by Pamina Mullins
I was weighed down by the kind of emotional baggage that could kill an
elephant, wore historical scars and limiting labels like a much-sought-after
fashion accessory and could have written a thesis on ‘how to sabotage yourself
effortlessly.’ And then synchronicity slipped a copy of Louise Hay's You Can Heal Your Life
into my hands and turned my life inside out.
After I’d read the book I felt like I’d been smacked on the head by a passing
meteor. I played a part in all this? I created my reality? I had the power to
rewrite this dismal life script? Was I really that powerful? What a revelation!
Of course, as fate would have it Louise Hay dropped into my life just weeks
before it began to rival the Dakar Rally as an endurance test.
I remember the view from the window—a cobalt sky, so bright it stabbed my
eyes; bare, bleached branches beseeching a merciless sun for moisture; dust
devils dancing across the road, snatching up litter and flinging it into the air.
Propped awkwardly against lumpy hospital pillows while balancing lopsidedly
on one cheek to minimize the painful throb of stitches, I gazed bemused at my
first born child. I swear her honey hair, backlit by a sunbeam, was sprinkled
with tinsel-tufts of stardust. Mysterious almond eyes the color of deep-water
sea, gazed with laser like intensity, strip searching my soul.
Suddenly, curtain rings clashed. A pediatrician strode in, positioned herself
at a safe distance, carefully avoiding eye contact. Her voice was brisk and
businesslike, like a judge handing down a sentence:" Your baby is a ‘mongol.’ She
has a heart abnormality and won’t live long. She’ll never walk, talk or feed herself. I advise
you to put her in a home and forget about her." In the blink of an eye she was gone, the
hollow echo of her footsteps quickly fading. Now I know what it feels like to
be in an elevator on the 160th floor of Burj Khalifa when the cable snaps.
The term ‘emotional meltdown’ doesn’t begin to cover it.
But amid this unimaginable turmoil, a splinter of Louise’s spirit slipped silently
between my heartbeats, where it took up permanent residence. In time, we
became inseparable companions on a roller coaster sojourn of self-discovery.
Ignorance has a repetitive vocabulary. Can’t, won’t, hasn’t and will-never-be pours
forth from many learned lips in the years to come. But Louise’s lessons form a
bullet-proof vest, insuring that I don’t buy into these self-fulfilling prophecies.
Instead, I get an irresistible urge to turn them inside out. I positively inhale
information about my child’s condition. Fueled by anger, I use it like a GPS,
to guide hundreds of others through the labyrinth of lies, obsolete terminology
and misunderstandings, as well as a weapon against the butchery of ignorance.
The essence of The Power is Within You is a stoic witness throughout a
second pregnancy and the birth of a boisterous, healthy son.
Days, weeks, months, years fly by in a sleep deprived blur. I find myself
enrolled reluctantly in a crash course on the art of living in the present. There
is no past. There is no future. Night after night I sleep sitting upright, belly to
belly, heart to heart, willing my first born’s besieged immune system to fight
This diminutive damaged angel has a laugh that bubbles up like a subterranean
spring—infectious as a virulent virus. She wears vulnerability like impenetrable
armor; absorbs life through her senses almost by osmosis and imbues our lives
with the startling intensity of one who knows her physicality is tenuous. My
marriage, though, caught in the whiplash of this whirlwind, rips at the seams;
each attempt to mend it like stitching wounds with razor wire. The life blood
leaks from it at a perilous rate.
There’s nothing like a prolonged spell of single parenthood, I find, to
kick away the crutches of co-dependency.
In the wake of each cold sweat crisis safely navigated, self-confidence like an
embryonic sunflower begins to unfurl. With each act of surrender another layer
of defensive scaffolding crumbles into obsolescence.
Louise’s wisdom guides me as surely as the Southern Cross on the darkest
night. Slowly, but surely, I outgrow my self-obsession. I stop allowing myself
to be enslaved by my history and defined by my failures. I quit fighting ghosts.
The complexity of my problems no longer holds any allure. I become more
fearless by the day. I cease getting satisfaction out of the garbage-groping, pain-
probing anger orgies and poor-me purges that had been such a part of my life. I
learn to laugh again—and my spirit of adventure blossoms.
Memories of Michelle chase each other like incandescent butterflies
suspended in a sunbeam.
Gliding soundlessly through water as sleek as a seal, standing with arms
outstretched under a waterfall wrapped in a rainbow’s misty veil; asleep on a
granite outcrop surrounded by a herd of ghostly elephants, moonlight filtering
through delicate lace acacia leaves illuminating her face; an elemental nature
spirit perched atop a termite heap on the banks of the mighty Mana River,
tangled ropes of honey hair whipping in the wind; sun kissed skin in dappled
And then one languid spring night full of promise and sensual overload,
the nightmare comes to pass.
As I lie with my arms wrapped around my child’s heaving chest, a massive fist
of grief slams into my solar plexus. A tidal wave of loss smashes the breath
from my body. I’m drowning. Dizzy. Fighting for air. Every cell screaming no,
no, no. I will not accept this. I will not let her go. I will wake from this nightmare and hear
her laugh again. But as the creeping darkness of despair seeps bone-deep like
intravenous anesthetic, the life support is disconnected and heart failure finally
takes her home.
Ravaged by grief, a gaping wound where the umbilical cord has been ripped
out by the roots, my body slides into the nightmare of hyperthyroidism. In
desperation I seek the help of an endocrine specialist—and consult my now
badly battered copy of You Can Heal Your Life for insights. I never get to do what
I want to do/rage at being left out, it says. Right on target. Determined not to be
medication dependant for life, I set a re-programming process in motion. My
daily mantra becomes as automatic as breathing: I am at the centre of life. I approve
of myself. I move beyond old limitations I chant endlessly.
And yes, the day comes when I say goodbye to the meds.
No longer laminated in unconditional love, loss still clinging like damp
strands of moss, my son and I leave the warm familiar security blanket of our
homeland for a country as foreign to me as Mars. It’s time to pay it forward; to
stretch my fear fences still further; to follow the momentum of Louise’s legacy.
Given that I am legendary for my lack of domestic skills, working my way
through my studies as a housekeeping supervisor in a residential facility for the
aged is ironic—not to mention humbling. Silently reciting anatomy terms and
principles of psychology is a life raft of sanity I cling to amid a sea of human
flotsam, their amputated dreams reflected in empty eyes and absent smiles.
Studying, like a long denied drug, swiftly becomes an addiction; I’m intoxicated,
adrenalin driven, euphoric at finding my purpose. But beneath it, restlessness
constantly prowls, yearning for open spaces, familiar faces; chaos and
challenge. Finally, it’s time to migrate south; follow the sun to where I belong;
back to the land of my birth, where daily life is as predictable as stepping over a
nest of mating mambas in the dark.
As my plane lumbers across the tar and rises shuddering into a murky
mist-shrouded sky, my only remaining child, now a man, becomes a
I feel the tug of the umbilical cord stretching across continents and as I flip
open Life: Reflections on Your Journey, I am reminded again that the stretch marks
on my heart are an enduring reminder that I am infinitely stronger than I think
It is difficult to describe the profound influence Louise has had on my life. Her
principles are second nature to me now, as natural as breathing. I’m passionate
about my work—helping people transcend their limitations and empower
I know this is possible. I’ve walked every step of the talk. It was her example
that motivated me to write Why Me? keeping my spirits buoyant enough to ride
the inevitable waves of rejection that go with the publishing territory. Then the
day came when my tribute to Louise was published in Modern-Day Miracles.
The circle was complete.
These days, whenever I start to feel as though I have as much control over my
life as a copulating cockroach in a hurricane, I relax, take a deep breath and
repeat Louise Hay’s supremely comforting phrase I am safe and all is well in my
world. And you know something? It always is.
Pamina Mullins is a writer, speaker, stress buster, life coach, problem solver, people
empowerer, laughter lover, dedicated saboteur disarmer, hynotherapist, NLP
practitioner, inspiration generator, insight seeker and genius finder.
She is the author of Why Me?
and contributing author to Erica Tucci’s Radiant Survivor and Modern-Day Miracles by Louise Hay and Friends.
You can visit Pamina at www.paminamullins.com