I believe that everyday is an adventure because I know I will connect with interesting people who have compelling stories of strength and quiet heroics to share. This inspires me to continue to build Soaringwords and share its mission to "inspire millions of ill children and families to Never give up!"
En route to the BlogHer Conference, courtesy of JetBlue Airlines, I was filled with boundless possibility, excitement of traveling, and going to spend time with 1,500 talented and interesting blogging goddesses for 48 hours.
When I arrive to JFK, I learn that air traffic control canceled flights due to bad weather. I immediately call the 800 number and get myself the last seat on the only flight out that night to Chicago.
I thank Melissa, the friendly JetBlue operator, and gush, "I love JetBlue. I run a charity called Soaringwords and you are our official airline. We love you guys." And then Melissa catches me by surprise and says, "Soaringwords? Is that the charity that had the Hershey survey? I just completed that survey on my day off."
Way to go Melissa. She had read about Soaringwords in the company newsletter in an article inviting crew members to take the survey so that the charity would receive a donation from Hershey's. I was amazed to have called an 800 number and met someone who had actually helped our cause.
Weather delays meant a lot of time in Terminal Five (affectionately known as T5). It's the super-cool new terminal at JFK. After ingesting a Jamba Juice (hey it was a small one) I sat down next to a woman named Zoe who was going to Florida to meet her sister and daughter for a ten-day vacation. We started talking about life and she told me that she used to be a teacher until she had to retire because of illness. She has a condition in her brain stem and is getting excellent medical care at Yale New Haven Medical Center. Zoe also has tremendous faith and a positive attitude. I asked her about healing visualizations, something she had never considered or tried. The idea of healing visualizations is that you can imagine your own healing in whatever ways make sense for you. It doesn't replace medical treatment or medicine, yet it can enhance whatever you are doing by bringing yourself into the healing process front and center. And it is powerful stuff.
Huddled together amidst large screen TVs, flight announcements, toddlers, families and the drama that swirls around the gate, especially as it gets closer to departure time, we close our eyes and imagine the myelin in Zoe's brain stem.
"What does it look like? Is it like a silky spider web, silver and glistening? Is it yellow and sticky like beeswax from a buzzing golden hive dripping with honey and myelin?" We spend ten minutes zoning in and around Zoe's brain stem in our imagination. I am speaking very softly and she is telling me what she sees inside her mind's eye. It was very quick and she "got it" immediately.
Afterwords, I gave her the Soaringwords.org address and invited her to check out Healing Visualizations from Dr. Jerry Epstein or just continue to imagine the myelin growing and reproducing itself to help her heal.
It's important to remember that everyone can take a few moments to go inside and pay attention to your body and gently envision the part that needs healing. By doing this each day you can visualize growth and movement that resonates best for you. And, you are actually able to change your body's chemistry. It's so fast and it really gives people a lot of hope and reduces feelings of helplessness. Try it yourself or share the invitation with someone you love.
When it was time for Zoe's flight to leave, I got a bit teary. I felt as if I was sending off my sister or newly found BFF on vacation. We had only spent an hour together and in that time Zoe touched my heart in a powerful way. We hugged and exchanged emails and phone numbers. She got in line with the other passengers. Like a vigilant mother, I watched her until she started to walk onto the ramp. Suddenly, her head popped out from behind the column and she waved goodbye again.
Life is about the journey, not the final destination. I hope you enjoyed sharing a day of my adventures in compassion. Please share your inspiring stories with me. See you on the road.