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in Motion

Hello friends, family and community. I would like to take this opportunity to bring you all up-to-date on where I’ve been, what I’ve been doing and to apologize for not communicating for so long. The last time I wrote a weblog was back in January just before the anniversary date of my injury. After that date I had a lot of trepidation around the event and wasn’t sure how to write about it, nor in some ways what to do with the feelings. Granted, I’ve had a lot of time since then, to inform and maintain lines of communication, however life is full for me and my focus and available time has changed.

I remember at some point awhile back expressing to all of you that I believe there are no accidents and that for some divine reason and purpose I’ve been put into this situation. As difficult as it is, I still hold that perception, and am finding more and more enacting examples of this truth as I go. I have found myself to be very busy with a number of personal projects, as well as some which relate to persons with spinal cord injury. I have become involved in many significant movements relating to this realm, at this time. Spinal cord injury is a curious and unique condition in our culture, particularly right now. Spinal cord injury affects about 40,000 people in Canada directly and as much as four times that indirectly. It is an interesting condition because technically it is not an illness -like cancer, heart disease or diabetes, and because of its nature is largely misunderstood, mistreated, and under researched.

We are at a pivotal point regarding the whole medical model of spinal cord injury and subsequently many other ‘different abilities”. Part of this has to do with the leading edge discovery of stem cells and their potential for a cure, and the rest it has to do with the implications of how people with spinal cord injuries are treated, viewed and helped within and beyond the medical system.

It is my experience over the past year and a bit that there is much work that needs to be done in this area. Indeed there are many individuals devoted to this work, and its importance, however the horror stories abound. My passion in becoming involved with changing lives of people who are affected with this debilitating condition is not just from a personal interest, but rather a recognition that the work that is done here will affect people from many other areas and capacities. It became strikingly clear to me years ago that our medical system was due for a major overhaul, for many reasons. This recent journey of mine has opened up a whole new example of experience in this regard, and this is one of the places where I direct my focus at this time.

Indeed I feel very strongly and passionately about people in general and how they do – physically, mentally and spiritually. .I have come to realize that a physical handicap is the obvious handicap that one may be affected by, but in all honesty most of us carry a number of different non-physical handicaps beneath the surface. Like me I’m sure you may be blown away by the individuals in this particular community, who against all odds find life after loosing everything we value and esteem in this world. This is a brave example to people who don’t have an obvious physical handicap, and draws us all closer to our vulnerability, our uncertainty and ultimately the one redeeming Truth of our soul’s immortality.

Rick Hansen who himself was knocked down with a SCI in his mid-teens is an example of the aforementioned courage and bravery, devoting his life’s work to help improve the lives of all individuals affected with “handicaps” and SCI. His focus has been in the physical and practical domains of mobility and lifestyle issues. We had lunch recently and he recognized with me the need to acknowledge and incorporate the non-traditional aspects of healing and living that can also improve one’s outlook and quality of life. This is the work I have become involved with in the SCI community, a continuance of my yogic path.

Every year Rick’s organization hosts a major event “Wheels In Motion” to raise awareness and funds for people with SCI. I want to make a difference in the lives of others in this community, and you can help me by pledging your support. Please click on the link at the bottom of this page to donate on my behalf.

A spinal cord injury can happen in a moment, but the effects can last a lifetime, it can happen to anyone at any time. Those at greatest risk are our youth and aged, usually the ones with limited resources and tools to deal with such tragedy. Please help me help others so we can continue this important work.

You all made such a difference in my life through your prayers, love and support. I cherish and will never forget your acts of kindness. Please feel free to email or write. I commit to keeping you more regularly updated. Until then, THANK YOU.

To make an online donation Please ensure that the entire URL appears in your browser window or go to www.rickhansen.com and select Wheels In Motion event on menu.

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.