Last week while vacationing in Florida, my hometown of Highland Park became the site of our nation’s latest mass shooting. A friend texted me the news not long after it happened, during the city’s annual 4th of July parade. Like most of us, I went through a battery of emotions – shock, anger, disbelief, sadness, and incredulity. I followed Facebook updates waiting to hear if I knew anyone who had been hurt. Fortunately, no one I know was harmed, however many of my close friends and family knew someone at the parade that day.
I graduated from Highland Park High School in 1981. I attended elementary and middle school in Buffalo Grove and moved to Highland Park my freshman year. As you can imagine, moving to a new community for high school had its challenges, however I found my home with the gymnastic team. Despite High School being a less than a great experience, I’ve always been proud to be from Highland Park. Highland Park High School had much to offer including a thriving arts and theater program, equal opportunities for girls sports, and great preparation for college. A majority of the students were Jewish (a nice change for me), first generation Italians, and kids from Fort Sheridan (a functioning army base at the time). I used to work at Sunset, a family owned grocery store that is still in business today.
The community itself is beautiful and lush with lots of trees, ravines, old and new homes, and of course located right on Lake Michigan. Many movies were filmed in Highland Park including Risky Business, Sixteen Candles, and Ordinary People. It’s also home to Ravinia, the oldest outdoor theater venue, located in the southern part of town. At Ravinia, concert-goers dine on the lawn with fancy (or casual) picnics or sit in the pavilion while listening to all genres of music, including the Chicago Symphony. There is a thriving, idyllic downtown or, as we used to call it, Uptown, with many shops and restaurants. There used to be two hot dog joints, Michael’s and Stash’s, and everyone had their favorite. Michael’s is the only one still around.
Sadly, downtown Highland Park is now marred by an all too familiar scene happening in this country.
In an effort to help Highland Park and its neighboring communities cope through the myriad of emotions, I am offering this simple self-care technique to help calm the nervous system and support immune health. NFP, or neurofascial process, is a method I use frequently in my clinic to help patients bring their bodies back into balance after experiencing strong emotions. I’m sharing this technique as a way of supporting our mission at The Manual Touch to improve quality of life and promote wellness in our communities through ongoing education. I hope it helps you.
I wish you all serenity and the peace of mind knowing you are not alone.
Resources to support the community of Highland Park and those touched by this senseless act of violence. https://www.sunsetfoods.com/communityresources
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