'How does one become a butterfly?' she asked. 'You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.'
Chapter 1: Ways of Knowing
"You cannot travel the path until you have become the path itself" - Buddha
My father's influence
My early years were strongly influenced by my father, who believed that one of life's most valuable goals was education and the pursuit of knowledge. An academic and a gifted teacher, he inspired me immensely and taught me well. I learned mathematics and science through stories, games and puzzles. He also taught me that, even if you should lose all your material possessions, what was in your head, no one could take away. My dad and I had spent a lot of time together, much of it exploring math. When I started school, I was already at the third grade level in math. I was a rather smart kid and picked things up quickly and he was very proud of me. Logic and math were not only interesting but fun and I was never afraid of them - because of the confidence I had gained through my father's teaching and encouragement. I had a solid foundation in math and science. This greatly influenced my world view and later my educational choices and career path. With this perspective I was inclined to measure everything, to try to understand how things work, and to have a rational explanation for everything that happened.
The first years of my life were spent in a small house shared by five families in Sochaczew, a rather grey and inconsequential Warsaw suburb. Our house was very old and run down and not nearly large enough for so many people. After World War II, there were not enough houses left intact for every family to have their own home. Despite having a loving family, I was the youngest by 12 years and had no playmates my own age. Fortunately when I was eight, we moved across town to a larger apartment in a neighborhood filled with a lot of other kids for me to play with.
One day, after having played all day with my new girlfriend, I returned home late and was very tired. My mother fed me and immediately put me to bed. I was too tired to talk with my dad when he came to tuck me in. I told him we should talk the next day. A few hours later, I was woken up suddenly by my mother who told me my father was having a heart attack. He died a short time later before the ambulance could get there. I was extremely traumatized by his passing. I felt I had let him down and was somehow responsible for his death. I was in so much shock, that I blocked him out of my mind and it wasn't until forty years later that I was able to recall any memories of him, or process what had happened.
Fortunately, I had a loving family consisting of a wonderful sister 18 years older and two protective older brothers - 12 and 16 years my senior - who played major roles in my life and education. Like my dad, my sister and brothers were scientifically inclined and taught me quantum physics as bed-time stories. They honed my math and science skills and taught me advanced concepts far beyond my grade level. I eventually found electronics to be the most fascinating of all sciences. In 1969 I began my degree in electrical engineering.
Learning from the inside
In 1970 I was taking a course on the science of transistors. As I was lying in bed preparing for the test and thinking about the material I found myself "going inside" and visualizing it, as if I were inside the transistor watching it work. I watched the higher energy electrons jumping through the voltage gauge and I observed how small changes in the height of the gauge could create great changes in the flow of electrons. Like salmon going up stream, only the strongest ones made it. I found that I understood it better by "becoming one" with it. The next day I described what I experienced in my visualization as part of my answer on the test. The teacher gave me an A+ and commented, "This is how it works, but I didn't teach you this." Looking back, I now see that this lesson illustrated a key principle I would later teach. New and truthful insights can emerge by imagining yourself going inside and then, perhaps surprisingly, "seeing" something from that new and different perspective.
The apartment crisis
In 1971, while Poland was still under communist rule, I met my future husband. We were studying at the same junior college in Warsaw and met on a school trip to Zakopane. We fell in love and were married two years later. Our first home was a very small studio apartment with one bedroom/living room and a kitchen. Our daughter Marta was born in 1975, and a year later, we were expecting the birth of our second child. At this point, we were unbearably cramped and I had no idea where we would put our son when he arrived. Apartments were government controlled at the time in Poland and we were told that to get something bigger we would have to go on a waiting list. The typical wait was 15 years! (If we had wanted a phone it would "only" take 10 years.) Maybe it was the hormones of pregnancy, maybe it was the unstoppable desire a mother has to do the best she can for her children, but I refused to settle for this tiny apartment.
Making it happen
Armed with a strong desire, persistence and a clear image in my mind of what the new bigger apartment would be like, I went straight to the top. I took my case to the Mayor of Warsaw, who regularly took meetings with the city residents. The night before my appointment with the mayor, I laid in bed overcome with anxiety wondering what I could say to persuade him to help me. I imagined asking my father for advice. Although I didn't get a specific answer, I felt calmer and more empowered. Apparently, the mayor found me very persuasive because he awarded us a new apartment in a block of apartments he had been holding in reserve. Three months after our son Greg was born, we had a new home. What amazed me most was that it looked exactly how I had envisioned it. I couldn't explain this rationally but somehow I had known what I needed and here it was, physical and real.
During the early 70's I became increasingly aware of the allergy-like symptoms I had experienced for most of my life. By the time I was a mother, I was experiencing significant bouts of sneezing, coughing, and daily sore throats. I could not attribute the symptoms to anything in particular but they were driving me crazy. I noticed my symptoms appeared consistently after about 30 minutes of my being in one place in my living room. If I moved to another corner of the room, the symptoms disappeared, in about the same amount of time. This was neither logical nor scientific and therefore difficult for my rational mind to accept. I didn't know what to do with this observation, so my symptoms persisted, wearing me down daily. Every evening I had a runny nose and became very miserable. This sad state of affairs went on for years.
A plea for help
One evening, feeling rather desperate, I decided to have a conversation with God, if indeed there was one. I was an atheist who had rejected my Catholic upbringing. As a dedicated and rational engineer, I lived and breathed the scientific method. But I was desperate. "Please tell me what is going on?" I pleaded to whatever was out there, "I can't go on like this".
Discovering the divining rods
Days later my life was transformed. I don't remember where or how I came across it, but I found a book that marked a turning point in my life. Its subject was divining for water. The little hardcover edition explained in detail how to make divining rods, find underground water sources and build wells.
The rods were simply two L-shaped pieces of metal wire. I made a pair out of wire clothes hangers. Holding them in the manner described, I wandered around the rooms of my apartment. To my great astonishment, the rods crossed at the very places I was experiencing my allergic reaction! My worst symptoms emanated from those areas where the reaction of the rods was strongest. For my engineer's mind, it was an epiphany! I didn't know what I was finding, but at long last I had a physical manifestation of what was causing my problem, one that I could actually measure.
Eventually with the use of those rods, I learned that there was a kind of energy field or force coming from below. Wow, I thought, I was on the track of something big! I went to all my friends and began checking their apartments, especially where they slept. I learned that many of them were also experiencing some sort of health problems when their beds were placed in the same field that was creating my allergy. When their heads were located within the field, they experienced headaches, sleep disturbances and generally restless nights. I also found that moving them out of the field alleviated most symptoms.
Like a cowgirl out of the Old West, I began carrying divining rods everywhere I went. I took them to work and secretly used them before meetings to find the best spot for me to sit so I wouldn't sneeze and cough the entire time.
Gift of the allergy
Using my divining rods, I was able to determine that the "allergy" I was suffering was not just something wrong with my body, but rather my body's reaction to something external. After many years and a lot of research, I determined that the cause was the presence of underground water. Dealing with my allergy and learning about its source would turn out to be a multi-decade project for me.
Drawn to Water
I began to notice that there was something strangely attractive, even addictive about the places of strongest energy-even though they caused great suffering. Like a moth to a flame, I was drawn to them and had to be very careful not to follow my impulse. This turned out to be more difficult than I had imagined.
Many years later, in 1986, I took a business trip to Los Angeles, California. On the weekend, I had the chance to take a motorcycle ride with a friend through the scenic mountains east of the city. It was a very hot day and the bike kicked up a lot of dust on the dirt road. I was getting thirsty so I asked him to stop. I chose a spot where we could pull over and sit down to have a drink. To my surprise, I began to sneeze! The symptoms I had back in Poland over a decade before had re-appeared. "How can this be?" I thought. "We are in the desert!" I took out my trusty divining rods and, sure enough, we had stopped on a spot where the energy of underground water was peaking. Why had I chosen that spot? It made no sense to me and frankly, seemed rather spooky.
Reclaiming my power from water
My subconscious seemed to be directing me to "bad" places. Out of habit, or addiction, I seemed to be drawn to the harmful. I also noticed that while there were places that triggered my allergy, there were also places that made me feel quite peaceful and full of joy, like Yosemite Valley, or on a smaller scale, the serenity of sitting under my favorite tree or in a favorite room. I realized that it was time to seek positive healing places. I had to reprogram myself, to teach my brain and body to make better choices.
In order to do this I had to give up drawing energy from the power of water. Although there was a pull, and I was getting a buzz from its strength, it was actually holding me back from developing my own power. Although there have been slips over the years, I realized that I can't draw power from outside sources; my power had to come from within. I have since been committed to living my life under this guiding principle. I consciously had to repeat my intention not to draw power from the water many, many times, until I had no desire to use it any more. This was the first of my beliefs I successfully reprogrammed.
In 2000, I relocated my home to the outskirts of Grass Valley, California. I looked specifically for a house that didn't have underground water running below it. Grass Valley has been an excellent location for me simply because the energy there is positive, enjoyable and supportive.
Traveling to England
While many little girls dream of becoming actresses, I dreamt of becoming a Fortune 500 CEO. Perhaps I didn't feel pretty enough and therefore excelled in the academic arena. Perhaps it was the intellectual influence of my siblings. Upon graduating from college, I began looking for a job in electronics. During my college years I had worked at the Institute of Computer Systems in Warsaw and learned about microprocessors and components made by Motorola and Texas Instruments. I could read circuit diagrams and learned to understand how and where each component fit and how electronic systems worked. A friend of a friend had been hired by the Xerox distributor in Poland. She told me of her great plans for travel, learning and experiencing the world under the Xerox umbrella. This was exactly what I wanted to do so I looked into getting a job there as well. Unfortunately, the European headquarters were located in the UK and the ability to speak and write English was required. Since I couldn't speak the language, I decided to learn it, to join Xerox and see the world!
I found it difficult to learn English from a book, so I began traveling to England for 2-3 months at a time, immersing myself in the language. Although a college graduate, I had no work permit and had to moonlight as a maid. During my third trip to the UK, my husband and children joined me. But this trip would prove to be different from the trips before. On December 13, 1981, the Jaruzelski regime decided to suppress the then burgeoning Solidarity Movement and declared Martial Law. The Polish borders were closed and my family and I became political refugees. But at least we were together.
This marked the end of an era. With the border closed behind us, we were unable to return to Poland and began building a new life for ourselves in England.
What I learned
If I had allowed myself to be limited by my beliefs I would not have trusted what I "saw" inside that transistor, nor would I ever have considered pleading my case to the mayor of Warsaw. Trying to explain away how I was able to foresee exactly what my new apartment would look like or how I used the divining rods to find the source of my allergies seemed implausible. It was during this time in my life that the first cracks appeared in the edifice my of rational beliefs. By following what I experienced, not what I had been taught, new beliefs emerged and I was able to make my life, and my friends' lives better.
Looking back, I realize it was like being connected to the internet for the first time. Instead of functioning as a stand-alone computer learning everything on my own and knowing only what I had been taught, I could choose to be connected to the universal web which could provide all the answers I needed.
In order for any idea to come to reality, I must have unity within myself. With unity, passion and intention, I have the power to do what seems impossible.
If I ask for help, answers will come. The source-whether it is called higher intelligence, universal guidance or God-is available if I am open to listen. The "answers" are not likely to come as words, but rather as a feeling or knowing or a realization. If I act on this knowledge, events fall into place with synchronicity.
I am able to consciously reprogram my attraction to the power of water, and thereby heal my allergies.
I don't have to learn only from books. It is possible to observe and understand things by stretching my consciousness into the subject. From this perspective, I can see more than I can from the outside. I can see the structure and observe the inner laws of nature.
- Have there been moments in your life when your body, mind and soul were in agreement on what direction you wanted to take?
- Have you had experiences of sudden knowing and events just falling into place? What frame of mind did you have immediately before that happened?
- Have you ever felt so desperate that you asked for help from "anybody up there"?