Inju Keum is real


DrearyWinterDayWinter 2013  brought a dreary landscape to my life.  My heart was smashed and I was dragging it around like a rock on a rope.  My body was lit up with inescapable pain from complications due to chronic Lyme Disease.  Yet again, I was waking every morning with a mysterious pelvic pain and fatigue that weighed my cells down like cemented anchors.  The heat was turned up really high on my financial instability.  After being disabled for nearly four years and fiscally raped with medical costs I was left not knowing if I could stay in my apartment or keep my dream of independence alive.  I had just earned my Real Estate license but needed time to make headway in this new industry.  Fear-stricken and hustler-activated, I looked for a bartending job. It certainly wasn’t ideal for my weak body to be on its feet for hours slinging beers and bloody mary’s but I’m naturally good with people and can make a mean cocktail if I have to.

FanelliCafeI reached out to my friend Sasha who owns a famous pub in Soho called Fanelli’s to see if he needed someone to pick up extra bar shifts.  I worked there years before and made decent money so it seemed a smart call to make.  I really wasn’t up for the physical exertion of the job or the long commute from New Jersey but I was in that armored state where I suppress my limitations and push through because that’s what I learned as a child.  My mother unknowingly taught me this, to deny my instinctual needs.  She still cleans the house and runs her body ragged until she’s limping.  Distraction is a strong drug.  I took this ingrained lesson and ran with it to my own unhealthy level, working my body like an elephant in a circus.  Jabbing myself with my own personal bull hook.  Being physically uncomfortable was my norm so I believed and accepted that suffering was what I had to work with.

When I didn’t hear back from Sasha I started working at a ‘low-rent’ neighborhood bar.  At first testing my mental muscles with cocktail recipes and computer menus was good distraction.  Then day shifts filled with alcoholic regulars, sticky menus and soul sucking television shows oppressed me in a profound way.  Time traveled too slowly to quiet my broken heart, the regret of my recent folly and that damn sharp pain burning under my jeans.  My intelligent bright light did not belong in this dark dump and my higher self was screaming but a few shifts a week put some cash in my pocket and allowed me to live with myself.

Looking back I could have put my trust in God and allowed the universe to provide for me while I got going in Real Estate but my anxious human will had its thumb on the throttle compelling me to take action and the Devil was loving that because his mission is to shelf me. Take me out of the game.  Dampen my light. Good_vs_Evil_by_Wakoe You see I am meant to heal people, to help people heal themselves.  I am determined to reach the masses with stories of strength and inspiration.  Taking me down is the equivalent of taking out multitudes of human beings who are just living for themselves, who are asleep.  As I get closer to testifying on a grander scale, I visualize a special project folder in the dark energy drawers that has my name on it.  It seems at times that a special team is sent to trip, shake, shackle and disorient me.  Although here is what I have come to learn about this gun-smoked spiritual landscape… God uses it to do great things.  God can take the Devil’s best work and flip his script.  Like a superhero grabs the barrel of a gun and twists it into a knot, God uses the cracks the Devil creates in us and floods them with light.

After a month at this shit hole, I got out of bed one morning, a strange waking dream imprinted on my mind.  I had dreamt of my old friend Derek who I have been out of touch with for too many years.  It felt random for Derek to emerge from my subconscious until I was up and around and a surprising call came in from Sasha.  Sasha and Derek are best friends and I met Sasha through Derek.  It had been months since I left Sasha that message about working at his bar.  He asked if I could come in that day and talk with him.

Good_vs_Evil_by_fishyghostI was a mess physically, my body burdened with stubborn infection and the last thing I wanted to do was trudge into the windy city.  However Gods eagle-eyed plan was already in play.  I just so happened to have a doctor’s appointment scheduled that day in Soho a few blocks from Fanelli’s.  I had pushed this appointment back because I was too sick to get there the week before.  I always love the irony of being too sick to get to the doctor, you can’t write this shit and GOD worked with that oppressive hurdle to position me.  The new appointment put me in Sasha’s hood at the exact right time so I agreed to make it into Fanelli’s that afternoon.

When I got there Sasha was behind the bar filling in for a couple hours and he really wasn’t able to talk with me much so I took a seat at the bar, which I NEVER do.  I am not a bar person.  At least not on that side of the rail.  Having such a delicate body my entire life, I never understood the allure of bar culture so it felt strange to take a seat with strangers and silently face that wall of booze.  I ordered a coffee. Definitely not good for my Urinary Tract Infection but I needed some pep in my brain and I certainly wasn’t ordering alcohol or juice which feeds the bacteria.  About five minutes after I sat down two bar stools freed up next to me.  Fanelli-Cafe-460x345As it goes in a crowded NYC bar like this one, those stool cushions felt fresh air for about 2 mili-seconds before two new asses claimed them.  An interesting couple took the seats next to me.  Directly to my left now sat this funky, petite Korean woman.  Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you…. Inju Keum.

Inju & her boyfriend clearly knew Sasha and from what I gathered it had been some time since they had seen him just like me so I asked how they knew him.  Inju’s boyfriend went to college with Sasha and after years of being out of touch they ‘randomly’ bumped into him that same day after a grueling tax appointment.  Fanelli’s was an unplanned fluke for all of us

As people like Inju Keums and Heather Solimines do… we simply just started talking and it wasn’t about the weather.  We talked about Lyme Disease, my writing and heartbreak.  We effortlessly tackled spirituality, depression,‘God Winks’ and being disconnected or plugged into the universe. The conversation had a life of its own, blood pumping through it from both our similar hearts.  Inju’s mind is sharp and even more thrilling for me was her natural way with emotional topics and her willingness to talk about the ‘tough stuff’.  It almost seemed to be her sweet spot, just like mine.  In the midst of this noisy bar where a short time before I sat forward and quiet, my body and mind turned comfortably to the left as I got under the warm covers of this meaningful conversation and connected with another open human being.

giftlightsWhen I am where I should be, following Gods breadcrumb trail of GPS guidance, I feel electrically wired into the universe.  The collective unconscious speaks to me.  I hear and see messages.  Song lyrics, roadside signage, matching dates and numbers, etc. Its like driving on a winding scenic road, dotted with signs lit up in bright round bulbs.  God says,“Yes Heather! You just made the right turn, now keep your ears & eyes open for the next wonder.”  See God knows that I need special supernatural support.  I am an orphan in many ways because I developed as a child with great neglect and abuse and don’t have supportive family relationships.  Structure is powerful for me so God gifts me with re-assuring winks, allowing me to feel his presence and the power of his universe.

Chronic physical disease makes me easy prey though so when my body fails the evil forces that be clutch my ankles and seize the opportunity to disconnect me from God’s divine plan.  As I sat there at Fanelli’s I was desperately yearning for the Universe’s messages but feeling painfully unplugged.  Turns out, Inju was also depressed the day we met.  I could ‘feel’ it on her.  Good-vs-Evil.11I could see it in her eyes, coming out of her back.  She was burdened by heavy realities and wasn’t feeling well.  I believe God worked with our parallel depressions and brought us together.  God said, “Watch this Devil…watch me take this dis-eased struggle and bring these two special human beings together who combined will affect the lives of many.  Teamed up they will do such great work that the world will be thanking you for once afflicting them.”  In fact as painful as that day was, as that week was, as that month was, as that winter was, from where I stand now…I wouldn’t change it.  I certainly don’t want to go back and re-experience it but I can see where it lead me and how God used it.

The emotionally rich conversation Inju and I shared felt ‘enough’ for me that day.  Just to connect with another like-minded spirit lifted me and eased my pain and as we gathered our coats to head out I felt more hopeful.  Then Inju Keum leaned in and gently topped off our conversation by adding that she is an editor & publisher and would like to learn more about this book I was writing.  She said that I have a compelling story.  Chills, chills, chills. Everywhere.  Wow, but what’s the catch I thought?  Most of my life, limited and damaged by a family where there was little to no affection or mirroring, my cells have been thirsty for nurturing.  I yearned for conversations about me, about my talents, who I was and who I was yet to become.  I have always needed people to breathe life into me so for a wise, kind woman to step into my life just because she feels I am worth it, just because she is a fan of Heather and sees my potential felt like a pure gift.

11718543-human-heart-in-old-vintage-grunge-parchement-texture-as-a-medical-symbol-of-the-blood-pumping-cardiaSince that day Inju and I have stayed in touch and with each conversation she encourages me with potent advice and an enthusiastic belief in my story.  When I share something complex with her she saves me the energy of articulation by intuitively going right for the million dollar question.  The questions that NO ONE else asks me.  At light speed she cuts straight through to the underbelly of my experiences and finds the spiritual heart of the story, pushing me to trust my instincts even more, to reveal the deepest layers of my truth.  Inju Keum is the type of angel-winged human being who rotates on an axis of great feeling and generosity.  She is compelled, God bless us all, to facilitate opportunities for others.   My most vulnerable intimate thoughts and ideas become communal and relevant when I talk with Inju.  She fuels me with so much hope that I get high.  I walk away from our conversations invigorated, 220px-En-chief-sitting-bullseeing clearly the purest form of my authentic expressive self, nourished with potent artistic nutrients.

A few days ago, I met up with Inju and we talked about love, spiritual warfare, death, books, beer, publishing, Mercury ruled Virgos, eating blindfolded, re-incarnation, Sitting Bull, childhood trauma and how she wants to see more content on my blog.  How she wants to see a post a day.  How she doesn’t care if its a Haiku or a raw imperfect post. How she enjoys my voice and wants more.  How its going to take a year to produce enough content and gather a following. How I need to get a writing grant. How inspired writing is fleeting and that I have to seize this opportunity now and not abandon it.  How she knows from experience that writers live with regret if they let a gushing wave of words pass.  How she sees me as a beautiful bird about to take flight.

Its taken me some time to allow Inju’s no strings attached nurturing into my cells and to fully accept that she is willing to invest in me.  I also still continue to battle time-robbing Lyme Disease relapses and need to hustle in Real Estate to pay my bills.  Inju re-enforces that I can somehow do it all, that all my endeavors and challenges can fuse into one.  As I write this my surfboard is out ready to ride this inspired wave and I am more determined and focused than ever.  I simply MUST accept this gift from God, because Inju Keum is real.