Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Look For The Helpers - Keep Coming Back To Your Breath
Today's blog post was going to be filled with photos from the reception at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel for Spaulding Rehab's Race for Rehab marathon team. We were having a reunion of sorts for the 2009 Boston Marathon team, waiting for three of the runners from the '09 team to cross the finish line, bidding on Silent Auction items, enjoying wonderful food and great company. One of the runners from our team, Greg Gordon was there with his wife and two children. We reunited with the wife of TK who is one of Greg's best friends and was part of the Race for Rehab team.
I first met Suzanne Showstack, now Suzanne Adams in November of 2007. We met for lunch at Legal Seafood - I sporting a leg brace and my bright blue cane. I wanted to talk with her about donating a portion of the proceeds from my first book of inspirational poetry, "New World Greetings:Inspirational Poetry and Musings For A New World." Suzanne was part of the '09 Race for Rehab Team and she was so excited Tom and I were there to celebrate this year's team.
Suzanne was at command central tracking runners and so proud of the fact she went 'high tech' no longer needing the white board and marker to track the runners progress as they approached the finish line. There was such excitement that two women on the team "BQ'ed" qualified for Boston.
Tom and I were watching the 'board' and tracking my dear friend and fellow yoga teacher training graduate Jerel Calzo considering when we should go outside to cheer him coming down Boylston Street when we heard a loud boom. We froze for a moment and then there was a second explosion and smoke. Greg went to the window. "It's a tragedy. It's a tragedy," he said. "People are down." Tom handed me my jacket and said let's go.
When we got home, I found this on Facebook
I thought about all the helpers we encountered yesterday both seen and unseen. Tom and I were incredibly blessed. Although there were two rooms packed with people waiting for the Race for Rehab team to come, we were blessed to be with Greg who came directly over to us letting us know what happened. The staff at the Mandarin was absolutely amazing leading us out an evacuation route that took us to safety in the back of the hotel away from where the explosions occurred. There were some people who were panicking and hysterical. A helper appeared out of nowhere and said "Don't panic. We're okay."
As we waited inside a hotel alcove shortly after the explosions happened, my brain was thinking, "We don't want to just rush out and into a situation of danger." I took a moment to pause and breathe. I felt safe and protected as I completely surrendered to the moment.
I trusted our wonderful hotel helpers and when we arrived outside, Tom and I got our bearings knowing we had to walk away. Our car was parked over 3 miles down the road. Miraculously, I was able to walk at a very fast pace Emergency vehicles passed us. I felt as though I was an extra in a movie scene yet I knew this was all too real. Having to walk at a fast pace was an incredible blessing. It allowed us to discharge the tension that happens in a traumatic situation.
We watched some of the news. When the news began to show graphic images, we turned it off. We learned that the Mandarin Oriental had been evacuated and went into lockdown. Copley Square was being treated as a crime scene. I breathed so much love out into the world. Tom and I cried together.
At about 8 pm I was physically and emotionally exhausted. After checking in with everyone I knew who was involved with the marathon, I said prayers of gratitude that they were all safe. I had a hot cup of peppermint tea and then got into bed. I was deeply grateful for the outpouring of emails and facebook messages from my friends who always think of me on Marathon Monday. I am grateful for a community of such love and light.
My thoughts began to race with what if's and reliving the sounds and smells I experienced in the moments following the explosions. I heard William Jackson's voice - my meditation teacher who reminds us, "Keep coming back to your breath. Notice where your thoughts are and keep focusing on your breath. The in breath and the out breath. Feel the breath around your nostrils." My mind quieted as I realized those thoughts do not serve me. Only loves serves me. I allowed tears to quietly stream down my face gathering all the love that is in my heart to help us all heal. We are all helpers. We are all healers. We are all wounded. Our hearts are broken. Let love flow out to bring healing to all.
Yesterday morning before we left to watch the marathon, I had this compelling feeling to change the title of my blog from Welcome to a New World to Healing, Hope and Possibility. I felt I wanted to focus on the message that regardless of experiencing horrific life experiences, there is always healing, hope and possibility. Little did I know that we would need that message now more than ever! So look for the helpers - look for the stories of heroes and triumph and goodness and love and self sacrifice. Be the helper when you can but above all, keep coming back to your breath!
Harmony from Seasons of the Soul now available on Amazon
Motif in a minor key
sings the song of a wounded soul
strain on the heart strings
isolation and fear
believing she is all alone.
in the kula
hands and hearts joined together
a chorus of jubilation
voices from the Divine
blending in perfect harmony
From my heart to yours
With total love and deepest gratitude,
MAY ALL BEINGS BE HAPPY AND FREE!