The Psychedelic Light Portal: Another Pittsburgh Adventure

aurora lights

I just returned home with my Mom from another trip to Pittsburgh to visit my family and awesome team at the Regenerative Medicine Center. Right on topic with my most recent posts about mental health and well-being, I had the privilege of experiencing the Light Portal and its profound benefits.

The Light Portal, an unsuspecting wooden apparatus with psychedelic lights, amazing acoustics, sound and vibration in harmony, took me to a different realm. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I am so grateful that I not only experienced it but that I had a beautiful experience. I joked that I was stepping inside a time capsule. It turned out that I really had no concept of time. It is difficult to fully articulate the experience but I am going to attempt to describe it.

As I am writing this, after three Light Portal sessions, I am experiencing the most energy I have in a very, very long time. It has been such a long time that I can’t even remember when I had such energy. 

I have written quite a bit about how I have incorporated a meditative practice into my life to help with my recovery in which I have used many different modalities to reach a meditative state. Even with the help of these devices and apps, it can still be extremely difficult to reach a calming state.

After a stressful morning, I went into my first Light Portal session with a lot of stress and tension. It didn’t help that I was also running on one hour of sleep. I didn’t know if I’d truly be able to relax. I went into it with no expectations, but was hoping that it would help me in some way. I entered the Light Portal and laid down. Looking up, I could see the colorful lights with many light bulbs producing a trippy scene. The music cued and the grand experience commenced. 

I closed my eyes and started focusing on my breathing. I was initially overcome with so many thoughts that it was overwhelming. My mind scattered all over to various moments and places in my life. I started reflecting on not just my most recent TBI but the many before, spanning my entire hockey career. Tears began streaming down my face and I didn’t know why. I then started picturing myself laughing, smiling and in full health. I reconnected with my youthfulness which I had felt so disconnected from.

As time went on, which again I had no concept of, my scattered brain and thoughts became calm. I felt as though I was transported to a different dimension, to a very spiritual place in which I had no pain. My body became so calm to the point that my limbs felt extremely heavy yet I also felt extremely light at the same time. My headache, neck pain and tension melted as I was transported. It felt strange having no head pain as I have been living with some form of head pain every day for the past two and a half years. I reached an entirely different level of calm and peace that I had never experienced before. 

After the first two sessions, I slept through the night with only a few interruptions. This was a huge win for me as I still struggle with intense insomnia, waking up dozens of times through the night and sometimes not sleeping at all. The best part was that I woke up the next morning with energy and a new sense of well-being. I thought, this is going to be a good day. The energy was so bizarre to wake up to. I had wondered what was going on. What is this feeling? This is strange. I had completely forgotten what that felt like. 

It made me realize that my energy for so long had just been going towards survival. Just surviving isn’t truly living. As I have come to fully realize over the past several months, spiritual healing is just as important as physical healing and maybe even more important. How can we possibly fully heal our bodies if our spirit is broken?  

My last session in the Light Portal was even more moving than the first two sessions. The fog had lifted. It was a new level of peace I hadn’t experienced. Physically, after the session, I had no pain at all. I anticipated if I received a benefit that it would have been all spiritual and emotional but it turns out that the physical benefits were also astonishing. 

I had seen my physical therapist after my sessions. He usually comments on how my neck feels like cement. This was the first appointment in over a year since starting PT that my neck and head had felt great. My physical therapist said to me, it was the softest my neck had ever felt. It’s quite amazing that the manual work on my neck couldn’t produce such a result but the Light Portal could. 

More realizations had surfaced. I had lost touch with many things that still make me, me. None of the meditation apps or devices I have tried during the past two and a half years could have given me the same experience as the Light Portal. Transformative is an understatement.

I had been focusing on maintaining positive thoughts for so long but finally realized that my subconscious was holding onto negative beliefs and negative thoughts. It feels like a barrier deep within had been broken open, granting me a fresh and new perspective. 

I have a different perspective on life and I look forward to what is to come. I realized that my healing does not fit into a box, ironically as I laid in the Light Portal apparatus that resembles a large wooden box. What I mean is, I’ve come to realize that the labels we use in our society restrict us and place limits on our potential. Everyone’s healing is different. I had been told many different things by various doctors through this time period, telling me there was no room for improvement, that this was the best I would ever get. I needed to accept that this was my “new normal.” 

These are all restricting thoughts and they just aren’t true. I had been acting on seeds planted in my mind, on limiting beliefs, that weren’t true. I had started saying the same things to myself, beating me down further. What this left me with was a low belief in myself, in my worth and what is possible. The faulty program that I had become accustomed to in my brain was not efficient and was restricting me from my goals and my well-being. 

A quote by Albert Camus came to my mind: “And never have I felt so deeply at one and the same time so detached from myself and so present in the world.” It was as if all that I thought about myself and my recovery, the preconceived ideas, the negative core beliefs and blocks to healing were released. I was released from those thoughts and ideas as they didn’t fit anymore. A block within me had lifted. There was no question about my identity or who I am. My heart and soul were at once the harmonious frequency that is me. 

Finally, I could breathe in contentedness and be present in the world. I could just comfortably be. During my last session, I began to smile. For a long time, I thought that being content was a negative thing because if we become content, we will stop striving for growth and become stuck in a robotic routine even if it doesn’t suit our desires and dreams. The definition of content is “a state of peaceful happiness.” Finally at peace and finally content, I realized this feeling was a positive achievement and could not have felt more freeing. 

Being alone with my thoughts during this recovery has been scary at times. I have been living in a hypervigilant state for so long where typical, harmless every day occurrences are perceived as threats. Negative thoughts and ideas were also threats. I was alone with my thoughts in the Light Portal and something I felt to my core that recurred over and over in my sessions was: I am safe.

I realize and fully know now that healing is possible, that I am enough, that my former self isn’t lost, that deep within I am radiant with health and youthfulness, that my spirit is intact, that those restricting thoughts and inputs can be repelled. What is light and good can penetrate and that is what is necessary to live a meaningful life filled with love, happiness and purpose.

I am so grateful for the momentum provided by the Light Portal.

Here’s to light, love and healing!

A Place Disease Cannot Touch

I am here to bring you a powerful message: a message of healing, a message of life. Right now you may feel overwhelmed by the challenges facing you. Fears get magnified, priorities get revaluated. Many of us are confronted for the very first time with our own mortality.  Healing becomes the magic word. Where do we go from here?

There is a place within you that disease cannot touch, a place where you are whole and radiant with health. This is the sacred place within you where the power of Spirit, the Divine, resides. This power within can transform your life. Attune yourself to it by quieting your mind. Become receptive to its guidance by letting it speak through your intuition. 

As you connect with this power you will come to understand that your physical self undergoing a disease experience is only one side of you. Your spirit, the very essence of your being, is whole; healthy, intact.

It is this power in you that will give you strength to overcome your difficulties one step at a time, to let go of preconceived ideas about your health. It will give you the courage to look at your life, heal the wounds of your past, forgive yourself and others, and let go of the anger, resentments and regrets.

It is this power in you that will help you accept yourself totally as you are: your wonderful, creative self, expressed through the gifts you bring to the world, and the limitations of your humanness.

When doubts and worries overwhelm you and trouble your heart, that power within will comfort you, giving you the ability to let go and be free in the moment.

Your focus will shift to the fullness of life; you may rediscover joys lost in the hectic process of everyday living and become grateful for all you have taken for granted.

All it requires are the two most powerful tools in the universe…willingness and belief:

Willingness and belief.

Tullia Forlani Kidde

I heard this one day last year and it resonated with me to my core. I felt it so deeply, like it was speaking directly to me. I was left in tears. I printed it and taped it to my bathroom mirror so I see it every day. “There is a place within you that disease cannot touch,” has become a mantra for me. 

There are so many variables that construct our identities. After so much loss during this recovery, I have struggled with my identity and oftentimes feel consumed by my injury. I haven’t felt like myself for 28 months now and feel very lost at times. It has been so long that I don’t even know what “normal” feels like anymore. 

I have been told to accept that this is my new normal and that I may not get much better than this. I have also been told that there is hope of more improvement. There are so many unknowns. My faith has been tested. There are no guarantees and letting go of the process and preconceived ideas about my recovery is something that I still struggle with.

While my spirit feels broken at times, I hold on to the hope that deep within me somewhere I am radiant with health. Having this as a reminder is something I deeply hold onto.