Good morning. I'm here this morning to share my experience of the last 48 hours. I wasn't going to – just hadn't thought about it. Yet, I received an e-mail today expressing gratitude to me for this blog and the inspiration received. That's a gift! To hear that something I've put out into the world has made a difference for another makes my heart open and my spirit sing. It is food to continue on the path! So … thank you Jon!
Here goes. My last 48 hours were spent doing final preparations for and attending the Mind, Body, Spirit wellness event at the local technical college, FVTC. My part was to have a “vendor booth” for Songs For Your Spirit life coaching, and do two workshops: Inspired to Act on Your Dreams and Touched by Music. I am one who plans ahead so this wasn't meant to be hard. In fact, “final preparations” to me meant getting to the yoga studio, meditating, some singing, getting a good night's sleep. Yes, that's about it. I even had lunch with a new friend scheduled – oh, and volleyball! Actually, that sounds pretty ideal!
Kaboom! By Friday morning, I was aware that the soreness in my mouth needed attention. And, the occasional intense pain was becoming INTENSE and the dentist suggested root canal. However, he could only fit me in on Monday. I don't like to complain, and I am very aware that many of you reading this have dealt with much larger physical issues. But, this was the kind of pain that is all-consuming and everything I thought I needed to do became impossible:
- Sing? When I couldn't do anything but cry and focus on the pain?
- Yoga? As soon as I turned upside down the first time the intensity went up. Half-way through the class I switched to savasana and my body started crying.
- Sleep? I didn't get much on Friday night. Saturday morning, 4:45 am, came way too early!
Then I noticed the card that a friend recently urged me to purchase. It has one word:
Thank you, Tina! Next, it's gratitude for e-mail and a friend of 27 years. As soon as I wrote, “Dear April,” the tears poured out. Do you have that safe haven where you can let go of absolutely everything and just be you – whatever that is in the moment? I do – and I am SO blessed. Ten minutes of release – of knowing that my friend would hear and understand and support me spiritually was just what I needed. The intensity of the pain was easing off. The next angel is my husband, Jamie. I received the gift of understanding as he witnessed my tears and knew I needed to let them go. And when I asked for the specific help he could give me – loading my car then following me to the event and carrying my stuff inside (while still in his PJs) – he said “of course”.
[I am aware that there are many angels and this entry is getting long! I hope you'll stay…]
So, toothache and all, here I was at the event with many smiling, helpful organizers ready to support me. The room for my workshops was set up perfectly and the handouts ready. Again, I couldn't have asked for better. Yet better it gets! The pain was growing and my intention was not to share it with folks but to breathe, pray, and trust that by engaging in my work it would subside. However, a friend, Judy, was present. I'd forgotten she would be there with the essential oils that she teaches about and sells. Ever the skeptic, I've struggled to believe that the oils can do all that it is claimed they do. However, when I shared about my toothache, Judy said, “You need Thieves Oil. Here…” Can you say immediate relief? Yes, really! I used the oil many times throughout the morning and purchased it. I was free to be present to the attendees and to the work that was mine to do in the workshops!
And the gifts don't stop there. More than one person came up to me to say that my coaching cards had been inspiring them and they expressed their gratitude. Attendees in the workshops were truly present and participated courageously. That is a huge gift to everyone – including the presenter! Jason, our assistant, not only participated, but found us a new room and set it up perfectly when we became aware that guitar and singing alongside drumming was not a perfect match.
On my way home, I received a call from a dear friend who needed a friend. Remember how I started the morning – sobbing and releasing and feeling supported? Well, I was able to be there for my friend. And, after 5 1/2 hours of being present to others, she was there for me and invited me to let down (again this day!) and release. My day continued with a nap, dinner with Jamie, and early to bed and 10 hours later, here writing to you.
The intensity of pain has not been present in these last 24 hours. Why? I truly believe that each and every “angel”, each different type of support, and the very act of asking for help worked together to support me during this time. Because I was supported, I know that my presence with others at the event was supportive and helped them hear what they needed to hear. We are never alone. We need each other. And we need to express gratitude and receive it when others shower it upon us.
Consider these two songs:
No Private Good
As you move into this day, ask yourself:
What gratitude is mine to express?
With what am I to give YOU the opportunity to help?