Experiencing Transformation: A Healing Journey

Photo Credit: Pixabay/ Melissa Angela Flor

By Monica Canducci

We can imagine that most of the illness and symptoms are like visitors bringing us a gift; they will leave once we have accepted their gift.

We can imagine that most of the illness and symptoms are like visitors bringing us a gift. They will leave once we have accepted their gift.

Since my childhood, I have been fascinated by the mysteries of the Universe and by all kinds of connections. I’m still able to spend hours looking at the starry sky to “draw” constellations—even though I know perfectly well that those stars are light years apart from each other. Connecting dots has always been one of my favorite pastimes.

At the beginning of my life, I was attracted so much to exploring life on a spiritual level and being open to spiritual experiences that I needed to do a lot of work to feel “grounded” and part of this earthly world. Then, I started experiencing how the body is the sacred space, allowing us to create a consciousness, through which we can develop spiritual awareness. I began to grow fond of learning about psychophysiology and neuroscience. Now, as a creative, certified Rolfer (a method of bodywork involving our connective tissue and aimed at reestablishing balance in the body structure), hypnosis practitioner, and NLP trainer, with both a spiritual and artistic background, I keep connecting dots. Perhaps not on paper anymore, but metaphorically, exploring the connections between our thoughts, emotions, language, body structure, and interactions with the surrounding world.

Integration became my watchword, and I was happily committed in working to help people realize their full potential in complete harmony with the world around them.

At a certain point in my life, totally satisfied, I felt that I had reached my goals. I achieved a well-balanced life, which enabled me to work both as a movement coach and a bodyworker on one hand, and as a dance performer, spiritual channel, and artist on the other.

But Life had different plans for me, and it brought me through an intense transformative process.

In 2009, I faced the effects of a mild brain anoxia (absence of oxygen), due to a totally unexpected cardiac arrest. I came back from the threshold between life and death feeling like there was still so much to explore and share on this Earth. As a spiritual wanderer, I was enthusiastic about my Near Death Experience (NDE), with the tunnel, the light and everything else, but as a human being whose brain was not happy about the lack of oxygen, I experienced a variety of neurological symptoms. My body, especially while trying to relax and sleep, would act like I was suffering from mild epilepsy and restless legs syndrome.

I did not want to take medications, believing so much in neuroplasticity, and I started playing with all the tools I knew in order to heal. I believed strongly that, by drawing from my inner, deepest resources, I could restore the damaged neural networks and come back to full functionality.

During the following few months, I also kept remembering the words of one of my teachers, Habiba, a spiritual healer from Uzbekistan, who used to say to her patients: “You have to turn to heal. If you want to heal from any illness or symptoms, you have to go through a process of transformation and turn into something or someone else, different than before. Then the illness, or the symptom, will be not able to recognize you anymore, and will leave you, disappearing.”

These precious words accompanied me on my healing journey. I started playing with visualization, recalling all the best and happiest memories of myself dancing, perfectly in control of my body. Despite the fact that I was experiencing depression, I kept telling myself that it was not a natural state, just a consequence of the brain shock, cultivating gratitude and recalling all the memories of the happiest days of my life.

Above all, I started wondering where the process of transformation was supposed to bring me, reshaping my brain and my life. The most helpful tools at that time were curiosity and trust. I literally trained myself to immediately replace any thought or feeling of worry/fear with curiosity and trust, as if I was involved in a treasure hunt full of positive surprises.

I believe that venom can be turned into medicine, just like the alchemy of turning lead into gold. With this perspective, I kept telling myself that the more venom and lead I had at my disposal, the more medicine and gold I would get during the process. Then, movement was my medicine. I kept dancing and slowly, slowly my body and mind came back to functionality.

After a few months, my MRI showed no sign of damage. I felt called to connect with a larger amount of people to share my experience. I started training other people to work in the same direction, and I kept transmitting the message about transformation. For a short time, I honored the call. I also felt a strong impulse to create a solo dance show celebrating “Death and Rebirth,” as a way to transmit the message to reach many people at one time—but it remained just a thought.

Three years later my husband was offered a job in Canada, and so we moved from Italy with our 10-year-old son and our cats. It was a huge step, and I decided to present myself only as bodyworker, metaphorically leaving my creative, spiritual, and dancing side in Italy, cultivating the intention to go back there at least once a year to do work expressing myself fully. I told myself that at my age, almost 50 years old, everything was already achieved and done, so I could take some rest, working just as a Rolfer and hiding my true self. And there was the trap.

I kept myself inside my comfort zone, happy in my routine with clients looking only for bodywork, consigning myself as an artist, performer, channel, and teacher to the past. I tried to convince myself that it was a new phase of my life, much calmer and focused on just one thing.

My true self, or Higher Self, did not like that move. The comfort zone was definitively too narrow. Suddenly, I was hurt by such a strong shingles attack, which almost did not appear on my skin, that it literally burned my brain and nervous system. Again, I had to struggle with neurological symptoms, but this time much worse, including foggy brain, lethargy, and burning pain everywhere. I was forced to stay in my bed for months.

The burning pain immediately reminded me of the fire of transformation. Among the four Elements (Fire, Earth, Air, Water) of Alchemy, Fire is associated with changes of state and transformation. Again, I needed to take care of myself, this time also working to resolve the inner conflict between my tendency to stay small in the new environment in order to feel safe, and my life call toward sharing, connecting, and manifesting. I promised myself to take practical steps as soon as I recovered fully.

I did recover again, but then I kept procrastinating. I knew I needed to take practical steps to express my true self, connecting with people and sharing the message, but I almost forgot to do it, or I did it too slowly. And so I relapsed, much more seriously, because beside the burning pain everywhere, I experienced all the symptoms of Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) and fibromyalgia for more than one year.

I am stubbornly convinced that healing is an attitude, and transformation the way to achieve it. So I have kept practicing it. Even if I was bedridden, I started working on a solo dance show that I titled “The Treasure Chest,” a celebration of transformation through the Goddess archetypes leading to a rebirth, dedicated to women experiencing life transitions. My “treasure chest” was my cocoon: a cradle for a rebirth started such a long time ago, which had became a trap when I indulged inside too long, turning the fire of transformation against myself instead of expressing it to honor my call.

Finally, my symptoms became my fuel, and a few months ago—at the end of the creative process—the symptoms disappeared. And I brought my show on stage, successfully expressing my fire—the fire of passion, creativity, and communication.

We can imagine that most of the illness and symptoms are like visitors bringing us a gift; they will leave once we have accepted their gift.

I started looking at my symptoms like temporary visitors, who were only waiting for me to accept their gift, before they would leave me and disappear.

Despite hearing that “there is no cure,” I believed in our powerful inner resources. I believe that medicine and science are works in progress, so even when someone tells you that “there is no cure,” it only means that they don’t know what the cure is yet.

I believe in proactivity. Instead of feeling as a victim, I prefer to challenge myself by finding something useful—or something to learn—in any situation.

I believe in the power of good memories. Memories of the moments in which we felt perfectly healthy, memories able to awaken our inner compass, enabling our body to find a way to recover.

I believe in curiosity as something that is able to replace our fears and worries. Imagine you were involved in a treasure hunt leading you to find a treasure, and you are curious about discovering the next clue.

I believe that even if healing does not happen completely on a physical level, we can always remember that the true healing journey is the process of discovering our inner resources in order to express our true self. This process always brings emotional healing and insights, leading us to a higher level of consciousness. From this perspective, we can look at the world from a higher vantage point, which allows us to widen our horizons as butterflies do, flying with spread wings.

Monica Canducci is an author, speaker, artist, and performer who loves to work as a healing facilitator, movement coach, and teacher in the fields of self-development and spiritual awareness. Monica is unstoppably committed to connecting dots and “making the invisible seen” by exploring the relationships between thoughts, emotions, words, the world of archetypes, and the human body structure. She loves helping people discover their hidden resources and express their true self, in order to achieve healing and self-realization through personal transformation.
E-mail Monica at monica.canducci11@gmail.com.

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