The following story was one of many I have been receiving for the book I am working on. I actually solicited this story from Jennifer, because I knew part of it and I thought it would work well as part of my mind-body chapter. When she sent it to me, I learned things about her journey I didn't know and I just thought it was a such a short and concise example of so many principles that I had to share it NOW on my blog.
My journey to mediation and yoga started in 2012 when my family switched to eating a plant-based diet. The more we ate less junk, the more I felt the promise found in D&C section 89:19 coming true for me. "And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures;"
I stumbled on Felice's blog during my scripture study one day and the more I read, the more I was drawn to mediation. I did several scripture studies on it and found that the scriptures and prophets tell us to take time to mediate. I had always used the words mediate and ponder interchangeably. I pondered the scriptures and the things of God and therefore thought I was meditating on them but I didn't fully understand what mediation was until I signed up to do the 40-Day Mediation Challenge.
I started doing Kirtan Kriya and Kundalini Yoga and within a week my prayers deepened and became more focused. My scripture study was more alive with things I wanted to learn. I was also more open to learn things I haven't seen before in my scriptures, in my church meetings, and the world around me. It was great!
The inspiration I was gaining was wonderful for me. My husband was deployed to the Middle East and I was home alone with 3 little girls ages 5,3, and 1 and I was pregnant with our 4th child. I relied very heavily on priesthood blessings from my husband for answers to my questions and prayers and he wasn't here to do that for me. Feeling this inspiration was such a blessing and filled the void that came from the lack of priesthood blessings.
A few weeks into the 40-day challenge I was assigned to do the meditation for healing addictions and a meditation for releasing anger and negativity in addition to Kirtan Kriya. During the releasing anger and negativity mediation I would often bring up several minutes worth of anger and frustration about my debilitating fear of driving.
I was in a car accident with my mother and my siblings when I was about 12 years old. I was in the front passenger seat and saw the car coming our way and hitting us. Ever since that day I had a fear of driving. I didn't want to be responsible for the lives of others on the road or in my car. I never ever wanted to drive. The thought of it made me ill.
I remember when I was 16 years old, I heard my dad tell my sister he was going to take me out to go and learn how to drive. I hid in my dad's office under the desk and behind some paper for close to 20 min as my dad called for me and looked for me. This is the only time in my life I remember specifically not coming when called for. I felt guilty for not being obedient but I didn't want to go. I was totally frightened.
Some weeks later my parents convinced me that I needed to try to drive and that if I wanted to grow up and be a good mother to my children I needed to be able to take them places. I took drivers ED and passed , I took my drivers license test and passed but every time I had to get in a car I felt like I was going to be sick and I hated it. This fear of driving and being lost and killing or hurting others when I was in a car became my norm, part of my personality, who I was. I identified myself and others identified me with this anti-driving characteristic. But it was not who Heavenly Father wanted me to be.
For some reason though around this time I planed to take a trip to see my parents for Thanksgiving. It was to be my first road trip ever. I didn't want to spend the holidays alone with out my husband and I felt in my heart that now was the time to try and conquer this fear or at least attempt a trip. I had never even driven on a freeway before and the trip would involve 15 hours of driving. I was nervous one minute and confident the next about making this trip.
I knew it was the right thing to do but if I wasn't careful the fear of driving made me doubt. The more I brought it up in my mediation and the more I planed for this trip the more flash backs I would get of our accident when I was young.
I asked Felice about a different mediation or if it was the meditation at all that was bring on these constant flash backs. She recommended doing a session with her to release some trauma before I attempted the road trip, and she said that she only had one day open before my trip. She told me to pray about it and tell her if I wanted to take it or not. I prayed and prayed and prayed. My husband had already talked to me that morning so I was not able to counsel with him or ask him what he thought I should do, or even if it was okay to spend a large amount of money on the session.
I knew in my heart that I wanted to do it. But I also knew that my husband would feel bad if I had made a big decision like that with out talking to him. I finally asked a neighbor for a priesthood blessing. In the blessing I was counsel to take the session and that my husband would understand and be supportive. The blessing also said that "Satan will no longer have power over you to keep you from going and doing things, you will be free from the debilitating affects of the accident and be troubled by them no more."
After the session I felt so much better. I felt more complete and more like who I am meant to be. I made it to my parents house and back with no problems. I have also driven other places without the feeling of fear or panic. I thought of all the times I had not gone to and activity or opted not to do something because the drive scared me. I thought of the many opportunities I had lost because I felt like it was something I couldn't do. It was so uplifting to feel free from those worries and cares.
I didn't realize how much control Satan had over me by playing on this one fear, this one traumatic event. Now I can GO and DO things and not hang back and have to follow someone or not go at all. Being able to take control of my life and not let certain things control me has made such a difference in what I feel like I can do and what I am capable of. This has also caused me to take a look at other areas of my life that I need to change in order to keep Satan from using them as tools to control me and keep me from my divine potential and eternal destiny.
As I read the scriptures, pray, attend the temple, and continue to mediate I feel stronger and more in control of my own life. I also feel my life being guided by God he helps me to use fears and weaknesses as learning opportunities or as ways to become more like Him instead of having those fears and weaknesses be used as tools or ways for my life to be detoured by Satan.