How I calmed my mind and soul in the aftermath of the 2013 Boston marathon bombing

There are some days that become etched into our minds forever.

Unfortunately, many of those days are painful or unpleasant.

Many years ago I read a book that talked about our tendencies to remember highly emotional events. The author told the following story:

Imagine that for the last 10 years you have been riding a bus to work. Same job, same bus, same time, same people. But one morning it was different. You were running late and jumped onto the bus as the doors closed, right on your head! This was an old bus, without any sensors and because it was so crowded, the bus driver did not see that your head got wedged between the doors. You were stuck riding the bus with your head jammed between the doors…during the winter…in Minnesota…at 0 degrees…while it was snowing…for 30 minutes. Would you remember this bus trip over the thousands of other uneventful bus trips? Of course you would!

I live in California but I grew up in Boston. Although I had many friends who ran or volunteered at the Boston Marathon, I wan’t much into it. For me, one marathon was no different than the other. I knew to avoid certain streets during marathon days, but other than that, it was a non-event as far as I was concerned… until April 15, 2013.

I remember this day exactly. I had already been living in California for over a decade. My morning was quite mundane. I woke up, walked the dog, drove to an acupuncture appointment, and was offline for several hours as I received my treatment.

Driving home, I received a frantic call from my grandfather.

“You know what happened, right?” he asked?

“No,” I replied. “I’ve been offline all morning.”

“There was an bomb that exploded in Boston. Everyone from our family is OK, but your brother and his friends were right at the spot where the explosion happened. They left a little before. If they had been there, they would have gotten hurt or worse!”

After asking him 10 more times if everyone is OK, I hung up the phone and called my brother and then my father to verify that everyone was indeed OK. They said that they were very shaken but unhurt.

Once I got home, I read the news, made more phone calls, and again verified that everyone I knew was OK.

Then suddenly, I found myself with nothing else to do. Nothing except turn the event over in my mind, over and over and over.  What if my brother hadn’t left? What if his friends hung back? What if my dad were there? What if, what if, what if?

And what about the other people who were there and had gotten hurt? How are they? How are their families? What must they be feeling!

I was diving deeper and deeper into the pool of hysteria and did not know how to stop myself. I feared that I was about to have an anxiety attack.

Then I remembered the 2nd Reiki principle: “Just for today, I will not worry.” To me this principle means that I have the tools and resources to deal with whatever comes my way and whenever it comes my way.

I knew that I had already done everything I could in order to support my family. I called. I spoke. I listened. Now it was time to help myself.

I closed my eyes and called upon Reiki. A beautiful, cooling and cleansing silver light entered my heart. I asked the light to spread through my body, to calm my nervous system and to ease my thoughts.  A few minutes later, my anxiety released and I was able to think clearly.

I then asked Reiki to send love and peace to Boston, its citizens and to everyone affected by this tragedy.

Doing Reiki and sending love… sounds so simplistic and perhaps naive, especially when faced with this violent and hateful act. Yet, if we look at feelings and actions as vibrations, we will see that acts of hate, fear and destruction carry low vibrations, while the energy of Reiki, love and peace have high vibrations.

If I were to continue to feel anxious, fearful and especially if I started hating the bomber, then I would had contributed to the low vibration of fear, hatred and general chaos already felt by so many people in Boston. Instead, I used Reiki and sent love to the community with the hope that this high vibrational energy will at least slightly counteract the currently present low vibrations.

This is not to say that I excused the bomber’s actions or was not shaken by what he had done. His actions were absolutely atrocious. I do not love him and I absolutely disagree with what he stands for. But I do not allow the feeling of hate or fear to overtake me. I choose to vibrate higher. I choose how I feel and act. I do not let this bomber or anyone like him to make the choice for me.

And so, when faced with a tragedy, I do Reiki, to feel love and peace and to vibrate higher.

There’s much to be said for the power of prayer. When you have done all you physically can and there’s nothing else you can do, then pray. I do not pray in the religions sense of the word. My prayer is Reiki.

I call upon the Reiki masters, bring forth the Reiki symbols and send healing Reiki light myself, to the situation, and all affected by it. Then, I let go of any and all expectations. I become Reiki and merge with the universal energy of all there is for the highest and greatest good, of all life and soul.

In the afternoon of April 15, 2013, I was a hysterical mess, in the evening, I became Reiki.

A version of this article had previously appeared on

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