At four years old I saw a ladder on the side of my grandparents’ bungalow leading to the roof. Instinctively I followed a sensation of joyful excitement and climbed upward to stand on the roof and survey the gardens. When I looked down into the luxuriant spring green grass, a most wonderful feeling came over me and I jumped off the roof and into the grass. That felt so good, I climbed up and jumped again, and then again until I heard my parents calling me. The last jump felt like flying. I have wings I said to myself as I returned to the family gathering of parents, grandparents, older brother Barrie, and baby sister, Heidi, with a big smile for everyone, full of the thrill of my flights and my first secret a treasure within myself.
The next Sunday, the ladder was still there so I continued my delight flights, first climbing up before sitting on the roof to savor privacy viewings of the spring garden, followed by flight returns to soft grassy earth. This continued for a while as my grandfather was repairing the roof. Although the ladder moved from time to time, it remained an excellent jumping ground out of view of the family gathered around the garden table on the other side of the house.
The flights ended unexpectedly when my mother walked into the back garden, saw me up on the roof, and screamed. My father arrived soon after with my grandparents. Soon they were all crying out, begging me not to jump, but not listening to me telling them that I knew how to jump and that I loved jumping, and so when my father began to climb up the ladder, I jumped crying out “See I can fly!” into screams of fear. For the first time, I felt pain on landing. Thus began my life-long knee ‘roots of fear’ journey at four years old in Capital Hill, Vancouver, B.C. Canada.
My mother circled me in her embrace while I was surrounded by four voices of reaction, fear, and rules. Caught in her hug, I felt a shock as pain throbbed into my bones, knees, and lower back. I pretended to be fine, but I was not. From that day my dream of flight merged with fear and pain. A constriction that felt like punishment was now a part of me. At home, they repeated new rules to never climb ladders or jump off roofs and to be careful while I longed for my bath and bed, and once my mom had tucked me in and left the room, I cried myself to sleep.
Polio joined the list of fear during my fifth summer when my father told me I might catch polio if I swam in pools. He took me to the local pool and made me look in the water while he told me about children who would never walk again or needed an iron lung to breathe. Even today I can feel myself by the pool, looking at the water, listening to his voice. My father never took me to a swimming pool again even though it had been our favorite thing to do on summer nights when he returned from work. Polio fears haunted my dreams and I did not play with other children that summer.
That autumn, height, and view captured me again when my family included me in their yearly visit to the Vancouver Pacific National Exhibition. My father gave me a handful of change to spend and at the first opportunity, I slipped away and bought a ticket for the Ferris wheel. They were drinking tea and talking with my grandparents and their friends after lunch. I hoped I would be back before they noticed I was gone.
I entered a seating compartment on my own with confidence and felt a thrill of excitement as the wheel began to turn. When my compartment reached the top, the wheel stopped and as I was enjoying the splendid view, I heard my family calling me. When I reached ground level, I was pulled out of the seat with admonishments and my dad told the owner and the ticket taker off for letting a small child go up on their own. “But I wasn’t afraid. I know how to be safe,” I repeated.
My mother was angry. I argued and tried to explain, then burst into tears. My parents tried to calm me but I did not feel calm. This experience gifted me with my first experience of a pout woven of a dulled-down feeling of hopelessness combined with anger that took away my skipping, my chattering, and my happy smile for the rest of the PNE day.
My mother continued to take me to acrobatic classes and sew sequins on my blue velvet costume for my upcoming first performance in a theatre. Once I was dressed and brought up to the stage, I felt overwhelmed by the noise and the people. My mother wanted to sit in the audience with my father and left me even though I begged her to stay. Fear took over when I was pushed onto the stage by a stranger. I froze, convinced I was going to fall, and soon, someone came and took me off the stage. My mother arrived in a state of upset and tears. The drive home was silent. I felt their disappointment but there was nothing I could do or say. My voice was frozen.
My parents’ concern created a difference and when they looked at me, I felt wrong. Their well-behaved, independent, and self-learner daughter they had always been proud of had become a problem. My father took me to evening gym classes so I could climb ropes, play with a low trapeze, explore dance moves, jump on trampolines and learn to walk on the balance bar, and this helped regain my joy but it did not take away my fear of performance. I loved acrobatics but something inside me would not perform.
The sensation of feeling uncomfortable because there was something wrong with me battled with my natural love of dance and acrobatics. Worry entered my life whenever I thought about how I froze on stage as I had no fear at other times. Conflicts created a storm within me that caused me to pull back from my previously open and friendly interactions in classes and with my parents.
My flexible body enjoyed backbends, headstands, and cartwheels with ease and I was chosen for the lead at the next performance at the Kitsilano bandstand. Practices went well although a feeling of what I now know is called ‘dread’ resulted in a repeat freeze and I refused to perform. My mother was heartbroken and I watched her embarrassment when she apologized to the teacher and I felt shame.
After a time my wish to switch to tap dancing was granted and although I tried ballet classes I didn’t like the stiff exercises and switched to modern dance. Happiest with barefoot dance and acrobatics, I never participated in any performance.
During my high school teens, my favorite expression of freedom was to dance to Stravinsky’s Rites of Spring. Swimming, ice skating, and biking were a natural part of my Canadian upbringing and my home life was blessed with stability, healthy meals, and constant support for our chosen classes, summer camps, trips to beaches, Saturday movies, and a weekly visit to the library. Life returned to goodness and balance. Early fear memories were forgotten but they still influenced my life.
My affection and appreciation for my mother and father are strong, but I never fit into the family like my brother or sisters. An inner feeling of seeking kept me apart. Once they trusted my independence and courage to explore, they no longer worried about me. I was allowed the freedom to come and go because I respected their rules, took care of myself, helped my mother with chores, and never caused problems. I learned how to live within rules and be wild and free on my own in nature, testing myself swimming with dolphins or against the currents of a waterfall, hiking around Uluru in Australia by myself from dawn for 7 hours before I saw another person. Creating the elements of life dances and mystic yoga in the late 1980s released full self-expression to share with others in joy, laughter, and tears for over 35 years. Expansion and contraction requires surfing the waves of change.
Years later my mother told me she stopped playing the violin even though she loved it because her father was so cruel and it was the only way to punish him. I didn’t have such thoughts or a desire to punish my parents, I only felt the fear and could not move.
Around this time, further restrictions and fears entered my being. My grandmother was dying and as we had moved to Crescent Beach, the last time I saw her she was lying in bed with her eyes closed. When I moved to enter her room, my mother said, “No, dear, don’t disturb her.” I answered that I wouldn’t disturb her, and said I knew she wanted to know I was near. That made no impression and I was sent away, but true to my nature, feeling the pull of love to my grandmother, I found a way to enter her room and shut the door.
I quietly moved forward, talking to her, and held her hand, so light, so fragile, and so beautifully soft and transparent revealing the veins of a network of a life I cherished. I leaned against the bed, feeling as if my heart was breaking, telling her how much I would miss her. I held her hand to my face and a slight movement from her hand reassured me that she knew I was there and that I loved her and that she loved me. This moment before my mother and aunt opened the door is a precious memory of truth, not the rushed pulling away by a family who did not honor the feelings of a young child. I ran into the garden and gave way to my grief under the bushes where my grandmother loved to show me the first spring violet flowers.
The day of the funeral I hid in the back of my parents’ car under a blanket, but they discovered me, and all my tears and beggings did not change their mind and I was dropped off at school. Something happened that day that affected every single request for something that was important to me. I no longer believed that I would receive what I asked for and I began to be afraid to ask.
From this time on, I became a shy child who retreated into silence. Fear increased further when as a new student in Crescent Beach entering Grade Two, my parents and the primary school principal decided to skip me two grades because I already knew how to read, write and compute simple math on my own. My pleading of “Mom, I want to be in my own class,” was disregarded by her excitement now that I was seen as smart and was going to advance faster than other students.
This change shifted excitement from entering a new school and make new friends to becoming shy and uncertain, an immediate social misfit, smaller than everyone else, and soon never included or chosen for teams. This continued through to graduation in Grade 12.
Awareness of my knees and lower back became part of my life. Several times I got ‘water on the knee’ as the doctors called it back then. Although the doctor talked with my mother, I never received any treatment. My mother would say strange things like, “They swell up whenever she drinks pink lemonade.” I retreated further from saying how I felt and what I knew and being my natural self except when I was on my own adventures.
Rare knee swellings normalized quickly but awareness of my knees soon affected my life. I avoided strong sports that aggravated my knees and chose tap dancing, ballet, ice skating, and swimming. I quickly learned my knees were not strong enough for water skiing after some falls increased the discomfort in my lower back. Later in my teens, I became shy of the congestion that made my inner knees larger but as I was rarely inconvenienced, I lived with bigger knees and began to hide them, too embarrassed to wear shorts or mini skirts.
In university, I sought refuge in the newspaper club, with its comfy hangout space and Friday night publication party sessions that lasted past midnight. As an Editor, I had found my first group and a position that provided a sense of belonging. A place in a welcoming group expanded my social life, but it was never easy.
As I retreated into books after skipping grades, I evolved as an introvert, shy around the interactions of boys and popular older girls in my classes. This evolved further into becoming an accidental beatnik (because I wore my black dance tights to keep my legs warm) who loved jazz and chess. As a loner, never in the in-crowd, I was afraid to ask a boy to dance in a Leap Year. The pain of holding back wanting to ask increased and so I avoided other social events. I more I refused to ask increased the fear until I figured out how to live independently and never ask for anything. This combined with the difficulty of saying ‘No’ increased my social problems. Saying yes and helping someone or doing things people asked seemed a refuge from pain.
Circuses of high flyes and Ferris wheels no longer called to me. I experienced pain in my abdomen and bones whenever I saw or was near height. In Hawaii I had to crawl with eyes closed, clinging to earth across a thin divide on a trail. When visiting the Grand Canyon with my son, I stood twenty yards back while my fearless son sat on the edge with his feet hanging over while looking at him created pain in my body. Height shifted from the love of climbing and fearless flight into a feeling that I would be carried away by air or winds. In Iceland, a smilier reaction occurred when visiting a glacier. My friends had to hold me strongly, one on each side before I could stand up and walk near the glacier. Fear of strong wind also became a part of the fear-height-request syndrome.
Fear expanded to other areas of my life. I seemed to have received inner beliefs that had settled as commands that produced reactions. Even though this mystified me when I experienced helplessness to move toward what I wanted, or was unable to stop a body reaction that made me go backward away from something that attracted me.
During the seventies when I chanted for world peace long hours daily and participated in special group chants with Nichirin Shoshu, kneeling for extended times made my knees stronger except that callouses developed on my lower knee and ankles. A single parent with two young girls and working full time, the organization pressed me to attend meetings, convince others to join, and advance as a leader. My children and I suffered because of my inability to say no. Eventually, I chanted 6 hours a day for 3 weeks to free myself, walked into a meeting which was both a birthday celebration and my advance to chapter leadership, took one look at them all, left, and never saw any of them ever again. After I left NS, it took years for the callouses to diminish, but I was proud of myself for finding a way to break free.
When I moved to Cambridge, England in 1977, cold damp weather combined with cultural and marital stress, increased the knee congestion. Whenever I traveled to a healing retreat, I received water therapies, and castor oil packs to reduce the congestion swelling. During visits to the Institute for Naturopathy and Yogic Science in Bangalore, India, I received hot wax treatments on my knees that gifted a daily opportunity to sit for an hour with the Indian ladies.
Every healing center visit improved the chronic condition but it never healed. Treatments along with inner naturopathy cleansing and light diets kept me free of pain, and even though I knew I had a chronic condition no matter how I tried, the condition never got worse and never went away. I did not suffer. I enjoyed dancing, hiking, walking, and biking without symptoms or activation over decades.
As my life work evolved during self-healing of breast cancer, in the 1970s in California, I included knee care as a part of my healthy lifestyle. I did not suffer from acute difficulties, although occasionally I would wake in the night with a pain in the inside of my right knee. If I moved my leg carefully and massaged gently, the pain disappeared. I never asked a doctor about my condition or received a diagnosis. This continued until 2020 Corona and lockdown.
November 2020: Knee Activation: I enjoyed a long walk along the River Dart on a sunny autumn day until the weather changed with cold wind from the moors. I walked faster to return home and felt stressed and exhausted as I reached the bottom of the Totnes High Street Hill. Anxious to be home, I charged up the hill. Almost immediately I was uncomfortably hot and perspired. I stopped to pick up food takeaway and when I arrived home, I was shaking with chill, my clothes damp with perspiration. Soaking in a hot bath, I still felt chilled. Dressed, curled up in warm blankets with hot water bottles did not remove the feeling of chill. Oil heaters on high as the storage heaters were inadequate, I slept long and deep then stayed inside for a couple of days. Although I did not get ill, I noticed my right knee had swollen as it had many times during my life.
I reviewed cause, considered clothing, food, and habits as I was now fully aware this was my first winter in a cold climate in 5 years. A new regime of warmth care was needed to help me through a Devonian cold damp deep winter weather with chill winds from the moors in a pleasant but heat and hot water inadequate British maisonette.
Immediate action included: Online order of slippers with leather bottoms as rubber soles transmit cold. I cut leg and neck warmers and cut from the arms of a well-loved thick black cashmere sweater. A favorite thick felted Icelandic wool shawl was now worn day and night around my waist. Any outdoor trip required double layers of Hanro wool and silk leggings and tops, and I wore boots with socks sprinkled with cayenne pepper for increased circulation to my feet. Gloves also were a necessity now without exception, as were shawls around my neck and over my shoulders under my coat.
Causes: Lockdown restrictions. Limited exercise. Cold and damp weather in Devon UK. Self- isolation. Apartment cold floors caused cold feet. Drafts from open lower floor entry without curtains. No curtains in the bedroom and no heat in the bathroom. Inadequate night storage heaters off during the day and never warm enough. Eating more food and carbohydrates, and craving sweet foods. Extensive computer hours creating Lightness of Being School of Natural Medicine Online Courses with One to One Mentoring, clearing out the internal computer folders and files in preparation for a new computer, and watching more movies, media, and information than ever before in my life during isolation lockdown.
Cures: Increase dress skills for constant and changeable cold damp weather. Too many clothes create perspiration then chill. Walk slowly to avoid perspiration. Twice daily baths varying Epsom salts, bicarbonate or sea salt, and essential oils with foot, leg, and knee massage. Exercise and dance play. Sessions on my Bemer (LINK) activated circulation as exercise was restricted. I imagined the swelling would go down as usual as it had every other time it had activated and I walked normally with little or no discomfort. Food, drink, and herbal adjustments reduced inflammation, activated liver and bowels, cleansed the blood, and supported the kidneys
In November 2020, when my right knee activated I decided to focus on a dedicated healing program for my chronic knee condition. In combination with weekly Taoist bodywork sessions, I added deep connective tissue and lymphatic knee and leg massage on the right leg into daily self-care. Although the left knee had mild chronic congestion, it had never had a flare-up, so I balanced with light massage on the left and focused on the right.
During this time, memories of my childhood surfaced, the first memory was of my childhood flights from the roof, now seen with an understanding of how instilled fear had created basic beliefs that had permeated my life reactions and choices for most of my life. Along with opening up my right knee congestion, I continued to process fears and memories, social and family cause and effect patterns, clearing their residue from my inner life as I cleared it from the right knee.
The culmination of my efforts resulted in a breakthrough. I had been focusing on massaging a hard congested area in the back of my knee, and as I was walking well and pain-free, I decided to take a stroll to the Leechwell ancient springs. As I gently walked down an incline, a sharp pain struck me in the back of the knee like a shock. I paused to recover and after a while, limped home, soaked in a bath of Epsom salts, and applied ligaments and topical soft poultices. Recovery shifted with daily self-care. Although I did not understand what had happened, I felt pleased with the results of my efforts in full trust of my body’s wisdom.
Today in March 2021, three months after my knee activated that I searched Google and learned about Baker’s Cyst, and surmised that was what had burst so dramatically. There are many options to consider as to names of conditions causing knee swelling, like 100 versions of arthritis.
I understand that my busy work life and international travel created exhaustion, stress, an unbalanced diet, emotional challenges with difficult students, extensive sitting at computers writing books and courses, and lack of exercise at times. Self-care and selected treatments combined with healing retreats maintained health and flexibility avoided further knee problems, but I never focused on healing my knees with dedicated procedures. A busy life and no need, so I lived with the condition as best I could.
A new level of healing emerged. In April 2021, The Osteopath confirmed the area behind the knee is now clear of congestion. As I write, I continue to treat the knee with herbal poultices, topical magnesium, essential oils, osteopathy cranial sessions, and acupuncture.
I am determined to follow through and recover my essential self on all levels with the same commitment that I offer my students: physically, emotionally, socially, culturally, mentally, and spirituality during their Self Discovery sessions in preparation for their Inner Ecology rejuvenation program.
Discover Thyself is an essential pillar of the truth teachings of purification, regeneration, and transformation that create real results, one I continue to practice to free myself from the wounds of life gifted to me to shape and form my destiny and now, to free myself for flight into Lightness of Being.
At the time of writing, I give thanks for the journey for the compassionate wisdom to understand the karmic wounds of the roots of fear that were needed to shape my destiny, for the understanding that removes residue of judgment and resentment toward my parents forged during that long-ago time of restriction and punishment, and for the healing experience of trust and skill that inspires my perseverance to clear my own being from family, heredity as I gain skills to share with others.
I sign off from the mystic wings of effort and grace nourished by the fragrance of ever-giving gratitude. My last cranial session gifted me with an inner vision of my sacrum birthing wings from an anchor mirroring wings in the beautiful bones of the head, the winged caduceus alive and well, healthy, and strong in my upcoming 79th year.
INVITATION: Become an Explorer of Your Own Life. Discover Thyself.
The journey to uncover the roots of fear and basic beliefs that form our life processes, choices and, reactions are part of the self-healing mentored explorations during personal and professional Lightness of Being, and dedicated Self Healing and Longevity Lifestyle co-creative commitments for personal evolution.
Explore website pages on pure health.com if you are interested to become an explorer of your inner landscapes and discover potential continents of personal evolution.
Visit the Lightness of Being and the Heal Thyself pages on the website, however as each student lives and evolves on a personal timeline, each student chooses and creates their own path of evolutionary advancement toward their highest potential.
A warm welcome, Farida Sharan
INTERNET RESEARCH ON KNEE PROBLEMS – Potential Causes of Knee Problems
Rayaud’s Phenomena is triggered by cold temperatures or stress, narrows blood vessels causing the buildup of synovial fluid on the back of the knee during inflammation of the knee joint, injury, or cartilage tear. Baker’s cyst is a fluid-filled cyst that bulges with a feeling of tightness behind the knee, causing pain during full flexing, knee extension, or increased activity.
Rheumatoid Arthritis: A chronic autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks healthy tissues, including cartilage and bone. When active in the knee, the synovial membrane lining the joint swells. leading to pain, and a reduced range of motion.
Osteoarthritis: A degenerative condition causing joint cartilage to wear away, reducing end of bone cushioning, causing the bones to rub together; joint pain and stiffness; Limited range of motion: Clicking or cracking when bending or extending; Swelling; Weakness of joint muscles: Instability or buckling of knee joint; Development of bone spur growths.
Prepatellar Bursitis: Bursae are fluid-filled sacs that reduce joint friction, however, when inflamed they produce excess fluid and causing joints to swell, mostly in the front of the knee.
INDIVIDUAL NATURAL MEDICINE TREATMENT PROGRAMS INCLUDE
- Foot soaks
- Epsom salts, oils, baths
- Knee Poultices
- Herbal medicine
- Cranial, Acupuncture, bodywork
- Dietary adjustments
- Inner Ecology Body Systems Harmony
- Balanced activation and clearing of all eliminative organs and systems.
- Balance acid alkaline diet and inner functions