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i sat with a kid who thought he was gonna die (and here’s what i learned about life, presence, and acceptance)

On Monday, driving a remote desert highway from my mom’s house in Vegas to Joshua Tree, my husband and I witnessed an accident. A car had just flipped off the road and a young man had flown out and landed in the dirt. We were some of the first to stop.

There was a man frantically waving cars down screaming, “Does anyone have OnStar?!” (um, it’s 2017 man, we have cell phones?)…and another man talking to 911 shouting super precise directions like “Help! We’re on some road south of Vegas!!”

A young couple ran over to the guy in the dirt and started checking him out, making sure he was conscious/lucid (he was), and there were no protrusions (bones sticking out/tourniquets needed). He was scraped up, scared, bleeding, but holding. We stabilized his neck with a velvet pillow I found in a nearby creosote.

Nothing to do but wait, patiently, for the ambulance.

I told him my name and said I practiced a simple energy healing practice (reiki) that could help him relax, did he want me to sit with him? He said “sure, whatever, am I going to die?”

No one had ever asked me that before. My immediate response was, “not here, not today.” That calmed him, so I stuck with that everytime he asked me.

I held his hand and asked him gentle questions about his family. More and more people were stopping, coming over and peppering the kid with questions. I know folks wanted to be helpful, but mostly they were acting crazy.

Talking about him like he wasn’t there. Loudly praying to Jesus to take up his body to heaven (that scared him). Saying things like, “I hope you don’t die,” (also scary). Not even looking at him. Taking pictures (wtf?). Telling me to do what I was already doing. Yelling and speaking in tones that felt scared, abrupt, and confused even though they were not bleeding in the dirt.

I felt so calm. So clear that I was there to shield this kid from the crazy energy and keep him in his body, breathing. From the moment we pulled over, this incredible calm washed over me and it never wavered. For this I am grateful.

I smoothed his bloody hair. He pulled my hand to his cheek. We watched as he’d gently wiggle his toes — proof he wasn’t paralyzed. He cried because he was in pain. I confirmed he had not pissed and shit his pants as he’d suspected. I helped him drink water out of the side of his mouth. I calmed him when he wanted to get up and move around or when he thought he was dying.

I politely asked people to back away. Somehow giving them all reassuring smiles. I felt myself doing it and thought, “Wowza, I’m being soooo gentle.”

The ambulance finally came. And the fire department. And CHP. A helicopter was en route to get him back as quick as possible to a Vegas hospital. I called his parents and told him what had happened and where to go.

We left the scene and I had his blood on my hands, and I wondered if I’d ever had a stranger’s blood on me before.

He had surgery that night and his step-dad texted me that he was recovering well.

Here’s what I’ve been simmering on since Monday…they feel like pretty profound life lessons so I wanted to share:

  • DIVINE TIMING + NO SUCH THING AS A MISSTEP // Ryan and I had several turnarounds as we were driving that morning. They felt like mistakes and we treated them as such. Getting frustrated with missing a turn. Blaming each other for not reading the map correctly. But we showed up right on time. A minute earlier and we would’ve missed the kid.>> So our missteps weren’t missteps at all. They were precise guidance from the divine to get where we needed to get. Don’t forget that next time you think you’re making a misstep. Maybe your destination is just a guidepost to get you where you really need to go.
  • GENTLE MEDICINE // My whole life journey this year has been about a whole next level slowing down and getting even more gentle with my body/energy/soul. The calm, clear space I held for this kid and everyone around us was possible because of how gentle I’ve been with myself. How slow I’ve allowed myself to be.>> Where can you be more gentle with you? Imagine what kind of vessel you can become if you soften how you be with you.
  • TRUE ACCEPTANCE // I’ve been having judgments of the people running around acting so crazy. And what I’m seeing is that they are operating in their reality and I am operating in mine. Yes, we are side-by-side but we’re on different wavelengths. This goes for all of humanity — especially our current political reality. And when I’m all “I can’t believe they are acting like this!” I’m not in acceptance. I’m resisting. I’m denying their experience.Acceptance does not mean agreement. It does not mean condoning bad behavior. But if I truly want to practice acceptance (the path to true compassion/connection) then I have to move through the “OMG y’all are ridiculous humans,” and get to “I see how you are seeing things. Your reality is as real to you as my reality is to me.”

    My reality is not the *right* one. It’s not the baseline for normal. I’m a fucking weirdo! This is akin to the white, hetero-normative reality being held up as the keystone of normalcy in our society. Putting one definition of right reality on everyone doesn’t work. It’s divisive. It’s toxic.

    >> Where are you holding your reality as the right/best way to be? Can you soften to allow for more acceptance?

See you next year with some new offerings of guidance and support + my weekly Friday 11am PST MAGIC HOUR via fb live + my weekly Saturday 9am PSTdivine guidance and meditation via in my private fb group. Put them on your calendar and get free coaching guidance with me every week.