Facing the Fear, Finding the Blessing


Laurie Baum in the Self-Realization Fellowship Meditation Gardens at Paramahansa Yogananda's ashram in Encinitas, California

My friend Laurie Baum, who, like me, follows the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda, author of Autobiography of a Yogi and founder of Self-Realization Fellowship, is a clairvoyant intuitive. I love the stories she’s told me about her angelic encounters and alternative healings, so I asked her if I could share them on my blog. To my delight, she agreed to write them up. Today’s post describes her physical and spiritual recovery from cancer. Click here to read how Laurie was protected, guided, and mentored by her angels.

I’d like to mention that Laurie is also a licensed psychotherapist and astrological counselor in private practice in California. She is a former newspaper and news magazine reporter who is profiled in the books Psychic New York and The 100 Top Psychics in America.

Laurie is the author of A to Z Acrophonology: Discover the Power of the Letters in Your NameEverything You Need to Know About Your Astrology Sign, Whispers from the Cosmos, Sacred Mysteries of Egypt, and Astrological Secrets for the New Millennium.

You can visit Laurie’s website for more information. For counseling appointments, click here to e-mail Laurie, or call her at (760) 753-7676. Thanks again, Laurie, for sharing your stories with me!

When the doctor told me the cyst-like lesion under my eye was skin cancer, I felt a wave of spiritual love and protection flow through me. I imagined everything would somehow be okay.

I remembered my Kriya initiation through Self-Realization Fellowship more than a decade ago, when I faced another health challenge. Still on a high a week after my spiritual initiation, I was in a serious bike accident in upstate New York. While flying through the air, about to land head-first on the black pavement street, I felt invisible hands reach under my body. I was instantly transported to another location, where my body landed gently (relatively speaking) on the grass. I landed shoulder first and heard a loud snap, the sound of my collarbone breaking. I understood this to be a smaller consequence of what could have been a far more serious incident.


My biking companion quickly retrieved the car and rushed me to the nearest hospital. I was immediately taken in for X-rays. Within minutes, the doctor announced that I would have to have emergency surgery that included the insertion of a metal pin to repair an eleven-centimeter separation in the two halves of my clavicle (collar bone).

A voice loudly resonated in my head: “You can heal yourself.”

I was no stranger to angelic voices. Going back to childhood, angels ably guided me and provided me with profound advice. The suggestions did not always make sense in the moment, but always proved foolproof when I followed them to the best of my ability.

Now this advice about not surgically repairing an eleven-centimeter break in my collar bone didn’t make a lot of sense, given normal earth-plane rules and limitations. But I had learned over decades of experience to trust with complete faith the voice of my angels. Everything would always work out better than was normally possible. Besides, I thought, my Guru will help me.

Additionally, as a professional astrologer who had advised countless people about optimum moments for surgery, I concluded that the position of the planets at that moment was less than optimal for surgery. No, I thought, Mercury is retrograde, the Moon is void of course . . . No, I am not in the mood for surgery today.

“No surgery,” I announced to an incredulous hospital staff. “But,” the doctor protested, “the body only has the ability to heal a break that is under five centimeters. Yours is double that size.”

“Nope,” I insisted again. “No surgery.”

The doctor shook his head and handed me two things: a harness-like device with two straps to hold the shoulder bones in place and a document to sign that would release the hospital from liability for my decision. No problem, I thought.

The doctor advised me that a bone must be set within two weeks of a break if it is to heal properly. Thus, to ensure the bone was healing properly by moving toward the five-centimeter mark, he asked that I have the bone X-rayed again in two weeks. I agreed.


Paramahansa Yogananda

During the two-week interlude, I meditated and prayed virtually every moment with deep concentration, except when I was working with my clients. I fervently asked God and my Guru to help me. I asked everyone I knew to pray for me, too. I visualized the bones knitting themselves together. I applied magnets to the wound. I pressed acupressure points, thus alleviating the need for pain medication during the healing process.

Two weeks elapsed. I returned for X-rays, cautiously optimistic. The doctor examined the X-rays and shook his head, this time with amazement rather than dismay.

“I don’t know what you’re doing, but whatever it is, keep it up,” the doctor said with a merry smile on his face. The distance between the two halves of my clavicle had shrunk to a manageable five centimeters. “No surgery for you,” the doctor said. “See you in a month.”

After a month of meditating, praying, and sleeping sitting up to use gravity as a healing force, I returned for the last set of X-rays. A respectful doctor showed me on the X-ray how the bones had knit themselves together.

Empowered by this experience, and many other subsequent healing miracles, I was not as concerned about the skin cancer lesion under my eye as I might otherwise have been. Yet, I reluctantly agreed to go through with a biopsy, where a piece of my face would be cut into so they could determine the exact nature of the cells.

The biopsy was scheduled for later that week—now a year ago. I awakened early for meditation on the morning before the biopsy, and lo and behold, the skin cancer lesion was gone! I joyfully called the doctor’s office to cancel my appointment. Gratitude to God and Guru flooded my being.

Months passed before I spotted a reappearance of the previously disappeared lesion. Disbelief was followed by sadness, anger, and more disbelief.

I set about deploying every alternative healing modality I knew—herbs, acupressure, visualization, a raw foods diet, prayer, meditation—lots of meditation—and more prayer. The lesion began to shrink.

But it did not go away.

A friend suggested I try healing clay from the Mojave Desert. I got some and the lesion shrunk some more.

But it did not go away.

Another friend suggested a three-month acid treatment. The acid would draw the cancer cells from the skin. She had tried it, having endured the pain of twice-daily application, and was cancer-free. Why not? I thought. I started the regimen of acid application, and the lesion appeared to shrink to a pinpoint as I entered the third month.

The final week of the acid treatment arrived—and something changed. The pinpoint seemed to be growing. Bubbles emerged from under the skin, as if they were marching down my face—from eye to cheek.

I called on God. More bubbles. God, where are you???

I felt I was being tested, and whatever the test, I was failing miserably.

I called the doctor. Another biopsy was scheduled two days later.

I expected to wake up the morning before the appointment to have the lesion disappear again.

The lesion was still there.

I expected to wake up the morning of the appointment to have the lesion disappear.

The lesion was still there.

I expected to arrive at the doctor’s office and have the lesion disappear.

The lesion remained.

I expected the doctor to look at the bubbles on my face and tell me it was a joke, or an allergy, or something similarly innocuous.

I never expected him to say what he did. “You have a serious and aggressive form of skin cancer, and you need to have surgery right away.”


I had spent the better part of my life avoiding surgeons, and now I was going to have someone cut into the skin under my eye????

This had to be a dream.

The biopsy confirmed the doctor’s pronouncement. He explained that a fairly large amount of skin would have to be cut from under my eye. The cancer removal doctor gave me the name of an oculo-plastic surgeon who would repair the work of the cancer excision. I was to coordinate their schedules so they could perform the excision and the repair on the same day.

This had to be a dream.

A really bad dream.

Not one surgeon, I thought, but two surgeons. And who was the second surgeon? My logical mind wanted proof that the second surgeon would be able to do a good job putting me back together.

The phone rang.

It was a client who is very intuitive. “Something’s going on with you,” she said. “Everything’s fine,” I protested. “No, it’s not,” she responded. I quickly explained the issue, hoping I could go back to investigating the second doctor who was going to repair my face, when my clients said, “I can tell you the name of the best eye surgeon in San Diego (the area where I now live).” The name of the surgeon she recommended was the same surgeon I had been referred to.

I started to feel the presence of God again.

The day of the surgeries arrived, and my mind vacillated between thinking a miracle was about to happen and that half my face was going to be removed. Neither doctor could guarantee how much was going to be cut. It depended upon microscopic examination of the slices of tissue that would be used to analyze the path of the cancer. I prepared myself for all eventualities.

I practiced wearing a patch on my right eye (I had been warned the eye would likely be covered by bandages after the surgery), and I imagined how the surgical cut would look. I realized how silly it was to have worried about wrinkles in the past—and vowed not to worry about such small things in the future. This was one of many small problems that have fallen away from my consciousness since that day.

The surgeries were scheduled for Holy Thursday. The symbolism of the Last Supper that preceded the Crucifixion and Resurrection was not lost on me.

The day of the surgeries arrived. My friend and I left the house in the post-dawn hours to drive to the first doctor’s office. We arrived early and decided to use the time to meditate and pray. No sooner did we start to meditate when waves of love enveloped us. I thought I was about to levitate on a pillow of love, light and the prayers from so many friends, family, loved ones, and members of our spiritual community.

My fears about surgery melted into a pool of tears of gratitude for the loving presence of God, my Guru, and of so many people in my life. I felt safe, loved, and held in God’s arms—no matter what happened.

The doctor efficiently removed the lesion from under my eye with a one-millimeter margin that is commonly used to ensure cancer has not spread to healthy tissue. He assured me that the cancer had not spread to my eye, and I blinked to make sure my eye functioned properly, which it did. My prayer that my vision and eye function be protected had been answered, along with the preservation of most of my face. I cried tears of joy and gratitude.

The second surgery, in which skin was grafted from behind my ear to the spot on my face, was equally successful. A friend joked that the Bible would have to be re-written after this surgery. Instead of “an eye for an eye,” it would read “an ear for an eye.” Another friend joked that my eye would now hear better.

Despite the biblical humor, not for a moment had I doubted the presence of God and Guru through this experience, although at times I wondered why these surgeries had been necessary. It would not be until the days and weeks following the experience, however, that I would fully realize the spiritual gifts I had received in what appeared to be an earth-plane nightmare.

In the week that followed the surgery, I would be bandaged from forehead to cheek, unable to bend over, take a shower, or chew my food. With twelve stitches in my face, and countless others behind my ear, it really did hurt when I laughed.

I was supposed to remain as immobile as possible for several weeks—not go out, not talk too much, not eat too much, and basically not do anything too much. I didn’t know how I was going to do it.

Yet, the extreme quality of the recovery process forced me to go to a level of surrender I had only previously imagined. When people would ask me how I was doing, I would respond that I was perfecting the art of being. There was nothing I could do, nothing I could even try to do. I wasn’t supposed to do anything. In fact, I was supposed to actively do nothing. This was a concept worth mastering for someone who thought she was so good at doing things in the world. Even after more than a decade as an avid meditator, I still took pride in being able to be a successful participant in the world. Now, I was unable to easily talk on the phone or answer e-mail. My greatest allies were staying still, listening to my breath, keeping my eyes closed, and maintaining silence with my mind focused on healing.

Nearly a month after initiating the healing process, I am convinced that this is the quality of life I’d like to maintain for the rest of my life. The simplicity of my new life routine made me so happy. Of course, I have made myself available to talk to clients, cook meals, and attend social events. But I now know beyond doubt that I have a safe, sacred, silent inner place I can return to any time I wish.

Without these two surgeries, I never would have had the opportunity to learn how easily I could melt into stillness for long periods of time and how rewarding it could be.

Rather than be angry or anxious or frustrated, I feel peace, love, serenity and happiness—beyond what I have experienced before. I have resumed many of my normal activities, but with a new attitude. I embrace my meditation practice with greater enthusiasm, gratitude, and love than ever before. My contact with my clients, and the moments they are able to receive my help, are even sweeter. Moments of generosity seem infused with an outpouring of joy. I enthusiastically engage in prayer for people I care about—or even for those I do not know. I feel gratitude for even the small things in life, such as chewing an apple, taking a shower, and walking outside to feel the breeze on my face. My feelings of love, compassion, and respect for all of my fellow human beings is ever more poignant.

If it took having my face cut into to learn what is really important, I am happy to have had the experience. If even for a second I had ever questioned God and Guru during the process, I offer my sincerest, humblest apologies. The Divine Force clearly knows best, and often delivers the most precious gifts, at the time of our greatest suffering.

If it took a miraculously healed collar bone followed by an appearing-disappearing-appearing skin cancer to convince me of the wisdom and power of the Divine, I am eternally happy for the lesson.


The following poem has been an inspiration to me since hearing it as a child while sitting in a religious service. A Self-Realization Fellowship monk repeated the poem in a lecture many years later, attesting to the universal quality of the message, one that is helpful for all of us to be reminded of from time to time. The poem’s imagery and the sentiment behind the poem were close companions in the hours before I went for surgery.


One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
other times there was one only

This bothered me because I noticed
that during the low periods of my life,
when I was suffering from
anguish, sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints.

So I said to the Lord,
“You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you,
you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during
the most trying periods of my life
there have only been one
set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most,
have you not been there for me?”

The Lord replied,
“The years when you have
seen only one set of footprints, my child,
is when I carried you.”

This poem has been attributed to many authors, including Mary Stevenson.

I can enthusiastically attest to the power of being carried by God in the experience I have described above, which, despite its trying nature, brought me ever closer to God and Guru.

Click here to view all my posts about Laurie Baum.

Click here to view all my posts about dealing courageously with cancer.


Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World, is a road map for living a more peaceful, beautiful life. It’s the one book that explains how dozens of spiritual principles interact, how to weave them together into a cohesive worldview, and how to practically apply this spiritual wisdom to daily life.

Who will benefit from reading Through God’s Eyes?
Anyone who is on a spiritual path, or wants to start one.
Anyone who loves life, or wants to learn how to.
Anyone who is happy, or wants to be happier.

Click here to order your copy of Through God’s Eyes from GodsEyesAmazon.com.
For an inscribed copy, click here to e-mail Phil for information.

Click on the link below to download a FREE 28-page chapter!

Click here to visit the Through God’s Eyes website.

Click here to ask Phil to add you to his e-mail list for updates on his blog and books.

Here is a two-minute video introduction to Through God’s Eyes.

Like to learn more about Through God’s Eyes? Here is a free 44-page PDF sampler from the book that includes:

• an overview of the book
• the complete table of contents
• the Foreword by Caroline Myss
• my Introduction
• chapter excerpts
• a sample end-of-chapter story
• endorsements from authors and thought leaders

Just click on the link below to download your free PDF sampler!

Schedule a Mastery Mentoring phone session with Phil to learn how to apply principles of spiritual living more effortlessly and effectively. Priced affordably! Click here to e-mail Phil for details.


Phil’s eBook, The Logic of Living a Spiritual Life: Supporting a Life of Faith Through Logic and Reason, is now available for 99 cents.

Order it at GodIsLogical.com.

In this eBook, you’ll find answers to questions like:
• What is the cornerstone of a spiritual life, and why?
• What is the secret to liberating yourself from other people’s judgments and expectations?
• How do you reconcile the “free will vs. Divine Will” conundrum?
• Why is there an exception to “Everything happens for a reason”?

Those who worship logic instead of God are only half right. Not only is it logical to believe in God and to live a faith-based life, the existence of a loving, benevolent God that governs all creation is perhaps the only systematic worldview that explains every aspect of life.

SiSe_fullcover_final.inddPhil is also the author of Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything, a collection of 45 inspiring, life-changing stories from prominent authors and thought leaders he interviewed. The roster of storytellers includes Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Neale Donald Walsch, Caroline Myss, Larry Dossey, Rachel Naomi Remen, Bernie Siegel, Dean Ornish, and Christiane Northrup. Sixty Seconds has been translated into four languages: Italian, German, Spanish, and Portuguese. Reading this book is like spending a few minutes face to face with each of the contributors and listening to their personal stories.

Click here to order Sixty Seconds.

Click here to read unsolicited testimonials from readers.

Learn more by visiting the official Sixty Seconds website.

Here is a three-minute video introduction to Sixty Seconds.

Tags: , ,

4 Responses to “Facing the Fear, Finding the Blessing”

  1. Patricia - Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker Says:

    Thank you for sharing these stories. It is amazing how we sometimes learn our best lessons through what happens to our body.

  2. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Yes, and if we can manage to move beyond the pain and inconvenience to look for the lessons. Thanks, Patricia!

  3. Emily Says:

    Thank you for sharing this, so much. I have been dealing with skin cancer on and off for a few years now and was just diagnosed with more 3 lesions on my face. I am a yogi, avid meditator, on a vegan plant based diet, all the things you mentioned you were doing too. And your poem and writing at the end really effected me today. I have felt like I am moving through this alone and feeling bitter about that. How could I, someone who heals other people not be able to heal myself? Why can’t I find someone who knows how to support me through this process? Your writing filled in a lot of the blanks to the questions I’ve had. Thank you

  4. Phil Bolsta Says:

    I’m glad that Laurie’s post offered some measure of comfort to you, Emily. In case you find it helpful, I will email you a couple chapters from my book, Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: