The last time I offered a Whole Body Breath workshop, Philip nearly broke his leg. Really.
I was offering the workshop in our house and he had gone to play tennis nearby. When the game was over he hopped on his bicycle to ride off to a meeting. That's when the freak accident occurred. A cord from his bike bags caught in a park bench, stopping the bike cold and he went down, his leg tangled in the frame. Somehow he made his way home and we were on a break. I heard this faint call from outside. I found him, nearly passed out from the pain, with a huge lump sticking out of his thigh. While I wanted to send everyone home and get him to the hospital, he insisted that what he really needed was to get upstairs and lie down.
I helped him upstairs, returned to the group and spent the next 90 minutes not knowing what I'd find up there when the workshop was over. After everyone left, it was clear that a trip to the ER was necessary. The paramedics who came to the house, the harbour police who escorted us across the Toronto Harbour, the ambulance attendants who took us to the hospital and the ER nurses, all diagnosed a broken femur. ("Hey Joe, want to see a broken femur?" one of the harbour police officers called out to his colleague.) Fortunately they were wrong and he limped home later that night on a pair of crutches.
During all this drama, I leaned into the gentle embrace of my breath, of my body, of the present. It's not always easy, or constant, but by allowing the feelings to live in me and move through me, I felt supported and able to stay (more or less) grounded and calm. There is an ease, a clarity and a responsiveness available in the present that can help support us through even the most trying events. That's not to say that it all becomes easy or effortless, but when we can include what is and stay grounded in the body, we find ourselves supported by reality rather than at war with it.
This is part of why I love sharing this embodiment work and helping others to discover how the breath and the intelligence of the body might support them in our turbulent lives; how dropping into the body can have an immediate and calming effect; and how, in that grounded place, the multitude of decisions we face daily can be made more easily and with more clarity.