Thursday, October 2, 2008

Baseball, Apple Pie....and The Healing Island

My college age sons follow sports avidly. I enjoy sports myself, but I find myself following a little more closely because of their keen interest - it allows me a common ground that mothers sometimes lose with their sons. Athletics and sporting events have a way of inspiring us, of entertaining the masses on a level that few other things can. Many criticize this pre-occupation, but I understand it on a deeper level, a more spiritual acceptance, because I see that sports competition is one of the few places in our society that make us remember our ability for greatness. And although many negatives have arisen in sports, we can still draw inspiration from among those ranks. The stories of sports heroes uplift our souls because they remind us that we have a spark within. Sometimes they inspire us to find our own spark and ignite it -whether it be in physical or sporting competition, or in another area where we can identify our own passion.

Knowing the impact that sports figures can have, I was very pleased to see a recent story about Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker, who has come to rely on a special "healing island" in Hawaii for spiritual energy and enhancing his faith. Baker learned of this island when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and made an immediate visit there, knowing that he would be all right. According to the article, it had such an impact the he has returned there regularly ever since.

What encourages me most about this story is that if we are able to accept such possibilities into the mainstream, we will return to understanding the innate healing abilities and gifts within us. We will return to understanding that faith, energy balance, and natural approaches can be the key to overcoming our obstacles both physical and emotional. To have a prominent figure from something as mainstream as baseball, America's pastime, can help usher these thoughts into the mainstream. There are many locations on our earth that the ancients knew had tremendous healing energy. It would be amazing if we would re-visit and reconsider those options. Here is an excerpt of a recent article about Baker's visits to the islands (by Sportswriter Paul Daugherty, Cincinnati Enquirer):

The Renaissance manager of the Cincinnati Reds returns to northern California to tend his grapes (petit syrah) and his family. At some point, he will venture for two weeks to the Hawaiian Islands, as he has every year for at least a decade. Dusty Baker will go to the Lawai Valley on the south shore of Kauai, where he says he will "walk, think and pray."

...Baker first went to Lawai six years ago. He'd just been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Surgery was scheduled for two days after his return. On the flight to Honolulu, Baker read of "the healing island," and its epicenter, Lawai."

Let's change our plans," he said to his wife.

As Baker relays the story, he hands me a package of note cards. Each features a photo of the "Light of Lawai," an unaltered image of rainbow sunlight radiating through the trees. Lawai is where "first Hawaiians and then Asians built their sanctuaries of healing and hope," is what is written on the card.

"I went there and I knew I'd be all right,'' Baker says. "Been there 10 or 20 times since, mostly just me, to pray and think and give thanks to still being here. Heavy place."

How refreshing that this person relied on his gut to visit such a place, that he could recognize its power, and be willing to share the experience. For information about other ancient sites known for their healing (some much closer than Hawaii), see my blog post from June 28, 2008 on this site. Our embracing these energies can be an avenue to help change our lives and the world.

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