On a mission to help survivors after the September 2017 Mexico 8.1 earthquake, Margarita Jasso, HeartMath Certified Coach & Mentor, suddenly found herself in a frightening position. Read about how she kept her cool through this unexpected situation.
As told by Margarita Jasso – HeartMath Certified Coach & Mentor
As a HeartMath Certified Coach & Mentor, I was invited by a Medical Brigade to travel to Mexico on a mission to help others, right after the nightmare of the massive 8.1 earthquake in September of 2017. It was early morning the Friday after the quake when we landed in Mexico. We knew we were about to arrive at a horrific scene of destruction, but we became the target of a crime we hadn’t anticipated.
As we were leaving the airport we suddenly realized we were being targeted. We found ourselves being chased by a group of people who had the intention of kidnapping our whole team to steal the medicine we were carrying to help the victims of the earthquake.
So many things can run through your mind in a situation like this, from fear of torture to the fears of whether you will come out okay and see family again. Fight or flight was running at full speed. My heart was pounding, and my mind scrambled to think of what I could do, or how I could help the situation.
As the fears were trying to take hold of my rational mind, I remembered one thing I could do to help myself and my team. You always hear emergency workers say that remaining calm is the best thing to help in emergency situations. I said to myself, try the best you can to stay calm. Let me tell you that is no easy feat when you’re nearly paralyzed with fear.
“I can’t deny this was the most scared I have ever felt. Yet I was able to keep my level of stress in check enough that it allowed me to assess the circumstances moment by moment.”
I started to breathe through my heart. As I slowed my breath, my heart started to beat a little bit slower, my tightened body began to release ever so slightly. As this happened I started recalling bits of my HeartMath training. I tried to shift away from the fear and focus on my heart. It was the one thing I could do quietly. No one would know, and I wouldn’t aggravate the situation.
I can’t deny this was the most scared I have ever felt. Yet I was able to keep my level of stress in check enough that it allowed me to assess the circumstances moment by moment. Because I didn’t let the fear consume me, I had enough presence to keep a cool head and not panic. Though the panic really wanted to take over, I just kept resisting it and I kept reminding myself to stay calm and breathe through my heart.
After hours of heated exchanges between the thieves and some of our team members, another rescue organization saw what was happening and came to our rescue. Angels were on our side that day and we were so blessed. This heroic organization’s members were able to somehow intervene, and they took us to a safe location and saved the medicines for the people we were going to help.
Once we got to our destination in Mexico, I finally felt like I could really breathe out. I allowed myself to just sit for a short while to feel the immense amount of gratitude I had for the people who helped us. Their intervention saved me and my team.
In hind sight, I feel that because I was keeping as calm as possible, I was also able to help my traveling companions stay calm by being the best example I could be. I believe they could feel my heart energy and I think maybe it helped to create a field environment that was a little reassuring to them.
Once I was able to regroup inside, I started my job as a HeartMath Certified Coach & Mentor. I was able to share love and empathy with others: a mom with 3 daughters, a mother and son, a fifty-year old man, a homeless woman, the rescuers and firemen from other Mexico states, and even the Federal Police members who are always under immense stress. I certainly have another level of appreciation for the intense situations that they must face every day.
I cannot even begin to say how grateful I am for the HeartMath tools and how in this intense situation I was able to find some stability inside, enough that it allowed me to stay present and not cave into the grips of fear.
I also felt grateful and satisfied to be able to embrace so many unknown people who were suffering following the massive earthquake. The tools helped them to find some emotional relief, and to have a way of keeping their own inner stability intact as they faced the stark reality of having lost so much; from the lives of their family and friends, to their homes and towns.
As I worked with the people there, I could see glints of hope. I could sense they felt a little more secure and connected with their heart. They believed a little more that they would get through this. I think when you give someone tools to help them deal with the anguish and pain of so much loss, initially they feel your care, even though they’re in shock, it helps just to feel the care and love coming their way. Then later, once the shock starts to fade and the reality starts to sink in, there are many challenges to overcome, and that’s when the HeartMath tools really help. People have something tangible that they can do to keep renewing their resolve.
It’s also been quite helpful in my line of work to have the HeartMath Free Emotional Support Resources link as a quick and easy way to direct people to resources they can practice and share.
This was a relief effort I won’t soon forget. I’m now talking about future ways to share the benefits of HeartMath with members of the Federal Police. Being able to practice and share my learning from HeartMath was an amazing and rewarding experience!
-Margarita Jasso, HeartMath Certified Coach & Mentor
Holistic Psychologist NYU
Applied Neuroscience Researcher
Specialized in Emotional Psychobiology APENB (Professional Association of Naturopathy and Biotherapy of Barcelona)