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Say Yes to Happiness Newsletter

Chronicles of the hospital waiting room

My husband is currently in the operating room for a four vessel CABG.
“What is that,” you say?
It’s a quadruple heart bypass. We have learned that this is fairly common and hugely successful, with many years of wonderful heart blood flow to come.
Though this is a very invasive procedure, and challenging to his whole body, we are happy that we got this figured out before he had a major heat attack. That’s a check in the win column!
As for being the family member in the waiting room, let’s talk about that. 
From the lens of happiness skills, here is what I notice that I need the most: I need sunshine and fresh air, which are in rather short supply in the waiting room. Please understand, there are big windows from this second-floor space that look out at the courtyard which does have trees. I appreciate the effort made here to provide a sense of connection with the outside. 
But alas, when you are in a space full of people in waiting, largely in anxious waiting, the air gets a little close. 
The saying from Jill Bolte Taylor applies here, “Please be responsible for the energy you bring.”
That’s a little tough for the thirty or so people in this waiting space with loved ones currently in various stages of adjustments and repairs being made to their bodies. Given that I understand this, I have chosen to find my way downstairs to the coffee bar and out to the actual courtyard. Here the sun is chasing me from table to table, as I give thanks for the light and warmth, and still gravitating toward the shade on this ninety degree day. Balance in all things!
Happiness skills teach me to, yep you’ve got it, breathe. Then comes let go and trust. As I sit here in the shade of a twenty foot Colorado spruce, back straight and fingers moving over the keyboard, I pause to look up, open my chest and fill my lungs with H2O, exhaling completely. 
Guess what, a smile spreads onto my face! I guess this is years of practicing which has programmed my brain to know that plenty of deep breathing and looking up at the sky are 
signals that I’m okay. And I am. 
Have you ever been in a waiting situation for a loved one a hospital? Do remember what it was like in the waiting room? The volunteers at the desk are wonderful and I appreciate all of the kind staff. Yet I realize too that it was on me to bring my own back pack of survival supplies, so I did. You know, like protein bars, apples slices, blueberries, water bottle (duh!), journal, computer, books, tea bags and of course a sweater for the air conditioning! Okay maybe that’s a lot, but we got here at 5:30 am and I’ll likely be here until late tonight, so stuff is required. And oh yes, Tylenol for the headache I continue to try to stretch out of my neck. 

Maybe I could suggest a chair massage person set up in the waiting room!
My dear husband is in good hands with an exceptional medical team. Over the years I have grown two good, supportive hands of my own, which take responsibility for supporting my best self. That’s what happiness skills are all about. And as I use them now, doing the Reset and reaching for the sky in mountain pose, I hold the best energy for both my husband and me, and for everyone else here who is in waiting for a loved one. 
I’d like to invite everyone in the waiting room to join me a present moment meditation, and suggest that letting go brings peace and healing, but this may not be the best time!
With love,

 PS – Follow up - We are twenty four hours now since the completion of surgery, and all is well!


The Say Yes to Happiness online course is currently being edited and will be available early September. I'm so excited to be able to offer this easy way to learn and practice happiness skills at home! 
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