Monday, August 30, 2010
The weekend of the Falmouth Road Race, my husband and I 'left' our beach chairs at the Falmouth Inn where we stayed. How could we possibly leave them there, right? So we just had to schedule a day trip to retrieve them. Despite the heavy rains earlier in the week, I just knew we were going to have a spectacular day. Because we had a benefit concert to attend on Sunday, my husband suggested we do our run in Falmouth. Often times, I would be concerned about logistics, fueling, doing a mid day run (although the Tufts 10K starts at 12 noon) but I let go of all of that and knew that this was going to be a remarkable training run for me.
I am so blessed with my husband Tom as a life partner and as a training partner. He is not running the Tufts 10K and will be there to cheer on myself and my friend whom I convinced to run the race with me but he is committed to training right by my side every step of the way. He knew how much I wanted to run the Falmouth Road Race but because of my speed, we knew that this was not going to happen. But that doesn't mean you can't have the joy of running along the course! We were going to run 5 miles - 2 1/2 miles out on the course and 2 1/2 miles back but there are no mile markers for the half miles. I'd just run a 10K in July and we had run 4.5 miles last week with a lot of hills so as we got out on the course starting at the finish line, we decided to do 3 out and 3 back so I could experience the thrill of coming down the hill at Falmouth Heights Beach to the finish line.
Fortunately, I had brought a packet of gel with me and we had filled up our 28 oz. water bottle with ice at the Falmouth Inn. We had a great breakfast at Mary Ellen's Portugese Bakery and it's the first time I had not had my usual oatmeal and toast as pre race fueling. I had two scrambled eggs with whole wheat toast. No trip to Mary Ellen's is complete with a taste of their home made muffins so Tom and I shared a muffin. It was off to the beach to let breakfast digest and at noon, we began our run.
The noontime sun was high and hot; fortunately there was a little sea breeze. The panoramic view of the ocean took my mind off the heat and the hills. It was a thrill to be on the same course that just two weeks ago my husband along with thousands of other runners had run. It is a magnificent course and we trotted along at a steady pace. The energy was electric as we passed runners and bikers. After the week of rain, everyone was celebrating a glorious summer's day. I kept asking Tom what he was thinking during his Falmouth run as we passed mile markers and landmarks along the route.
As we passed the 6 mile marker (pictured above) for the 2nd time, I knew I had several hills ahead until we could cruise down toward the finish line. When you see the magnificent view of the sun glistening on the ocean, sailboats in full sail, seagulls swooping I forgot about everything that was happening in my body and allowed myself to be swept away putting my body on automatic pilot. We held hands as we ran down the hill toward the finish line and threw our arms up in jubilant celebration. I don't need to run the Falmouth Road Race - I just did with the best running partner in the world. P.S. My average heart rate was 141 with a peak of 160 for 1:40. That includes a 5 minute warm up and a pit stop for a pace of 16.6 minute/mile. Considering a year ago I did not know whether or not I was going to ever run again - I am delighted and grateful.
To learn more about my healing journey with polio and post polio syndrome, and my triumphant Boston Marathon run visit marymcmanus.com
Wondering what I do when I am not attending to my health and fitness journey, then come visit a whole New World I created after being diagnosed with post polio syndrome. I am the author of two books of inspirational poetry and donate 20% of book proceeds to Ms. Wheelchair Massachusetts Foundation
I create original poetry for every occasion so that you don't have to settle for a greeting card that comes close to what you want to say - at New World Greeting Cards, I weave your sentiments to an original poem that expresses exactly what you want to say to celebrate and commemorate special occasions.
God bless, be well and enjoy every moment.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
I had two turtles as pets when I was a little girl. I loved them so. And now, I see turtles when I run around the reservoir reminding me that slow and steady wins the race every time - although more importantly - there is no race - it's about keeping the pace. This past week, my dear friend Kate Loving Shenk talked about turtles in her Daily Prayer for Healing blog; Joan Adams posted a You Tube video on Facebook which you must watch about turtles. I am training to run the Tufts Health Plan 10K after a year hiatus. I am running with a dear friend who didn't know whether or not she'd be ready to run it, but she has registered for the race and she has hit her treadmill with a vengeance. I am so honored that she agreed to run with me.
The echoes of 'easy out' can still come to the fore when I am training for a road race. I get anxious about time and speed. I have the feeling of being left behind trying to keep up with my leg brace. I am registering for races where I know that time and speed do not matter. Showing up, running with heart and being a shining example of how the spirit triumphs over obstacles is what is important in these 'races'. I am so blessed with so many people opening their arms to embrace me and my journey - a far cry from the days of being taunted and teased for being different.
My interview on Exceptional Women will be airing sometime in the first two weeks of September. It was an incredible experience to sit across the table from Candy O'Terry and be called a 'backyard hero.' We have the interview with Jordan Rich on my website in which I launch my 2nd book of inspirational poetry, "Set Sail for a New World:Healing a Life Through the Gift of Poetry" but it's not about selling books; it's about sharing the journey and inspiring others with a message of hope and possibility. I will be speaking at the East Hartford Rotary Club on September 22nd. They have extended such warmth and hospitality to me and will be sharing my journey on their website. I know that it is my energy and passion about sharing my journey which has drawn these experiences into my life but I am in awe and wonder and feel so grateful that, at last, I am able to fulfil my life's purpose. When I look at the people in my life now, there is beautiful synergy as we bless each other's lives and work together for the highest good.
I am so blessed to have my husband, Tom as my training partner. He encourages me, paces me, and lets me know that running and running in road races is about the journey, not the destination and that it is crucial that I run my own race - keeping the pace. I love how we do our runs together but he also has the opportunity to run at his own pace (a lot faster than mine - smile). There is such a thrill for me to watch him cross the finish line after a well run race. It's about keeping healthy and fit; happy and whole and doing things which nourish us mind, body and spirit. After 32 years of marriage, we are so blessed to be keeping a wonderful pace as we head toward the big 6-0.
For those of you new to my blog, here is the first poem I wrote in February 2007 as I began to emerge from the dark night of the soul:
Running the Race
Early summer 1959 my kindergarten year
Everyone around me filled with nervous fear
Despite the Salk vaccine hope polio would disappear
The polio virus crept right up and knocked me in the rear.
Dancing all around the gym feeling free just like a bird
I dropped to the ground just like a stone and no one said a word.
The pain it was so searing-the diagnosis even worse
"It's polio" the doctor said...he was abrupt and terse.
Called one of the 'lucky ones' I had a 'mild case'
But with the other athletes I could never keep their pace.
Miss Holly physical therapist, curly hair and a warm, broad smile
It tempered the pain of being apart - to walk I'd take awhile.
I always wore those 'special' shoes the kids they poked and teased
With no support and much abuse with childhood I wasn't pleased.
But put nose to the grindstone and learned all that I could
I couldn't kick a ball but my grades were always good.
Years went by and no more thought to polio did I give
I accepted the limp and everything else and decided my life I would live.
But symptoms of weakness and muscle pain did grow
I kept a stoic face hoping noone else would know.
Life no longer was my own I struggled through each day
Suffered in silence, isolated from friends-trying to keep depression at bay.
And with the grace of glorious God my world it opened wide
I discovered there was a Post Polio team and they were on my side.
Using wheelchair to travel, set limits on what I could do,
Resulted in joy to realize I could live life anew.
Celebrated my body- creaks, groans and need for a brace
While in my mind I focused on winning a 10K race.
Sought out paths for healing and my spirit flew free
For the first time in life, I could truly be me.
The chains are gone and possibilities abound
I'm a tree with my roots planted firmly in ground.
I'm now off the sidelines, no need to sit and whine
So much gratitude fills my heart and love and beauty shine.
After all these years I can join the loving human race
I exceed all expectations and now I set the pace.
In addition to writing books of inspirational poetry, I write original poetry for every occasion. Visit New World Greeting Cards to learn more about why you need not spend hours looking for a card that comes close to what you want to say when, at New World Greeting Cards, I help you to express the sentiments in your heart. And remember, when you purchase my books of inspirational poetry, 20% of book proceeds are donated to Ms. Wheelchair Massachusetts Foundation.
God bless, be well and enjoy every moment!
Visit MaryMcManus.com to read poetic reflections on the Road to the Boston Marathon and see photos from Marathon Monday. Be sure to check out my News and Events page and I would love to see you at one of my upcoming events.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
The sun did not shine
It was too wet to play....
But I wasn't gonna sit in the house all this cold, cold wet day. Okay it wasn't a cold, cold wet day but it was raining and I made the commitment to run the Tufts 10K so I had to get out there for a training run. Why did I put myself out there again to run a 10K race? After all, I have my little health and fitness regimen. I'm running a 5K on 9/12 to support my friend Doug Welch who is raising money for his wife who lives with Muscular Dystrophy. Yes, I ran the Boston Marathon which is 20 miles more than a 10K (smile) but last August, I thought that I would not run again. Before I get into why I am running the Tufts 10K this year, let me share with you what I can do this year that I could not do a year ago.
One year ago, I had a resurgence of post polio symptoms. I had increased fatigue, felt weakness return and most notably, the cervical spine disease flared. I stopped working with my beloved personal trainer, Janine Hightower and after a trigger injection with my master magician Dr. El Abd of the Newton Wellesley Hospital Spine Center resumed a course of physical therapy. I doubted I would ever resume running. I lacked flexibility and strength in my cervical spine. There was a lot of pain including radiating arm pain. We started with the theraband exercises and I could barely pull the 'green' band to 'row a boat' or to pull down over the door jamb. On the pilates ball, I could barely do the exercises without weights and then slowly, little by little I built up strength and endurance. It took a year but I can now do a plank on the pilates ball. It is such a thrill to look back at what I could not do to see what I can do now. A year ago I could not do a calf leg raise on my left leg; now I can and have progressed to being able to do a 5 count hold. We eliminated weights over 3 pounds for upper body strength training (and I have not yet reached maintenance) and eliminated all weights with lower body strength training. I am maintaining at 15 squats and alternate with different exercises using gravity and increasing 'hold' time to 'stress' the muscles. Would I love to go to a gym and work out like so many can (including my own husband)? Sure. Would I trade places with anyone? Absolutely not! My friend Laurel Labdon and I were talking about wouldn't it be wonderful if through stem cell research they could improve our functioning (she has a spinal cord injury) with speech, breathing and for me fatigue. Yes it would. I cannot imagine what it would be like if I did not have these limitations but I would love to know what it would feel like to be in a body free of the limitations and yet the strength, the courage, the faith, the triumph I have known and the ability to inspire others is a gift without measure.
Back to the Tufts 10K. I ran the race two years ago with my daughter by my side. I wrote an article about it which appeared in Cape Healing Arts Magazine. Last year, I proudly watched my daughter run the Tufts 10K and I made a prediction in my blog post:
I had thought that I was through with running because of the cervical spine disease and the toll that training for and running the Boston Marathon had taken on my body. After hearing yesterday's race announcer and seeing so many women in all shapes, sizes and with many different challenges I decided that once again I will not let anyone tell me I can't do something. I will take this winter to heal and to get stronger and next October I will proudly take my start next to my daughter for the running of the 34th Annual Tufts 10K.
My daughter moved to Tennessee but I am going to proudly take my start next to a wonderful friend of mine. We met at the Hyannis Marathon in 2008. Her husband and I met on line (okay it's not as sketchy as it sounds). We met on Just Finish and Tim reached out to me as we were preparing to run the Hyannis Half in preparation for Boston. He mentioned me in his blog posts while he was training for Boston and we forged a wonderful friendship. It's been a blessing to share different running events together along with a lot of laughter and love.
This year, God spoke to me and said to reach out to his wife and ask her if we could run the Tufts 10K together. At first she said that she wouldn't be ready but I sent her an email and told her what an honor it would be to run with her. People are always spurring me on in my running and it would be such a blessing to be able to encourage and inspire someone else. She agreed and her husband signed on to make sure that she has time to do her training runs. I don't have the speed but have the endurance; she has the speed and will build up her endurance. Together, we're gonna crush it!
Yesterday as my husband and I drove to Whole Foods in Newton, I told him I was nostalgic about training for the marathon. Could we clock the mileage and design a training run to run by the reservoir and up the hill by Boston College? We did and this morning I donned a hat and jacket and off we went for a 4.5 mile training run. God bless my husband because he could have gone to the gym and ran on the treadmill. Since I have never run on a treadmill and we have a race 9/12 and then the Tufts 10K a month later, it was best to not introduce anything new. I have seen too many America's Funniest Home Videos to know not to go on a treadmill. Our back up plan was to go to the track at Boston University but it was warm and not a driving rain so off we went. Besides, we had done 11 miles in the pouring rain when we were training for Boston. We did a 16:22 minute/mile. My main goal was to get in the distance but I am thrilled with the pace; especially since we had about four steep hills to run. My average heart rate was 132 with a peak of 150 for a total of 73 minutes.
To read more about my inspirational journey with polio and post polio syndrome, visit my website MaryMcManus.com Be sure to click on the News and Events tab to see all the wonderful events happening this fall! Hope to see you at one of them.
Set Sail for a New World when you read my books of inspirational poetry and remember I donate 20% to Ms. Wheelchair Massachusetts Foundation.
Greeting Card companies for years have placed photos and illustrations, captions and cartoons, humor and sympathy in hundreds of thousands of clever and creative ways.
The words set well, the images resonate but all fall just short of the personal. At New World Greeting Cards, our original poems begin with the missing ingredient. They begin with YOU!
You decide the event, you choose the reason and together we hand craft a poem specific to your personality and unique to your needs. Rather than search for a card that comes close to what you want to say, build one that lives and breathes with who you are.
At New World Greeting Cards Mary McManus will listen to your story and put into words what only you could say - all from the comfort of your own home. Check out my samples at New World Greeting Cards.
God bless, be well and make each moment count.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Through a series of incredible Divine events, I found myself sitting in Greater Media Studios with Candy O'Terry, Tina Gao and Lizzy Elrod recording my interview as an exceptional woman; a back yard hero as Candy O'Terry and Gay Vernon like to call me. The interview was originally scheduled for May but with the Exceptional Women luncheon and the passing of Candy's dad, it was postponed until today. I have learned to trust in Divine Timing and the interview was not supposed to happen before today. I had to do some inner work before I was ready to focus and share my message. I spent this morning in meditation, listening to music and being still. I have done many interviews but I knew this one was going to be different. It wasn't about what I had done; it was shining the spotlight on who I am. I knew that I was moving into a new phase; I am moving into the spotlight as one of Boston's #1 FM Radio Station (and nominee for Station of the Year) Exceptional Women. Other Exceptional Women have included the editor of Cosmo magazine, Gloria Estefan, Melinda Doolittle, Estelle Parsons, my very dear friend and former Ms. Wheelchair Massachusetts, Laurel Labdon and the list goes on. I am humbled and excited and deeply honored and grateful that I count myself among these women. As I said to Candy as we hugged hello, "We are all exceptional women!"
Candy, Tina and Elizabeth greeted me as though I were an old friend. The warmth and love overflowed. Candy took me from my childhood with paralytic polio and abuse, to my career as a social worker, to my diagnosis of post polio syndrome and the crossing of the Boston Marathon finish line and beyond. As I shared when I was first diagnosed with post polio syndrome and mentioned that an angel, Anna Rubin answered the phone at the Spaulding Outpatient Clinic and she sent me the book Post Polio Syndrome written by Dr. Julie Silver, Candy told me that Anna had nominated Julie for an exceptional woman award. Read this article for a great dose of goosebumps, "Awards Tie Together Exceptional Stories"
Julie's book validated my physical experiences and universalized my feelings as a polio survivor. Prior to reading Julie's book and talking with Anna, I had not talked about my experiences with polio. It was something pushed to the recesses of my mind but held so tightly in my body. Although I had a wonderful physical therapist and physiatrist, we did not talk about feelings. The focus was on watching how my body was growing and developing, preventing scoliosis and keeping high arches. I remember having to pick up marbles with my toes and being able to always bend over and touch my toes. I remember the healing touch of Miss Holly, my physical therapist and her reading Dr. Seuss to me before every painful physical therapy session but I do not remember anyone asking me how are you feeling? Perhaps if I would have focused on how I was feeling at the time, I would not have been able to find the strength and courage to walk again and go through the pain. No matter... the circle of influence with exceptional women grows and the synchronicity is phenomenal. That's why Candy and Gay do the show; it's about the empowerment of women and the 'magic' that happens when women who have triumphed over adversity share their stories. As a bonus, after my interview, I met two women who grace the airwaves - Nancy Quill and Amanda Giles. When I had my reconstructive leg surgery, I told my surgeon Dr. Don Reilly that I wanted Magic to play in the OR. Nancy Quill's voice brought me such comfort during the surgery (I had an epidural and was awake during the procedure). It was great to thank her in person. Amanda Giles is on every morning and just a delight. I count my blessings to know these wonderful people who bring love, joy and light to the airwaves.
I'll let you know when the interview will air. Visit my News and Events page for a complete listing of all the exciting News and Events happening in my new world. I hope to see you at one of my upcoming events.
Be sure to order your autographed copy of my books of inspirational poetry and dive into and set sail for a world infused with God's love, hope, light and joy and chronicle my healing journey with polio and post polio syndrome. And when you do, I donate 20% to the Ms. Wheelchair Massachusetts Foundation.
God bless, be well and enjoy every moment!
Monday, August 9, 2010
I was blessed to launch my 2nd book of inspirational poetry, "Set Sail for a New World:Healing a Life Through the Gift of Poetry" on August 7th at the midnight hour on the Jordan Rich Show. If you have never listened to Jordan Rich, do yourself a favor and tune into his show. He is a man of integrity, warmth, wit and overflows with love and care. Unlike so many shows on TV and radio these days, Jordan brings light and joy into the world with his guests. He is a gifted interviewer and he was the captain of the ship as we launched my book. He navigated the questions to enable me to not only share my gift of poetry but my healing journey and emergence from the dark night of the soul.
As always happens when I am a guest on his show, there is synchronicity and connections made. We were doing a trivia contest (Dr. Seuss of course-my physical therapist read Dr.Seuss to me at the age of 5 before every physical therapy session as I worked to overcome paralytic polio) for listeners to win a copy of my poetry books. A listener called in who is a polio and post polio survivor. Jordan said that since it was his show, he could make the rules about the contest and we sent her a copy of my book. Jordan is always in the 'business' of making connections and knew we should connect off air. During our conversation on Sunday, she revealed to me that she had never called into a radio show before. She asked God whether or not she should and decided to go for it. She usually doesn't stay up until midnight but on this particular night decided to tune into the show. So everything aligned to bring our two souls together to share our journey and a new friendship is forged. She talked with me about how she subscribed to the belief that as a post polio patient, if you use it, you lose it and was in awe that I had the courage to follow my own instincts about what my body wanted to do. She said that she is going to pray about releasing the fear to God.
Jordan once sent me a note with a CD of his last Sunday night show. We are both kindred spirits; recovering Type A's and he talked about how important it is to take care of ourselves; to slow down and make time for what is important. He said 'it's always positive to share, whether it be with one or one million.' When I do radio shows or public speaking, I never know who is meant to hear my message. I do know that I am always transformed by the sharing and I see my journey with a new perspective about where I have been. I always emerge with a clearer sense of purpose and passion. I have come to the realization that it is not about the numbers or about the book sales. It is about sharing the journey, being my authentic self, sharing my gift of poetry and having a lot of fun along the way.
If you would like to dive into wonderful books of inspirational poetry, you can order them through my website New World Greeting Cards. Read how I pay it forward and donate a portion of book proceeds to Ms. Wheelchair Massachusetts Foundation. While you are there, check out the sumptuous samples of original poetry I can create just for you to express what is in your heart to commemorate, celebrate, express sympathy or just say I love you in a creative, unique way.
To read more about my inspirational journey visit www.marymcmanus.com Be sure to check out all the exciting upcoming events this summer and fall on my News and Events page.
God bless, be well and enjoy every moment!
Thursday, August 5, 2010
This blog post is dedicated to Carolyn Balnskas, Speech and Language Therapist at the Spaulding Rehab International Rehab Center for Polio
Last night I was blessed to be a guest speaker at Denise Ambrosi's class for Speech and Language Therapists. I met Denise 'by chance' at the Health and Fitness Expo last year. We were both in Spaulding Rehab's VIP suite waiting to meet Tedy Bruschi of the New England Patriots. After I shared my journey with her she invited me to speak to her class last year. When she invited me to speak to her students again, I jumped at the opportunity.
As I prepared for this year's presentation, I realized how the journey continues to unfold. I could feel the difference in myself physically, emotionally and spiritually as I prepared to share the journey. Speaking to a group of young and upcoming professionals preparing for a career in the health field requires a different talk than ones I give at Rotary Club, running clubs or other venues. I need to focus on the clinical aspects of my journey - then and now. I need to emphasize the importance of being healers and as Denise so poignantly said, "joining science with healing."
As I shared my journey, the reasons why I left the VA became crystal clear. I talk about having left to heal my life. As I reflect on how post polio had taken over my body, I realize the profound nature of the statement. I had trouble breathing and swallowing. My esophageal muscles were weak as were my diaphragm muscles. Two activities which people take for granted - eating and breathing were compromised by the effects of post polio syndrome.
Thanks to the skill and love of Carolyn, I was able to begin to connect with my body. I learned strategies to eat and drink to compensate for the weakened muscles. While sharing my journey, I recalled how I would eat in my office implementing the new strategies. Yes, there was an element of shame and embarrassment but this time in solitude enabled me to prepare to take my leap of faith. I continue to utilize the strategies Carolyn recommended and I continue to hear her voice reminding me that if I did not use the strategies, my vitamin would end up in my lungs rather than my stomach where it belonged! I wanted the students to know the profound affect they have on the lives of their patients and, if they are fully present with them bringing all of their skill, love and compassion to the table, they have the power to transform a life and help shape a miracle. As the students asked me questions, I gained perspective on my journey; they had a window into a world beyond what they see in their office or bedside with a patient. Several students came up to after I spoke to tell me how I touched their lives not only as future professionals, but with the personal challenges they were facing. We were all students and teachers, healers and healed in that wonderful space created by Denise.
My healing journey with polio and post polio syndrome is expressed through my poetry. I am launching "Set Sail for a New World:Healing a Life Through the Gift of Poetry" on the midnight hour on the Jordan Rich Show this Saturday! You can purchase your autographed copies through my website and when you do, 20% is donated to the Ms. Wheelchair Massachusetts Foundation. When you click on the Pay it Forward tab, you can learn more about why I pay it forward.
You'll enter a whole new world of greeting cards which I created shortly after my diagnosis of post polio syndrome. I use my 25 years of social work experience with my gift of poetry and together we create a poem that says the words that are in your heart.
To read more about my inspirational journey, visit www.marymcmanus.com Be sure to visit the News and Events Page. I hope I'll have the opportunity to meet you at one of my upcoming events this summer and fall.
God bless, be well and enjoy every moment
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Embrace: To clasp or hold close with the arms, usually as an expression of affection
Yesterday after I finished my work out with my pilates ball I sent it gently down the cellar stairs. It landed squarely on a framed picture which we were going to hang in my husband's new 'man cave' (new since we are empty nesters). Crash! The glass broke. Last night as I was taking out a strainer to drain our pasta it somehow caught on one of our glass bowls. Crash! The glass broke. Okay once in a day is an accident; twice in a day is a sign. As I was rolling out on my foam roller I somehow managed to hit my head on the leg of the dining room table. What is God telling me?
As I reflected on some of my recent choices, I realized that I was holding on to my 'cherished role' as a social worker. After all, it's a safe and known world for me. I helped a friend to extricate himself from a toxic relationship. After helping this friend to extricate himself from a toxic situation, I realized my old thought patterns and feelings began to surface. I was drawn into the drama and trauma but to my credit, unlike the 'old days', I was able to take a day of solitude yesterday, detoxify and reclaim my peace and connection to God. After all, it's not about growing out of old patterns, it's about growing from them.
As I reflected on the sound and feeling of the breaking glass, I experienced a break through. I no longer need to be do-ing social work. I get to fully embrace my new world. I can let go of the trapeze with both arms now (using Sandi Daly's wonderful imagery) and fly free. Yes, I can be of service but I can be of service in ways that I enjoy; in ways that are fun and I can allow myself to be.
August 1st was the anniversary of my dad's suicide. 39 years ago. I think it's about time that I stop serving penance and release the guilt. It's time that I stop trying to save lives. In truth, people have to make their own choices. God grant me the serenity.... There are other people to do the work now and I put into place the resources to help out my friend. Dare I say it? I get to have fun. The time to rescue is gone. It's time to embrace my new world.
Today I reconnected with someone who was my room mate in college. We had not seen each other in over 30 years. She found me from an alumni note that was in Bostonia, the BU alumni magazine. We had corresponded via email and spoke on the phone last year and then got busy and lost contact. She email'ed me to tell me she was coming to Boston and could we meet for lunch. My schedule is pretty full these next few weeks but today was perfect timing. It was so wonderful to reminisce, and laugh, and talk about music and Red Sox and eat wonderful food at the Alongquin Club and take a walk on the mall at Commonwealth Avenue; wonder what happened to certain people we both knew and talked about how we met. I gave her my books of inspirational poetry as a gift. She treated to lunch. Yesterday's crashing of glass releasing me from the old and breaking through to the new freed me to thoroughly enjoy this time with her being in the present moment.
In today's Daily Prayer for Healing, Kate talked about having James Douglass return to Moon, Moo and You:The Collective Wisdom. The conversation about the Kennedy Assassination will continue. I had an aha moment while reading her blog:
"And our challenge is to create the peace within ourselves and among ourselves....these past few weeks I was helping a friend who was extricating himself from a toxic relationship. It was so easy to fall into an us/them mentality and get into negative thinking. I took a retreat day yesterday to get centered, to detoxify and clear my energy and to bless and love everyone. Gathering in this space reminds me of how important it is to stay connected to the Source of Love especially when we see the darkness in the world."
I cannot change the circumstances that happened to my friend; I cannot change him and have him move out of the victim role. I can only express light and love and keep my energy channel tuned to the station with God's Love. I can only Choose Happiness for me. In Ricky Powell's newsletter this week he links to a clip of Victor Frankl, author of "Man's Search for Meaning." He quotes Goethe “When we treat man as he is, we make him worse than he is; when we treat him as if he already were what he potentially could be, we make him what he should be.” And so I hold my friend and his ex-girlfriend in the light and lens of God's love but I do so now at a distance. I immerse myself in joy and peace and fully embrace my new world-arms open wide, heart open wide filled with wonder and gratitude for all that is and all that is yet to be.
To see what exciting News and Events are in store, visit www.newworldgreetings.com/news Browse the samples of original poetry I create just for you to commemorate and celebrate every occasion. I know sometimes it's hard to find the right words to say, especially after the loss of a loved one. Using my 25 years of social work experience with my gift of poetry, we can craft a poem that says exactly what you want to say.
Be sure to visit my new website www.marymcmanus.com which chronicles my inspirational journey. You'll enjoy poetic reflections on the Road to the Boston Marathon which are accompanied by photos from Marathon Monday 2009.
God bless, be well and enjoy every moment!