Thursday, April 18, 2013

In Stillness - Trust the Voice Within

"Things are such, that someone lifting a cup, or watching the rain, petting a dog, or singing, just singing - could be doing as much for the universe as anyone." ~ Rumi

"Some of the greatest things in life don't have to be so dramatic," the Rabbi said. "Remember that. You can do something modest. When a mother cradles her child, fireworks don't explode. That's the secret of all of life. Some of the most beautiful things happen below the radar. Not on Wall Street, not on television. Not with all the hoopla. It's in the quiet moments that our lives are shaped. In homes, in cribs, in bedrooms, in the little things," the soul doctor said to me sweetly. "That's where it all happens."
Priscilla Warner quoting Rabbi Jacobson in Learning to Breathe:My Yearlong Quest to Bring Calm to My Life p. 157

I had a vision on the second anniversary of my nephew Charlie's suicide that I was to do something to honor his memory and help others heal. My vision was "Healing of the Heart," a yoga event with dance, yoga, meditation and chanting. Proceeds were to benefit Ben Speaks.

Yesterday I had lunch with the founder of Ben Speaks, Judy Giovangelo. She is an incredibly passionate woman about her cause. We both know the heartache of losing a loved one to suicide and shared tears as well as the joy of being alive having lived through many traumas and losses.

After having lunch with Judy I got still. I cannot deny that since Monday, my life has changed. I am incredibly grateful I am not experiencing symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder and given my trauma history, that would be totally understandable. I am hurting and I am experiencing a response to the trauma. I realized that I need time for stillness. I need time to be still and distill the events that unfolded before my disbelieving eyes on Monday.

After hearing the second explosion and seeing the smoke, a part of me thought, "No this can't be happening - not here - not now. The Marathon is a time of celebration and joy and triumph. Who would do such a thing?" And then my thoughts shifted to "We'd better get away from the glass."

We had no idea what was going to happen next. All I could do was breathe and abide in the moment. Our friend Greg asked if he would wait with his daughter and his son's friend so he could find his wife and son. We didn't give it a second thought. Tom held the space for his daughter. Another woman talked with his son's friend. I was on the phone with our daughter. When Greg returned, his eyes filled with tears, he hugged and kissed us both. I asked him what he was going to do and he said, "I'm going to get my family out of here." We followed.

Tom and I talked about how we didn't wait to see if we could help anyone or what was needed of us. We are both trauma survivors and have a tendency to rescue others before ourselves. We both instinctively knew that what was asked of us in that moment was to find our way to safety.

And now in the aftermath, I am becoming incredibly mindful of how I spend my time, talent and resources. I learned from my past about how not to cope with trauma. I learned that busyness may feel good in the short run keeping feelings at bay, but in the long run can lead to a development of post traumatic stress disorder rather than recovering from a traumatic event.

My healing, hope and possibility message for today is that a traumatic event does not have to result in post traumatic stress disorder. Debriefing is critical to healing after a traumatic event. Sharing the experience with a loved one or loved ones helps the mind and body to recover from the jolt. As I've mentioned, yoga and meditation are wonderful ways to allow the mind and body to heal. Honoring and observing what is happening in your mind and body without attaching to the sensations, helps them to move through. Seek professional help if you are noticing symptoms that are not waxing and waning. There are many wonderful treatment modalities available for healing trauma. I have created a list on my website. A wonderful resource for healing after trauma is Peter A Levine's book, "In An Unspoken Voice - How The Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness."

I just saw this posted on Facebook:
The Federal Disaster Distress Helpline, 1-800-985-5990, can provide immediate counseling to anyone who needs help in dealing with the aftermath of this tragedy. This free, confidential, and multilingual crisis support service is also available via SMS (text TalkWithUs to 66746) to anyone experiencing psychological distress as a result of this event.

Last night I was blessed with a healing ceremony created by Sara Kochanowski in South Boston Yoga's Restorative Yoga class which I will share with you tomorrow....

For now - take good care of yourselves. Give and receive hugs. Get still because in the stillness you will find your "true refuge".

Quietude from Songs of Freedom:Poems From a Healing Odyssey Volume II:Seasons of the Soul now available on Amazon

I look at the landscape of my face
I see the resemblance
I can imitate her scowl and rage filled eyes
unflinching and unmoving frozen with hatred.
Powder, mascara and blue eye shadow
the outline of her mask
tragedy and comedy drama filled days and nights
marked and counted out with when it was time to refill.

Tears stream down my naked face with just a touch of lipstick
my mask once merged with hers melts
Spirit shines through tears
eyes of compassion, love and kindness.

Memories of her
kryptonite that brings me to my knees
alone and afraid
diving into the depths of sorrow I surface
breathing in glorious fresh air
and then in the quietude
I feel it

freedom in my soul

my Spirit dances in the new found space in my belly
to rise refreshed
soft gaze no longer glazed and dazed
innocence and wide eyed wonder
as they are meant to see
through the quietitude of the soul.

In stillness I feel new life stir
I am reborn in the quietude
savasana the blessing of stillness
steady breath
calm mind

after the storm
the turbulence of trauma

in the quietitude
hOMe at last.

From my heart to yours
With total love and deepest gratitude,


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So good to read your posts! I thought of you as soon as I heard of the bombings since I knew you would be at the marathon. Glad you are physically well and taking care of yourself.