Sunday, March 20, 2011

Message from Niigata

Today’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette printed a touching letter from Bob Mueller. For 13 year’s Bob’s daughter, Bethany Iyobe, has lived with her husband and two children in Niigata, Japan, 130 miles from Sendai. She emailed her family on Thursday, nearly a week after the March 11 earthquake, with a description of the situation in her area. I was moved to tears by her account, and Bob gave me permission to repeat her words as an example of the power of sharing positive emotions.

“It is totally inspiring to see how the people around me are responding… I can’t even begin to describe the mood. It is like rallying around a cause or rooting for your team or donating an organ or risking your life to save someone or all of these together and you can practically taste it in the air… .

“The messages sent into the radio make me cry talking about how adults hug and sing and sway with kids in their arms during the aftershocks so the kids don’t feel them, how the the scheduled blackouts didn’t have to happen because everyone is already saving enough energy by using only the very minimum, how people in the evacuation centers split one rice ball between four people, and songs like Mariah Carey’s ‘Here” and “That’s What Friends Are For’ are requested.

“There are both publicly financed and personal messages on the TV and radio urging people to smile and take care of people around them, to hug the children and play with the children, to not go crazy and horde the toilet paper and such … In Niigata right now, it is a time for people to grow, reflect and help each other.

“Thanks for your love and prayers and thoughts. …”

Her testimony describes a magnificent wave of manifest compassion sweeping that area right now. It sounds as if all hearts in that area are beating as one, transcending the nightmare of events. By writing her thoughts and sending them forth, she is infusing hearts around the globe with loving hope and inspiration.

I thank her father for sharing her words with an even larger readership, and I pass them along beyond this region to continue the ripples. They are a perfect example of the energizing power of sharing written inspiration, and strong medicine for my heart. Her message reminds me that when our world is rocked, we can think of it as a cradle and look for love rather than fear, and isn’t that a healthy thing!?

Write now: even if you have not survived a disaster or experienced such an outpouring of loving cooperation, think of a past traumatic experience and write about any positive outcomes. If you can’t think of examples in your own life, write about a hypothetical example of something that could happen, and how it might play out in a way similar to the Fukushima area right now. Denise Sloan’s research shows that writing about hopes and dreams and positive things produces health benefits.

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