabian Sea. I met the three resident Ayurveda doctors and gave them my latest X-ray. They looked at it briefly then put it aside and started on a long list of questions. I laughed out loud when they asked me if I had any addictions, and answered polo as if it was really funny. One of the doctors smiled kindly and told me it was just a standard questionnaire. I liked her instantly, with her beautiful colored sari and long gold earrings. She had a red dot on her forehead and smiled continuously, just like my doctor in Argentina. I decided to call her Lady Doc.

I spent the next three weeks being massaged and bathed in oil. I drank weird potions. I had oil poured on my forehead for hours with rhythmic movements that managed to bring any thoughts to a standstill. I was washed with what they called medicine water, and my shoulder was soaked in green oil and bandaged every day under the careful supervision of Lady Doc. She told me to stop worrying and that Ayurveda means the Science of Life.

“Trust it,” she said.

I did. I let them do all they needed to do and I trusted it was for my benefit. (…)

I left India refreshed, restored, and with a fully functioning shoulder, able to cope with the most difficult yoga poses, which I diligently repeated each morning just after sunrise, under the careful supervision of a yoga teacher. He had a funny phrase he kept on repeating every morning. “Past is history. Future is mystery,” he said. “Present is gift.” I left with this phrase still ringing in my ears.

I went to Thailand afterwards. Why here? Because a lady I met at the Ayurveda sanatorium told me there’s an excellent yoga resort on the island of Koh Samui and I wanted to continue my yoga recuperation. I contacted the place but it was fully booked, so I searched for other yoga places instead.

This is how I came across Eve’s site. She was a healer, she said. She also said she had a yoga class each morning and did karma-clearing ceremonies. This caught my attention immediately. Maybe I should clear up this bone-breaking karma, I thought, as I booked a one-week stay, not anticipating where this experience would take me.

Mama Eve welcomed me with open arms. She lived in a small house at the end of a street in a village on the west side of the island. She had five dogs, just like my Argentine family. She had another client, a young blond guy who went there for the same rituals. Maybe he had trouble with his karma, too.

In the days that followed I slowly got it. You lose something, you get something. The Universe is always fair. I might have lost my Argentine family but I found a Thai mother. And a Norwegian brother.

William and I stayed with Mama Eve for a week and diligently followed all her instructions.

“You will both get better,” she said. “You came here because you were meant to. It’s part of your journey.”

Mama Eve knew about these things because she was a shaman. This would qualify her as a new lady with a crystal, except she had no crystal. Just a very strong-smelling and incredibly bitter detox drink, which she made sure we drank under her careful supervision every morning at 5:30 precisely and then again just before dinner.

She prayed for us every day, just before the yoga, and we listened in silence to the words of the ancient language we didn’t understand, sitting cross-legged on the floor behind her, in front of the Buddhist and Hindu altars she kept in her yoga room.

It was there that I dared to get on a bicycle again, because she said that I should. I told her about the falls and the broken bones. She said it happened because I had no balance in life, but it was time to get it back. So I learned to ride a bicycle again, slowly, behind William, on the road that led to her place. We rode them every day and when the week was done, my fear had gone.

My healing journey did not stop there. It took me back to London for a Reiki course. Then, for the following two years, I studied Andean shamanism. I went to Peru and immersed myself in this tradition then back to the East in Bali to work with a gifted high priestess. Then back to the West, in Mexico, I encountered an Aztec shaman and a Mayan healer. And then I was blessed with countless other encounters that lit my path and brought me a little bit closer to myself one step at a time. I trained in some traditions. In others, I was simply the grateful receiver of the grace of healing. I went back to Ayurveda in India five times so far and it became my annual retreat ritual.

Who I am today, 7 years after I broke that last bone playing polo has very little to do with who I was then. That’s because as we change inside, so does the world around us. As we heal inside, so does the world around us. Hence, our responsibility is much higher than simply healing ourselves. Because as we heal, we heal the world.

All this starts with a simple step. A first step on your healing journey, one day when you hear the call to do something differently. And then you do it.

What is this step going to be for you? 

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