During the Fall of 1996, my life would change. I didn't know it then, and I wouldn't know of the full impact for a very long time.
As a child, I loved lining up my dolls to hold classes and teach. It's funny how wisdom works as I was playing out one of my most treasured dreams leading to greater realization in my life. Through my love of teaching and working with children, I followed my heart and graduated as both an elementary & special education teacher. I later would receive a master's degree in counseling. During my second and last assignment, I worked with students ages 14-21 years.
These students were a rugged group of kids finding their way in their troubled young lives while teaching me various understandings about life. For example, it wasn't about fancy cars and big houses, although inviting. It was more about meeting the basic needs; feeling a sense of love, acceptance, and safety in the world. They wanted to be heard, understood, and appreciated just as they were.
My love was to teach, encourage and empower; studying their problems together and setting them up to solve them. They were deserving of an education delivered with practicality, relevance, and strengths. Coupled with a healing ear to listen with mutuality of honor and respect. These skills and practices are how we develop a strong sense of self that ignites the voice within to live our dreams.
Then it happened, it was 4:33 pm on a cloudy November day in 1996. I was driving home from work. The day was cold and dreary. With no preparation, a fast-moving car crosses head-on into my lane. I immediately see bright glaring headlights; an explosion occurs as evident by metal screeching, glass breaking, and the car spinning. In this horrific chaos, I hear a clear auditory message, "No one survives a head-on collision." Amazingly over time and within these six words I would find the will to live.
For the next 20+ years, I would struggle and battle to overcome my spinal traumas, enduring repeated surgeries and long recoveries, along with the cumulative effects of three traumatic brain injuries. One brain injury at the scene of my accident and twelve years later the second and third brain injuries would occur within three weeks of each other.
Although unaware in the beginning, I became a disabled student of my professional skills. Instinctively, I was teaching myself how to speak, read, and write again. These same gifts I gave to many of my student’s years prior. Ironically, they too suffered from impairments to the brain.
How did I do this? I found the treasures within where love resides. Love was boundless with the daily nourishment given freely by my horses as I sat in nature. For the next fifteen years, the barn would become my classroom, playground, and my refuge. It was the one place where I felt safe and deeply loved. In contrast, the outside world moved swiftly and was often insensitive and unforgiving.
While sitting in the herd, it was easy to practice listening to my feelings and deep inner-knowing. When you are open and aware, you can tap into your intuition and enhance your presence within your surroundings. By comparison, life becomes more meaningful. Even though I existed as child-like, being present was a hidden gift from my brain injuries. Living in the past or future was not an option.
As I am writing, I remember how pivotal my horses were in my healing recovery & highly desired re-emergence back into the world (in spite of the ongoing challenges). Communing at the barn with eight "four-legged companions" was the one place where "I forgot I had a brain injury."
The overall traumatic effects of my brain injuries left me feeling, at times, very helpless and exhausted. I lost working memory, which is the cognitive system responsible for temporarily holding and storing information for processing. Memory was fleeting. My inability to hold onto information created fearful moment-to-moment occurrences.
Feeling stronger, I would unknowingly use the gifts of neuroplasticity, which is the brain's way of adapting and changing itself. Naturally, what fires together wires together creating new neural pathways. New learning occurs as the old fades. Taking action is also key along with a commitment to practice.
The compelling need for action and practice revealed itself when I courageously published two books, My Daze of Brain Injury & Wake Up! We're Going Home. Painfully, I could not speak fluently about them because of my communication challenges. The process for my recovery meant I was to re-experience my trauma of speaking in public while losing the information and unable to retrieve it. A delicate challenge I was to conquer.
In my next venture, I created various opportunities to practice speaking by attending classes, workshops and joining Toastmasters International. All of these examples are cornerstones to my ongoing healing. Living with three brain injuries and spinal traumas were the most challenging and arduous journeys of my life. In retrospect, trauma left me with many gifts of renewal and inner peace. Loss alone offers great depths of appreciation for all of life.
By grace, the legacy of spiritual growth attained from this long journey far exceeds the vast multitude of life-changing losses and struggles. I remain grateful for where I stand today, which is continually expanding & evolving.
With pure and unyielding determination, along with a lifelong love of teaching & the ability to heal, I prevailed by gaining the foresight and vitality to thrive with my tragedies. This willingness resulted in overcoming fear, reclaiming my power, and recreating my life many times. While simultaneously, I was awakening to a greater love of the spirit alive within me.
Among these gifts, my passion is to inspire and empower others to live life fully. This I offer via communication: teaching, writing, speaking, listening, feeling and sensing. I perceive my role as supporting individuals in awakening to their divinity as a conscious creator that knows how to sustain love. Ultimately, we are each the creators of our reality whether aware or not.
As an awakening conscious creator, learning how to sustain love in your life is key to your happiness. Especially, as an energy being vibrating in an energy world.
No one has the right to take away your sovereignty, we all desire freedom; bow to no one, but to your own divinity. My best to you in creating the life of your dreams and more--accept nothing less!
Robin J. Bloom ~ Awaken Your Gifts & Create Your New Life!