For the last few weeks now, I have found myself in the deepest place with my gratitude for life itself. A tsunami of awareness hit me like Thor’s hammer coming at me like a thunderbolt from the pink Indian summer skies, as I sat outside watching my son football train, with his team and coach. As I watched my able bodied son and his young peers warm up and run around the athletic pitch, my focus of attention was drawn to a local group of disabled youths doing the very same thing. I observed with upmost respect for these brave youngsters, lifting themselves out of their day wheelchairs and into their race chairs, taping up and tucking in their feet and legs, to use the more able-bodied part of their upper torso’s, helping to build up their strength, stamina and speed. I was in awe of witnessing their determination to achieve their goals and push themselves beyond their limits. They were being trained by the very best of coaches, para-world class, medal winning Olympians no less, and the spirit of accomplishment despite any presenting challenging odds, was evidently being passed onto this next generation of sporting warriors.
Great Britain Gold Medalist Hannah Cockroft for Women's 100m in London's 2012 Para Olympics : the spirit of WheelChair Warriors!
I could not help but overhear some of the conversations taking place around the watch tower area amongst the on-looking, supportive parents of these young athletes. So deeply heart inspiring it was to hear of the medical procedures with such high fatality risks, that they had overcome in order to have their much longed for freedom and independence (from having to previously wear nappies at the sensitive stage teenage of 15!). My heart went out to each and every one of them, both boys and girls from age 6 to 21 years. I feel so privileged and blessed to have met them and for them to have kindly refused my offers of help in favour of building and maintaining their independence. I find that I now look forward to watching these phenomenal spirits undertake their physical exercise around the athletics track, each week and all whilst able bodied children and gym adults’ are working out and running alongside them; they all just get on with it, with what they are here to do which is to obtain their individual goals that they have set for themselves. I found this so deeply inspiring in such profound ways, that I felt drawn to writing this blog about them…. and then more happened to encourage me to do so….
I was fortunate the very next day to attend my local Carnival procession this September in Kingston-Upon- Thames, along the River Thames of London. A colour sound feast fest for eyes and ears in abundance, as I danced the Samba and Rumba to the Latino Brazilian Zumba beats with feather clad Goddesses in sparkly heels and itsy-bitsy bikinis with immaculate bodies shaking their every limb to the rhythmic drum beats. Celebrating music and culture of every tradition from the Caribbean Calypso to the Chinese and Japanese stringed Koto and everything in between, this was high party season time! As I perched for a while to devour some delicious lentil dhal dish to re-energise myself, an elderly gentleman sat down alongside me to rest, as an amputee. As I ate, he proceeded to tell me his life story, after I inquired about his lost leg. At age 21, he was travelling in South Africa, on an adventure holiday of his lifetime having just graduated from university, when he found himself in a head on road vehicle collision that took his right leg from him. At the time, he never thought he would recover and was deeply traumatised from the accident, but it meant that his life took a very different path to what he had imagined, and recover he did and more besides. He told me of many more of his adventures, until his lovely wife brought his food over to him, thank goodness for long food festival queues or else I wouldn’t have heard them all and so then I gave up my seat for her, for them to sit and eat together. “Wow!” I thought to myself “I am so grateful for my dancing, running legs that I so often and usually take for granted!”
A few days later, I find myself having a stall at the Fastminds Festival raising money and awareness for people with ADHD and who are neuro-diverse. The Mayor of Kingston who had been opening the Carnival procession was there yet again, this time speaking about the importance of supporting such organisations as Fastminds and all that they do to support an increasingly identified cross-section of our local community. The opening ceremony address included a highly creative artist and colourful lady called Mary-Ellen who wheeled herself in a wheelchair and was helped out of her chair, and onto stage to sing and to speak. She spoke of her #invisible campaign using her artwork as a platform of protest against the “grave and systemic violations of the Human Rights of people with disabilities which is being ignored and hidden and thus made ‘invisible’ to the general public”. She quoted a recent UN report highlighting the fight to campaign for independent living and disability rights. I was mesmerised by her powerful spirit and her beautiful voice singing the ‘Cup of Tea’ song, and her wheelchair and gravestone art sculpture illustrations and spirit of fighting for what is right, for ‘Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC)’. It saddens me that in my experience, it always seems to be the most vulnerable cross sections of our society that seem to take the biggest cut backs and knock backs, perhaps as they are assumed to be the least likely to resist and vocalise any protestation? Yet here was this ray of bright light shining and doing exactly that in a highly creative and unique way. So I signed her petition, and took some of her publicity material to spread the good word in speaking up and raising awareness for this vulnerable group of people under governmental attack, and I promised Mary-Ellen that I would blog about her great cause and campaign. So here I am honouring that promise, and again reflecting on my gratitude for being able bodied, and not in need of a personal assistant, a chair or an incontinence pad, which is a daily reality for many disabled people. They are people with human rights to freedom and independence and not being imprisoned within their own homes. If you would also like to help please add your support for DPAC go to www.dpac.uk.net as ill health, as well as amputation can overnight become a sudden reality for anyone, as the aforementioned elderly gentleman from the carnival told and showed me.
Art Work by Mary-Ellen in support of #invisible campaign for Disability Rights
So following these three very different local (to me) events of seeing people, members of the general public with disabilities and strong spirits getting on with it and fighting back, each in their own personal and uniquely creative different ways, I felt a calling to write; to blog about it. Since then I have had some more rather personal health experiences and close up encounters that have added to the richness of observation, further prompting me to get on writing about this very fascinating topic!
Firstly, my son developed an eye infection on his 10th birthday, and instead of being at school, we were admitted to hospital for emergency antibiotic treatment in case the infection spread to his brain risking fatality. I felt so gratefully grateful for his eyes, and my eyes and our ability to see the beauty in this world all around us, including the wonderful artwork decorating the Kingston hospital children’s ward, of a beautiful mermaid and we were grateful for her magnificent tail, as well as our legs and eyes.
Art Work: Mermaid Mosaic Mural in the Children's Ward of Kingston Hospital (Artist Unknown)
Last week, I was in deep shock to hear of a loved and treasured one of mine, a young minor living overseas, to have recently suffered a horrific, brutally violent, racist gang attack. Words escaped me for what physical and psychological wounds this precious little one was experiencing. I felt helpless from overseas and not able to rush to the emergency frontline of the hospital ward. I did what I can and do at such times, which is to write poetry from my soul. I wrote this treasured little one a heart-felt and comic poem designed to lift spirits in such tragedy and it worked! Life could have been taken from them in that instant and I am deeply, gracefully grateful that they are still alive and walking this earth, now even stronger in spirit for this crude warrior awakening.
Then this week under the new moon in Libra, apt fully reminding me for the need of balance in my life, I contracted an awful head cold flu virus, that literally wiped me out as fit for nothing other than rest. For 24hours I found I was unable to lift a thing, or do a thing, after a very busy bee period, I was bed bound and physically very weak and achy. I really appreciated my health and vitality and gave full gratitude to my warrior body for carrying my soul around doing all the adventure activities that I do, and for taking the strain of housing my colossal spirit that obviously required, and chose a strong Trojan body to do the manoeuvring. I nursed and rewarded her with the ancient ‘spice of life’ elixir of Mother’s Milk that worked a treat, and it helped get me back on my feet as as quickly as I had been knocked off of them! So hence, I have the renewed energy to reflect and write away today!
But seriously, fellow light workers, it is vital that we take some regular self-care practice time on a daily (yes daily!) basis, to ensure that our cisterns are full and overflowing, so that we have surplus energy to expend and give and that we are not flushed down the loo as done-for waste, if we have nothing more leftover good to give and are then depleting from our own stocks and stores. It is very common for those with a big soul calling to want to give, give, give endlessly, but we must also receive, receive, receive and in order to do that, we must slow down, stop and connect with source to replenish our mind, bodies and spirits! Then, just like them wonderful wheelchair warriors, get back out there on the track again and give it all we’ve got!
As of next week (for I am resting this week and weekend!) I can and will be offering healings and readings, and I am delighted to now be able to incorporate Vedic Indian Astrology Natal Chart calculations of planetary alignments into your SOUL MAP, to aid my Intuitive Tarot readings, making them even more powerfully apt at best serving to get you aligned into your full power, with clarity and vision for your soul purpose and what it is that you are here on earth to do and accomplish with support and guidance. Please go to my website www.zoeowl.com to check out all the services I offer, including details of my new and latest co-authored book with seven wonderful women aptly titled ‘Mama On A Mission: Giving Yourself Permission To Shine as a Woman, Mother and a Creative Spirit’.
And remember, be grateful for your health, your mental physical, emotional and spiritual bodies and to give each one of them the care, nurturance and respect they deserve. Honour your Heal-thy-self because Health is Wealth.