Regresar al Bienestar (Return to Wellness)
I was honored to be part of a remarkable event last Saturday, September 14, in support of women with breast cancer. It was the first of four monthly events in downtown Los Angeles organized by The Cancer Support Community – Benjamin Center specifically to offer friendship and support for Spanish-speaking women and their families. It was powerful. I am certain the remaining three events will be just as remarkable (the dates will be October 12, November 9 and December 14; for details, see http://www.cancersupportcommunitybenjamincenter.org).
It was a joy to participate on Saturday, and to speak my mother tongue (Spanish) and work with the local Los Angeles community. I’ve been invited to return to again present the work we do with Being Energy—the energy enhancing mind-body practices and educational information that are an integral part of our programs. I so look forward to returning to offer our work to these wonderful Latina women and their families.
As I entered the Mercado La Paloma (in downtown LA) on Saturday, I was greeted by a cheerful, colorfully decorated indoor market. Inside, a multitude of Mexican stores sell everything from tailoring services to food and clothing. It was 10 a.m. and the enticing aroma of tortillas and chocolate caliente filled the air. Many people were enjoying breakfast. I felt at home.
The Cancer Support Center meeting took place in a large room. I was the first presenter and I was a bit anxious. Around 40 people were just concluding their first group support session and were looking forward to getting out of their chairs and moving their bodies.
I started by explaining that Being Energy is a system of movements that help us to regain our vitality and energy. One of the well-received highlights of the presentation was when I spoke about our “spirit”—our intangible part—that is not touched by the cancer. I also talked about the ways that we can revitalize ourselves from the inside out so that the experience can be met as a challenge and not as a curse.
I talked about finding a new description for our bodies and minds, and about moving and positive thinking! We practiced the Gathering Energy form (link to YouTube) and counted the number of repetitions to help focus our minds on the present moment and connect mind and body with the purpose of joyful movement. In spite of the heat and through the sweat, everyone counted and enjoyed the moment, applauding vigorously at the end.
All participants received a printed copy of the PowerPoint portion of the presentation, and a copy of “Guided Visualizations of the Heart” that are part of Being Energy’s daily practices (make links).
Quietly, connected to our hearts with hands held to our chests and eyes closed, we felt the heart beating and visualized the heart as a center for processing information—the heart as a brain connecting with our loved ones in a sincere and caring way.
“I can give all the love I have,” said one person.
“We felt both very connected and empowered,” said another.
One participant said, “I am usually very negative with my thoughts and attitude, I fear death. This exercise helped me to connect to life and to the love I have for my children. That keeps me alive.”
This is but a sampling of the experiences in the room. At the end, no longer strangers, we exchanged hugs. I was able to see once more the power of connecting from the heart and offering our best, and how it affects people in such beneficial ways.
Two years ago, my mother died of cancer and last Saturday in downtown LA I was somehow honoring her as well.
Hooray to all these brave warriors, and to all of us who are going through challenging times, finding as we face our challenges our true strength and spirit.
And for all of you Being Energy teachers and our community of practitioners, this is your call to jump up and share what you know. Your light will shine through to help others in ways that you can’t anticipate.
Much love to all,