I arrived to Paris on Friday November 13th, at 20:40 hs. and I must have left the airport at around 21:10 hs.
I saw heavily armed soldiers in groups of three patrolling around. I remember thinking “this government is afraid of Daesh…the feeling of safety one used to feel here is already gone” (because of Charlie Hebdo in January, the threats they post on line…). Looking for the bus stop I asked for directions to a soldier and he and two of his buddies decided to accompany me there in person. Unaware of what was about to happen that night I walked surrounded by them while we joked that I had my personal bodyguards.
I imagine at around 21:45, when the attacks happened, I was underground, traveling by Metro to the house where several of the attendees to Teal Swan’s workshop were staying in community, feeling a strange fear I haven’t felt in all the times I have traveled alone. I arrived to the last Metro stop and saw one ambulance pass by. I normally would have wandered around, socialized with some people or taken a few pictures. Instead, a sense of unsafety made me walk straight home.
There I was welcomed by warm smiles in a circle, inviting me to introduce myself and talk about why I was going to Teal’s workshop on Sunday. Five to ten minutes later a girl interrupted the gathering saying she was receiving an enormous amount of sms and facebook texts from her family and friends asking if she was OK. All of our phones started receiving personal messages asking the same.
We googled “Paris France news” and learned about the onslaught. One had happened around 9 or 10 blocks from our place.
One of the girls was experiencing lots of distress so I supported her. Many times when I am at home alone my problems and flaws seem so big they paralize me. Sometimes I feel in an emotional fog, isolated, craving real connection and unable to see my value or the value of what I can give. But now, in the face of a real adversity, seeing other people suffering, a strong clarity and serenity overtook me. It has happened before. I am capable of assisting the most unstable person with the right words or actions, and all the understanding and compassion needed to solve a crisis.
Most of us were surprised but remained calm. Inside we were safe. For sure no-one was going to come randomly to the house and shoot us. After dealing with emotions, we focused on purpose on trust and love, answered all messages from dear ones, read about the whole thing on the internet and went to sleep very late.
On Saturday the organizers of the workshop confirmed we would meet at the Eiffel tower lawn for a healing gathering -Paris needed light- so there we went.
This time I felt safe. On one side because I thought: Daesh’s attacks had taken a long time to prepare. They were several and all at the same time. For every killer there were others taking care of logistics, driving the cars, organizing passports and weapons, but they knew there was now a display of French forces looking for them all over the city. Very certainly they were now either in hiding or escaping. So there wouldn’t be any more strikes for some time. On the other side because the sensation in the air was, in spite of some sadness and a bit of fear, almost completely normal.
The streets were unusually empty though, and in many there were armed soldiers or police forces. Ambulances and cars with sirens crossed our path a few times.
At the lawn we found around 30 other sweet souls eager to be together, meet like-minded beings and volunteer some healing to the collective. The government had forbidden gatherings, but I suspect our vibe was so obviously peaceful, the troopers left us alone.
There was no plan so I suggested we meditate and offered to guide it. We sat in a circle and every one of them participated in the most ready and surrendered way. I felt such warmth, love and admiration for all. To each of Teal’s workshops come people who have many characteristics in common. To this one at least I could see lots of empaths, wounded healers, with a fragility in their (our) demeanor, as if they thought there was something wrong with them (us). And still, in their trust and good will they were all acting so courageously. While most people in Paris were at home or in hotels recovering from the shock and absorving the media’s feed, all these beautiful souls were ready to sit in a public space -basically at the feet of the most well known symbol of France-, close their eyes, focus inwards and spread love into a city stricken by grief, no matter what could happen to or around them.
So there we meditated in a circle, anchoring in our bodies and our hearts, while a group of Japanese tourists took pictures, a guy laughed and made a few comments in French for a little while and soldiers observed from a distance. In any case, the mood afterwards was beautiful. We were happy and connected. We even practised some Acroyoga and there were also lots of good hugs.
Later many of us left together and enjoyed the most delicious meal in a typical French restaurant with tables on the street and strolled around the city until night, joking and chatting away about anything but the events on Friday. We relished like we were in a beautiful, safe city, in a world -made by our our own focus- full of light.