Indigo Arco Iris answers the question

What is the nicest thing a non-family member has ever done for you?


So the nicest thing a non-family member has ever done for me that just always jumps right to the top of my list when I hear this question, goes back to December 18, 1996, when I had a fateful collision with another car. I was driving along a very windy road along the Schuylkill River, parallel with the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, and I was driving home after a night out with friends. I was 25 years old. We'd been out partying or something, and I definitely was not drunk driving at this time. That is one caveat that was one of the special things about this particular night, is that I was totally sober when this happened.

And I was driving along the Schuylkill River and I was with another friend and she was my passenger. And as we were going along, we came to this part of the drive that curved around to the right, and it was a blind curve, where on the right-hand side was a stone wall that was about five stories high, and above that was the interstate which ran parallel. And then to the left we had the river. So this was a very narrow road, two lanes going both directions.

And so as I went around this curve, I was hugging the curve, and I noticed as I was coming around the curve, that there was a car directly in front of me, in my lane, like the closest lane to the stone wall. They were hugging the curve as if they were in a video game or something; they were hugging my side of the yellow line. And when I noticed that, immediately my adrenaline started rushing, and I knew that I had a very short time to make some very important decisions, life-or-death decisions.

So what happened was I saw this car coming toward me. I was like, okay, I need to avoid this car. I can't curve to the right because then I'm going to smash right into a stone wall going about 50 miles per hour. Can't curve to the left because if I do that, I'm going to roll right on into this river. So I had to make a choice, doing all these quick calculations in my head... physics equations were running through my head. And the softest place to hit, it turns out, was the edge of this other car. So, I aimed using very elaborate physics equations, at a specific spot on that car, so that when I hit the car — It was almost like playing pool too — like if I hit it right here I'm going to bounce over here and I won't bounce against the wall, I won't bounce into the river. So I did that. We hit, and as we hit, I remember this very spiritual moment where I started hearing some kind of benevolent beings talk to me, and they were basically saying, "You're going to be okay" or "We're protecting you."

So I really relaxed into this collision, and then I let the car land where it landed. And after it landed there was an aftereffect of the collision where the front of my car had been hit, the engine came in, the engine made the steering column come in, and the steering column came down and crashed on my knee. And my knee was cracked like this, and then I looked down and I watched my leg flail underneath the seat, underneath my steering wheel. And at this point I was in an altered state. We had landed. My passenger, I was afraid to turn and look at her. I knew that if I... it was like the hardest 90-degree turn to look to see if she was okay. And she was okay. And I was okay, but I couldn't feel anything from my waist down.

And so we were sitting there and it seemed like just moments later that someone came up to my car window. I mean, this was 2:30 in the morning, there was nobody on the road until we saw this car that hit us. There was nobody else behind him. And there was nobody else behind me. And this was the nicest thing that anybody ever did for me. This person, I believe it was a male person, came to my window. I rolled down the window. He said, "I have a cellular phone and I'm going to call 911 for you, and you're going to be okay. They're going to send an ambulance right away." So, that happened. And he's like, "But I can't stay. I've got to get going." And then this person just got into the car and drove away, and to this day I don't even know if this was a real person or not. If it was a person, if it was an angel, if it was... who knows what. All I know is that some person came to our window, said, "I have a cellular phone; I'm going to call 911 for you." And at this time in 1996, the only people that had cellular phones were people that were very wealthy or doctors or drug dealers. It was a very rare occurrence that, first of all, there would be somebody on the road that we hadn't even seen, who had seen the whole thing, and that they actually had a phone to call 911.

So that is the nicest thing that anyone has ever done for me that I always recall, as a moment of gratitude in my life because before we knew it, the police had shown up and just right after them an ambulance came and helped me get out of the vehicle and start on my road to recovery, which I have... My orthopedic surgeon has told me that I have 95% full recovery of my mobility of my knee and my leg. And if that person had not called when they did, I don't know how long we would have been there. And I don't know how it would've affected my recovery had it not been such a fast response. And now that whole experience led to... I am really where I am now, working at The Shift Network, largely due to that experience, which opened me up to a lot of metaphysical aspects of existence, and also started me on a path of yoga and devotion, which has been going on now for about 24 years. So that's my story.

Indigo Arco Iris, a Marketing Specialist on the Shift Community Transformation Team, is an artist, healer, and marketing consultant who facilitates transformation for people through creative messaging, play, energy work, and spiritual guidance to cultivate more joyful and peaceful storytelling in and for their lives and businesses. Indigo is currently training to be a birth doula, her passion for birth having begun when she started to research how the connection between healing our wounds and coming into full embodiment allows the possibility of shifting birth stories from ones about pain and challenge to ones of bliss and ecstasy! Indigo is also co-creator of Nómada Cacao Bar, a nomadic cacao bar whose mission is to bring pleasure and sensuality into the art and ritual of making healthy food and drink.

Indigo holds a Master of Arts in Media Studies from The New School in New York City where she studied media production and performance and has worked guiding university students at both The New School and Cooper Union School of Art. In addition to her diverse background in the visual and performing arts, Indigo has been a student of spirituality for most of her life. After a near-death experience at age 25, Indigo opened up to studies of reiki, yoga, Christianity, Native American practices, shamanism, tarot, gods and goddesses, angels, intuition, sound healing, and crystals — which now all inform her unique approach to healing and to life. She incorporates her background in the visual arts and different healing modalities into her work with individuals and groups. Indigo is available for one-on-one live, video, or phone sessions.

Catalyst is produced by The Shift Network to feature inspiring stories and provide information to help shift consciousness and take practical action. To receive Catalyst twice a month, sign up here.

This article appears in: 2020 Catalyst, Issue 9: Somatic Movement Summit