Monday, February 28, 2011

Celebration Remembrance

I’m posting my talk from my gathering my July Celebration that of you were unaware of or unable to attend.  I plan to comment in the future on some of the topics I addressed then.

Blessings and Peace.

Love, Julie

                                          A Celebration - July 17, 2010                                        

When it became evident in November of 2009 that I was very, very ill I wrote a letter to my Guru  The Guru disciple relationship is full of mystery and tremendous grace.  I spoke of my longing that this journey I was on, that it bear fruit for myself, my friends, my family, indeed, the whole family of God.  In that letter I wrote my prayer of affirmation, of blessing and intention.  Like the blessings and intention the children and all of us poured into the water, these blessings are now pouring out over all of us.  I am blessed.  Indeed we are all blessed.  The love that has been pouring over me from the very beginning is what has brought us all together for this celebration.  This is our party.  Thank you for being here. Thank you for your love.

Gurumayi says: 

God must have a reason why He has put each one of us on this planet at this time.  So live up to God’s wishes, live up to God’s ideas.  Experience the strength and courage, the love and generosity that God has placed inside your heart.

Remember the heart again and again.  “The heart is the hub of all sacred places.  Go there and roam:

I feel that it is in that heart, the Great Heart, the One Heart that we are all roaming in here and now today, together.  Because of the love that has held me during this journey, the great nest of light woven in love, I am here and we are here together.  I am healing.  I get stronger every day. My blood tests are stable, no longer deteriorating

Thank you all.  Thank God. 

When I was first very ill a year ago I had terrible spasms and could barely walk. I finally went for an MRI and prayed that I receive not only a diagnosis, but also a healing.

Spirit transformed the sound of the MRI, the loud clanging noise into an extraordinary mystical experience of many beings of light from many traditions, chanting, singing, drumming to me. Spirit took the limited sound vibration and expanded it into the music of prayer song. There were Tibetans with their long horns and deep resonant chants. There were native Americans drumming and chanting. There were the Gurus of my tradition with their powerful presence sitting in deep silence holding me. At the very end my Guru, Gurumayi, blew blue light into my throat chakra and said, “You are healed”.
That was right before I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma and a compression fracture at T8.  Before my descent into a deep experience of hell, of utter desolation and darkness . . . of my own personal holocaust.

A friend gave me a Rumi Poem:
This being human is a guest house
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness.
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture, still,

treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
For some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
Meet them at the door laughing,
And invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
Because each has been sent 
as a guide from beyond.

This poem has been my experience.

When cancer entered it did violently sweep my house. I slowly lost touch with almost everything I cherished. I became so weak from the illness and the treatment that I was housebound except for trips to Solace, the cancer center, or the hospital where I received the chemo injections. I could barely walk. I had a walker or was wheeled in a wheelchair. I was sleep deprived, a side effect from the drugs. I was very toxic. I got to the point where I could not think. (They call it chemo brain) I could not feel, access my heart, meditate, chant, listen to music (the sound hurt my brain) or experience my gratitude. AND, I was filled with rage!

I have had many challenging experiences in my life, but I have always been able to do some spiritual practice. Now my only practice was cursing God. I didn't think of it as a spiritual practice, but I was one pointed. I believe something so deep in me was being purified and healed. I had to come nose to nose with death for this healing to manifest.

After I was diagnosed with cancer - with multiple myeloma - blood and bone cancer - and told that if I didn't do chemo, I could die in a matter of weeks or months. I chose to accept it even though it was very hard. I've spent the last 30 or 40 plus years trying to put only pure food and water in this body. I chose the drugs because I wanted Ed and my children and my grandchildren to know I truly loved them and that I was trying everything to live, to stay here with them.

But, inside I was ambivalent about staying on earth any longer. Being as sensitive as I am, I feel not only deep love for God and his creation, but also great sorrow for all the suffering here.

And, I felt that my life was over in some way. I had raised my children. They were all doing well. I felt more like a liability to my family than a blessing. I had such strong visions and longings to serve deeply and fully, my family, friends, clients and God. But, somehow it always felt like it wasn't enough. In essence, I wasn't enough.

The Poem spoke of joy entering.

The joys that entered my life come though my family, friends, and healers.  Ed took care of me 24/7!  What would I have done without Ed.  My children, with Natasha's guidance, love, and sheer will, came almost every weekend from the Bay Area to give Ed a break. My brother Chris drove 10 hours each way to give them all a break.  They brought love and healing energy. They cleaned and gardened and cooked and prayed and cried and kept loving me even though I got grumpier and grumpier and more and more angry and exhausted. As Ivan put it, . . . "on the edge.”

On the edge of what, I didn't know. Throughout this whole journey, two healers have played an extraordinary role in my life,  Dr. Stephanie Evans and Dr. Metz.  Their work is anchored in the wisdom of the subtle realms, the creative energy fields that are the source of all creation.  They held a profound vision of healing for the deepest levels of my being, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically.  Dr Evans was devoted in her service to me.  She brought light and love to my healing process.  Her energetic chiropractic work and the universal field energy work that Dr. Metz teaches and demonstrates,  is a powerful expression of the Divine working through human hands, bringing blessings, reigniting that connection with the Source which is love, wisdom, and wholeness on all levels of being.  However, I did not always experience gratitude toward Stephanie. At one point, I accused her of being Pollyanna at the holocaust, my holocaust.

Through Stephanie, I connected with Sandy Babcock and her team of healers, Kathy, Christine, and Jan.  Together, with Stephanie,they gave me hands on energy work. When I was on chemo I received these healings daily. I believe that without that I would have been even more toxic and couldn't have received the benefits of the drugs I was taking. 

Friends came and cared for me during the week so Ed could go to rehab and know I was being fed and cared for. With much love a schedule was prepared and people came weekly.  I received so many prayers, cards, blessing, healings and light from many people.  People just appeared to do yard work, prune my roses & weed whack. Sister Rita called and assured me she had confidence in me, that all my life had been about the spiritual path, and that is what would continue to sustain me.

My daughter, Karina, tenderly sang the mantra to me to try to help me sleep.  Ivan had a vision of me sitting with Gurumayi before a huge blue pearl. I entered it feeling old and lost. My energy was disturbed. She embraced me, so glad to see me and so pleased with me & I became younger. 

So many people reflected love back to me as I faced my anger and despair and feelings of desolation. In December, I wrote in my journal: “I was with the white angels today. They were stroking me with compassion, after dipping their wings in a pool of nectar. Under the anger was grief!

I felt not only my family of origin's anger and pain, but also the pain of the race consciousness. I felt responsible and so alone and separate. I felt the density of the earth, the harshness of the polarity here. This feeling of suffering separated me from the very thing I came to offer - love, joy, and peace. So, I couldn't fully give.

And the angels lifted me to Quan Yin and her stillness and compassion. The tears flowing gave spaciousness to my enormous grief. I felt I could rest my longing to serve in her heart and let go of feeling responsible.

I felt a widening and deepening of presence and compassion for my inner child….my splitting in the deepest part of me, the bones (cancer in my bones) just like the deepest part of the earth's vibration, the race consciousness. I opened to the Divine Mother in the primordial form of white light.

Gurumayi spoke to me:

“I hold you beloved Gulabi (my spiritual name) tenderly, tenderly and eternally in the pulsation of the Great Mother Om.  Let her flow through you as the angels and Quan Yin and each person who comes to serve.  This is the birth here, now. In both suffering and joy there is bliss.”

Later, Gurumayi came to me in a dream. She was dancing ecstatically. I was chanting with so much love flowing through me. There were sacred paintings. So much beauty! When I awoke I could feel ecstasy in my body. 

Hafiz writes:

O keep squeezing drops of the Sun 
From your prayers and work and music
And from your companions'
beautiful laughter

And from the most insignificant movements 
Of your own holy body,

Now, sweet one,
Be wise,
Cast all your votes for Dancing!

I knew that in order to heal, I needed to be able to connect with joy, and to experience love.

By March I became unable to access my inner realm due to the toxicity of the treatment. My grandchildren's love was instrumental in reminding me of the great love that is always available.  Their hearts are so pure, their love so tangible. I kept some of their words and pictures visible. 

Matteo said, (he was 4, and his mom wrote it for him and sent it to me:
“Thank you for the crayons. I love drawing with them. I love you all the time.” I knew it was true. I could hear it in his voice when we spoke on the phone. “How are you feeling, Grammee?”, he would ask, his voice so tender and concerned. He knew his Daddy came to help me on the weekend once a month because I was so sick.

Elodie, my five year old Granddaughter said, (her mother wrote) “Dear Grammee Manna” (the name she chose for me), “I really like your house and I really love you. I really love your face.” When she came in February, she said this about being in my house: “I feel like I am in a circle of goddesses when I'm here. Everything is calm, and light and peaceful and healthy. It's magical and it has God and it feels like you have God in your house.” On Mother's Day her mother wrote for her: “I really wish I could give you a magic potion . . ..”
“Instructions: Mint enclosed” She writes in circles. She wrote, “I love you” She wrote “Sugar, honey, mint”. I didn't have either, so she said “agave nectar” would work. I was to add flower water (rose water). I brewed the mint.  I added the agave and rose water and drank it. It was delicious and I felt better the next day.

Nicolao came to visit with his 2 brothers & parents and sang his love song: “I love you Mommie” “I love you Nico,” she echoed. “I love you Grammee.” Silence!  His Mommie said, “I don't think she heard you.” “I love you Grammee”. “ I love you Nico.”

Luca Bean, my youngest grandchild, gave me sweet smiles of love.

By the middle of March, after 2 months on chemo and steroids, my blood counts had gotten better, but when I was given a treatment holiday everything began to rapidly deteriorate. My oncologist, Dr. Mahajan, surmised that I had a very vigorous cancer and I could need to pretty much stay on chemo. Twenty-one days on and 7 days off for the duration. Perhaps somewhere down the road there might be a treatment holiday. He predicted I had 3-6 months  to live off chemo and 6-12 months on chemo. I contemplated it. Finally I chose to stop chemo and the steroids. I told him that if it was true that I didn't have much time left, I wanted to spend it being able to connect with Spirit, to connect with my heart, to experience gratitude for my life before I left and I couldn't do it while I was on drugs.  He apologized that he didn't have anything to offer me except a treatment that was poisonous.

Dr. Mahajan was deeply concerned for me when I chose to stop the treatment.  But after a couple of months, when I began to feel better, he said that I was doing remarkably well, even though the blood tests didn't reflect that.  He repeated, ”you’re doing remarkably well, so forget the numbers.”  He then asked what I was doing and said that he would meet with Dr. Stephanie the next visit.  When we met, he listened to her very attentively as she spoke about healing.  Each in our own way, Dr. Mahajan and I both knew that we were in the presence of the Great Mystery.
I believe that choosing to nourish my relationship with Spirit opened the space for me to receive the experience I call the Macy's Miracle Story! On May 3rd I experienced a miracle. The first miracle was choosing to go shopping. I'd been in PJs for 6 months. I wanted to buy drawstring pants to fit over my steroid belly I had developed. My friend Sally Ann took me shopping at Penneys and then Macy's. When we entered Macy's she asked me why are you buying all these clothes. I thought for a moment and then replied, “ The deal is, if I buy these clothes, I get to live.” I laughed. She smiled and I could feel my Guru's presence fill all of Macy's with love and spaciousness. When I had found several items, I went to the check out counter. I was offered a 45% discount on even the sale items if I applied for a Macy's card. I thought “such a deal!” I began to give the saleswoman my information:  name…first & last… “Julie Marchand”. Shortly thereafter, she said, with a little confusion in her voice,  “Life! Your last name isn't Life is it? It's Marchano or something isn't it? I typed in Marchand and it came up LIFE!”  I said,  “Let me see that!” I walked around and looked at the computer screen. There is was! First name, “Julie”! Last name, “Life”! I laughed and said,  “You are in the presence of a miracle!”  I shared with her the cancer diagnosis and my conversation with Sally Ann just previously. She said “Yes, that word was for YOU!” Then she asked, 

“Have you had a bone marrow transplant?” I looked at her quizzically. I had never told her I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma for which they offer bone marrow transplants after the drug treatment.  I asked, “Do you have multiple myeloma?” She said, “No, breast cancer. I received chemo, radiation and finally a bone marrow transplant. Then they gave me a few weeks to live. That was 15 years ago.” So…she not only GOT the Macy's Miracle Story, but she was a cancer survivor. I felt Gurumayi's presence very strongly that day.

I felt Gurumayi affirm, “you are loved, lovable and loving. You have something to give. Step over here into this parallel universe. Step out of the illness and into the light. You are blessed! You are blessed! You are blessed!”  And after that, everything shifted.  All the blessings that were pouring over me filled me because I was open to receive them.

Gurumayi says in the Book Resonate with Stillness:

There isn't a single moment in our lives when God disappears, never a moment when your heart is closed.”   “God's love is unconditional. Your heart is always open.

In the book Magic of the Heart, Gurumayi says “Remember wherever you are, God is. We all live in God's heart.”

Thanks for helping me remember.


  1. This is me posting a comment. Does it work?

  2. So many great stories and insights in this Mom. Thanks for posting it. xoxo Karina & Elodie (who says "I love Grammee Manna. You are the best.")