• Kelly Rae Garland

How Did I Become So Fucking Zen?


December 20, 2015. The day my life completely changed forever. We had only lived in Minneapolis for 50 days. I was finishing up finals, I had 10 or so hours to hand in 3 months worth of work for midwifery school. I was scrambling to get all of this work in when I got a call from my cousin, Elia, who had been caring for my father for the past few years. My father was in the hospital and he was going to be staying the night. It wasn't clear what had happened. They were trying to get him a bed. I spoke to my father briefly, I told him that I loved him. He said that he loved me too and those were the last words that we ever spoke. I hung up the phone and got back to work on my finals. Of course all I could think about was my dad. But that wasn't unusual. I had been thinking about my father for years. Making myself sick with worry... for years. I finished up the last of my work, hit the sent button when my sister called. I knew this was not a good sign. I had just come downstairs and I can't remember the exact words. Moments earlier she had sent me a text saying that dad was being put on a breathing tube. I was like, what the fuck happened? Within minutes he was gone. I don't know exactly what happened because my family wouldn't tell me what had happened. I assume that he had a heart attack. I remember screaming. A lot of screaming. Then I fell to my bedroom floor and I am not sure how long I stayed there. It was probably hours. But who knows. My husband kept coming into the room and would look at me. I have no idea what I was doing. If I was doing anything. I felt like a million pounds. I sat on the floor. In disbelief. I think I was crying. I know I was screaming. I called my cousin, Elia and yelled at her. What had happened? I had asked her earlier in the day if she needed to be taken to another hospital. She said no. He was fine. But now he was dead. And I was beside myself.


Time is a funny thing after a parent dies. No matter what that relationship was like. My relationship with my father had always been complicated. From the time I was a little girl. While I was a daddy's girl, things happened that would make it very hard for me to have a relationship with him. He was quite abusive and not always very nice. But then sometimes he was the best thing in the world and a master manipulator. He was incredibly brilliant. So smart, too smart. He grew up in south Texas, half Mexican. Half white. He never knew his own father. He grew up very poor. A type of poverty that I cannot imagine. His circumstances truly made him who he was. He was a fighter. He fought his way out of the barrio and made something of himself. He did incredible work for Mexican Americans. He traveled around the country, making sure that workers were paid a fair wage throughout the 50's and the 60's.


He was a handsome man. Extremely proud and very conflicted.


Long story short, he had been telling everyone in south Texas that my sister and I were embarrassed of the fact that he was Mexican. And that all we wanted was his money and lots of very hurtful things that were simply not true. I took this very hard. In fact, I had terrible PTSD from the last few years he was alive.


When he did pass, my family who had been taking care of him, treated me terribly at his funeral, which was just about the hardest thing I had ever gone through. I had tried to get my father to move to New York, where I was living or to Maryland where my sister was for years. But he would not leave his house.

My father, in his dementia, and bitterness, disowned me and my sister in his will. He then was speaking poorly about my family down in Texas which sparked a new relationship between me and my cousin for nearly a year. She would call me asking questions, she was very overwhelmed with taking care of him. And then one day, she was just gone again. She wouldn't answer my emails, my texts. It was all so very hurtful. I got a lawyer briefly, then decided that I needed to walk away from the whole situation or I was not going to make it. The betrayal. The utter betrayal of my father. People would say to me, but it wasn't him. Which didn't matter and then the betrayal of my family. My cousin.


I fell deeply into a sadness and depression that was other worldly. Fueled by booze, anger, and grief, I was a complete mess. I was having panic attacks where I was fainting or vomiting or shitting. Sometimes all 3. I was not functioning. Somehow, I was still in school and attending births. I was not mothering or wifing to say the least.


I was going to talk therapy. I went on medication. Lots of medication. I was oiled up in every and any EO and flower essense that was suppose to help with anxiety. I was taking every supplement as well. Every herb. I would try just about anything for anxiety relief. I was in so much physical pain and I wasn't going to make it, or take it much longer.

Then one day I was in a funny little store called Present Moments and I saw a card for Energy Works Healers. I picked it up and put it in my pocket. I went to work and my friend Rose was talking about how she had gone and seen them. I knew I had to set up an appointment. And so began my introduction to energy work. I would go see Nadine every few months and it was really the only thing that was truly helping me. All the things you are "suppose" to do but it was my sessions with Nadine that was having the most impact. Finally, after about a year and a half, I decided that I wanted to learn reiki. I started with reiki one, Nadine did the attunement. It was really magical. I had planned on only working on myself. Using it for my own anxiety issues that were still so intense. But once I started I needed to do the next level. Reiki 2. And then finally becoming a reiki master.


Daily rituals of clearing energy, yoga, meditation, and loving on myself finally lifted the sadness. The grief. Was it easy? No. There were times when I really thought I wasn't going to make it. I woke up one morning and a whole bottle of xanax was gone. The only way I survived many of those nights were because of Divine intervention. Because there were other things happening as well during this dark time. I was being attacked from so may different levels and dimensions. I was a goner.


So my point is, if I can cheat death, so can you. If I can feel true joy, true happiness, true love for myself, then so can you! And this is the point of this blog. There are many healers and light workers out there. I feel like it is important to be completely open and honest about how and why I am into these things. It's not because I think they are cool or trendy. It's because they literally saved my life. My energy worker is so important to me, I adore her and she really is the reason I am alive today. I know that without her and her magic, introducing me to so many wonderful things, I would not have made it.




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