This past Saturday I was blessed to do a book signing at Wonderland Books in Putnam, CT. It is an old fashioned independent bookstore where the regulars gather on a Saturday to drink their coffee and get caught up on what is happening in each other's lives. The owner, Patty knows everyone by name. She orders books which she may not have in stock and greets the customer's by name when they come in to pick up their order. She helps the local teenagers find the perfect gift for their friends. In addition to books, she has Putnam, CT souvenirs, hand made soaps, a variety of stuffed animals, gift bags, jewelry and games. The shop is overflowing with items to please everyone's taste. And right next to the table where I did my book signing was a round circle akin to a dart board-with a bright red arrow and in red letters YOU ARE HERE. I kept bumping into the sign and was wondering what God was trying to tell me and this morning, I had my AHA moment.
I am here - right now in this moment celebrating this moment and celebrating all the moments that have gotten me here. I celebrate all the pain, and the grueling physical, emotional and spiritual challenge I experienced during the past 15 months of training, and all that went before - the 'good, the bad and the ugly.' In truth, it all unfolded the way it was supposed to. Yesterday, the DVD arrived from WBZ TV news which shows Team McManus lining up for the early start of the 113th Boston Marathon and as Lisa Hughes announces, 'there are so many stories of inspiration and courage' on the voice over, there is a shot of Team McManus. And we can be seen taking our first steps along the Marathon route. I continue to take in what this experience has meant for me, for my family and for so many people and to feel the overwhelming joy and gratitude for what I was able to achieve. I am also celebrating all the moments that led up to the starting line - and am so grateful that God gave me the strength, faith, courage and determination to overcome all the challenges of the past and move forward in joy. The finish line is in fact, a starting line.
So what's next for this 55 year old polio/post polio survivor poet? God is sending me signs - when my daughter and I walked around Jamaica Pond the other day and the Chestnut Hill Reservoir today (we walked for over 3.5 miles) I am seeing turtles - everywhere - families of turtles, turtles in the water and turtles on the land. We all know the story of the turtle and the hare and who wins? The humble, modest turtle who plods along at his own pace not thinking I better speed up and beat out that hare. And now, it's my time to relax and just be in the flow celebrating my accomplishments and being so grateful for every step I can now take with ease. I am so grateful for the joy that I have created in the world both through my physical accomplishment and my gifts of the spirit and heart. I am so grateful for the opportunities to share these gifts through social media,speaking opportunities and through the media. The documentary, "Keeping the Pace" is going to reach so many more people and bring hope that with God anything is possible. I am so grateful that I am healthy and whole in mind, body and spirit and can continue to grow in love both for myself and for others. I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to bless lives through my gift of poetry - through my book and through the customized poetry I create. I am so grateful I can give back and donate 20% of the proceeds of the sale of my book to Spaulding Rehab's Polio Fund.
My health and fitness goals? Well, first and foremost I am continuing to recover from the Marathon. I have exercises recommended by my energy healer and this weekend will do a gentle run. I made a decision today after seeing so many turtles that I am going to run 5 and 10K's but don't need to push myself on distances beyond that. I want to feel comfortable running a good pace and I want to just feel the utter joy in challenging myself but not pushing myself beyond limits. I will continue to work with my beloved trainer, Janine Hightower and we are going to work on strength training. I also am going to practice yoga and I am going to take some dance lessons. And when my E G O (edging God out) tries to take hold, I return to embracing the moment and knowing and feeling in the depths of my soul that All is Well and in Divine Order and appearances can be very deceiving.
I am here and life is good - life is phenomenal! I can appreciate each moment with its joys and with its challenges because I am so grateful just to be alive!
To order a copy of my book of customized poetry, "New World Greetings:Inspirational Poetry and Musings for a New World" go to www.newworldgreetings.com
For all of your special occasions, give more than a card - give a gift from the heart www.newworldgreetings.com
You can still donate to Team McManus at www.firstgiving.com/teammcmanus