Monday, February 13, 2012

Jamie and Me - Trust

"In your love, my salvation lies in your love ... My brother and my sister standing by."

“Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.” - Henry van Dyke

Today I'm reminded of the journey our adopted animal companion Jamie has taken with trust.

She had a history of trauma possibly from being abused in her first home, definitely from being out on the streets before making her way to the shelter and then the shelter experience was traumatic for her. We adopted her in October from the Animal Rescue League of Boston. Animals are so much more resilient than we humans as Peter Levine reminds me in his book, "In An Unspoken Voice:How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness." . She has gone from staying in the basement under a desk for the first two weeks eating and using her litter box only at night to making a safe shelter for herself between the box spring of our bed and the cover which she ripped off as a hiding space to slowly interacting with us. Just the other night, she climbed into my lap when I was sitting on my yoga mat and fell asleep. Last night, she jumped up on our bed and snuggled with us. It's only been five months but with our patience, consistent love and allowing her to let us know what she needed and when, she has settled into her new home leaving the trail of trauma behind her.

On my way to yoga class today, the car in front of me had a bumper sticker, "She who laughs. Lasts". When I saw Bernie Siegel, MD and his wife years ago at Harvard, this was one of their favorite phrases. I affectionately call Bernie my chosen dad and he calls me his chosen daughter. I first met him in the 1980's. A beloved nurse gave me his cassette tape when I was hospitalized for a bone infection in my shoulder. I am in awe of how the angels have protected me and how earth angels have come to guide me at every turn. I knew this was a sign to email him. I've been a guest on his radio show a couple of times as we talk about the healing power of poetry and the creative process. I asked him if he still had the show and if he'd like to have me back to talk about the latest phase in my healing journey but regardless, I knew that the Universe was telling me to reconnect with him thanking him for all he has done to love and support me. He emailed me back and said he liked the idea of having another poetry session on his show. We scheduled for May 1st.

The synchronicities which now abound in my life take my breath away. I am working with Lindsay Gibson of Majestic Yoga Studio on the Weekend with Matthew Sanford. There was a facebook post about Downward Facing Docs. Boston University Medical School offers yoga as an elective course. I worked with Dr. Chris Streeter, one of the doctors cited as doing research on the benefits of yoga when I worked at the VA. I will be reaching out to her and the team at the Neurobehavioral Science Unit at Boston University Medical Center (one of whom heads the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder clinic at the VA) to let them know about Matthew's visit. The article will be a wonderful segway to promoting Matthew as a guest on WBUR and who knows where else these reconnections may lead....

In today's yoga practice, I felt a greater trust in myself on my mat. I trusted myself to modify. I know there are some poses that just aren't right for my body right now and rather than pushing or struggling, I let it go. I did take myself right up to the edge with strengthening and opening and love the feeling of sweat dripping from my face. I have learned that when it comes to doing push ups on blocks lowering halfway is plenty for me right now and I can feel the muscle soreness from doing enough but not too much.

Getting acquainted with myself, learning to love and trust myself and then opening up to receive love and support from others is a whole new world for me right now. Tears flow. Joy abounds. Gratitude overflows as the curtain rises on the second act of my second act.

From my heart to yours
In God We Trust
With deepest love and gratitude,

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