December, 2001. Our youngest daughter, Bridget, had a cough. For most kids this would not be worrisome, but Bridget had a congenital heart defect, developmental delays and a diagnosis of failure to thrive. She sounded like she was drowning in phlegm. I knew that her compromised heart function and oxygen capacity could be impairing her ability to throw off whatever illness she was harboring. So I took her to the pediatrician.
By this time in Bridget’s 18 months of life, I was adept at going to the doctor. She had been through every diagnostic test you can think of: cranial CT, MRI, EEG, multiple blood draws. She’d had open-heart surgery and cardiac catheterization. She’d seen a myriad of specialists and I knew more about pediatric medicine than I had ever wanted to learn.
Bridget’s nurse, Barb, took a pulse oxymeter reading. I saw the numbers and I knew the oxygen levels were too low. Barb confirmed that the levels justified hospitalization. She said she’d come back with the doctor in about 15 minutes and if the levels had not gone up, we’d be off to Children’s Hospital.
Four days until Christmas. I had another child at home who was looking forward to Santa and presents, family and fun. And I was now facing the prospect of a holiday in the hospital.
I opened a magazine and began reading to distract myself and pass the time.
I’m still not sure what came over me, but as I sat there reading and not really taking anything in, something broke through my mind-chatter and said, “Pay attention to what’s happening here. Stay with it.” So I did. I closed the magazine and sat with what I was feeling and thinking. I looked at my fears about Bridget’s immediate health and her long-term prognosis. I thought about all I had to get done for the holidays. I watched the chatter get quieter and quieter. And then I saw what was underneath all of that.
And I have to tell you, I was horrified.
When I was honest with myself I could see that part of me was addicted to the drama of all this. As bizarre as it sounds, some small part of me was looking for her to be sick. I had been defining myself in relationship to Bridget’s problems: The mother who could handle whatever happened with grace and aplomb. The woman who could talk to the doctors in their own language and prompt the question, “Are you in the medical field?” The mother who would do anything to help her daughter overcome.
I didn’t want it to define me anymore, this piece of myself that I saw. Frankly I didn’t want to associate with it at all, but there it was.
Somehow in those few minutes between my epiphany and when the nurse came back, I was able to find some compassion for myself. I saw that my ego had found an effective way to cope with all I had dealt with since Bridget’s birth. I had become an expert at crisis and drama and I did it really well. So I forgave myself for my humanness and then I got really clear that what I wanted most for Christmas was for my daughter to be home and healthy. A few moments later, the nurse came back in and took Bridget’s oxygen levels again. They had gone up dramatically. We went home and Bridget’s cough cleared up in time for Christmas.
Did I make Bridget’s oxygen levels go up? Bridget certainly influences her own reality, so I’m not prepared to say I was wholly responsible for the change. But I’m not prepared to say I didn’t influence the outcome either. What I do know is that times of emotional intensity contain enormous power to move us forward toward what we truly desire, if we approach them with understanding.
As you can imagine, Bridget’s life and our family’s search for healing has produced some great stories. But I refer to her now because living with Bridget has been instrumental in my development of The Cornucopia Method of Manifestation. Mothering Bridget has been my university for deepening my understanding of conscious manifestation, experiencing the sometimes miraculous benefits, and wanting to share it with others.
As of 2012, Bridget is 11 years old and she’s thriving. She’s had five open-heart surgeries and her heart is stable. She is happy and healthy. Her development is progressing nicely.
In this period of relative calm I’ve had the luxury to review my experiences and consider what I’ve learned about manifestation. I’ve studied the masters, scouring and devouring every resource I could get my hands on about manifestation and the Law of Attraction and pondered how those concepts were operating when Bridget’s life seemed to hang in the balance. I’ve looked very carefully at what worked and what didn’t. This powerful combination of knowledge and trial by fire produced the manifestation method I now teach: The Cornucopia Method of Manifestation.
Kimberly V. Schneider, M.Ed., J.D., LPC, is a regular contributor on the Great Day St. Louis television show and the host of Conscious Manifesting Radio. This is an excerpt from her book, Everything You Need Is Right Here: Five Steps to Manifesting Magic and Miracles, available from Avalon Emerging Press at Amazon. Her website is kimberlyschneider.com.