My passion is to write about the brain and how we can help our children reach their full neurological potential.
My purpose is to tell the story of how my own daughter outgrew her brain injury to become a healthy, successful adult after a difficult childhood of epilepsy, learning disabilities, cerebral palsy, and gross motor delays so that other parents might recognize their own children’s struggles and take on a journey toward wellness of their own. A journey that they might never have embarked upon if they had absolutely no idea that it was even possible.
My intention is to be that spark of hope for a parent that ignites their own fiery purpose, that resonates with their own inner urge to blaze with possibilities they cannot yet see.
To do that completely, I must also write about the paradigm shift that allowed me to be able to understand what to do, and how and why to do it. The beginning of that journey was layered with unlearning. The truth is that almost no one on the planet believed that brain-injured kids could get better, let alone well. No one but a small team of pioneers in Philadelphia and a few hundred parents scattered across the globe. To be able to clearly see the way forward, I had to let go of an old worldview about the health and wellness of the body and brain. I had to discard an old model of medical treatment that was actually causing harm. I had to recalibrate my perspective. It was a complete transformation of imagination and consciousness. And it left no part of my life untouched.
So when this pandemic swept the world last spring and the effects of COVID-19 crept up close into my daily life (shutting down my career) and community (forcing me into isolation at home), it wasn’t too difficult to see how – on a spiritual level – this experience was for me. While I definitely felt the waves of concern for the safety of myself and others, I had the lingering notion that – as always – something important and good must be coming from this. Through my long journey with my daughter’s health crises, I had already learned to trust Life. I had to.
On the surface level, then, there was the impetus to finally finish the darn book already. For years, I’ve played around with writing this story that feels so important to me to share. And for years, I’ve found excuses for not quite getting it done. Needing to teach, long commutes, big yards to mow, and puppy training have been my favorite masks for the fear I feel about letting this part of me go out into the world in as authentic and transparent a way as possible.
As Haylie said to me recently, “The Universe must really want you to get this book done now, since it isn’t letting you do anything else!”
But at a deeper level, I struggled with the fear of how the world was changing, had changed. I already had a tool box for optimal health that was serving me, thanks to my mentors like Dr. Phil Maffetone - proper nutrition from local unprocessed foods, regular outdoor exercise, good sleep hygiene, a focus on joy and successful stress management. Years of paying attention to my body taught me how my hormones were cycling and what they needed to be in balance. I knew what to do. And yet.
The idea of a dangerous, predatory virus that had (perhaps permanently) disrupted life as we knew it was a tedious, uncomfortable background hum whose dissonance with my hard-won, deep sense of trust in the health and well-being of my body left me feeling unsettled, fragile, vulnerable, and afraid (again). I could not fit this new experience into the paradigm of wellness I now existed in. Until I found Dr. Zach Bush, that is.
Like I said, I typically write about kids and brains and health and to not eat sugar. That is all still really important to me. And I will continue doing it so that more mamas (and papas) can implement what I know will be transformational in the lives of the little ones they love so much.
But for today, it is important for me to verbally integrate that paradigm shift I made years ago with the ideas coming from this brilliant physician researcher because it turns out that what he is teaching about the role of viruses, the consequences of Big Agra and Big Pharma and their chemical products, what we need to do to restore the health of our bodies and the planet…these ideas are just an extension of the leap I made so many years ago when I understood at my own cellular level that the truth of being a vibrant human being cannot be found in the ads we’re being sold through every available marketing channel. We don’t need more petroleum-based products filling up every inch of space in our homes and our minds. And we certainly don’t need the high-stress artificial lifestyle that we are compelled to endure to accumulate monetary capital to trade for them. These things are killing us, individually and collectively.
However, these deep knowings that I had long ago integrated during my conscious departure from the problematic nature of our modern lifestyle and its effects on our health and the neurological development of our children recently collided with the questions I developed around this pandemic. I mean, how could a universe that loved us, that evolved us, that held our planet in the perfect proximity to our sun for life to exist at all, how could it be out to get us in the form of a deadly global disease? Well, it turns out that there is a lie in that question.
It is built upon a misunderstanding of the nature and role of viruses and our millennia of co-evolution with the virome that has recently been cleared up for me by Dr. Zach Bush. I’m new to his party, but the relief I feel at having arrived, just now, is palpable and bodily and deep. The explanations he offers, the truths he shares, the rational common sense and historical, scientific basis that hold it all together underscore the security I feel in believing that I was right to trust Life all this time and that it is safe and wise to continue to do so.
This means that I have to practice listening to Life, and not the television. It comes in the quiet moments. It comes in feelings that run deep into my bones, or perhaps those feelings come from the very marrow of my bones themselves. Where all of nature is communicating with itself, and that includes me. In my physical body.
It’s like that feeling of truth that I had when I stood in the doorway of a Newborn ICU so many years ago now. Those men in white coats were using a lot of words in serious tones when pointing to the black and white images of my newborn daughter’s injured brain. I knew in my bones that this was not good. And simultaneously, my bones answered back with their refusal to become this new distasteful thing. The mother of a brain injured child has retired to become the mother of a nutrition scientist and young entrepreneur. A vibrant, healthy, seizure-free leader among her peers who reads and learns with ease (though sometimes not without a frenzied late-night study session).
So, all of this to say: Trust Yourself. And trust Life to hear your questions and to answer them.
That’s what finding Dr. Zach Bush was to me – an answer. I just sort of stumbled upon it and when I did, I knew it held the answers to the questions I had asked. Finding Glenn Doman and his team, who taught me how to heal Haylie’s brain, was the answer to a question I had asked a lot, on many a sleepless night or early morning jarred awake by her seizing. And there are others. Days dotted with a pattern of questions and answers, when you are awake to them. Connecting them reveals an outline in the shape of the love between Life and me. You, too, have that relationship between your bones and their maker. And your children do. Trust in that.
All my love,
If you are interested in Dr. Zach Bush’s teachings, you can head to his website: https://zachbushmd.com/
Here are two of my favorite interviews with him:
I began this blog to share pieces of the book I'm writing about my daughter's courageous march down the path from brain injury to wellness. It's the story of how one little girl overcame the odds, a long list of labels, and limiting diagnoses. I hope it inspires other parents to dream bigger by knowing what is possible.