Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Miracles of Healing

When I posted our Monday morning run on Facebook, I wrote, "3.4 magnificent miraculous Monday miles! Took to the Hills around our neighborhood and 264’ of elevation got the heart pumping and endorphins kicking in! Spring is in bloom!"

Why miraculous miles you may ask?

In December of 2006, I was diagnosed with Post Polio Syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease by Western Medicine Standards. I decided I was not going to take the diagnosis sitting down but at the time could not know that I was on the threshold of a miracle of healing. I got still and asked for Divine Guidance. I had known about Bernie Siegel's work since a nurse brought me his cassette talk on Love, Medicine and Miracles and knew the role that the power of faith and the mind/body connection along with self-love play in healing. I knew the story of Evy McDonald, also a polio survivor who healed her life from the diagnosis of ALS.

As I sat in a leg brace using a cane and at times a wheelchair for mobility, the gift of poetry sprung forth from my soul. After contracting paralytic polio, I had an angel of a physical therapist, Miss Holly who read Dr. Seuss to me before every painful physical therapy session and then would have me recite the book back to her in tandem while she coaxed my muscles and nerves back to health. As part of my miracle of healing, I started writing poetry and the first poem I wrote, Running the Race, was in the cadence of Dr. Seuss. It foreshadowed my 2009 Boston Marathon run. Here I am 14 years after the diagnosis working out 5 days a week and running 3 days a week! But that is not all oh no that is not all to quote The Cat in the Hat.

In December of 2014, I sustained a very serious knee injury. By all appearances it looked as though I would need to stop running and require a total knee replacement in a few years. It was beyond repair and the fact that I had an atrophied gastroc muscle from the polio would contribute to further degeneration of the knee. "Well there's nothing you can do about that" the doctor told me as he wrote a prescription for physical therapy with the caveat that I should not run but since he knew I was going to run anyway that I needed to cap my distance. I was blessed to have a physical therapist from hell and the Universe led me to a healer/chiropractor who led me to new and wondrous healing resources. I went on to run the Bermuda Half Marathon in 2016, 2017 and 2018!

For 3 years, Ruth Anne suffered with a complex of symptoms that confounded medical professionals. She endured 14 hospitalizations from January of 2018 til August of 2019 and was given every behavioral health diagnosis in the book. I was able to put the pieces of the puzzle together and was blessed that her primary care doctor and psychiatrist were on board with the diagnosis and implemented a treatment plan. She is a miracle! Many times she was on the precipice of the end of her life. It was a miracle that she was able to hold on until we were able to figure things out. Often times we prayed for a miracle and released the outcome to the Universe. We had to live in a space of just not knowing what would happen.

Yesterday on a drizzly gray day in Brookline, we experienced the miracles of healing and the glorious rebirth that happens every year in New England.

“It’s not a problem that fear is here. Fear is a portal for spiritual awakening. If, instead of running away, you meet fear with presence, you will discover right in its midst, a timeless and healing love.” ~Tara Brach

Be Love

When sirens shrill shrieks ear piercing fear
Be Love
Let light and love Shine
Intelligence divine
Love greater than fear
in Love's great power

Love fills the cells
prison walls crumble
cells open wide
at Love song's first refrain
Be light
feel ease
delight in beauty surrounding

Refrain from fear's beckoning
as thoughts race with worry
bathe them with Love
potent healing balm
extinguishes fear
restores one to calm
Fear or Love
grow still and listen
veil of fear shredded
revealing reveling
Be Love.

From my heart to yours
to your health and well being
With love

My website is www.marymcmanus.com

My books are available on Amazon

Monday, March 30, 2020

Ode to A New Decade: On Resilience and Faith

Ode to a New Decade

A new decade new year anticipation such good cheer
hugs and celebrations 2020 is now here.
Vision boards and dreaming big hearts filled with so much hope
no one dreamed on horizon we'd be challenged with how to cope.
Auld lang syne 2019 we said goodbye to terrible year
The Universe responded.."Hang on.. "Hold my beer."
We learned to adapt somehow finding our way
despite rapid changes that came with each day.
Working remotely from all across globe
who knew we could spend a whole day in our robe?

Anger and rancor blaming judging and greed
softened our hearts tell me what do you need.
Singing together giving thanks for our health
those with abundance sharing their wealth.
Closets decluttered we'd sort and we'd sift
while slowly but surely the world made a shift.

We cursed and we struggled cuz that's what humans do
until we surrendered as One knowing we'll make it through.
Grieving losses of how life used to be
caterpillars must die to transform and fly free.
Sidewalks were chalked messages for neighbors to share
finding ways to communicate how much we all care.
Bonds of kinship grew stronger though physically apart
we discovered what's important real and true in our heart.
A running boom happened distant waves smiles so bright
projects new interests focus on healing, love and light.

The first quarter of our decade spent much time in quarantine
soul lessons learned much remains to be seen.
When this year is over and we open our hearts to new year ahead
strength, courage and resilience knowing nothing now to dread.

No one had any of this on their vision board for sure but here we are in the first quarter of a new year and a new decade experiencing situations that we were totally unprepared for.

The Universe hit the entire world with a giant 2 x 4 to create an awakening and a shift on an individual, family, community and global level. We discovered that what happens in one part of the world affects every one of us.

It reminds me of the Butterfly Effect:

My heart aches for families who have experienced devastating losses. My heart grieves for those who are unemployed, for my friends who own small business, for the unprecedented economic toll this has taken across the globe. I pray that people will be able to tap into our tremendous resilience and to experience the power of the Spirit during these challenging times.

Yet my heart is also filled with hope, gratitude and love and I am reminded of my resilience and our resilience as a community in Boston and beyond.

I contracted paralytic polio at the age of 5 and endured years of child abuse at the hands of family members. I went on to become valedictorian of my high school class and had an award winning career as a social worker at the VA. I connected with Source and my guardian angel from an early age.

In December of 2006, 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 got still and asked for Divine Guidance. A whole new world opened before me as I transformed from a survivor of paralytic polio and trauma to an endurance runner and motivational speaker.

After that diagnosis I had complete and utter faith that the diagnosis was not an ending but a new beginning for me. I harnessed the power of my imagination through the power of my pen, what I call my Divining Rod for healing, and through the mind/body connection and feeling as if my wonderful future had already happened, created a new life.

As a country we made it through 9/11 and as a city we became Boston Strong after 4/15/13.

As I surf the waves of fear that we are all experiencing at this time, I am experiencing many many more moments of clarity and calm. I meditate throughout the day and if I wake up in the middle of the night, rather than fueling and feeding my fears, I am focused on affirmations and a vision for life for after the pandemic subsides. There are many wonderful healing resources available specifically designed to help us navigate these turbulent times and I've added them to the Healing Resources page on my website.

I know that with resilience, faith, connection while being physically apart and experiencing a shift, we will not only survive but thrive!

From my heart to yours
In health and wellness

Be sure to visit my website at www.marymcmanus.com

My books are available on Amazon

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Conspiracy of Hope - It's a Sign!

A friend of mine once nicknamed me The Empress of Enthusiasm. I must admit that, at times, it's been a challenge to maintain that level of enthusiasm during these challenging times. Yet, having that nickname and knowing that many look to me for my positive posts, optimism and enthusiasm especially during challenging times helps me to stay in a stream of positive energy.

I am so blessed to have like hearted friends who are sharing positive posts during this time.

One friend who I met at the Harvard Pilgrim Finish at the 50 last year shared this beautiful photo with the caption, "First time in 3 years we had one that bloomed!"

I commented, 'It's a sign' and Erin replied, 'for sure! Glimmer of hope!'

My friend Kelly who I know through running posted one flower photo yesterday and one today noting, "Normally I would be rushing out of the house for work or something else.

Took a nice walk this morning to try to get the focus off of the negativity and anxiety with COVID.

Stop, look and listen to the beauty happening in front of us"

Another runner friend Kevin shared this post: "It is so nice out I put out Mom's geraniums."

One of my favorite posts came from Andrew who I also met through running:

This is a happy, non virus, non political post.

First sign of spring today just popped up in our front yard. These are from the pile of bulbs my father gave me a few years ago with the proviso that he did not know what they were or what color they were, but to just plant them. And they have kept coming back year after year ever since."

There are signs of hope, signs of Spring and so much beauty to surround. It all depends on where we place our focus.

The other day I was Spring Cleaning. I had to wait to change our linens and make our bed because our beloved cat Jamie was so comfortable that I did not have the heart to ask her to leave. When it was her dinner time she left her cozy nest. I quickly stripped the bed and seemingly, out of nowhere, a nickel appeared on the mattress cover.

A 1964 nickel....

As I remade our bed I pondered on the significance of finding a nickel. I knew in every fiber of my being that it was a sign.

And then it dawned on me...The Five Pennies!

In this film based on a true story, Red Nichols (Danny Kaye) moves from his small town to New York City to become a jazz musician. Although he experiences culture shock, he soon becomes well respected in the clubs, even forming a friendship with Louis Armstrong (Louis Armstrong). After marrying Willa (Barbara Bel Geddes) and having a daughter, Dorothy (Susan Gordon), Red still tours constantly. But, when he learns that Dorothy has polio, he realizes he must rethink his priorities.

This past Father's Day I wrote a blog post about The Five Pennies after finding five pennies outside of CVS.

I knew the Universe was sending me a message and giving me a message to share.

I contracted paralytic polio in one of the last epidemics in the US in 1959. I wondered why we haven't been hearing more about polio in the context of our current pandemic and then lo and behold I found this article from WBUR that says:

“What we can learn is that our predecessors have met these contagious crises with far less armaments and tools in their tool box,” he says. “And they came through on the other end. And we can do this and we will do this with COVID-19.”

There is hope. We are all in this together and we will not only survive but we will thrive!

The Gardener

Conspiracy of hope
kneeling at sacred space
confidently pregnant with faith

Spade sifts soil
sensuous scent of Spring
tender preparation in mother earth’s womb

This tiny seed
how does it know?
Possessing wisdom beyond what eye can behold
expectant miracle

Divine Intelligence slowly unfurls
ease and grace
beautiful ballet
sunlight's spotlight center stage
bees and butterflies surrounding
serenading rebirth
behold its beauty.

Be safe!
Be well!

From my heart to yours

Be sure to visit my website at www.marymcmanus.com

My books are available on Amazon

Friday, March 27, 2020

Blogger Spotlight: M and A Farm

Today's blog is brought to you by guest blogger Ruth Anne McManus.

My brother Autumn and his partner Michelle Todd own M and A Farm. I have tasted their delicious chicken, bacon and eggs. They are two of the hardest working people I know. Both Autumn and Michelle have their roots in social justice and sustainability. They did farm internships to learn about farming and continued their education on their own. They recently created their website. They are a small-scale, diversified farm, and produce an array of products including fruits, vegetables, soap, eggs, pork, chicken, and flowers. They will soon be opening for the season at The Berry Patch Store located in Stephentown New York.

All produce grown by M and A is certified naturally grown. They recognize the importance of tending to their surrounding ecosystems as a whole - using only natural inputs, and rebuilding soil with compost and organic matter. Anything less is unsustainable.

Last Christmas, Michele and Autumn sent me a gift bag that included their homemade goat soap.

Do you have dry skin and who doesn't from all of our hand washing these days. Try a bar of their small batch goats' milk soap made with milk from their very own goats!

Michelle and Autumn boast that they have the happiest hens on earth. The chickens don't practice social distancing but they roam freely on the farm.

They are making farm fresh food available during this time of crisis. For the duration of the COVID-19 crisis, M and A Farm will be offering delivery services to the Troy and Albany areas! Products include pasture-raised meat, greens, and eggs!

When it is finally safe for Farmers Markets to reopen be sure to consider supporting your local farmers. Many take SNAP benefits and participate in a program where people receive money back on their benefits when they shop at Farmers Markets.

When I first wrote this blog, it was for a call to action to support our farmers as part of the Stimulus Relief Package. I am happy to report this from the Farmers Market Coalition website:

Washington, D.C., March 25, 2020 – After an all-night negotiation, the Senate today passed a two trillion-dollar stimulus package; the third COVID-19 stimulus package to date. The bill includes $9.5 billion to support “agricultural producers impacted by coronavirus, including producers of specialty crops, producers that supply local food systems, including farmers markets, restaurants, and schools, and livestock producers, including dairy producers.” In response to the Senate’s publication of their third stimulus bill, the Farmers Market Coalition (FMC) issued the following statement:

“We are grateful that the Senate put in the overtime work to get this bill out the door,” said FMC Executive Director Ben Feldman. “Farmers markets and direct market farmers and ranchers across the country have been in a state of limbo for weeks now this package gives them a path forward. While there is more yet to do, we want to thank in particular Senate Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-VT) for their tireless advocacy and support of the local/regional food economy.

We urge the House to take the Senate’s lead and move swiftly to pass this next stimulus package. We also urge both chambers to direct the CDC to clarify that farmers markets are essential services, and to direct the USDA to provide flexibility on deadlines and matching requirements for current grant opportunities. At this time, Congress should be doing everything they can to make sure these essential food and farm businesses can stay in operation throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.”

FMC will continue to work with our market members and our champions in Congress to ensure that farmers markets and direct market farmers receive the support they need to stay in business and keep feeding their communities. We will be following this legislation closely as it moves through Congress and monitoring the implementation of any funds issued to ensure they support the local markets and family farm businesses that need them most.

For more information about Farmers Markets visit the Farmers Market Coalition website.

Be safe!
Be well!

From my heart to yours
Ruth Anne

Be sure to visit my website at www.marymcmanus.com

My books are available on Amazon

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Looking forward to....

From the Introduction of "The Adventures of Runnergirl 1953":
“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” ~Abraham Lincoln

Once I received the diagnosis of Post-Polio Syndrome, a disease deemed by Western Medicine Standards to be a progressive neuromuscular disease, I worked hard to live by Abraham Lincoln’s philosophy and the philosophy of many luminaries of the New Age. In December of 2006 life as I had come to know it came to a screeching halt. I was not going to take the diagnosis sitting down.

Sometimes it feels as though life is going to crush us but then we have the opportunity to turn around and crush goals in life! At first I was afraid - very afraid and then I got still and asked for Divine Guidance. The answers came through my pen, what I came to call my divining rod for healing in the form of inspirational poetry; powerful words that inspired mind, body and soul to heal. I was creating my future; a future very different than the one the doctors predicted for me harnessing the power of my imagination to heal. I was told to prepare to spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair, and to anticipate an accelerated decline in functioning as I aged.

I traded in my wheelchair, leg brace and cane for a pair of running shoes. I went on to become an endurance runner. My adventures as runner girl 1953 (the year I was born) launched when I was 54 years old.

I could have easily gotten pulled into the vortex of fear paralyzed by what I was being told. No one would have or could have judged or blamed me for accepting the diagnosis and prognosis. What we hear from the 'experts' can have a powerful effect on our minds which then affects our bodies.

Despite all appearances to the contrary, I created my future through the power of my imagination that flowed through my pen. I had a yellow legal pad with me at all times writing the poems that flowed from Source. I kept a journal for my future. Yes you read that right. Every day I would take 30 minutes out of my day to create a day in my life for after I left the VA. I felt the feelings of joy, gratitude, wholeness, health, well being as though they were happening right then and there. I created an environment of healing through my imagination while working in outpatient physical therapy and then with a personal trainer.

While I acknowledge feelings of anxiety and fear that wash over me, I am also looking for ways to feel good while navigating these days of uncharted territory. I feel incredibly blessed that the portal to writing poetry has once again opened to me.

Spring Cleaning
Scrubbing out the corners of my cluttered fretting mind
cobwebbed covered fear and doubt seek and ye shall find.

Cleansing breaths transform the dark no longer can they rule

lightness ease and joy and Truth my journey now they fuel.
Planting seeds of possibility rebirth burst forth with life

rooted in my faith of Source weeding out the worry strife.

Shake off the chill of seasons past Loving warmth must now prevail

whatever the adversity trust through it we can sail.

Time for moments of transition transform embrace new day
thoughts of healing health well being are here to light the way.

Heart and soul's delight now blossom path clear for flying free

take off and soar unlimited Being all we're meant to be!

I am looking to the future and bringing it into my present by imagining how great it is going to feel to:
Go grocery shopping and experience ease and calm (and toilet paper on the shelves)
Go on a shopping spree at Paper Fiesta with the gift certificate we purchased
Meet our friend and her son for lunch in Natick Center Cultural District
Enjoy soup, sandwiches and salads from New England Soup Factory
Lunch with friends at Legal Seafood Chestnut Hill
Be a part of rescheduled races
Dining in at Golden Temple
Run with friends with hugs and high fives
Appointments with my chiropractor Dr. Lizzie Sobel
Taking Ruth Anne for her acupuncture appointments with George Leung and for her OT appointments at Spaulding Rehab
Seeing Spring in full bloom and having picnics outdoors
Give high fives and hugs for runners training on Heartbreak Hill
Experience Boston Marathon Weekend
- Speaking at the Expo as part of the Runner Seminar Series
- Welcoming friends from near and far
- Being outside for HOURS with more cowbell

I imagine all of these wonderful experiences with exquisite detail to savor the sensations right down to the peanut butter sandwiches with carrots and chips we eat while cheering on the runners at the Boston Marathon.

The subconscious mind cannot tell the difference between what is being imagined and what is real and so I have the same feelings happening in my body as though these experiences were happening right now. It's a wonderful way to transform the grief, worry and fear that is pervasive at this time. Instead of looking to the news for when we will receive the "all clear" and waiting to celebrate and experience all that joy and relief, I choose to look forward to that time right now.

To your health and wellness
From my heart to yours
With love

Be sure to visit my website at www.marymcmanus.com

My books are available on Amazon

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Waves and Smiles

The Wave

A tsunamai washed onto everybody's shore
a crushing wave of fear no one ever felt before.
The wake of a virus Corona its name
and for generations to come it will have its claim to fame.
First came denial we'll just go about our day
followed by hoarding send more toilet paper our way.
Little by little judging and blaming came to a halt
ceasing division derision this is not one person's fault.
Country's borders were closed lockdown shelter in place
but something magical happened while in confined space.
Hugs and kisses abandoned social distancing new norm
love and kindness emerged connection took on a new form.
Waving and smiles music played loud and true
virtual hugs Face Time and Skype helped us get through.
Spirit is thriving setting everyone free
to be brightest light we are all meant to be.
As storm clouds dispersed a new world order came into view
calm seas sunlight glimmering a sky bluer than blue.
Waves of joy and relief no one ever felt before
with transformed ebb and flow washed on everyone's shore.

On yesterday's run with Ruth Anne, I suggested that we smile and wave to cars driving by and to anyone we saw while keeping our safe distance of course. She loved the idea.

We were amazed at how many people in their cars honked and smiled and how smiles and waves brightened the otherwise grey dreary day in Brookline.

There were many runners and walkers out and about so we decided to take "an abundance of caution" and run up what I affectionately call Billy's Hill.

It's the huge hill that goes by Boston College on Beacon Street. We named it Billy's Hill after running the Bill Rodgers 5K for Prostate Cancer. It was a special race, the spirit of which is captured in this video:

We continued with our waves and smiles for the duration of our run. Being out in nature especially by a body of water always lifts one's spirits. We are so blessed to live so close to the Chestnut Hill Reservoir:

Sidewalk chalk is being used to send messages and spread cheer in the neighborhoods.

One of our neighbors qualified for Boston. His family made this message to lift his spirits and the spirits of anyone affected by the delay of the Boston Marathon:

We spotted this delightful work of art:

While physical distancing has been mandated as necessary, there are so many wonderful ways to maintain emotional closeness. The energy of our hearts can transcend any physical distance.

An ordinary run on a dreary grey day was transformed into a run of love and good cheer with waves and smiles!

To your health and wellness
From my heart to yours
With love

Be sure to visit my website at www.marymcmanus.com

My books are available on Amazon

Monday, March 23, 2020

Fare Well

We are all feeling fear and anxiety. It's a response to uncertainty, to a threat to our well being and the well being of our loved ones. For so many it's a time of economic uncertainty and for everyone it's a profound change in routine without having had any way to prepare for the situation.

While life is unpredictable and things are impermanent, this is uncertainty and impermanence on steroids yet also a wonderful opportunity for us to feel our resilience, strength, courage, gratitude and practice kindness and love in unprecedented ways.

But while we may not have experienced a situation exactly like this before, the majority of us have lived through traumatic events and times of uncertainty. We are a resilient lot and have a powerful drive to thrive.

How do we fare well during these times?

The diagnosis of Post Polio Syndrome in December of 2006 was my wake up call when I faced an uncertain future with my health and my career. I was told to prepare to spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair and that if I had any hope of stabilizing the symptoms where they were that I needed to leave my almost 20 year career as a VA social worker.

I got still and asked for Divine Guidance as I believe the global community is doing as we face this current public health crisis.

What flowed out of me was a poem called, "Running the Race." At the time I sat in a leg brace, used a cane and at times a wheelchair for mobility contemplating a rather grim future. At the time did I have any idea that the poem foreshadowed my 2009 Boston Marathon run? Absolutely not! I had never run a day in my life....

I was connected to Source and allowing the Divine to flow through me.

When I wrote poetry I literally felt no pain. I felt happy and whole casting away the pain from my past of paralytic polio and severe trauma at the hands of family members and creating a vision for a fantastic future very different than the one the doctors predicted for me.

Last week, I started writing poetry again!

I find that it eases the anxiety that washes over me at times and have been blessed to receive feedback from readers that it resonates with them.

During those times of uncertainty while I was blessed to find an earth angel of a physical therapist with Allison Lamarre-Poole at Spaulding Rehab (who now has a private practice, Koru Physical Therapy in Maine), I also discovered the power of meditation and was led to many wonderful healing resources.

After a serious knee injury in December of 2014, I was led to an expanding repertoire of healing resources that are holding me in very good stead during these uncertain times.

I highly recommend Kelly Noonan Gores' webinar that features physicians and new thought leaders. It's free and can be viewed by following this link. There is a 25 minute meditation at the end of the webinar to help to bring us to a place of calm and steadiness as we navigate uncharted turbulent waters.

During these times, my hope and prayer is that we all find a way to fare well.

Fare Well

When we complain in despair
life seems so unfair
you can fare well
saying farewell to victimhood and fear
to sit and savor whine
intoxicates mind
dwelling in dark

Look to the light
miraculous moments
coming back from the
helpers seen and
to see you through.

A grateful heart
beats with gladness
pulsing river of life
carries away waste
from the past
no more time to waste
life is magnificent
bidding you to fare well
embracing Love!

To your health and wellness
From my heart to yours
With love

Be sure to visit my website at www.marymcmanus.com

My books are available on Amazon

Saturday, March 21, 2020

The Shift

As we drove on Commonwealth Avenue to our usual parking space to start our Saturday morning run, it seemed as though we all felt a collective clutch of sadness. Runners were sparse and practicing social distancing. It's as though we felt the feelings of deflation that accompanied the rescheduling of the 2020 Boston Marathon originally scheduled for April 20th, 2020. It would have been the 11th anniversary of our incredible Boston Marathon journey. I was scheduled to speak at the Expo as part of the Runners Seminar Series (which is rescheduled for September). It's magical time of year in Boston as runners complete their training cycle and we all prepare for Boston to run again. We have had a blessedly mild winter with very little snow and early cold weather in November with only a few days of cold here and there, which has made for a wonderful training cycle. It's a time when we support our friends' fundraising efforts and attend different events leading up to the Marathon.

But a hush has fallen over the Hills.

I was sluggish at the beginning of today's run. We talked about how different the Hills felt from even two weeks ago.

But as we embraced the sunshine and sighted the wonderful harbingers of Spring's return:

our pace picked up. We smiled and greeted everyone we passed. We slowly let go of all that was weighing us down.

We had some fun with our selfie today at the Johnny Kelley Statue:

Johnny reminds us all to be Young at Heart. He lived to be 97 years old! I met his nephew in January of 2009 when we were coming back from Puerto Rico after taking a break from the brutal New England winter while we trained from Boston. It was a magical encounter that I wrote about in "The Adventures of Runnergirl 1953":
Two weeks before our first run on Heartbreak Hill, we returned from Puerto Rico, after a brief hiatus from the never ending brutal New England cold weather. On the plane ride home, we met Tom Kelley and his wife, Dottie. We shared the story of Team McManus not knowing the names of the people with whom we shared pleasant conversation to pass the time on the flight back to a snowstorm in Boston.

“Hi there…my name is Tom Kelley. My uncle was Johnny Kelley.”

“I’m Dottie.” “It’s so nice to meet you.”

“Johnny Kelley” I thought to myself. “As in the Johnny Kelley. Olympian and Boston Marathon champion through the decades?!”

Dottie shared with me that Tommy lives with Parkinson’s Disease but he keeps on running as best he can. Running is his therapy. She asked for our mailing address. They had something they wanted to send to us. I had goosebumps all over.

As we parted ways heading to baggage claim, Dottie said, ‘Good luck with the rest of your training! Come see us at the Expo at Packet Pick up. Remember, Johnny will be watching over you.”

“Thank you. Get home safely and we’ll definitely come see you at Packet Pick Up. You sure made my day!” I said with a broad smile and a full heart.

A week later a package came in the mail with a note written in Dottie’s perfect cursive handwriting dictated by Tommy:

This is a poster created by Adidas for the 2004 BAA Marathon. I had Johnny sign a few when we roomed together at the Copley Plaza that week, and I know he would have gladly signed one for your family if he were here. Perhaps it will inspire you to run a good race, especially the last 6 miles. Johnny was an inspiration to many of us amateur runners and he lives on in the memories of countless runners. You can get a copy of his book Young at Heart on Amazon I believe. You'll note that his forefathers came over to the USA on the SS Marathon!!! Keep on running as I do. We loved your website and maybe some day we can meet again.

Young at Heart is the name of Johnny's autobiography and the song they played at the dedication of his statue on Heartbreak Hill.

It's so easy to forget the expanse of space and time when we focus on the news and absorb the fear and angst seemingly surrounding us but running and being out in fresh air and sunlight provides a wonderful healing balm to all of our ills. A recent article in the NY Times cited that there is a running boom happening now that gyms and pools are closed.

We even had a little race of our own at the end of our run pretending we were coming into an imaginary finish line!

What a wonderful shift we made from when we first arrived at Heartbreak Hill to when we finished our run. May we all find our way away from fear and back to love, joy, health and well being.

The Shift

Make the shift and shift to Source
shifting gears
untether from vortex of fear
troubles drift away in a hot air balloon
a rainbow of hope replaces roiling rage
how can this be?
why is this happening
to me?

This is happening for me
to shift
to sift through

Tears like raindrops
cleanse my heart and soul
clarity comes into view
a lush landscape
blessings freely scattered
take root in faith.

Source my resource
Love overflowing bathing wounds
entreating calm the storm
soothing gentle breezes
tender butterfly kisses
sunbeams warm my heart
the shift from fear to Love.

The only way to Be
Being joyful
filled with hope
the time is now.

To your health and wellness
From my heart to yours
With love

Be sure to visit my website at www.marymcmanus.com

My books are available on Amazon

Friday, March 20, 2020

Between Stimulus and Response....

The other night before meditation, I was experiencing a high level of anxiety. As I worked to clear away the fears and doubts that were tugging at my solar plexus causing me to feel a clutch and my throat tighten, I realized that I needed to pause, take a deep breath, open my heart, focus on the blessings in my life and feel connected to Source. I recalled all the wonderful inspirational quotes I have posted through the years and the miracles of healing I have experienced in my own life. I realized that the anxiety did not come from my fear of the virus but having absorbed all the fear that's happening around me and in the media. I became keenly aware of the trauma that had gotten triggered within me and then...I chose to smile.

I came to the realization that I needed to focus on the good that is happening right now and to stop reading articles in depth that only served to raise my anxiety and fears. I also realized that I needed to find ways that I could be of service while practicing social but not emotional distancing.

These two articles popped up in my news stream.

This article, 10 Positive Updates on the COVID-19 From Around the World was posted by Alison LaMarre Poole. Alison was my physical therapist after I was diagnosed with Post-Polio Syndrome in January of 2007. She held the faith for me that I would and could heal and that I was NOT destined to spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair! Without her love, compassion, incredible skill as a Physical Therapist, there would have been no adventures for this runnergirl!

My dear friend and Race Director Extraordinaire, Paul Collyer, posted this article saying, "We will be up and running again very soon....stay cool peeps!" "Israeli Virologist urges world leaders to calm public, slams ‘unnecessary panic’".

Both articles were delivered by Love from the Source of all to remind me of the good news that is happening in the world and that above all, fear doesn't serve anyone. Of note is that science has proven over and over again that fear inhibits the immune system. I watched a free webinar last evening: COVID-19: Navigating Anxiety, Fear and "Social Distancing." that was convened by WellSet and featured Kelly Noonan Gores, the Director of Heal Documentary.

I will continue to infuse myself with good news, and beliefs that resonate with my beliefs during this time of chaos and confusion where we have little control over our circumstances but ALWAYS have the choice to choose our thoughts and beliefs.

Yesterday I wrote this poem:

Calm down calm up whatever way you choose
when choosing calm and steadiness you can never lose.
In the midst of chaos be steadfast faithful true
stay connected to the Source of all always sees us through.
When everything gets shaken loose fear rattles in our core
remember how we've made it through all that went before.
With angels now surrounding you can feel them play a part
be still and count your blessings with gratitude fill your heart.
These times may not be easy yet we can find a sense of ease
compassion loving kindness finding others ways to please.
Take a sacred pause a breath remove from all the fray.
dispelling darkness fear and doubt let hope now light the way.

Anita Moorjani, a luminary from Heal, posted this today on Facebook:

My friend Ricky Powell shared this calendar for 30 Action Steps we can take to help us keep calm and cope:

Once I untethered myself from the vortex of fear and connected to Source these wonderful posts flowed to me.

I am training myself to become skillful at focusing on what serves me best right now and taking that sacred pause between stimulus and response. Won't you join me?

To your health and wellness
From my heart to yours
With love

Be sure to visit my website at www.marymcmanus.com

My books are available on Amazon

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

All Clear

After the events of 4/15/13, we were ordered to shelter in place in the greater Boston area while law enforcement personnel tracked down and captured the person responsible for the bombings. We kept the TV on and while we had a group meditation on Facebook and kept taking deep breaths throughout the day, there was a sense of when will we be given the all clear to resume our lives.

We've lived through several major New England blizzards where we were told to stay home except for essential travel to allow crews to clear the roads. During the winter of 2014, we had snow storm after snow storm with no end in sight. We had ice dams and as water poured through ceilings and doors I was left to wonder, "When will this ever end?" Of course it did. Spring came and our homeowner's insurance took care of the repairs. We had a more energy efficient home with new paint and no more ice dams!

During the past 3 years, as our daughter endured multiple hospitalizations with no clear diagnosis or treatment plan I wondered, "When will this end? How will it end?" I had faith that sustained me throughout those times of dire crises and we all made it through to the other side.

I marvel at our resilience!

As we receive news of ever changing circumstances, there is a sense of "When will we receive the all clear?" As I experienced waves of anxiety, I watched a video by Dr. Joe Dispenza that you can watch by following this link and saw this post:

It seems so unnatural to make these types of choices in the midst of such conditions, but if we repeatedly succeed, in time we’ll transcend the norm—and we, too, become supernatural. And most important, by your being supernatural, you give others permission to do the same. Mirror neurons fire when we observe someone else performing an action. Our neurons mirror the neurons of that other person, as though we were performing the same action. For example, when you see a professional dancer dancing the salsa, you will dance the salsa better than you did before. If you watch Serena Williams hit a tennis ball, you will hit the ball better than you did before. If you observe someone leading a community with love and compassion, you’ll lead in your life in the same way. And if you witness someone self-healing from a disease by changing his or her thought processes, you’ll be more prone to do the same❤️

I called my dear friend and womanpreneur Paula Romero-Dunbar, owner of Paper Fiesta. We bought a gift card. I checked in with my hair stylist to see how he was doing and if he wanted me to prepay for my next visit with him. He was deeply touched by my reaching out to him and told me he was able to ride this out even though the salon is closed. We are checking in with friends and neighbors on Facebook and in real life. While we are mandated for social distancing, we are practicing emotional closeness, kindness and compassion!

Ruth Anne and I went on an almost 4 mile run today because the weather was glorious and focused on the blessings that surrounded us:

I only skim the headlines for the "breaking news" that comes into my inbox.

We take extra meditation breaks throughout the day and often pause to say at least 3 things were are grateful for.

While part of me feels the anxiety that comes with these chaotic, confusing and unprecedented times wondering when will the "All Clear" come, I realized that the All Clear is right now:

All Clear
When clarion calls and sounds all clear no need to sit and wait
time for healing transformation creating destiny and fate.
All clear and cleanse the heart and mind a voice to light the way
shine instead of whining the mandate of the day.
Tho panic fills the headlines let cooler heads prevail
adversity storms passing compass of kindness adjust our sail.
Imagination fired up dark clouds we now can clear
knowing deep within our soul there's nothing now to fear.
Light beckons in the clearing stand firm in Truths Divine
drowning out the din of dread love beams brightly shine.
All clear an inner peace takes hold deep breaths a wave of calm
emanates from faith and trust allowing healing balm.

To your health and wellness
From my heart to yours

Be sure to visit my website at www.marymcmanus.com

My books are available on Amazon

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Well Being during Extraordinary Times

During these times of chaos, confusion and fear, it can become quite challenging to experience a sense of well being. I feel blessed to be connected to many like hearted beings in the field of Facebook and in my physical life who are focused on well being at this time.

My friend Lisa Berman has a Saturday Sunrise page on Facebook. She captures the magnificence of sunrises, sunsets and the ebb and flow of the ocean. If you need to reclaim your sense of well being, head to the beach. If you don't live near the beach or if you are in quarantine, these images and videos will create that same sense of well being.

It seems that it always takes a crisis for an individual or a society to be shaken out of its usual way of thinking and being. When I was diagnosed with Post-Polio Syndrome in December of 2006, I was shaken to my core with the diagnosis of a what the medical profession cited as a progressive neuromuscular disease. I immersed myself in information about the mind/body connection, holistic healing practices and my body's tremendous capacity for healing. After a serious knee injury in December of 2014, I was blessed to find a chiropractor who led me to the movie "What the bleep do we know" and Dr. Joe Dispenza's book, "You Are the Placebo."

While I knew the power of the mind/body connection through my own healing journey, "You Are the Placebo" brought me to the next level of evolution in my health and wellness journey. I was then led to "Heal Documentary" and its companion book.

Through Dr. Joe on Facebook, I met Sarah Baron. You can follow her on Instagram @lovelttd #wellbeings. She draws Well Beings and her posts are filled with enthusiasm and passion, light and love. Her recent posts fill me with delight and gratitude and this one in particular strongly resonated with me:

WellBeing flows like Niagara falls, never ending, limitless. Its all around you.
Its a frequency, a vibration in everything. Love let's it in, fear holds
it away, It's always there, limitless love and wellbeing for everyone.
Relax, be calm, all is well. Let it flow to you and through you. LOVE,
JOY, EASE, CALM, RELAX, BE KIND, LOVE. <3 <3 <3 Lets raise each other up. <3 You are doing great! Nothing is wrong. All is well. <3

After my morning meditation, I often take a photo to post to Facebook along with an inspirational message to start the day. I was in awe when, yesterday morning, this was the photo I took with a Well Being:

Sarah lives in Australia! Well beings abound! You can visit her page on Pinterest.

She encourages us to imagine, just for 17 seconds and then another 17 seconds in this post reminding us all is well:
"The sun came up. The moon came up. The birds are singing. The flowers
are growing. Children are laughing. Clouds are floating by. Rain
sprinkles down. We woke up today. All is so very well. Love you all <3 Well Being abounds. It has you. It is you. It's in you. It's who you are. Meditation and imagination is your super power. Focus on what you want. Imagine the best! LOVE, JOY, FREEDOM, PLAYFULLNESS, VIBRANCE, EASE, THRIVING. It's who you are. Try to imagine for 17 seconds.... then another 17... then another 17. Your imagination is a preview of the life that you are drawing to you. <3 <3 <3 You each have a Well Being. Loving and adoring you."

While I am not on Instagram, Sarah shared this video from Dr. Joe. He later posted this:

It seems so unnatural to make these types of choices in the midst of such conditions, but if we repeatedly succeed, in time we’ll transcend the norm—and we, too, become supernatural. And most important, by your being supernatural, you give others permission to do the same. Mirror neurons fire when we observe someone else performing an action. Our neurons mirror the neurons of that other person, as though we were performing the same action. For example, when you see a professional dancer dancing the salsa, you will dance the salsa better than you did before. If you watch Serena Williams hit a tennis ball, you will hit the ball better than you did before. If you observe someone leading a community with love and compassion, you’ll lead in your life in the same way. And if you witness someone self-healing from a disease by changing his or her thought processes, you’ll be more prone to do the same.

I am deeply grateful to those who went before me to show me what is possible for healing and now I hope to be a beacon of light for others who may be living in paralyzing fear unaware that all is well and our natural state is health and well being. I have a page on my website dedicated to healing resources.

It seems unnatural to not feel fear and panic when the media and "experts" are telling us we need to be afraid - very afraid. While my family and I are mindful about hand washing, and aware of keeping social distance until we receive the all clear, we are focusing on our bodies' tremendous capacity to heal, finding calm in the midst of chaos, practicing meditations that support our physical and emotional health and stay focused on well being.

Well Being

Be present
behold the gift of each new moment
presenting itself.
When fear takes hold be brazenly bold
be in the flow.
Allowing well being
take heart feel in your heart
all is well.
Dipping into well of well being
paint a Masterpiece reflect Divine
geyser rising deep within soul
cleanse doubts fear and worry
heal brokenness.
eyes sparkle
rainbow reflections
effervescence overflowing.
let loose the ties that bind like a rubber band
breathe deeply.
Have courage to be
your true self
trust and be

To your health and wellness
From my heart to yours

Be sure to visit my website at www.marymcmanus.com

My books are available on Amazon