As the 10 year anniversary of 9/11 approaches, I begin to reflect back to that time in my life and the circumstances that led up to this tragic event. Although I was not living in New York City or living anywhere near there at the time, just like everyone else who was alive on that day, I was affected by this horrific event. This event changed the nation, the lives of those affected by it as well as the entire world. It blows my mind to think that this was 10 yrs ago. In some ways it feels like yesterday and in other ways it was a really long time ago.
WE WILL NEVER FORGET
On the days leading up to 9/11, I was just shy of turning 26 years old. I had been out of college for 1 year and had been living in Boulder, Co for a whole year. My life was perfect just the way it was. I had nothing to worry about. I had 2 jobs, I was comfortable financially and I enjoyed living a free-spirited life as I was surrounded by majestic scenery and new age energy. My dreams were coming true in many angles of life, but at the same time something just didn’t feel right.
I remember driving in my car and feeling this sudden burst of fear and aggression. I remember it made me feel hot and uncomfortable. There was something in nature that felt abrupt and challenging. I felt change coming. Something was telling me that a big change was coming and whatever it was it wouldn’t be easy. I had a feeling that I would not experience this abruptness alone, but with the whole planet.
On the evening of September 10, which was just a few weeks after I felt that sense of abruptness in nature, I was at work waiting tables during the dinner shift. I didn’t normally work this shift, but had decided to pick up the hours. The restaurant where I worked made most of their money at lunch because it was surrounded by so many tech businesses like IBM and Qualcomm and this is where they went on their lunch hour. Dinner shifts were always really slow and the business was lucky if they even got take out orders!
In the meantime, I was at work and one lady walked through the door and ordered take out. After putting in her order, she began to talk to me about things in her personal life that didn’t matter to the rest of the world. She spoke about her ex husband taking alimony away from her and her feelings of being angry towards his actions. As she continued to talk and I continued to try to listen, she then changed the subject. She started talking about the state of the world and all the things she had seen in her lifetime. She mentioned JFK’s assassination, Martin Luther King, the Kent State riots etc. She waved her finger at me and said “Listen honey, you haven’t seen anything like you are about to see in your lifetime. You’ve seen the Space Challenger crash and the Columbine shooting, but you just wait, you are going to see some more destructive things go down in your lifetime!” I can still remember her pointing her finger and waving her wrist back and forth.
She then received her order and left the restaurant. She was the only customer the whole night.
The next morning as I was asleep in my bed, I heard my landline phone ring. I choose to let the phone ring and the answering machine pick up. After the answering machine picked up, I could hear my friend Liz’s voice leaving a message. Her voice was filled with fear and anxiety. I knew I had to pick up the phone. When I finally picked up, she was gasping with fear. Her voice was cracking with anxiety. She told me about the attacks on the twin towers and as she spoke she watched the towers falls to the ground on her television in NYC. After just a few minutes of being on the phone, she started getting more fearful as she watched the second tower fall. It was the spookiest phone call I had ever received.
I WILL NEVER FORGET
The first thing I thought of after hanging up the phone with Liz, was the lady at the restaurant the night before. I couldn’t help but think how weird it was that I met her and how she told me I would see destruction in my lifetime. I couldn’t help but think what a coincidence it was to talk to her on the evening before 9/11
BE THE CHANGE YOU WISH TO SEE IN THE WORLD
In the days after 9/11 I started to noticed a shift in my perception about how the world felt and how it had changed in the blink of an eye. I can still remember practicing yoga in my bedroom with the view of the Rocky Mountains and feeling like it was those majestic mountains that kept me sane. The mountain view reminded me of every precious piece of nature and what it felt to be alive and grounded. I can still remember being in a yoga pose and feeling strong in my body, but afraid in my mind. I wasn’t just afraid of the world that got attacked by terrorists, but also afraid for the future children. I can still remember thinking that I wanted to help the children to live a better life and show them the way to a better world. I wanted to give them every piece of my heart so that they could know what it felt like to be safe and to have faith. I tried to think of every way possible to help.
The answers kept coming to me through my own inner soul practice. I kept being guided to change my own life and the things that I was afraid of. I was guided to let go of old perceptions of myself and the world so that I could eventually help guide children to live the way I had dreamed of. Life felt hard as I continued to search inside, but it also felt lighter and less fearful the more I learned to let go of my old patterns of thinking. 9/11 helped me shift from focusing on the negative to focusing more on the positive.
10 years later, I barely know the girl who I was then. Although my life felt perfect the way it was on the days leading up to 9/11, the world wasn’t perfect and in order for the world to be a better place things needed to change. If a portion of the world’s change meant me changing, then I was willing to take every positive step that I could take.
I have spent the last 10 years observing my inner landscape as my outer landscape changes. I have realized that the woman with whom I met the evening before 9/11 was put there to help guide me away from my own negative ways of seeing things into a more positive way of perceiving the world. By changing myself I have been able to move towards teaching children how to live a more balanced life through the practice of yoga.
I currently teach kids yoga to children ages 2 and up! I feel a connection with my heart through this, which allows me to guide children towards a more creative and holistic life. I am totally satisfied where I am because I know that my truth exists in following my heart.
The wings of my heart will guide the youth to a more enlightened state of being