February 2022, six o’clock in the morning, my husband wakes me up and informs me that my daughter called from Kharkiv (eastern Ukraine) and said that they were being shot at. The war had begun.
Fear for grandchildren, confusion, not knowing what to do, and the main concern is not knowing what will happen next.
Then it began – many calls from different cities of Ukraine. People asked me: “Vira, place us, help!”
The first to arrive was a family with a sick 83-year-old mother. They lived with me for two weeks until their mother was cured.
Every day different families arrived, but my thoughts were about where my daughter and grandchildren were. After some time, they arrived together with another family. In order to experience everything more easily, I decided to change my activity from rescuer to volunteer and involved them in volunteer work as well. It helped for a while.
And then one day I was thrown off balance. I could not speak and I was freezing and shaking. My relatives gave me hot tea and covered me with a blanket, until little by little I calmed down.
Then I remembered that I have Taoist Tai Chi™ arts. The next day, I got dressed and went to my favorite place. Gradually, I did the foundations, dan-yu, tor-yu, set of movements and I didn’t think about whether I was doing well. I just practiced. And it got better. I decided that I would do the same thing again. And when I did, I calmed down, and thoughts came to me about how life is beautiful, the sun
is shining, the birds are singing…
By caring for myself in this way, I was able to continue to care for and house my refugees, with cats and dogs. The youngest refugee was 3 months old. I was warming to them, then I was saying goodbye to them as they left to travel further into Europe. I had to let go. To date, 40 people have passed through my heart in this way.
Although I struggle with a habit of laziness, I notice that now, as soon as I feel turbulence, I immediately go to practice Taoist Tai Chi™ arts. And, I remember the advice about improving 1% every day and not allowing yourself to get stressed.