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A little more independence

Today is Tuesday March the eighth I believe, however I have lost track of the days somewhat. It’s not that I’m not paying attention, but more accurately the days are full and have been flowing into each other like an undulating stream.

There’s so much new information, considerations, and re-education that is involved in any new state of being particularly in this situation, a spinal cord injury. So many times in the past I have experienced setbacks with my body or with my health and never have experienced the complete alteration of my state of reality as is the case with paralysis. This is not too diminish or negate other states which people have to deal with in their body but perhaps just a clarification. I received an amazing letter recently from a woman I took a yoga workshop last summer with. She wrote very eloquently about her experience with Huntington disease, which is similar to paraplegia but in the opposite direction. In other words everything slowly deteriorates toward quadriplegia including deterioration of the emotional and mental capacities. In her letter she describes the bittersweet as well as the poignancy of dealing with her challenge, in the end she says she would not trade this for any other experience for the depth and the beauty which she has encountered upon her journey. I would have to say the same is true for me, it is very odd place and yet it’s equally as profound. I curiously wonder whether this is how the mind deals with these situations or if it is in fact the situation rallying aspects of our being that we have yet it’s to uncover and only in these situations to react to uncover them. I don’t believe that one needs to experience quadriplegia or any other dramatic experience to explore the depth of being, however it becomes more evident that as these experiences present themselves it certainly seems to evoke that response in most individuals who are prepared to do the work. Many people have suggested that I had taken my body to the furthest degree possible, and that this states is presented me with my next challenge. I’m not sure how to respond to that statement except for the fence I have that this is all part of the Divine plan. It is in that’s simple truth that I resonate and it takes most of the questioning and confusion out of the equation.

As I began dictating this letter today I was surrounded by both Kate and Amanda and felt that they were probably the real heroines in this story. For these two young individuals to respond the way they have with their strength, trust, compassion and honesty in such a challenging situation seems to me to be the most remarkable example yet. We have been dealing with all of the regular challenges of day-to-day living, as well as this new situation that has presented itself. Kate is learning to become independent as well as accountable to me in a much different way than she is used to. Amanda has assumed the role of my soul support and communicator of which we all know she is excelling at. Kate is learning to find her purpose in the situation as well as her direction, independent among all of the new challenges. They light of my day when they come visit, which is generally everyday bless their hearts. Kate infuses humor, charm, lightheartedness and a down to earth quality by tickling me, scratching me and making fun of my spasms. I do appreciate capability and her honesty, she tells it like it is. Amanda adds depth and the compassion to each day by taking care of my basic needs seeing beyond the obvious and inspiring the difficult. I am continually amazed and impressed with their capacity to accept, adapt and evolve.

This will be the first weblog I posted on my own as I’m beginning to develop more strength and skill. I look forward to continuing this as well as flourishing it out even more. I will close for now, and look forward to communicating more and more as time goes on. I had a call today from Nelson and heard the Robins are out. Do enjoy each and every Birdsong and send some of that beautiful Nelson personality down to me in your prayers.

Love to all, Mary Jo.

Published by Mary-Jo

I am passionate about diversity, inclusion, sustainability and community. Having raised my children in a small B.C. town as a single parent, I relied on the community, my resourcefulness and the land to sustain us. We developed a market farm,built a cafe and catering business that utilized the produce, local farmers and families to thrive. As a Waldorf school parent I became experienced in biodiversity, edible landscapes and community engagement. I gained substantial skills in leadership, facilitation, project management, communication through teaching yoga and running various business's. My role as a facilitator and trainer to individuals seeking to become a yoga teacher- whom never thought that they could stand in front of a room and speak in public, gave me insight into human nature and coaching. In addition to designing and building businesses - cafés, yoga studios and national training programs, I am a student of Social Development & Social Psychology and understand the complexity and importance of social engagement. I can handle with grace most any situation, having encountered a disability later in life. Consequent to becoming disabled and through advocacy and providing peer support I have trained and acquired extensive exposure and understanding of UN principles on disability, The Human Rights objectives, theories and principles of Universal Design and the various challenges and obstacles for those affected and the relationship to various stakeholders. After 30 years of teaching yoga, my spinal cord injury and subsequent sabbatical has allowed for the integration of my yoga and more in-depth study of the Healing Arts. I have had the fortune of working with some of the best in the field of rehabilitation, Somatic Experiencing and manual therapy including Emilie Conrad, Mark Finch, Judy Russel, Rod Stryker, Carolyn Myss, Ana Forest, & Tim Miller, Susan Harper, Mariah Moser, Herta Buller and Nature.