Uncategorized

Blessings

Today I am writing to you from my new home in Vancouver. It has been a long time coming, reentering back into the world and leaving the secure and sometimes obscure world of the spinal unit at GF Strong. It feels awesome to be with the girls and to have a space for all of us to come home to.

It also feels incredibly endearing to consider how many people have facilitated and supported all of us throughout our journey and into the next phase of our lives. Your generosity and continual love and care are acknowledged and appreciated everyday in my prayers.

Our new home is conveniently located in the heart of Kitisalano, a Vancouver locale rich with culture, shops, and all of the amenities. Again, we feel sweetly blessed to have been given the opportunity to land here, of all places. After a very long and laborious process of looking throughout the lower mainland for accessible and desirable housing (of which there is not much around in Vancouver, let alone Nelson) we have landed in a truly amazing spot. Our place is bright, spacious, totally accessible and has a lovely courtyard garden which I and able to roll out into and enjoy from my door. Kate’s school is a block and a half away and she is settling in nicely, as well as working part-time at a local salon. Amanda has been away for awhile and will return to begin working at a new restaurant in town called The Lift. I’m just now beginning to settle into my new routine, and have time to actually write a Web log.

Today I am writing to you from my new home in Vancouver. It has been a long time coming, reentering back into the world and leaving the secure and sometimes obscure world of the spinal unit at GF Strong. It feels awesome to be with the girls and to have a space for all of us to come home to.

It also feels incredibly endearing to consider how many people have facilitated and supported all of us throughout our journey and into the next phase of our lives. Your generosity and continual love and care are acknowledged and appreciated everyday in my prayers.

Our new home is conveniently located in the heart of Kitisalano, a Vancouver locale rich with culture, shops, and all of the amenities. Again, we feel sweetly blessed to have been given the opportunity to land here, of all places. After a very long and laborious process of looking throughout the lower mainland for accessible and desirable housing (of which there is not much around in Vancouver, let alone Nelson) we have landed in a truly amazing spot. Our place is bright, spacious, totally accessible and has a lovely courtyard garden which I and able to roll out into and enjoy from my door. Kate’s school is a block and a half away and she is settling in nicely, as well as working part-time at a local salon. Amanda has been away for awhile and will return to begin working at a new restaurant in town called The Lift. I’m just now beginning to settle into my new routine, and have time to actually write a Web log. In a conversation just recently, I was considering time and how it takes different shapes in one’s life. I was thinking about my life and Nelson and how different my life is now, just less than a year ago. I was imagining all of my friends and acquaintances, my animals and the daily rhythm of life that I had carved out there. To consider my life now in comparison to that world is an exercise of futility and confusion for my small brain. Notwithstanding the heartfelt longing for the familiar, the preferred, and the chosen I could quickly see how redundant and dangerous nostalgia coupled with self-pity might be, and more importantly how the illusion of time challenges our brains’ understanding of ourselves and the movement of life
When I work toward understanding and assimilating all of the factors in this life-altering situation, I find myself referring to the place of love and simplicity. These states were very easily accessible when I lay as a wounded bird at the total mercy and grace of others, unaffected by time either past, present or future. Simplicity and the ability to continually refer back to place of love and nonjudgment requires great finesse and patience in a world where we are continually distracted and pulled in so many directions.
Living in the ‘real world’ my life has becomes more complex with desires, demands, roles and responsibilities. I see the propensity for drama and struggle to rule out the previous more desirable states of love and simplicity. Coupled with this malady is the concept and in some cases the very real constraints of time. How is it that the concept of time, our need to fill it and our race to defeated it, occupies so much of our living space and leaves us feeling rushed and fragmented? In a situation where our physical needs become a matter of life and death, and utterly dependent on other people, one develops an entirely different viewpoint of priorities. One also may develop an entirely different concept of prayer, purpose, time and grace.

If our purpose and our prayers have anything to do with this world, meaning the material world, it becomes impossible to flow with grace in the constraints and the illusion of time, because the physical world and a spiritual world function in two totally different languages. In addition I feel that the ability to pray with impact and intention considerably lessens when an agenda or attachment to the outcome is sought. I pray a lot these days, and since the accident, not that I didn’t pray before. It seems however, that I pray differently now. My prayers become my offering, from a place that has absolutely no certainty of what may be, regarding any number of aspects of my life..
Perhaps the loss of control over my physical body has allowed or forced, (whichever way you may look at it) me to have complete trust in uncertainty and insecurity. Consequently my prayers are the only true place of choice and peace. Still, I find myself praying for the most diverse things – some of which are practical and relate to my condition, such as good function of bowels and bladder! It is more often though, that I find myself offering prayers of gratitude or praying for virtues. I pray for things like patience and strength, humility and acceptance AND for all of you – for all of the ones I love, and especially for the ability to continue to see that all of this, all of it, is about love

Of course we’re not talking about Hallmark love or the emotion of love because really love is not an emotion, but rather a state of being. Concepts and ideologies about love detract from the actual place the state of love we’re talking about, resides. Concepts and ideologies, coupled with time and desire pull us away from the more endearing art of unconditional love. Everything truthful in life relates back to that one principal however.

Throughout my life I have often gone back to this concept and in all honesty have had a difficult time with it in various capacities. It is a difficult thing to understand when we are functioning in this material physical plane only, with the factor of time. It is a difficult thing to understand, even when we have a spiritual practice. All the more reason to continue with your practice and your ability to live with trust that a higher power or God, is the presence beyond our comprehension, and to follow that, perhaps blindly toward the light, until eventually faith become synonymous with love.

A very beautiful poem was given to me from the girls when I was first injured. It’s words talked about having faith in Mary Jo, in the universe, and in the power of love. I continually referred to that poster of the poem during my recovery, and still do today. I don’t know what it is about faith and love that dispels all of the pain-and-suffering, but I do know they work. Faith and love work especially well when we allow concept of time to be less important than the quality of living. Give yourself time to love, pray and be nourished and you will feel an incredible state of faith in all of life’s mysteries.

Namaste, 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.