It starts with my mom who is 78 years old fighting a collapsed lung and blood poisoning.  I realized that she is a survivor. No tools, no tent, no disaster to be navigated. No, she is just fighting to survive. She is using the thing that still works very well, and the thing she has not lost, her mind.

 I watched her use her meditation skills to slow her heart rate down and regain her deep breathing and overcome her body’s reaction to lack of oxygen. I watched her suffer pain while being poked and prodded, all the while remaining focused on her mental strength to prevail. She has not remained positive nor negative during this fight. She has her ups and downs and frustrations in this process of getting better.

The key word for her is “process”, she understands that by going through these very painful times that the process is to get better. Simply said she is remaining present and not forecasting or dreading what may come next. Interesting to me as well, my mom did something I had never seen before, she asked for help. That above all else taught me everything I needed to know about survival which are personal limitations.

To tie this is for survival for all of us I see it this way. I see her ability to meditate and remain focused as the most important skill we can all use in our daily lives, and even more importantly, in a disaster. So, I see that educating oneself helps reduce the variables that may come up during an emergency.  By learning focus we once again utilize our strongest tool, our minds.

I noticed that she has good and bad days and good and bad moments, and I see that we can too in a disaster. The take away here though is that we remain present, and recognize that this moment is just that, a moment. We can take a deep breath and refocus and move through whatever it is we are up against.

Also, knowing when to ask for help when you are injured or don’t have the skills to safely carry out the task at hand.

I guess this is in respect for my mother and her fight for survival and the things I am learning  about survival from one of the strongest people I know.


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Written by Gus Thunberg — July 09, 2013

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