Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Raise Your Vibration

There are times when I feel my energy wane and my mood shift to feeling edgy and 'down.' I limit my intake of news but do need to keep informed about the latest guidance from the CDC and local public health officials. In our little corner of the world, there are major changes happening with Tom's job and Ruth Anne's miraculous ongoing healing journey. While at times I feel incredibly hopeful and optimistic about these changes, at times my 'Negative Nancy' mind set takes over. Tears of gratitude that I know all is well and in Divine Order mix with an unsettling sense of fear. I focus my imagination on what I DO want rather than focus on negative outcomes.

When we were waiting for the results of Tom and Ruth Anne's COVID tests last year, Ruth Anne came up with a song called, "Raise Your Vibration".  She repeated raise your vibration several times and followed it with "You gotta plump plump plump your cells." It's a song we returned to this year while waiting for test results and one we often turn to to raise our vibration.

During these times, it can be challenging to always live in the higher vibrational frequencies. When I feel myself slipping into fear and worry, I nudge myself back to the gift of the present. Rather than harping on untoward outer appearances, I settle into dwelling in the present moment seeking out all that is right and good in my life. Sometimes I walk around my home giving thanks for the 'little things' like rolls of toilet paper, a refrigerator full of food, running water, air conditioning and a spacious home that is filled with love from my husband, daughter and our beautiful cat Jamie.

After dinner last night, we were feeling tired but knew how wonderful it would be to take a walk around the neighborhood. We breathed deeply letting go of any worry or fret and as our walk progressed, we were treated to the most incredible sunset accompanied by the sounds of the crickets' songs.









 

 

 



 

How could we possibly worry about anything when we bear witness to this expansive sky with incredible majesty reminding us of something far greater at work in the Universe. 

 I received a letter from Social Security telling me that I was denied for Medicare Part B. Part of Tom's leaving his job at Boston College has involved getting health care. I marvel at how the Universe led me to just right the person when I first looked at Medicare options. We were waiting for the Medicare Part B to be put in place so we could sign up for a Medicare Advantage Plan. I was just about to pick up the phone to call Social Security prepared for at least a 30 minute wait, when the phone rang. It was the health insurance agent I had contacted who called to inform me that I'd been approved for Medicare Part B and we could sign up for the additional coverage. I told him what happened and expressed deep heartfelt gratitude for him for his diligent follow up. Today, Tom received his new Medicare card and signed up for his supplemental coverage. We are healthy and don't often use our health insurance, but like car insurance, it is a comfort to know it's there should we need it. 

When I believe and see that everything is falling into place, worries melt away. I get out of the way and allow the Universe to work its magic. 

If I am stuck in the mire of worry, I am not open to those delicious feelings of love, gratitude and possibility.

In the midst of uncertainty and times when the headlines can make the hair on the back of your neck stand on end, it's the very time to raise your vibration!

Raise Your Vibration

Fear and worry can shake us to the core
flashbacks to trauma and all that went before
headlines about tragedy leave us bereft of hope
take deep breaths letting go to forge a path to better cope.

Have trust to believe what eye does not yet see
Source's well of Love bathes all Beings to be free
light and ease and grace raining down cup your hand
plant your feet unwavering in faith we take our stand.

Live as if the dreams you dream so deep within your heart
are playing out right here and now no waiting for their start
purposes and passions unveil Truth let beauty shine
abundance, joy and happiness inheritance now is thine.

Raise your vibration sing out clear and sing out strong
Divinity's proximity is right where we belong
safe harbor from tumultuous times once trembling heart now steady beat
a new day now is dawning open door to future greet.

From my heart to yours
In health and wellness,
Mary

My books to uplift and inspire you are available on Amazon.

Visit my website to learn more about my journey of transformation in the wake of paralytic polio and trauma to the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon and beyond.

Be sure to visit my News and Events tab on my website to hear interviews that will open your heart and mind to a powerful message of healing, hope and possibilities.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Outer Order - Inner Calm

 

When the pandemic first began, we did a LOT of decluttering. We rearranged furniture and created space as we entered a time of needing to spend the majority of our time at home. After the Boston Marathon bombings, we did a massive decluttering of our home and had a company come to haul away what was once stashed in our dormer, basement and closets that we no longer needed. If anything were to happen to my husband and me, we did not want our adult children left with sorting through what we collected through decades of being together. 

This summer has been one of the 6th hottest on record in Boston. We endured our fourth heat wave this past week. While I am deeply grateful to air conditioning, I have a love/hate relationship with it. I don't sleep as well when the windows are closed with the a/c on. I feel confined when it's unhealthy to be outdoors and the heat index is over 100 degrees. After several days of heat advisories, I needed to do something to elevate my mood. Options were a bit limited again as cases of COVID with the variant are on the rise and there is a new indoor mask mandate. While we continued to go on our runs, we had to limit time outside.

It was time to look around the house and create outer order to feed my inner calm that was waning with the news of booster shots, mask mandates and continued division in our country. People tend to forget that there is more to unite us than there is to divide us. I am blessed that my Facebook news feed is filled with quotes from light workers and I stay closely connected with those who express love and light in their quotes. I continue to resist the temptation to go to CNN.com or click on what's trending on Twitter that will invariably take me down the rabbit hole of negativity.

Ruth Anne and I cleaned out clothes in her closet. What a delicious feeling to donate clothes that were reminders of a time when she was struggling with her health. She helped me go through the linen closet, the kitchen and Tom and I decided to rearrange the home office. On September 17th, he bids his 6 1/2 year technology career at Boston College farewell. He is eligible for retirement at almost 70 years old and we had planned for retirement next Spring. But sometimes the Universe has other plans. We decided to take a collective leap of faith. To calm the butterflies, we created outer order with a cleaner look to our space in the office and living room. Tom was able to create inner space by doing exit interviews with upper management explaining why he was leaving. It was liberating for him to share why he needed to leave and the toll it was taking on his health and life/work balance.

Classes start on Tuesday for Ruth Anne and will be hybrid in person and on line. We are excited that she will be able to be on campus where everyone must be vaccinated. While there is an air of excitement, we  could anticipate this transition with greater joy if the pandemic were completely behind us. But we move forward celebrating health and well-being, the gift of the vaccine and trust that soon the pandemic will be a distant memory. Her room is arranged and ready for a successful semester of studies and working part-time.

As she was anticipating her schedule for the semester, she briefly became anxious and overwhelmed. She realized that something had to go as her schedule was too cluttered. While she dearly loves ReVision Urban Farm and planned to volunteer every other week at their stand at the Farmer's Market, she realized it would not afford her the opportunity to get her Saturday run on and be available for group projects as the semester gathered momentum.

We composed an email to the staff at the Farm and breathed a collective sigh of relief that we decluttered our Saturday schedule.

What a productive day of decluttering in many ways and on many levels for Team McManus! It felt so good to to take a deep breath and prepare to enter a new season with lots of open space on the calendar, in our physical space in the house and in our inner space. We spent time together, unplugged processing how we are coping with the ongoing pandemic and discovering what we need to thrive and have a sense of well-being during these turbulent times. Every month I change up my twice weekly strength training routine. As I turned the page in my journal, I looked through its pages. I tore off the pages that held energy from the past and created space to energize a future of abundance, health and well-being. I decluttered my email and updated social media photos.

As the heat wave broke in the evening, we opened the windows and turned off the air conditioners. In the stillness of evening we sat and listened to the crickets who loudly sang their song. They were inviting us to embrace the season of change, transitions and letting go of what we no longer need in our lives.

Embracing Change

As leaves' vibrant green begins to fade
crickets' song grows louder
as sun sets earlier every day
change is on the horizon.

Autumn's splendor on its way
nature's ebb and flow
juxtaposition of beauty and loss
heralding a new season.

Surrender to seasons of life
Divine Love surrounding
tempers fear of a trembling heart
heartful of faith.

Tempest of emotions
quieted in stillness
serenaded by sounds of silence
ready to embrace change.

From my heart to yours
In health and wellness,
Mary

My books to uplift and inspire you are available on Amazon.

Visit my website to learn more about my journey of transformation in the wake of paralytic polio and trauma to the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon and beyond.

Be sure to visit my News and Events tab on my website to hear interviews that will open your heart and mind to a powerful message of healing, hope and possibilities.

 

 




Thursday, August 26, 2021

Time To Just Be

 

The forecast was for a possible Category I Hurricane, Henri, heading toward New England. Tom and Ruth Anne said they would stay at home and do storm preparation around the yard and area around the house while I went on a run. While I felt a wee bit guilty leaving them to do the work around the house, they reassured me that they would be fine and I should take advantage of the solitude of my run.

The weather was hot and humid. I had to slow down my pace and take notice of the spectacular scenes created by the Master Artist's Hand as I ran around the Reservoir:





It was an incredible gift to have time to just be. As sweat poured, I surrendered to the heat of the day while witnessing the incredible cloud formations and the colors of a late August sky.

Ruth Anne and Tom had almost finished getting the "perimeter secured" when I returned home. We sat down together and had a cool refreshing glass of sparkling water. I expressed my heartfelt gratitude for my time of solitude with Source. 

Saturday's run inspired this poem:

Expansion

Running under canopy of white puffy clouds
gaze grazes to August’s azure sky
perfect painting reflected on still water
does mind wander to prediction of impending storm
surrender to savor peaceful present
a gift from Master Artist’s heart.

Heart opens
sweat pours from every pore
cleansing heart and soul
wringing out worry and fear
in its wake peace
joy to be alive
reflecting on gratitude.

Contrast to contraction
expanding thoughts with every breath
step by step
moving with grace and ease
trust and faith
tethered to Source
as cloudy thoughts clear
revealing the Masterpiece of my life.

May we all find a path to feeling our hearts expand and time to just be. P.S Hurricane Henri brought a little wind and a little rain to New England. I was reminded of Mark Twain's quote, "“I've had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”

From my heart to yours
In health and wellness,
Mary

Visit my website to learn more about my journey of transformation in the wake of paralytic polio and trauma to the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon and beyond.

Be sure to listen to my recent conversation with Liz Brunner, award winning journalist, now CEO of Brunner Communications on her podcast Live Your Best Life. I share how I live my best life despite the challenges that I faced at an early age.

For all of my recent appearances, be sure to visit my News and Events tab on my website.


Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Current Situation: Current of Love

 

It's time for me once again to only skim the headlines and resist the temptation to click on what's trending on Twitter which usually only takes me down the rabbit hole of news that breeds fear and discontent. I hide posts on Facebook that do not fuel a sense of joy and happiness. I actively seek out people and pages that I know have uplifting messages. I am spending more time reading and meditating and engaging in conversations with family and friends. I am taking more time for walks in addition to my three 5K's a week and allowing Spirit to flow through me to write. I am working on a very special audio book project for "Hope is a Garden: Poems and Essays From the 2020 Pandemic" (more on that in a later post). 

I ride the waves of fear and anxiety knowing sensations pass and focus on thoughts that can shift me into a state of love, hope, trust, faith and calm. I am mindful of what I am feeding my mind and observe how I respond to situations that are triggers from past trauma. I let healing tears flow when I need to release stress and practice gratitude connecting with Source.

Dr. David Hamilton has done extensive research about how kindness is an antidote to stress. Kindness triggers oxytocin, the "feel good hormone" which counters the production of cortisol, the fight/flight hormone. I've joined the #BEKIND2021 campaign from the Born This Way Foundation. From September 1st to September 21st, I'll be joining a global community practicing kindness, compassion and gratitude. We'll focus on kindness and compassion for ourselves and others. It's a wonderful way to transform feelings of fear and being separate to becoming aware of what binds us together as a global community. It's a deliberate way to keep thoughts and action in the forefront of our lives that help to counter the stress we are all experiencing at this time.

I'd been waking up at 6am -- well more accurately said, our beloved cat Jamie woke me up to be fed and I was having trouble getting back to sleep. Often times I would sleep through Jamie's head butting and she would move on to get Tom to feed her, but in recent weeks with the stressful events swirling around the globe, my vigilant self woke up. On some days, I'd let Tom sleep and feed Jamie enjoying the peace and quiet of the early morning hours.

The other morning, I could not settle down observing all the feelings going through me. I opened my heart to Divine Guidance and this poem flowed through me:

Current of Love

Weariness and wariness
hope and immunity waning
sputtering faith
current situation seems dim
transformed
when love lights the way!
Lens of love
prism of possibilities
despite what eye may see
sparks ignite
burn away doubt and despair
Source ever present
at the ready
tune out and tune in
electrify
illuminate
be light
beaming
becoming radiant.
Turn tide of swirling thoughts
what if
worries wash away
what if
happiness and peace prevail
keep the faith
spread the faith
floating on a current of Love conquering fear.

May we all connect and stay afloat on a current of love.

From my heart to yours
In health and wellness,
Mary

Visit my website to learn more about my journey of transformation in the wake of paralytic polio and trauma to the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon and beyond.

Be sure to listen to my recent conversation with Liz Brunner, award winning journalist, now CEO of Brunner Communications on her podcast Live Your Best Life. I share how I live my best life despite the challenges that I faced at an early age.

For all of my recent appearances, be sure to visit my News and Events tab on my website.


Sunday, August 22, 2021

A Note From President Biden

 

The first quote in my book, "Hope is a Garden: Poems and Essays From the 2020 Pandemic" is the above quote from Helen Keller. "Hope" was written in real time as we navigated frightening, tumultuous times. On August 20, 2020, Joseph R. Biden Jr and Kamala Harris became our nominees for the 2020 Election. We knew there would be a tough road ahead but justice and right prevailed.

As I wrote in my Dedication, "Hope is a Garden is lovingly dedicated to...

President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. who, at the age of 78 years old took on the bully and won, bringing hope and compassion to a nation of individuals who were tired and hopeless."

 


 

 

In March of this year, I was inspired to send a copy of "Hope" to the President as a way of expressing my gratitude for his willingness to step up and tackle the dire state of our Nation with the pandemic, racial tensions at an all time high and being on the brink of economic disaster. I sent him this note:



President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20500

 

Dear President Biden,

 

In March of 2020, our world came to a screeching halt with no hope in sight. I am no stranger to my world coming to a screeching halt. At the age of 5 I contracted paralytic polio in one of the last polio epidemics in the United States. I had the vaccines but I was playing with my best friend whose mother was not vaccinated. We contracted the virus on the same day. I endured severe child abuse at the hands of family members with an alcoholic father, a drug addicted mother and a mentally ill grandmother.  At the age of 17, my father ended his life having come close to ending my mother’s life and my own life. I do believe in guardian angels. At the age of 53, I was given the diagnosis of Post-Polio Syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease and told to prepare to spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair. I was at the height of my award winning career as a social worker at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

 

As I had done when faced with seemingly insurmountable odds in my life, I got still and asked for Divine Guidance. The answer came in the form of a poem and then many poems in which I imagined myself running free and being healed using forgiveness and gratitude to heal my past. I went on to run the 2009 Boston Marathon raising $10,535 for Spaulding Rehab where I took the first steps on my healing journey. Fast forward to today where I am a published poet, author and motivational speaker.

 

When the world came to a screeching halt, I turned to what I call my divining rod for healing, my pen and wrote “Hope is a Garden: Poems and Essays From the 2020 Pandemic.” Without your courage to take on ‘the bully’, this book would not have been possible nor would we have become a people now filled with hope and possibilities. I wrote it in real time as we navigated those turbulent and uncertain times always holding onto hope and possibilities despite all appearances to the contrary. While we were blessed financially, the pandemic took quite an emotional toll especially for our adult daughter who is healing from a brain injury caused by an untreated infection and misdiagnoses. She is doing much better and I must say, working on your campaign and seeing you as the President has brought so much relief.

 

Please accept this author copy  of ‘Hope is a Garden: Poems and Essays From the 2020 Pandemic” as my deepest token of gratitude and appreciation to you, Dr. Jill Biden and your incredible Team. I will be adding “Ode to a New Administration” to the Epilogue.

 

When the pandemic is over and it is safe to travel again, we look forward to visiting Washington, DC again, and we would love to have the opportunity to thank you in person.  Until then…Be well!

 

With warmest regards and deepest gratitude,

Mary McManus, MSW

 

My daughter and I visited Washington, DC many years ago and spent several days there taking in the sights and visiting the Capitol. As one who worked with veterans for almost 20 years, I was deeply moved to experience the monuments and Arlington National Cemetery. We met with the aides for our Senators and Representatives. We have great memories and would love to make new memories that would include a stop at the White House. I put it all out to the Universe and released it!

 

We picked up Tom for lunch on Friday. 

As the rain poured down, Ruth Anne stopped on the steps in front of the door to look through the mail.

"Come on...it's pouring and dad needs to get out from the ..." 

My voice trailed off. 

"Mom...you have something from the White House," Ruth Anne interrupted.

I couldn't quite comprehend what she said.

 

I saw a small envelope among the other mail we received. Ruth Anne extended it to me in her hand.


"Well aren't you going to open it?"

 

I gingerly opened it ...


 This was inside:

Dear Ms. McManus,

Thank you for sending such a thoughtful gift. I greatly appreciate the warm welcome you and so many of our fellow Americans have extended to me and my family.

Our country faces many challenges, but this is the time for Americans to set aside our differences, to try to understand one another, and to strive to make the promise of a just, prosperous and secure Nation a reality for all. If we look ahead in our uniquely American way and set our sights on the Nation we know we can be, we will meet this moment.

Thank you again for your gift. I look forward to writing the next great chapter in the American story with you.

Sincerely,

Joe Biden

When I sent off the book, I wasn't sure if it would make it through security and if it would, get into the hands of President Biden. But my intention was from my heart and I wanted to share my message of hope, healing and possibilities and the book that he helped to inspire by his campaign and the early days of his presidency.

I wondered if he would continue the tradition that President Obama started with receiving 10 letters a day from his staff to read every night in the residence. Apparently he is continuing the tradition of responding to his constituents.

These ARE very challenging times. We celebrated the end of the pandemic too soon having no idea that the Delta Variant would be as highly contagious as it is nor that people would choose to not get vaccinated. The CDC made recommendations based on the data after vaccination which brought a sense of hope, relief and freedom to those who chose to be vaccinated. We need to continue to be patient and take public health measures while vaccination rates increase and, over the next several months, infection rates once again decline.

After receiving the note from President Biden, my heart overflowed with gratitude and my Spirit soared with joy.

As I have done throughout my 14 year journey after the diagnosis of Post-Polio Syndrome and throughout the pandemic, I honor and hold space for times when I wobble on the side of fear and exhaustion while seeing beyond appearances always remembering that Hope is a Garden!

From my heart to yours
In health and wellness,
Mary

Visit my website to learn more about my journey of transformation in the wake of paralytic polio and trauma to the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon and beyond.

Be sure to listen to my recent conversation with Liz Brunner, award winning journalist, now CEO of Brunner Communications on her podcast Live Your Best Life. I share how I live my best life despite the challenges that I faced at an early age.

For all of my recent appearances, be sure to visit my News and Events tab on my website.

My books to inspire and uplift you are available on Amazon.





 

Friday, August 20, 2021

From Crocus to Crickets


 It seems like in the blink of an eye we go from Spring's awakenings with celebrating seeing the first crocus poke through the once frozen ground to the growing crescendo of the cricket's song as hours of daylight diminish.

With all that is happening in the world it would be so easy to get swept up in the "rumor of sadness and change." There is ongoing devastation from the pandemic with the Delta Variant that could so easily be prevented if people would be vaccinated, mask up and use public health precautions that we used at the beginning of the pandemic. Fortunately businesses remain open and many events continue to take place.

I received my confirmation from the BAA for my volunteer assignment for packet stuffing.

The BAA is requiring proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test within 48 hours of the assignment. It's an open air warehouse and we could wear masks as an extra layer of protection. But the communication from the BAA notes that they continue to monitor "the situation" and will make decisions based on recommendations from the CDC and public health officials.

It continues to feel like a tale of two pandemics. Governor Baker announced today that he is going to require all state workers to be vaccinated; no frequent testing as other localities are doing but vaccination or termination of employment. He has decided to leave mask mandates to localities for now. 

There were several concerts at Fenway Park in recent weeks and the Falmouth Road Race took place with 7000 runners finishing the race. Wearing of masks was optional and intermittent. There was a sense of incredible joy that the race returned to a live event.  It was the largest race in Massachusetts since March of 2020. Yet in the background, news of increased hospitalizations and rate of infections climbed especially among those who are not yet vaccinated. 

People are trying to balance living life and moving forward as if the pandemic were over with the ongoing guidance from the Surgeon General, the CDC and local Departments of Public Health. Our Town has  mandated masks indoors in all municipal buildings.

New guidelines have come out for booster shots. It is recommended that people with compromised immune systems receive a booster shot. People are urged to get a booster shot 8 months after being fully vaccinated.

There was such incredible joy and a sense of freedom as we celebrated the sights that heralded Springtime. We expected to experience a summer free from the specter of COVID. We thought that having made the choice to be vaccinated would bring with it freedom from masks, a sense of ease and leaving the trauma and stress of the past 18 months in the rear view mirror.

With the cricket's song, I get to choose how to embrace the change in seasons. I leave behind the expectations and disappointment that summer was not as we expected it to be for expectations only create suffering and turn my attention to all we have to be grateful for. We were able to celebrate the Twins' 34th birthday in person. It had been 4 years since our son Autumn and his girlfriend Michelle came to our house.











We enjoyed and continue to enjoy evening walks savoring sunsets:


 

We have our health. Tom and Ruth Anne each tested negative for their required COVID tests at Boston College. After a few bumps in the road at work, we are excited for Tom's transition to retirement from full time employment in technology after 40 years. We are blessed with a strong nuclear family that rides through challenges with resilience and a tapestry of care woven with love. We have a fabulous village. Even though we may not see them in person right now, our connections are strong. 

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN Chief Medical Correspondent wrote an article with advice from experts on how to dance with COVID. 

One of my theme songs after the diagnosis of Post Polio Syndrome was "Dancing Through Life" from Wicked. Even though the doctors predicted that I would probably spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair, I vowed I would find a way to dance through life whatever the circumstances. 

The cricket's song will be my soundtrack to dance through the transition from summer to Autumn accepting what is and being grateful for the many many blessings in our life.

From Crocus to Crickets

Can we eternally experience the hope of seeing the first crocus
even as cricket's song signals summer’s demise
 can we feel the jubilant joy of springtime even as sun sets earlier each day
seeing buds pregnant with possibilities gives birth to optimism
can autumn’s splendor ignite Spirit’s flame?

Can we bend with arc of the seasons
changing landscape of blooms
crescendo of cricket's song
heralding change
embracing transitions
always guided by Light
led by benevolent Beings
seen and unseen
surrounded by Divine Love.

Let melancholy linger for but a moment
remember the caterpillar
be at the ready
transform
soar in midst of uncertainty
a bird's eye view of life
joy in journey
trusting in life's rhythm and flow
all is well and in Divine Order.

From my heart to yours
In health and wellness,
Mary

Visit my website to learn more about my journey of transformation in the wake of paralytic polio and trauma to the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon and beyond.

Be sure to listen to my recent conversation with Liz Brunner, award winning journalist, now CEO of Brunner Communications on her podcast Live Your Best Life. I share how I live my best life despite the challenges that I faced at an early age.

For all of my recent appearances, be sure to visit my News and Events tab on my website.

My books to inspire and uplift you are available on Amazon.


Monday, August 16, 2021

Navigation

 

 

Several years ago I was blessed to hear Tara Brach speak at the Cambrige Insight Meditation Center. She is a psychologist and meditation teacher who did a dharma talk followed by a guided meditation. In the Dharma Talk she shared how one of her students was annoyed because another student was breathing loudly during a meditation. The student thought to themselves that if only the student would stop breathing so loudly, they would be able to meditate better and feel more peace. The other student left the room and do you know what happened? The student realized it didn't make a difference; that the frustration and inability to settle down to experience peace and calm during the meditation was inside of them.

How often do we find ourselves saying these days, "if only." If only my co-worker would leave me alone. If only the pandemic were over. If only it were not raining. You get the idea. The list goes on and on. 

Since the diagnosis of Post-Polio Syndrome fourteen years ago and throughout this pandemic, I have become acutely aware that it is up to me to navigate circumstances. I need to take time in the morning for meditation, to make time for meditation in the afternoon and to put on a meditation before sleep. I monitor my state of being throughout the day. Am I in a state of fear or am I in a state of love, connected to Source creating my life rather than reacting to external circumstances. I'll admit, some days it is more challenging to shift from fear to love, but I know for my physical, emotional and spiritual well-being it is imperative that I make that effort to return to a state of love, faith, trust and envisioning what I want to have happen versus dwell in the past or being fearful of the future.

Tom's work has been very challenging with his work place being short staffed while trying to implement innovative technology. We have talked about retirement and set the date for May 25, 2022. My early retirement was on May 25, 2007 and my daughter thought it would make for great symmetry to have him retire on the same day. At the twins birthday party last week, we talked about moving the date way up since Tom was beginning to exhibit some physical symptoms associated with stress. We chose September 20th as the date he will begin the next chapter of his life.

Within a week, while Tom was on vacation, we met so many earth angels and were guided by Spirit to get everything in place to give notice when he returned to work today. I have complete trust and faith in experiencing the flow of abundance even though he will no longer work full time in technology. The synchronicity and serendipity that is already showing itself to us is awe inspiring.

Just as the ocean's waves are forever in a state of ebb and flow, so too are our lives. Of course we all love it when seas are calm and we see for miles to the horizon. But there are times when there may be storms that we have to navigate or fog where we just have to trust even though we can't see very far in front of us. That's the time when faith and trust come rushing in with the tide and we breathe living only in the eternal present moment.

Navigation

When waves of fear
wash away faith and joy
breathe
feel Divine’s presence
coursing through every cell.

When fear tries to pierce heart
allow Divine's Love to be armor
shake off quivering and quaking
let no one put asunder your joy.

Take pause
power pose
claiming birthright
born to be free.

Trip lightly through adversity
eyes on horizon
steady sure footsteps
surging strength from depth of soul.

Lost and confused?

Behold
invisible hand guides safely through storm
follow its lead
to rainbow’s end
pot of gold
overflows with well-being. 

From my heart to yours
In health and wellness,
Mary

Visit my website to learn more about my journey of transformation in the wake of paralytic polio and trauma to the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon and beyond.

Be sure to listen to my recent conversation with Liz Brunner, award winning journalist, now CEO of Brunner Communications on her podcast Live Your Best Life. I share how I live my best life despite the challenges that I faced at an early age.

For all of my recent appearances, be sure to visit my News and Events tab on my website.

My books to inspire and uplift you are available on Amazon.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

When Nothing is Certain...


 

Uncertainty is a part of life. So often it is a challenge to trust the wait and visualize positive outcomes. Appearances can look dreary and it is easy to get weighed down by current realities. We recently had a very challenging situation at Tom's job. There was ongoing stress due to a number of factors and it finally reached a point where we had to evaluate next steps. As I said to my chiropractor, quoting Robin Sharma, “Change is hardest at the beginning, messiest in the middle and best at the end."

I've been increasing the time and frequency of my meditation. This morning, this poem flowed through me:

The Present
As I pull the ribbons
unwrapping the gift of a new day
I pause
Will I pass the time with worry and fret
bemoaning the past
erase unhappy thoughts
as easily as wiping a white board clean.
Starting day with clean slate
open heart
deep breaths
grateful
all I need is right here.
In this very moment
creating joy
it’s a gift to be alive
challenges transform coal into diamonds.
Twinges of fear
transform what if's
future trusted to the Divine
be present
feel day flowing with ease
graciously greeting
each moment with hope
gift of a new day.

I subscribe to David R. Hamilton, Ph.D.'s "Daily Boost." Today's inspiration was:


 

I've been getting signs from songs on the radio and as I released fear and opened myself up to the magic of the Universe, amazing and miraculous things have been happening. 

Nothing is ever certain. I believe we have learned that many times over with the pandemic. But we can create certainty in our lives through faith and embracing uncertainty knowing that when nothing is certain, everything is possible.

From my heart to yours
In health and wellness,
Mary

Visit my website to learn more about my journey of transformation in the wake of paralytic polio and trauma to the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon and beyond.

Be sure to listen to my recent conversation with Liz Brunner, award winning journalist, now CEO of Brunner Communications on her podcast Live Your Best Life. I share how I live my best life despite the challenges that I faced at an early age.

For all of my recent appearances, be sure to visit my News and Events tab on my website.

My books to inspire and uplift you are available on Amazon.


Monday, August 9, 2021

Plot Twist - Be Kind


 On May 29th, all restrictions were lifted in Massachusetts. The vaccine was touted as highly effective. The vaccinated population was told to go forth and resume all their activities. The unvaccinated population were encouraged to get vaccinated and mask up. Cases of COVID plummeted and then "plot twist" - the Delta Variant.

As new data emerged, new guidelines for mask wearing and social distancing were put in place to try to contain the sharp uptick in cases.

With an uptick in cases came an uptick of anger and frustration. It seems as though soul lessons that were learned during the pandemic of 'we're all in this together' with kindness and compassion breaking through the once vile diatribe of the previous Presidential administration, is slowly eroding. People expected that with the vaccine, a carefree life would resume just in time for summer. 

The pandemic to date has left restaurants short staffed and tempers flaring. It's sad to hear horns honking as soon as the light turns to green. Fear and confusion seem to prevail alongside a sense of bravado in the face of the variant as people attend concerts and go unmasked indoors.

There was an article in the Boston Globe about people lying in an attempt to get a booster shot even though there is no data to support the potential benefit of a booster shot before the end of September.

The anger, fear and panic can be infectious. We noticed that we were getting impatient with our neighbors who have a tendency to walk through our yard and not respect the boundaries of our property. We were going to have a fence installed but then opted for small trees to create a 'natural' boundary. The day came for installation and we were anxious about spending the money with the general uncertainty of the economy these days and realized that we needed to be more open-hearted and kind even when others were not acting in kind.

Kurt Vonnegut's quote came to mind:

We called the contractor and explained our concerns. He had done our walkway earlier this year and we gave each of his team extra money. We opened our yard to them while they ate their lunch making sure they had what they needed for their big noonday meal. We explained the situation to him and Tom asked him what he wanted for his trouble since he was about to get the trees to plant. He said, "You are my friend. You don't have to pay me a thing. Let me know when you need me." I cried as he spoke from his heart in his thick Brazilian accent.

We had a ladder down on our yard where the trees were going to go to mark the boundary. We took it up. It felt liberating to open our hearts and realize that we ARE all in this together. We are all One. 

The divisiveness and rancor from a year ago when the pandemic was raging has returned. We are blessed with strong leaders in President Biden and Vice President Harris. It is up to each and every one of us to do our part to promote kindness and practice compassion especially ourselves as we ride the waves of emotions and experiences that the pandemic has left in its wake.

The pandemic 2.0 is definitely a wake up call for us as a family. We are going to be kind and compassionate with ourselves opening our hearts and trusting the Universe provides as it always has throughout our lives. 

I discovered this meta meditation in my Facebook memory:

May I be happy and have peace of mind
May I be healthy and strong
May I be free of suffering and safe from internal and external harm
May my life be of ease and well-being
May I have a compassionate heart filled with loving kindness
May I be free
May all beings be happy and have peace of mind
May all beings be healthy and strong
May all beings be free of suffering and safe from
 internal and external harm
May all beings have a life of ease and well-being
May all beings have a compassionate heart filled with loving kindness
May all beings be free

As we navigate COVID 2.0 may we all dig deep to have patience, compassion and kindness with ourselves and one another.

From my heart to yours
In health and wellness,
Mary

Visit my website to learn more about my journey of transformation in the wake of paralytic polio and trauma to the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon and beyond.

Be sure to listen to my recent conversation with Liz Brunner, award winning journalist, now CEO of Brunner Communications on her podcast Live Your Best Life. I share how I live my best life despite the challenges that I faced at an early age.

For all of my recent appearances, be sure to visit my News and Events tab on my website.

My books to inspire and uplift you are available on Amazon.



Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Our Monday Morning Run

 

In February of 2007, after the diagnosis of Post-Polio Syndrome, I fired up the power of my imagination to create a life very different than the ones the doctors predicted for me through the power of writing poetry. My pen became my divining rod for healing. They told me to prepare to spend the rest of my in a wheelchair and to expect an accelerated decline as I got older.

The first poem I wrote, "Running the Race" foreshadowed my 2009 Boston Marathon run.

Poetry also enabled me to heal my past through gratitude, forgiveness and grace.

When the pandemic began last year, I once again turned to the healing power of poetry and documenting our experiences as we navigated our way through uncharted waters of a global pandemic. I continued to document events and write poetry as we shifted out of a State of Emergency to what everyone thought was going to be a Post-Pandemic world at least here in the United States.

Once we were vaccinated we were told we could take off our masks, would not need to quarantine or be tested if a contact tested positive or became ill and we could resume activities that we put on hold for many many months. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief. There was celebration and joy as people gathered in the streets, resumed travel, went out to the ballgames and we experienced a sense of collective freedom from COVID. 

But on July 4th, the very day that we were going to celebrate our independence, Provincetown had an outbreak of cases both symptomatic and asymptomatic in vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. Infection rates started to rise especially in areas that a low vaccination rate.

New CDC guidelines to mask up indoors and new guidelines for getting testing and being in quarantine even if you are fully vaccinated emerged albeit with some confusion as often happens with a novel virus now with a variant.

Tom received an email that all Boston College staff, faculty and students will need to be tested before heading back to the office and school.

I must admit, I felt the energy drain out of me flashing back to when we were waiting for Tom's test results.

From "Hope is a Garden: Poems and Essays From the 2020 Pandemic":

"Tom had to be tested for COVID at Boston College this past Monday. We know we are all healthy and well. We knew Ruth Anne tested negative when she went for an appointment for a possible UTI. We know that the symptoms of the virus can be very similar to how stress manifests in the body and we all know the role that the power of belief plays in our bodies. We focused on creating the outcome we wanted rather than focus on fear. {Spoiler alert: It was negative!} The testing site was well organized without any waiting at the site. They said Tom would get the results in 6-26 hours.

 

His colleagues started getting their results and after 26 hours he called student health services. They said he would not get the results until late Tuesday or Wednesday morning.

 

Let go and let God and get out the door to go on a run while trying to let thoughts of worry pass by like clouds, as any person who meditates will do. Yet I also honored my feelings of being aware of the fragility of life and how life can change on a dime!

 

We were not worried about Tom getting ill but rather concerned about the disruption a positive test would cause in our lives. Ruth Anne is just getting back to volunteering and seeing her acupuncturist on a regular basis. She would not be able to go to either of those activities for 14 days. I didn't know if we would all need to quarantine or if I would be able to get out to get us groceries. As I observed my racing thoughts, Ruth Anne and I took in the spectacular scenes before us on a beautiful summer morning.

 

I felt a heaviness in my body and focused on releasing the weight I felt while being so grateful for the gift of being free to be able to get up, go out the door and get in a run.

 

The phone rang...spam call.

 

We focused on the geese that swooped in seemingly from out of nowhere landing with flapping wings. A bubble of joy rose up within me to see their movements with reckless abandon and the splashing of water.

 

The phone rang again as we were on our final loop around the Reservoir.

 

"It was negative," Tom said and the tears began to flow.

 

Nike+ said, "Pausing work out."

 

"The volunteer put in my wrong email address. The nurse at the Health Services got all of my information, called the testing lab and got the results. She was very chatty and I told her that I was sorry to cut her off but I have to call my wife."

 

Even though Tom didn't tell me that only negative results would be sent via email, as a former social worker in health care, I knew that positive results would not be sent via email. Tom confirmed my suspicion after he received the results.

 

Ruth Anne and I laughed and cried for the rest of our miles. She would be able to volunteer and see her acupuncturist later in the day and we would be able to move forward with living our lives as we have been since March mindful of masks and social distancing with a lifestyle that promotes health and wellness."

 

As we set out on our early Monday morning run, I felt a heaviness I had not experienced in awhile. I decided I needed to shift out of the state I was in with harnessing the power of the imagination .

 

Massachusetts is offering a VaxMillions lottery for all who have been fully vaccinated in Massachusetts. Today was the second drawing.

 

"Okay Team," I announced. "Let's practice for when we get the call that we won."

 

We made sure our phone ringers were on high.


"Hello. May I please speak with Ruth Anne McManus?"


"Yes. This is she." 


"This is Mary {pause for a quick second} Rouget from the Department of Public Health. I am calling to congratulate you on winning VaxMillions." I went on to say what the next steps were for her to claim her prize. We burst out laughing with the name I quickly came up with. Ruth Anne took on the persona of Ms. Pickles when she called me.


When it was Tom's turn to win I started crying with gratitude as if he really won. Ruth Anne reminded me that I wasn't supposed to be the one with excitement as the one calling to congratulate him. More laughter as we made our way to the Reservoir.


It was Tom's turn to 'call' me. He put on a foreign accent and we all laughed so hard we could hardly run.


Next we practiced holding the check for our photo. It all felt so real and so wonderful to experience the thrill of receiving a million dollars to be fully vaccinated. 


We released it and focused on the beauty of a summer's day in Boston where all the troubles of the world just melt away with every foot strike:








The sweat poured as the sun was surprisingly hot but there was a delightful cool breeze that kept us comfortable. We talked about the excitement for Tom's upcoming vacation and celebrating the twins' birthday in person a week from Wednesday. 


We enjoyed a delicious breakfast when we got home and were ready to embrace a new day, a new week and a new month ahead.


Focus

Drowning out the din
focusing on the beauty of a summer morning
I spy with my little eye
magnify the magnificence
through my looking glass

Troubles melt away with sweat
with each foot strike
strength surges
global pandemic still reigns
reigning in my thoughts

focus

Towering trees
a canopy of green
swans swimming
serenity
calming a trembling heart
Divine love triumphs
signs surround

focus.


From my heart to yours
In health and wellness,
Mary

Visit my website to learn more about my journey of transformation in the wake of paralytic polio and trauma to the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon and beyond.

Be sure to listen to my recent conversation with Liz Brunner, award winning journalist, now CEO of Brunner Communications on her podcast Live Your Best Life. I share how I live my best life despite the challenges that I faced at an early age.

For all of my recent appearances, be sure to visit my News and Events tab on my website.

My books to inspire and uplift you are available on Amazon.



Sunday, August 1, 2021

A Higher Authority

 

I love the above quote from Walt Disney. During these times of confusion about what all the data mean in relationship to recent outbreaks of breakthrough cases among vaccinated individuals and conflicting information about whether or not to mask up again, I like to put my faith in a higher authority.

After reading an article in the Globe about the data coming out of a study of a recent outbreak of the Delta Variant in Provincetown, I took a time out to meditate. 

A commercial for Hebrew National Hot Dogs came to me:

I could easily get dizzy trying to comprehend the different data and recommendations. Instead, I turn to my higher authority to discern what my family and I need to do to remain of sound mind and body during this time. We are going to mostly stay in our bubble and mask up when we are indoors. Tom returns to the office one day a week until the end of August when he will go 3 days a week although we are manifesting winning the VaxMillions Lottery Giveaway. Ruth Anne's classes are hybrid and she will mask up when she volunteers with ReVision Urban Farm.

While a part of me feels so strongly that if only 'they' would have waited longer to lift all protocols and 'they' would have gotten vaccinated we could have eradicated the virus, I know that my inner world connected to the Divine dictates my quality of life. When one lives life based on if only's and expectations rather than making peace with what is, one experiences a great deal of suffering.

We are reinvesting the money we would have used to go to New York City and the theater and Cape Cod into landscaping our house and making home improvements.

We are stepping up our gratitude practice reminding ourselves that it is not 2020 but we are not quite out of the pandemic yet....

Soul lessons learned from 2020 will continue to hold us in good stead as we navigate what we hope is the tail end of the pandemic. I will step up my meditation practice, limit exposure to the news, continue to find avenues to share my inspirational message and journey of transformation and cherish the moments of peace and quiet,.

In the Quiet of the Morning

In the quiet of the morning
sunbeams seen through eyes closed
streaming into room
filling me with hope

Cat’s purring my soundtrack
connect to Source
sifting and sorting through thousands of thoughts
fleeting moments of doubt and fear

Choosing faith

In mind’s eye all is well
trusting Truth from a higher authority
to guide
unleashing imagination

Creation replaces reaction
tears gently trickle
overflow from a grateful heart
beaming blessings to all beings

In the quiet of the morning
joy bubbles from deep within soul
dawn of a new day.  

From my heart to yours
In health and wellness,
Mary

Visit my website to learn more about my journey of transformation in the wake of paralytic polio and trauma to the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon and beyond.

Be sure to listen to my recent conversation with Liz Brunner, award winning journalist, now CEO of Brunner Communications on her podcast Live Your Best Life. I share how I live my best life despite the challenges that I faced at an early age.

For all of my recent appearances, be sure to visit my News and Events tab on my website.

My books to inspire and uplift you are available on Amazon.  

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