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SupportTeam members are a select group of committed individuals who understand the power of service and are willing to immerse themselves in their own healing process. This is expressed at HeartLand as a team effort. Participants work together to manage the property and complete projects as the needs arise. Life issues come up in
, Pat sat close to his sister, Joanne. He smiled and nodded as others looked up to greet him. His sister mentioned that he was writing a book, but little else was revealed about this giant of a man on whom life had left a few lines. Pat is eager to tell you what happened next—what happened the summer of ‘97. These are his words. This is his story. We want to thank him for putting pen to paper and sharing it with us…
The Veteran’s Administration hospital in Kansas City had no beds available. I wanted to be there—needed to be there. I felt sick—sick to my soul. Depression was a constant in my life, had been for half of my fifty years. I blamed the Vietnam war.
After discharging me for a mental disorder, the U.S. Navy compensated and treated me, but the drugs weren’t working. I took pills for depression, anxiety, epilepsy, and something for my stomach. Tired of it all, I expected them (the V.A.) to fix it and increase my compensation.
My sister, Joanne, moved to Ava, Missouri, from New Jersey in the spring of 1994. We had renewed our brother/sister relationship two years earlier, and I visited her almost every weekend. She said she needed me. She’d just been through surgery and was in the process of healing. So, whenever I had a few days or needed a change, I spent time with her. The weekend before the 4th of July I decided to visit her again.
Having reestablished ties after a twenty year hiatus, Joanne and I shared a lot, at times endlessly. She listened to my story on Friday evening, then mentioned someone she thought could help. She handed me a brochure that detailed an upcoming thirty-three day Intensive.
“What the ‘hey’ is an Intensive?” I asked.
“This place is only an hour’s drive away,” she said as I sat staring at her, scratching my ear. “We can visit Saturday evening in time for dinner. They have the best vegetarian food. Come on. Let’s go. Really! What’s to lose?”
What could I lose?
Over the winding, twisting Ozark roads from my sister’s house to HeartLand, we talked and guessed at what the outcome of our visit would be. How could I possibly afford a workshop? I barely had gas money to get home.
My first encounter with michael brought up issues for me that I can now see were ghosts from my past. He reminded me of a high school teacher with whom I’d had a run in as a young man. ‘Knowing it all’ can be tough on those of us who do, and it took awhile for me to get past my judgment.
michael, Joanne and I sat and talked until dinner. We ate a nutritious meal at the HeartCenter and met the SupportTeam members. After dinner, michael and I talked in depth about the future and about the medication straight jacket I was headed for. The clarity with which he described the Intensive process left me excited. It sounded like I might have a chance to make a real change in my life—to heal.
All I had to do was be willing to work—both on my process and on a variety of projects at HeartLand. Though I had no money, I was invited to join the SupportTeam Super-Intensive on an exchange basis. My exchange for the Intensive would be my skills in maintenance, carpentry, repair, plumbing and electrical.
On the return to Joanne’s, I made a decision. Two days later I returned to HeartLand and began the process of rediscovering my life while receiving the feedback and support that was offered through the program.
That decision changed my life. One of the main things I’ve learned is that happiness is truly a state of mind; and, today, I am the happiest human on earth. I have truly been born again. I feel alive! Life is an adventure! (Phew!) It’s easy for me to become enraptured in these changes. My awareness has made a complete shift. Love, not depression, is foremost in my mind. My dream of change is happening daily. I’ve learned to create.
It’s so joyous to remember the first time I really looked in the mirror.
“Whoa! Who the ‘hey’ are you?” I wondered, staring at the stranger in the glass.
When I arrived at HeartLand, I weighed 277 pounds. I weigh 227 today. I don’t take or need any medication. My complexion is great and my eyes are clear. I have youthed to the point that family and friends no longer recognize me. Joyous tears flow at the miracle I have become. All I had to do was—do it. I had to work the simple tools I found here. Now, I use these tools daily to continue my healing process. As one heals, we all heal.
Well, I’ll close for now. There will be more to come. I’m a work in progress, day-by-day.
Blissed out in HeartLand, Pat
…One year ago I attended the Co-Dependence to Inter-Dependence Intensive workshop with you or you were instrumental in encouraging me to attend. I would like to share with you my experience. Read more… ““I am proof that forgiveness and using these tools can absolutely transform a life.””
“The seminars Dr. Michael Ryce is doing are directly related to ACIM and have been very helpful to me in removing the fear and hostility thoughts that block our natural Love state. In what I… Read more… ““The seemingly solid wall between me and Spirit is proven…to be nothing but a wispy cloud.””
My arrival home was awesome. My roommate Kay welcomed me home with fresh banana bread and a surprise. She had planted me a flower garden with bulbs that would come up year round. This was… Read more… ““I find myself smiling and laughing and enjoying life the way I did in my early childhood.””
I have been studying Michael’s work for 20 years, and just found Vimeo Group: Forgiveness on www.vimeo.com. I want to share my experience with Forgiveness as Michael teaches it. I first went to Heartland in… Read more… ““The rewards are life-changing!””
Michael and Jeanie, The first week of workshops, three weeks ago, was something! The field trip on that intensive Saturday, was unlike any thing I’ve experienced and it seems to have lasting effects. Thank you… Read more… ““Unlike any thing I’ve experienced and it seems to have lasting effects!””
Hi michael, I am going to re-read your book, paying close attention this time around to my pain around emotionally distant loved ones. I like your new worksheet as well! I’ve printed numerous copies off… Read more… ““The work you’re doing is fundamentally needed to help shift the pain and suffering in this world…””
Prior to meeting you on January 12, 2008 at your first workshop in Honolulu, HI, I had just experienced a separation from a long term relationship. Although it was anticipated and a mutual decision, actually… Read more… ““I left a new person!””
Participant in the CoDependence/Communication Self-Study Intensive. I have been working on my top 3 challenges. Got a note book and been writing a lot of the MindShifters, the word links, doing the reality wake-up sheets… Read more… ““CoDependence / Communication Self-Study Testimonial””
I’ve known for a long time that God is love. I’m well aware that if I want to live in His house when I leave this body, I have to learn to be a conduit for that love. Read more… ““Setting a Trap for God – Living Not Saying the Lord’s Prayer””
Participant in the CoDependence/Communication Self-Study Intensive and student for many years, lived at HeartLand for a couple of years, continues doing his work. Listen to testimonial of Terry Bowling shared during StillPoint Breathing session July… Read more… ““Keep doing it until you want to do it.””