Mark: So Rich, what are your thoughts on CPR?
Me: What do you mean?
Mark: Well, in case you have a heart attack tonight would you want me to resuscitate you?
Heavy question right, now let me set the scene.
This was 10.30pm, the 2nd night of my Rounding retreat last month. Mark and I were sharing a cabin and chatting about death, which was a topic I was touching on a bit during the retreat, in the form of destruction (the removal of that which is irrelevant, i.e. what in us needs to die so we can move back to creating and evolution).
Mark was there as a guest facilitator as he is an amazing bodyworker and also a paramedic. And we’d be sharing stories about witnessing death, and he obviously has a lot of experience in that space.
I brought up that over the last week or so I had been having some weird chest pains. Specifically that day during the break, I was taking time out in the cabin reading a book and had a pretty sharp pain around the heart.
I am pretty dialed into my body so I know when something is not 100% and this is a definite that my body is trying to let me know something. Still not sure what that is yet…
Mark was pretty straight up, dude you gotta get that checked out. Men of our vintage don’t muck around with anything to do with the heart. We’ve both known guys drop dead due to heart attacks.
My reply: Okay sure I will go get it checked on Thursday.
Mark: Your call
Followed by that opening question, should he resuscitate me if I have a heart attack. That kinda hit home. I did have to sit with it for a moment, as I feel I am not scared of death, and see it is another birth so to speak. Just a continuation of life, a shift of energy back to the source code so to speak…
Alas, I did however at his suggestion head off to Emergency at 10.30 to be safe, as would not be great for the retreat guests if I by chance did leave the earthly plane during it…
Funny thing was, I had to walk about 1km up a hill to get to my car. That was intense as I felt strained and out of breath, is this it? Am I really going to drop my body right now? At least it is a beautiful full moon night.
Have to admit it, I started to get a little adrenaline and panic, as my thoughts swam around my family and how they would be.
Oh stop it Rich, you are not dying. Just breathe and be present.
Isn’t it amazing how the mind can really play games, body just going through the motions, but wow the stories I was playing out were comical.
Anyway as you can probably tell, I didn’t die that night.
But I did have a 5 hour ER journey and got back at 3.00am with “everything looking good, but get some follow up tests.” Safe to say I was pretty exhausted thought so I asked Mark to get Chelsea (friend and co-facilitator) to run the morning session as I was cooked..
Now here’s where it gets a little magical.
The day before during one of the rounds I had a song with spoken word by Allan Watts (amazing philosopher) and thought oh, I need to get one with Ram Dass and add it to the playlist.
Anyway, so I missed the 1st round while catching up on some sleep. And I hung back till I felt was the right time to head into the yoga space and of course…
OMG, are you kidding me. I walk into the space just as Ram Dass is playing (attached to the email). Tears just began to flow, my heart was just bursting (metaphorically)…
I sat on my mat and just could not move for about 10 minutes. I was overcome with a strange emotion, after the crazy ride with “death” the following evening to sitting here with this amazing song playing out, in a beautiful space with a palpable energy of love in the room. I was just really blown away by the wonder, the mystery and the magic.
Ram Dass was fundamentally about living with a quiet mind and open heart. Something I walk towards eagerly. And something I kept repeating during the retreat.
Just imagine what that would feel like for a moment. To live from that space of a quiet mind and open heart!
Now I did have a chuckle to myself. Surely I could have just downloaded the song rather than a journey to the ER based around a potential heart attack, but alas the power of intention is an odd thing. And we have to get our lessons some way.. Especially those of us that are stubborn.
So make sure to be careful what you ask for and be specific! And pay attention to the language of your body.
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