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In the span of one day

At this time, glimpses of progress are floodlights in a big dark unfamiliar room; when they go on everything is illuminated and it can occur with the flick of one switch.

I don’t measure progress exclusively by my body’s physical advancements, but by the whole spectrum of being including: attitude, bowel function (yes, dictated by MJ-A.M.), arm strength, energy level, length of pranyama, and sustained focus. There are also external celebrations of progress which excite my whole team, particularly the girls and me.

Yesterday was another milestone, as everyday is in some unexpected way. First of all I was showered , prepared and out of bed in the record time of fifty minutes. This usually takes about two hours. It may seem funny to consider how much liberation this offers me. Imagine looking out at a beautiful sunny day and not being able to hop out of bed on your own. All this, because of being totally dependant on the timing and proficiency of other people. This is where grace and effectiveness are being tested, and cultivated by my cosmic comedian.
Perhaps the divine saw a need for me to be tested in good measure.

The next great news was that my occupational therapist found me the perfect electric chair and it doesn’t include the death penalty. This is awesome because it means one less detail to figure out AND I can focus more of my resources on other needs, especially a light weight titanium chair, to match my titanium neck plates (another one of MJ’s priceless corny jokes, which have been cropping up more and more lately-A.M.). This great news about a manual chair leads into the next development of driving the manual one myself. This is a huge leap of independence for a person with quadriplegia. As if this weren’t enough progress for one day, the cherry on top of the cake was a personal visit from Rick Hansen. Rick is inspiring and such a down-to-earth person, our conversations were immediately to the heart and reflective of our souls meeting and expressing themselves.

The day ended with a quiet dinner with my two daughters. We all conversed and nibbled on tango tofu, avocados and humus, whilst we expressed the beauty of simple pleasures, and the treasure of being together. (Pass the dressing, please ¨CP.C.)

As the sun set across the sky and highlighted downtown Vancouver, the reflection of light off a building from across the harbour danced across all of the beautiful cards from Nelsonites and others. As the light descends, I draw you all deeply into my heart and reflect that light back to you. Thank you all.

Edited with light humor by Peter Clement and Amanda Fetterly, of course approved and encouraged by 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.