Last week I took a much needed rest and relaxation trip to Gaudeloupe in the French Caribbean. I was 2.5 months post op, and when I booked the trip back in December, while I was still on bed rest, I knew that I would definitely need the trip. I initially booked the trip with one friend, and the number morphed into 6 of us heading down to a small island to rest and reset. We had all had some trials and tribulations toward the end of 2018 and we were looking forward to this trip to breathe some new life into us. We didn’t know what to expect, most of us were strangers, yet all of us had one common goal. Rebirth! I can’t speak for everyone on the trip, but I certainly got the lesson that I needed in Guadeloupe, and I will share with you my take away from the trip.
The Irony of Life
On our first beach day I wanted to shoot some content to share with my students and I chose to record me teaching Katie a three part breathing exercise. Breath is life, and pranayama is breath control, so therefore breath control, is life control, right? You can click here to watch and practice three part breathing with me and Katie. You may be wondering what is so ironic about day 1 and breath control. Well, day 2 on the beach will explain it.
Death and Loss of Breath
On our second beach day, we decided to head to a different beach. On the way there we were commenting about the sporadic rain that hits the island and the fact that we had not seen one rainbow. We demanded a rainbow and laughed while we rode through the mountains to find Canella Beach. It turned out that Canella Beach was a resort, so we resorted to head on over to La Datcha, which we had previously googled as well. La Datcha was a welcomed sight to us all as you can see from the above picture. It was glorious, and beautiful, and filled with families, and people enjoying a day at the beach. After a mini beach photo shoot, a walk down the beach to explore, we settled in to take in the spectacular views. Little did we know what was in store for our eyes to see. At one point, I hear Katie scream something, and suddenly my eyes dart to the elderly man, whose limp body was being pulled out from the water. People we yelling, and rushing over, and I remember telling Katie she had to go see because I remembered she said she was a lifeguard in her past. in retrospect, I feel terrible for forcing her to head directly into a situation that she was not expecting. I had no life saving skills, so I commanded the person that I knew had them to go and that was not right. It was a sight to see so many people taking turns and giving this man CPR. The community came together, and all many of us could do was watch. Katie came back to the group, and people were still taking turns trying to breathe life back into a stranger. Emergency services finally arrived after what seemed like a lifetime and now they too started taking turns. All the while, we watched. I then remembered reading Karma and Reincarnation by Dr. Hiroshi Motoyama and his section on traumatic/tragic death and how when people die traumatically, the people around them holding on keep their souls from transitioning peacefully, and usually create karma that will later have to be resolved. I said this aloud, and then heard my purpose. I sat on that beach, and for the next 30 minutes or more, while people pounded on the man’s chest, and cried, and screamed, I sent metta. Loving kindness to the man’s soul, to the family, that was in shock, and to all of us there watching. I concentrated on repeating that this man have a smooth transition to the afterlife, despite the chaos that was transpiring. I shed tears, and smiled, and thought happy thoughts. After about 45 minutes from the man being pulled out fo the water, he was pronounced dead, wrapped in a sheet, and the focus turned toward the family, while a body was wrapped in a white sheet, and the family waited. As if things could not get worse, It started to rain…. at one point it was pouring, and yet the wife sat on the sand, not able to let go. And then we got our rainbow in the form of an umbrella. Since the wife would not leave the body, an EMS worker sat on the sand next to her and held a rainbow umbrella over her head. Katie and I noticed and she commented there’s our rainbow. Not the one we were expecting to see, but the one that told us that this life was transitioning across the rainbow to something else. I don’t know why, but that umbrella, and that rainbow, put life into perspective for me on that beach. We all took this trip, to escape, or put an end to the craziness that was 2018. This incident on the beach showed me, that even when we think things are bad, things could be worse. Every day that we get to open our eyes and take a breath is a blessing. Will you take that blessing and create a happily ever after? Or will you waste your blessing of life focusing on petty things that don’t matter? I choose to take this blessing to be happy and to send loving kindness and happiness to everyone, even the people that I probably don’t want to include. May the rainbow represent the beginning always.