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 to learn and gather information that nurtured my curiosity and subsequent destiny to teach. In the days to come, this epiphany would lead to greater realizations while playing out one of my most treasured dreams. Through my love of teaching and working with children, I followed my heart and graduated as both an elementary & special education teacher. Years later I would receive a master's degree in counseling to further support my students and desire to learn.
During my second and last assignment, I would work with students ages 14-21 years. These students were a rugged group, finding their way in their young troubled lives while teaching me various understandings about life. For example, it wasn't about fancy cars and big houses, although inviting. Essentially, it was about meeting basic needs whilst feeling a sense of love, acceptance, and safety in the world. Undeniably, this revealed a compelled effort to be heard, understood and appreciated just as they were.
My love was to teach, encourage, and empower. By studying their challenges together, I was able to graciously set them up to solve them. They were deserving of an education delivered with practicality and relevance in accommodating their strengths versus teaching to their weaknesses. And most importantly, coupled with a healing ear to listen with mutual honor and respect. These entrusting skills and practices of being present, are how we develop a strong sense of self that ignites the voice within to live our dreams.
It was 4:33 pm on a cloudy November day in 1996. I remember turning on my headlights. 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." Remarkably, over time and within these six words, I would find the courage and will to live.
For the next 20+ years, there would be struggles & battles to overcome within the aftermath of trauma and tragedy. This included enduring surgeries and medical procedures with long recoveries, along with the cumulative effects of three traumatic brain injuries. One brain injury occurred at the scene of my accident and twelve years later the second and third brain injuries would tragically occur within three weeks of each other.
Although unaware in the beginning, I became a disabled student of my professional skills. Innately, I was teaching myself how to speak, read, and write again. These same gifts I gave to many of my students years prior. Ironically, they too suffered from impairments to the brain.
How did I do this? As my injured thinking brain was healing, I intuitively began to find the treasures within where love resides. While standing in the middle of the horse pasture one day I experienced all at once the profound messages, "Love is all there is, love is the answer to every question, and love heals all." I remember placing the palm of my right hand in front of my face saying, "It (love) was right here the whole time, but I never saw it...until now." I discovered the love I was seeking was also seeking me, the love that I already was (from within) that was forgotten amidst the turmoil.
Amazingly, I then began to sense, feel & observe the presence of love in everything. More deeply, I understood how we sometimes look but cannot always see with our hasty minds or challenging lives. With eyes that could see, I desired more.
As I sat in nature, love was boundless with the daily nourishment given freely by my horses. For the next fifteen years, the barn would become my classroom, playground, and sanctuary. This sacred haven and way of living became "my home" where I felt most safe and loved. In sharp contrast, the outside world was moving swiftly and 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. The present moment is where all life exists.
As I am writing, I remember how pivotal my horses were in my healing recovery & highly desired re-emergence back into the world (despite the ongoing challenges). Communing at the barn with eight "four-legged companions" was the one place where "I truly 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, processing, and learning new skills. Memory was fleeting. My inability to hold onto information created fearful moment-to-moment occurrences (that would surprisingly transform into more lovingly filled 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 and creates new neural pathways. New learning experientially occurs as the old fades. Experiential learning is easily remembered and understood because it is more meaningful & relevant to our lives versus rote learning that uses memory storage. 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, for years I could not speak fluently about them because of my communication challenges. The process for my recovery meant I was to re-experience the 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 would create various opportunities to practice day-to-day speaking such as attending classes, workshops, and joining Toastmasters International. All of these examples are cornerstones of my ongoing healing. Living with three brain injuries, PTSD, and spinal traumas were the most challenging and arduous journeys of my life. In retrospect, trauma has left me with many gifts of self-renewal and inner peace. The blessing of loss alone offers great depths of appreciation for the sanctity of all life.
By grace, the legacy of spiritual growth attained from this long journey far exceeds the vast multitude of life-changing losses and strife. 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 myself, 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. Simultaneously within these moments, I was awakening to a greater love of the spirit fully alive within me.
Among these gifts, my passion is to inspire and empower others to live life fully. This journey of assisting others, in the raising of our spiritual awareness, is offered via communication: teaching, writing, speaking, listening, feeling, sensing, and healing. 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 consciously aware or not. Remembrance is our birthright as sovereign beings of love and light.
As an awakening conscious creator, learning how to cultivate & sustain love in our lives is key to our happiness. Especially, as an energy being vibrating in an energy world. We can never think our way back to love but we can choose to open our hearts and feel our emotions. It simply starts with one breath.
To compliment you on your journey, there are links to my Online-Store for books and a new online course, "How to Sustain Love in Your Life! The local course is available on the island of Maui, Hawaii. I also offer Spiritual Coaching sessions to add value and support to you on your journey.
My very best to you in creating the life of your dreams and more, accept nothing less!
Robin J. Bloom ~ Awaken Your Gifts & Create A Life You Deserve!