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Maya Kept Breathing

Maya Alper is a dog trainer but in recent years, she also learned professionally how to breathe correctly. She regularly practiced breathing exercises and had no idea that this new skill she had acquired would save her life.

Maya came to work at the "Nova" festival, a party that took place in nature, right next to where war broke out on October 7th. She planned to travel for a month around the country with the money she would earn there. While she was distributing garbage bags to her team to keep the area clean, she still had time to admire the beautiful sunrise before the rocket barrage began and completely changed the situation.

Maya immediately realized that the party, where only a few minutes ago hundreds of happy and joyful people were dancing, had instantly turned into a battleground. She also understood that she would not be able to escape the area in a vehicle, so she hid in a bush, lying motionless, with the sounds of gunfire all around her.

In these moments of fear, Maya decided to return to the breathing exercises that had long since become a part of her life. She concentrated on her breathing, and fear began to give way to hope. "After a few hours in the bush, a bird sat on it," says Maya. "Suddenly I realized that the birds were still chirping, the sky was still blue, and I was simply grateful for the bush that protected me, for the sun that illuminated everything around me, for the wind that cooled me. I had no water, but I went back to breathing, to relaxing, and every time a hateful, angry or sad thought rose in my mind, I simply stopped and gave thanks - I thanked myself for making the right decisions for which I am still alive, for being calm during this unimaginable situation. Every time a difficult emotion rose up, I realized I had to keep smiling. I was there for six hours in the bush, smiling."

When she finally heard voices in Hebrew around her, of combatants, Maya cried “Help!” from within the bush, and they rescued her - she was safe and sound. With great resourcefulness, composure and a smile on her face, Maya was saved.

"This unimaginable situation taught me that every choice we make should be made with love and with a smile, even when it's very challenging," said Maya, who smiled at the face of the challenge - and came out victorious.


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