A Look into Ed’s Past
a kid in public school, on the last day of school, as summer holidays
were beginning, I would save all my school supplies, and set them up in
the back yard, and try to get the other kids in the neighbourhood to
‘play school’ with me. I thought it would be fun. How ridiculously
unreal! Yet, even at that age, something deep inside was trying to give
me a message, to be a teacher or guide of some kind, helping people
dream, what hope, what secret wish do we keep suppressed, never to be
fulfilled, because of something we were told or learned early in life,
that took away our desire and self trust to make it happen?
year I was in grade 12, I had my father die quite unexpectedly, shortly
after his father died, and one week after that his mother died. My
grandfather could not accept the idea that he had outlived his son and
so he willed himself to die. My grandmother had been in a coma for over
two years, in a sanitorium, and was waiting for her husband to die so
she could die to be with him.
Less than a year after that, I bought a motorcycle and one day several
months later, let my best buddy drive it. I was a passenger on the back.
We were in the country. A beautiful sunny Sunday summer afternoon. He
drove into a ditch when trying to make a turn. I flew over him and hit a
cement bridge over 20 feet away. I spent 18 months on crutches before I
could walk again. My buddy died instantly. Who was the lucky one here?
Having lost my father, my grandparents, and a
good buddy at that early age, I learned to distance myself from others,
to put emotional walls around me, which would protect me from having to
face similar losses in the future. This would become a very powerful
learned attitude [emotional limitation] to reverse in the future.
became a school teacher in my early 20’s and enjoyed a very rewarding
career for a number of years. My biggest strength was in offering
choices to my students, along with allowing them input in determining
consequences for all actions. What a powerful life tool to be learning
at such an early age.
Later, when I had York University students,
learning to become teachers, in my classroom, their biggest complaint
was ‘you don’t have discipline problems in your class’. How can we
learn how to control kids? My answer was ‘when you understand my
philosophy of education, you will not need to have discipline problems -
you will not need to control your students – they control themselves -
was my classroom different? I
respected each child as unique, who deserved love and respect, and who
needed to ‘make mistakes’ and ‘learn choices’ that would take
them closer to the success they were wanting. We shared our successes.
We problem solved together. Each child became a teacher and guide for
the others AND me. They taught me how to be their best guide on their
20 years ago, I hit a real low point in my life. I was taking high
levels of anti-depressants each day just to survive. I was at war,
somewhere deep inside, and didn’t know it. My children’s parents
would tell me things like, ‘you have given my child the best year of
his/her school life – the real tragedy is that you did not enjoy it as
much as the children. It was like I had two personalities: the public
successful professional and the inner private failure.
To get me off anti-depressants, I eventually
became hooked on tranquillizers. [medically prescribed] My doctor then
said I would need psychiatric help to get me off his prescribed
tranquillizers. After my third ‘shrink’, I had learned how to
analyze them, but they still didn’t discover the cause of my
unhappiness. After the second visit with my third psychiatrist, I walked
out on him. He didn’t know what to say…
I eventually ended up in a psychologist’s office. WOW! That was a real
shock. He let me rant and rave for 15 minutes and then put his hands up.
"Ok," he said, "you convinced me. You are the most
negative person I have ever encountered."
Well, folks, that was NOT what I wanted to
hear. [My mind had begun shouting obscenities at him, even this soon!]
Then he said, "There is nothing I can do
to help you." And
mind started screaming at him. "Aren’t you listening to me? I am
here because I need YOU to make me better. You are my last hope and
he said, very quietly, "But
I can teach you how to help yourself."
saw red. If I had had something in my hand, I would have winged it at
Then he aimed the gun and pulled the trigger.
have exactly 15 seconds to convince me you really want to learn how to
help yourself, or get out of my office and stop wasting YOUR time and MY
time. Your choice!"
Then I muttered, "‘OK". It was
barely a whisper. [I didn’t know what else to do. I was desperate –
he barked, staring directly at me. "You
have 10 seconds left to convince me you are ready to take control of
much deep inside surfaced. I somehow managed to convince him I really
did want to reclaim my life.
was one of my 'moments of truth'. We all face these at times when we
seem to be at our lowest. And oddly enough, these moments can become
dramatic and powerfully wonderful 'turning points' in our life.
this time, I had a powerful motorboat I played with on Lake Ontario. One
afternoon I was pulling the boat out of the water, and the safety catch
slipped on the hand crank. It whipped back and broke my thumb in three
places. My doctor said it would take at least 8 weeks, with a cast, to
[Three weeks earlier I had become strangely
interested in hypnosis, and quite obsessed with learning the technique.
I had learned and practiced self hypnosis, and was enjoying a most
calming and relaxed state following each 'session'. So I decided to try
hypnotizing myself to see if I could affect healing my thumb.]
while in the Dr’s office, I said to him I did not want a cast.
Surprisingly, he showed me how to wrap it in a tensor bandage, and told
me to come back in two weeks. At that time he said he would likely want
to put a cast on my wrist. I spent the next two weeks, one hour each
night, in a deep trance, and gave my ‘body’ permission to heal the
When I returned to the doctor’s office two
weeks later, he took off the bandage and whistled, "Well, Riley, I
don’t know how you did it, but your thumb is healed enough that you
don’t need a cast and you can throw away the tensor bandage."
Another 'moment of truth, or 'power moment'. What
was I learning or discovering? Do our bodies have such dramatic healing
capacities when we allow them to do so? Do we ALL have this natural
ability within? It appears we do.
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