Monday, August 25, 2014

As The Seasons Change

I remember greeting my massage therapist at Sollievo as the first days of warmer weather arrived. "We survived the winter," I said. We both laughed saying that we seem to say that every year after a New England Winter. In essence we were saying, "how could we do anything other than make it through the winter?"

It's been over 5 months since I began the next miles on my healing journey at Sollievo Massage and Bodywork. So much wonderful healing is happening within me, mind, body and Spirit.

I notice a change in the way I am experiencing the change of seasons this year as we transition from summer to fall.

My facebook feed is filled with first day of school photos, my friends who are teachers posting about their return to work and saying farewell to summer vacation.

I can no longer have breakfast in my yard because the sun arrives later on my lawn.

But I can now appreciate the change in lighting and set up my office outside as soon as the sun warms up the day. I enjoy cooler weather runs yet runs when I do not yet have to put on layers.

And I have a choice about how I experience the change in seasons.

As a retiree, I was in rhythm with others during summer as the pace of life was slower and people had more free time. When the calendar turned from August to September, I would find myself panicking and scrambling to put things in place that would keep me busy and have a feeling of purpose.

Not this year though.

How do I choose to embrace life as the seasons change?

Running and training for the Tufts 10K, Aquatics Therapy, and taking advantage of the many wonderful opportunities through Adaptive Sports at Spaulding. Writing, reading, spending times with friends on Facebook and in real life. I now know that this time I take for healing is precious, purposeful time that allows me to age well as the season of my life changes. I can allow myself to Be.

I have some wonderful events coming up that fill my heart with joy but that do not require intensive labor on my part. Tom and I are learning how to create a sense of mindful retirement even though he needs to continue to work to support us financially. I can accept my need for retirement and I can accept his need to continue to work. I am deeply grateful to him and for a job with excellent pay and benefits. In technology these days, it's unusual to have a job you can, for the most part, leave when you leave work for the day. It was a very challenging transition to find a job that would give us the opportunity to have the lifestyle we want as we move into the autumn of our lives but we were blessed to have found it!

I am no longer rescuing anyone or anything as I did last year trying to "sell" Boston Integrated Body, the new business created by the person I was working with in KMI Structural Integration. As a trauma survivor, I wasn't able to discern what was right and true for my healing. As was the title of my 2nd grade class play, "Every Season Has a Reason". I had to go through that pattern one more time of trying to rescue someone from themselves and sacrificing my own needs to try to save someone else.

I heal from the trauma of two suicides and put down the blame, shame, guilt and sense of responsibility for anyone else's life but my own.

There is nothing I have to do and nowhere I need to arrive. I am blessed and grateful at long last for this time in my life where I can honor my time and need for healing from the effects of paralytic polio and violence, while living a full, vibrant and enjoyable life. And this year as the seasons change, I shall embrace all the wonderful changes within myself that now allow me to be a part of the rhythm of life enjoying the beauty and majesty of every season.

"Wait, I have one more goal," Mary McManus told her personal trainer in February of 2008 shortly after coming out of her toe up leg brace. "I want to run the Boston Marathon for Spaulding Rehab Hospital." Mary traded in her polio shoes for running shoes and embarked on the journey of a lifetime. Mary McManus was at the height of her career as a VA social worker when she was told by her team at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital’s International Rehab Center for Polio in December of 2006 that she needed to quit her job if she had any hope of preventing the progression of post polio syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease. In “Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility” Mary takes you on her seven year healing odyssey as a survivor of paralytic polio and trauma from her diagnosis, to taking a leap of faith to leave her award winning career at the VA to heal her life and follow her passion as a poet and writer. You’ll experience her trials, tribulations and triumphs as she trains for and crosses the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon and discovers the opportunity for healing in the wake of new trauma: the suicide of her nephew in 2011, and the aftermath of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. This is Mary's journey of coming home to her human form free from the influences of the ghastly ghostly invaders who had invaded her sacred earthly home. Her memoir includes journals and blog posts from her seven year healing odyssey. This is her journey of transformation and her message of healing, hope and possibility.

I donate 50% of royalty payments through on line sales to The One Fund to help Boston Marathon survivors and their families. Copies are also available at Brookline Marathon Sports. $5 of each book sold at Marathon Sports is donated to The One Fund.

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