On Stretching & Growing

I wanted to write today to share with you a tale that I have been wanting to tell for a long time. A lot of you have asked me over the years about my own journey, my own healing of various physical ailments, and what steps I took to feel better- not just in my body, but in my mind and soul as well. The tale I am about to tell you is one of struggle, pain and confusion, stretching and growing.

In 2011, I was deep into my experience of healing and had been in business for about 2 years, learning and stretching myself in many ways I never imagined could be possible. I had left corporate 3 years prior, studied abroad, lived in the jungles, faced a lot of my childhood (and quite possibly past-life) demons. I was on a track to running a successful practice, and I was really beginning to see who I was and what I stood for. I was still stuck in a lot of my old ways, hanging out with some people who were bad for me, but I was progressing… or so I thought. It felt great, scary, fast and slow all at the same time. Many of you who are reading this were my clients at this point and the connections I was making and the cranial work I was doing was thrilling- when I actually had the chance to do the work I wanted to do.

Then one morning it happened. I woke up with the strangest sensation in my ears- an intense sharp pain with ringing so high-pitched, I wondered if something had burst in my head. A headache followed by the time I made it out for my morning cup of coffee, and by the afternoon, I had to cancel everyone on my schedule and lay in bed, hoping it would go away. Luckily by the next day, the intensity had lessened, but the ringing and headache were still there.


I knew it well, had had small bouts of it before, but never had it been this intense. The few doctors I went to that week gave me tools to learn to live with it, and all said it was impossible to cure. Impossible is not a word in my vocabulary, and I knew CranioSacral Therapy could help. I was lucky enough to have a session scheduled with my teacher Hugh Milne for a few weeks later. I had booked it 4 months before, when nothing was hurting and I had no idea why I was going to spend the $200 it cost for an hour–but I thank god I had committed to it when I did, because it may have saved my life.

You see, tinnitus is a nasty thing, and if you’ve ever had it- you know. The pain subsides and the vertigo calms down, but the noise of the ringing can be so strong, so utterly annoying, that it has driven some to such far extremes as killing themselves. This is no exaggeration. The pain and noise hits you in your soul, and the hopelessness it creates can be staggering.

So here I was, a CranioSacral Therapist with a ringing in the ears and no hope it would go away. Now, when any of you come to me with a physical ailment, I’m pretty good at spotting what the underlying emotional or spiritual component may be and we work with it. But when it was happening to me, I was completely lost. And so when I found myself on Hugh’s table a few weeks later, there were no words for how upset and desperate I was. I won’t get into the details of the session, but the bottom line was this: In many areas of my life at the time, I wasn’t listening to my Inner Wisdom. I was doing things that I thought I should do, or that others told me were best for my business/ friendships/ relationships, etc. I wasn’t listening to my own Inner Wisdom, and so my Inner Wisdom had to find a way to scream so I could no longer ignore what it had to say.

The tinnitus got somewhat better after that one session through the specific cranial adjustments that Hugh made, but I knew it wasn’t over. But you see, you can’t just go see Hugh for a series- you have to be his student, and often you apply to take one of his courses to even meet him. So his ‘homework’ for me at the end of the session: sign up for his 3 advanced level courses being held a few weeks later in Big Sur, which not only would specifically address how to work with tinnitus, jaw and sinuses for my clients (and myself), but which I was absolutely ready for as a practitioner as well. I’d desperately wanted to attend for months, but I had convinced myself I couldn’t because of the high cost of the courses, 3 weeks in Big Sur, I don’t do credit so had to pay cash which I barely had… it was quite a list of the ‘why nots’.

But all my Inner Wisdom and heart were saying was Yes- I need this. And I want this. It has to happen. My body knew what I needed, and it was time for me to listen.

So I made it happen. It was a stretch and it hurt in many ways, and I had no idea if it would pay off. I was tempted to ask for a discount or payment plan, but I knew that wasn’t the way. So I paid for the courses up front. I blocked the time out of my schedule, scared to death of being closed that long. I looked into renting a car, but it wound up being so expensive that I took the leap and used that money as a downpayment on the truck of my dreams to get me there and back. I agreed to sleep on the floor of the classroom in a sleeping bag so I didn’t have to pay Big Sur hotel prices. I sold a few things to make up for the rest. I made it happen, because my Inner Wisdom knew this was what I needed to heal.

Many amazing things came out of that weekend. Yes- The ringing stopped. It took probably 7 sessions in the classroom to clear totally, and a lot of meditation- like multiple times a day, many techniques and often late into the night- plus time in nature and immersed in my tribe and community to talk through what it all meant. I learned the power to say No when I realized doing the final course was going to be too much, and being ok with losing that money I had paid when my body was saying ‘enough for now’. I learned that I need to meditate every day, in some way, to feel whole, and that various techniques were ok if done with Intention. I learned that even if we do all of the physical adjustments possible for an ailment of the body, if we don’t address the whole- the mental, spiritual and emotional- then it’s not going to work long term, and I just wasn’t willing to do the ‘band-aid’ method any longer.

And the money part of paying for all of this and taking the time off? In my few weeks of preparation, I had my biggest month ever at that point, making all of it back and more before I even left. With no marketing, no gimmicks, just pure Law of Attraction- I gave to myself what I needed and was supported in return. I learned so fully that when we listen to our own wisdom and take the steps to support ourselves, to stretch beyond what we think we can do or handle, the Universe will stretch and support us 10 fold. 100 fold. There really is no limit to how much we will be supported, once we take that first step- no matter how tiny or massive- to support ourselves. And now, I have had the honor to help so many of you with tinnitus and similar issues, and that has been the biggest pay back of all seeing you all feel better!

Most importantly, I learned that our bodies send us messages, and we often need help to decipher them. Help- of a therapist, practitioner, teacher, guru- combined with listening to ourselves in meditation and others in community really are the keys- and it was ok to ask the Universe for all 3.

The Tinnitus is gone, after every doctor told me I would need to learn to live with it. It’s popped up here and there, and when it does, instead of running to the doctor, I sit myself down in meditation to listen to what my Inner Wisdom is trying to tell me- meditation techniques of which I now am including in my programs. About a month ago, the tinnitus flared up as nasty as the first time, and so I knew it was time to stop and listen. And what it told me is that how I was doing things in my practice were no longer how my Inner Wisdom felt I could best be serving the world. It was scary to send that email out, and I cried a lot of tears over fear you would all not like me anymore, or not believe in me, or not want to pay what this work is worth. But the outpouring of support has been amazing, and a few of you have signed up and I’m so happy to be working from an entirely new place that feels more like me, which can only help you <3

So, now it’s your turn- what steps do you need to take in your healing to stretch and grow outside of your comfort zone? What is your Inner Wisdom telling you need now to feel whole and free? How can I continue to serve you in this quest?

Jennifer Blackstock