2005. Central Oregon. Approximately ¼ mile ahead I saw a car jet up into the air, turn a somersault, landing upside-down on its roof. When I arrived on the scene another driver had called 911.
I walked around the upside down car, glancing at three people from the other car who had pulled over. They were stooping on the ground a great distance away from the car where the female driver was lying trapped inside. Shattered glass surrounded the vehicle.
The shock buzzed through my veins causing irregular breathing when seeing the trapped driver. I wanted to cry. But my stress management skills immediately slowed down my breathing, keeping it slow, deep, and even through my abdomen. I brushed glass shards aside with my sandals so I could kneel and speak to the woman to keep her conscious
Gently, I spoke while watching the blood run down her head into her eyes and face. His eyes were closed. “Help has been called. My name is Janai. What is your name?” I wanted to see if she could respond. She muttered something. I asked again. Then she spoke more clearly, “Donna.” At that point I called to the onlookers who were steeped in fear. “Please, someone get me some water and a towel.”
I asked Donna if I could gently wipe her face. She responded, “please.” When the blood was wiped from her eyes, she could not move her head but was able to glance at me looking sideways. “I can’t move my legs.”
I felt nauseated. Somehow I was able to repeat lovingly that help was on the way. She asked my name. I told her again and she used it coherently, thanking me for being by her side. She was afraid. All I could do was be there and be compassionate. She asked where I lived. We continued a conversation until the EMT arrived. I told her they would take care of her. She thanked me again.
The experience caused a riveting inside me. Everything happened so suddenly. I realized I was able to go beyond my own self, shock and nausea to help with something greater than my own emotions and symptoms. It was the self calming that created a calm eye in this stress storm. Clear decisions were coming out of my mind, heart and mouth. If I had been caught in the web of the stress storm with fear or anxiety, I may have sat far away with the onlookers. Donna would have been trapped in isolation and her own fear without the comfort of feeling connected . I was so grateful to be able to help.
My work with children for 44 years includes teaching self calming as part of the basis for social emotional learning with 3D objects. Those objects make it REAL for children to learn about their inner resources with thoughts, feelings, body sensation triggers and how breathing is at the epicenter for locus of self control IN situations.
If we can teach children to learn how to be the calm eye in the middle of the stress storm, we can empower them to be the true SUPERKIDS they want to be in confidence and self regulation. They choose empowering skills instead of feeling victimized by life stress. That is called SUPERKID POWER! Check out my website www.superkidpower.org (non profit, tax exempt) that has a free video and downloads demonstrating 3D learning. My children’s books (two bilingual) are available at Bug-A-Boo on the Plaza in Ashland as well as on Amazon.
My dream vision? Streaming weekly 3D learning emotional intelligence into PreK, K and first grades everywhere for children to learn the same social emotional skills simultaneously. Can you imagine the changes in mental health, reduction in crime, self confidence, academic achievement, self regulation, healthy relationship building? Oh, I can!
I wish for all children to learn skills that give them the empowered ability to truly know themselves, their inner resources and healthy options, the basic one being how to be the calm eye in the middle of the stress storm.