Sunday, January 4, 2009

A Life Changing Moment

Shortly after I graduated from massage school, I had the opportunity to do chair massage for the faculty and staff at Southwood Middle School. A tragedy had hit the school when a student killed one of his classmates and friends during school hours. I was there with others as part of a day of healing for the teachers. One of the speakers was Dr. Paul Canali talking about how trauma affects us and how to watch out for the effects that we may see in others especially the children. As I listened to Dr. Canali speak that day, I was captivated because what he was sharing with others, was things that resonated deeply within me.

After his talk was over, I so badly wanted to connect with him but when it was my turn to speak to him, I could barely say anything. About the only thing I could think to do was hand him my business card because my voice was silent. Time went on and I didn’t really think about Dr. Canali again until I went to a local FSMTA (Florida State Massage Therapy Association) meeting. He was the speaker and that night I was sitting up front. As Dr. Canali talked, he kept putting his hands on my shoulder and using me as an example of what he was saying. Normally with strangers, I would have been crawling out of my skin and running out the door. I, however, knew that Dr. Canali’s touch was safe. Somehow I knew that and I was not afraid.

Fast forward to a workshop he held in July 2004, that I wanted to attend. Before signing up for the workshop, Dr. Canali and I talked by phone where I shared with him some of my past. When I got to the workshop, it was part lecture and part hands on training. Dr. Canali asked for volunteers and without hesitation, I said I would like to volunteer. Up until this point, I had not experienced his work like many of the others had, and I had no clue what I was about to experience. The moment on the table which seemed like only a few minutes was in fact over a couple hours and when I got off that table, I felt like my life was different than when I started. It was a powerful life changing moment and at the time I had no clue just how far this would go.

I began to see Dr. Canali for regular sessions because I knew deep down, there was much stored within my body that needed to be dealt with. You didn’t need to explain to me just how everyday life, every day stress, trauma and experiences find homes within our bodies. My body knew that first hand because I was paralyzed in 1991. Physically I had recovered from it but there were many hidden scars within me that had never been allowed to heal. I had plenty of current problems as well from depression, anxiety, frequent migraine headaches, a stomach ulcer, allergies and the list could go on. I never dreamed that a few years after this, my life would have changed in dramatic ways physically, emotionally and spiritually. I’m not the same person I was and this isn’t some surface changes in me. It is deep emotional long lasting changes.

While I still know I have a ways to go and I still have my demons I battle within me, I’m on my way to connecting to something that will carry me forward. I’m not even 100% sure I understand what that is today and that’s fine, but I see more of my path ahead with each day. Dr. Canali has helped me to understand myself more and see the power that I hold to make choices and changes in my life. He has helped me to become more aware of myself so that I can begin to experience life in an entirely new way. If you would have told me all of this was possible a few years ago, I would have probably laughed. Of course now, you don’t have to convince me because I’ve lived it and the truth of it resides with myself and my new found freedom and awareness.

With all of this said, Dr. Canali just launched his new website and it is filled with a lot of information. Some of the information is deep and may sail over your head when you first read it, but it can be a catalyst in your life. I urge you to go and check out the website and read it and learn all you can. Your life won’t be the same after this point.

The website is
Evolutionary Healing Institute

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your experience, Don. This is fascinating and I'm going to use the link you provided to learn more.