Last night (24th June 2015), just before going up the stairs to bed, my husband Phil, read out loud to me the post that Clodagh Cogley, Irish survivor of the Berkeley Balcony collapse, had placed on Facebook. It had gone viral and no wonder!
In case you missed it,here’s what the 21-year-old said and if you have already read it, its worth pausing to take it in again:
“Hey friends, just an update to let you guys know how I’m getting on (slowly catching up with the individual messages I promise!) The fall from the balcony left me with 2 collapsed lungs, a broken shoulder, a broken knee, 5 broken ribs and a broken spinal cord… Meaning the chances of me using my legs again are pretty bleak.
“Not the best odds but I’m moving to a great rehabilitation centre here in San Francisco for 2 months (it has dog therapy :-)) and intend to give it everything I’ve got.
Who knows maybe legs have been holding me back all these years and I’ll realise my talent for wheelchair basketball.
The thing I’m taking from this tragedy is that life is short and I intend to honour those who died by living the happiest and most fulfilling life possible. Enjoy a good dance and the feeling of grass beneath your feet like it’s the last time because in this crazy world you never know when it might be.”
It’s so powerful isn’t it? What a perspective! What a mindset! What a choice! What a strong focus on hope and on life! It’s humbling and inspiring all at the same time.
I think what really stood out for me was her choice! Her choice “to honour those who died by living the happiest and most fulfilling life possible” despite her new found circumstances. It really goes to show that no matter what the odds you can choose the highest version of yourself and step into a more purpose filled life.
The next morning Clodagh was my very first thought upon waking and when I swung my legs out of bed and felt the carpet beneath my feet, I thought of her. And when I did my Yoga practice at 6:30am in the garden, I put my mat to the side and felt the grass beneath my feet instead. And as I did that, a huge wave of gratitude swelled up in me to be able to feel such a simple but truly wonderful thing. And I sent Clodagh a body-full of gratitude, strength, hope and love for helping me experience the joy of the simplest of things. I also thanked her for helping me plug back in to the highest version of myself that is simply a breath, a thought and a choice away – no matter what the circumstances.
But as a wise man once said, all this means nothing if it is just a word. Make it instead your way of life. So, I intend to honour Clodagh Cogley’s courage and perspective by living my happiest and most fulfilling life. And you know what, I have no excuse not to and no reason either to make any! And so I invite you, as I have done since hearing her words last week, to make living your happiest and most fulfilling life your conscious choice. And once again … thank you Clodagh because since reading your message last week … I have already had more fun and happiness in my life and I have also chosen the highest response in many situations since then too. It’s a moment by moment choice.
So, today, kick off your shoes and really feel the grass beneath your feet and then send Clodagh and all the families and loved ones impacted by what happened in Berkeley strength, hope, love and the ability to continue to plug into the highest choice.
Bí chomh iontach is atá ar do chumas.
Be the Best You Can Be.