(BIVN) – Like hundreds of his neighbors in Kapoho, Martin Blackwell just lost his home to lava. Yet the man who teaches calming techniques in times of fear and uncertainty has not changed his outlook.
We first met Blackwell in October 2014. At the time, a lava flow from Pu’u O’o had made its way miles downslope, and was threatening to inundate the town of Pahoa. Blackwell – who says he is a trauma, grief, and crisis therapist with experience in licensed clinics – was busy providing comfort and assurance to folks who were on the verge of panic. “Breathe slow… with the flow,” Blackwell’s business card reads. “Let excess fear and tension go.”
The lava flow stopped short of covering the village. Now, over three and a half years later, a new eruption has had far more destructive impacts on Puna. After devastating Leilani Estates with a line of volcanic fissures, a large lava flow channeled down to Kapoho and wiped hundreds of homes off the map, Blackwell’s home included. He watched it burn in a video released by Hawaii County Civil Defense that was recorded from a fire department helicopter.
Blackwell documented his experience in a video Pele’s Ultimate Lesson = Instant Aloha Breathe Slow With the Flow Let Go, just published to YouTube. Blackwell hopes it will become a resource for “Optimum Stress – Crisis Management for the Lava Flow and all Traumas”.
Blackwell says he will also be doing “breathe slow with the flow ” stress management groups on Monday evening at 7:30 p.m. and Friday mornings at 8 a.m. at the Pahoa Community Center near the Red Cross shelter.