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April 2020 HBB President Update

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April 2020 President Monthly Ezine

"There are years that ask questions, and years that answer." ~Zora Neale Hurston
I've been thinking a lot about the quote above recently and how, to me, 2020 seems to be doing both. We are being asked a lot of questions right now. How do we respond to the pandemic? How do we best take care of ourselves and others? What do we truly value? What will our day-to-day lives be like on the other side of this? What is it that we are feeling?
I believe we're being offered the opportunity to divine answers, too. What we truly value and hold dear is clearer than perhaps it has ever been for some of us. And as for feelings, most of us are sitting with a mix of sadness, anger, apprehension, and grief. The surrealism of life going on in some ways in the middle of pandemic when so much of life is halted is another reality.
In the middle of all the tumult, our community has lost a dear friend, mentor, leader, and champion. Dr. Laura Hart passed away on April 1, 2020. I had the distinct privilege to work closely with Laura and Lisa Anselme on the current Healing Touch textbook and she was my mentor for instructor training. I shall always remember Laura for her tenacity, compassion, and no-nonsense demeanor. She was a straight shooter with a heart of gold who will be sorely missed. I am grateful for the memories I have.
Many of us have been finding respite and comfort in our hobbies and interests to manage the mix of emotions in which we're now living. I share a few below from which I continue to draw inspiration.

blessing the boats (at St. Mary's)
by Lucille Clifton
may the tide
that is entering even now
the lip of our understanding
carry you out
beyond the face of fear
may you kiss
the wind then turn from it
certain that it will
love your back     may you
open your eyes to water
water waving forever
and may you in your innocence
sail through this to that

"Life, inexhaustible, goes on. And we do too. Carrying our wounds and our medicines as we go...Perhaps our planet is for learning to appreciate the extraordinary wonder of life that surround even our suffering, and to say Yes, if through the thickest of tears."
~Alice Walker, from the foreword to Zora Neale Hurston's Barracoon

"And once the storm is over, you won't remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won't even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won't be the same person who walked in. That's what this storm's all about."
~Haruki Murakami

"For the New Year, 1981"
By Denise Levertov
I have a small grain of hope-
one small crystal that gleams
clear colors out of transparency.
I need more.
I break off a fragment
to send you.
Please take
this grain of a grain of hope
so that mine won't shrink.
Please share your fragment
so that yours will grow.
Only so, by division,
will hope increase,
like a clump of irises, which will cease to flower
unless you distribute
the clustered roots, unlikely source-
clumsy and earth-covered-
of grace.

In the meantime, self-care is not an option these days. Indeed, it never was. Focus on the Attributes of the Heart, particularly Innate Harmony as was observed by Myra Tovey, who shared in a recent email to Lisa Anselme and me the following: "I would like to suggest that we focus on the Attribute of the Heart, Innate Harmony, 'being calm in the midst of chaos'. That will help transform fear into love."
In closing, I'm reminded of the fifth Attribute of the Heart, what Bonnie Johnson has described as "joy-filled" service. None of us can do everything, but each of us can do something. Our skills as students, practitioners, and instructors of Healing Touch are vital to our wellbeing and a gift to others. In that spirit of service, I remind you of our call for nominations for upcoming vacancies on the Board of Directors. Nominations can be submitted through April 30, 2020.
Be safe, be well,

Joel G. Anderson, PhD, CHTP, FGSA
President, Healing Beyond Borders Board of Directors


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