One Path, Many Lights

Excerpt from One Path, Many Lights – Author Maria Lacey
Chapter 4 – Personal Responsibility

Within a couple of days I was sitting in my doctor’s room explaining the situation and sharing the documentation with her. She immediately arranged for me to see a vascular heart surgeon.

A week later I arrived at the hospital feeling a little nervous and uncertain, yet grateful to be there. My specialist was running late so I had plenty of time to watch other patients come and go. Some left with a look of relief. Others did not. One patient was admitted immediately. She looked about sixteen years old. I thought, Who am I to complain? Still caught up in my thoughts, I felt a gentle touch on my left shoulder and turned my head. Standing beside me was a mature-aged man who apologised for keeping me waiting and informed me that he wouldn’t be too much longer. I found my voice and said, “Thank you”, surprised that the specialist himself let me know. A warm, comforting glow ignited within my chest. I knew this man could sense my vulnerability and would look after me with gentle and loving kindness. Once again I whispered, Thank you.

Not long after, the nurse ushered me to a room nearby and closed the door behind us. She had my file and asked me a number of questions, which I answered as best I could, but nothing was going to hold back the tidal wave as I indiscreetly shared my horror story about my experience in the emergency department. She looked a little startled at first. Then her face softened, her shoulders dropped and I could see a kindness in her eyes as she listened intently whilst I shared my whole story then gently stated that the doctor would be in shortly and left.

The door opened and he entered, smiled and sat down. His smile reminded me of my loving grandfather who had passed away a long time ago. He looked at my file and then examined my neck. The throbbing had decreased in the past few days; there was not as much to see.

He explained that even though a twisted artery in the neck is unusual, I was very likely born with it. For some reason there had been a shift and it had popped out from behind my collarbone.

As if in a dream my mind returned to Koro: Maria you have had a shift in your energy field. The doctor used the same language. Was this coincidental?

He then picked up a pen and turned over the yellow envelope with my MRI results and drew a picture showing the artery — where it was and how it was twisted — then reassured me that I would be fine and not to worry. He told me it was important that no-one place an IV in that side of my neck because I could bleed out. If that was all I had to worry about it was not too much. I was certain they could use one of my many other veins first, as I have well-nourished ones that they couldn’t possibly miss.

He asked about my experience with the doctor in the emergency department. After listening, he acknowledged this could easily be mistaken as an aneurism. As he got up from his chair he reassured me that I had a very solid heart especially with what I had been through. He smiled and walked towards the door, pausing in the doorway and pointing to the file in his hand. “Is this the same doctor who wrote the report from the hospital?” he asked. When I answered yes I understood that he might have a chat to him later.

The nurse returned and, as we were walking out she said, “I’d be going home to have a good stiff drink after that experience.” I knew she meant at the emergency department in the hospital ten days ago. She then said, “Oops I really shouldn’t have said that.” I tentatively laughed as a mixture of feelings flowed throughout my body. It was as if I was two rivers running together, the outer river flowing clockwise and the inner anti-clockwise, both creating a wave, one of relief and the other overwhelming me.

I drove straight home feeling the need for the security and safety of my sanctuary. I sat in my comfy chair and, as I reflected upon the roller coaster ride I had been on, I became aware that I had actually created this myself. If only I had taken Koro’s advice, cancelled my week’s appointments and allowed the integration to occur naturally. I trusted and respected him so much and yet I chose not to follow his guidance. I had not respected or honored me. I had been too concerned about letting others down. In the end I had taken almost two weeks off work doing exactly that.

The experience had also brought greater focus on me and, to be honest, this was the last thing I wanted. I had opened myself up like a book on a table in a public library for all to read. I started to feel nauseous and realised how vulnerable and exposed I felt. I whispered, God please give me strength.

Not long ago I’d had an epiphany when I’d realised that I was an introvert, even though I appeared, and expressed openly, as an extrovert. I’d discovered that throughout my childhood I had developed extrovert qualities to survive it. The introvert in me loved her privacy and preferred quality time alone to replenish and re-centre. She enjoyed company but preferred to be in the background rather than the centre of attention. This was the true me — why hadn’t I respected and honoured her?

If you are interested in purchasing One Path, Many Lights – One Woman’s Personal & Spiritual Journey go to

Would love to hear your feedback either on this chapter or the whole book if you have read it. Please feel comfortable in commenting. If comment box not available below, click HERE and scroll down to comment.

Until next time,

By Maria Lacey

An award-winning author of One Path, Many Lights, a spiritual and personal memoir. Maria writes about life, the adversity, learnings, musings and triumphs. A therapist, healer, performance artist and speaker Maria humorously states, “I am my greatest case study.” For more information about Maria and her work visit her website at


  1. Hi Maria, even though I have read your book, I enjoyed reading this chapter again. I have had to be reminded time and again to STOP ‘doing for others’ or taking on more work even when I have been feeling unwell. Because when I don’t that’s when I suffer both physically and emotionally. Thank you for your honest and brave sharing.


    1. Hi Frances, thank you for sharing and I truly understand how difficult it can be to break those patterns, because they are often enacted by the subconscious, and you are doing before you realise. I personally ‘pause’ before doing which allows me to make a more conscious choice. It’s okay to say, “I will consider it and get back to you” or “Please let me check my diary and I will let you know”. I will then, check in with my body to ensure that it feels right for me, if not, I don’t. If it does, I do. Then I am able to move forward with an open heart, comfortable in my truth and honouring all concerned, which makes the giving and receiving a harmonious connection. Trust that this is helpful, with love and blessings, Maria


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