In the great school of life everything is our teacher. One of my teachers would say “life is a journey and it’s way stations are levels of awareness”. I know this to be true. From early childhood trauma, adolescent anorexia, a rare genetic propensity for meningitis and a severe spinal cord injury, life has been a tough teacher for me, in many ways.
On January 25 2004, I had a skiing accident that crushed my C4, C5 and C6 vertebrae and left me paralyzed from the neck down. I was diagnosed with Quadriplegia-complete, a “worst case diagnosis” predicted by doctors. My journey back to health and coping with my new situation – defied odds, is a miraculous recovery due to hard work, faith, knowledge, insight, determination, Yoga and strong willed optimism. I have transformed injury into ‘inquiry’. My passion is looking directly into “disability” to uncover the “Ability”.
Through all that I have learned and continue to learn I have come to know that pain is the root of the knowledge, and struggle is optional. For me learning how to rise out of the victim in its many subtitles and toward a greater understanding of myself and the lessons I have chosen is a pivotal perspective. It is a viewpoint and worldview I have been gifted through Yoga.
My process has led me to an ever deepening and expanding appreciation of the essence of life and my connection to it through the part of me-that is greater than my physical and emotional challenges. One thing I know to be true is that we need to develop virtues, valour and endurance in order to meet life’s challenges and become better by them.
The nurturing of body, mind and spirit becomes the essential pathway for healing and transformation of any type of obstacles along our way. That is a lifelong journey and offers the grace which teaches us that letting go, surrender and humility are strengths, and through that we discover – that deep abiding peace and love are truly our essential nature. I believe we can guide and help each other home to that place, preserve nature and all life and make our world better.
“No matter what obstacles or challenges we face, there is the capacity within each of us to transform.” Mary-Jo 2004