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Rays of Light

It’s a gorgeous day in Vancouver and we sit in the park surrounded by beautiful faces and nutritious food. Mary-Jo sits gracefully in her chair, instead of looking at what is in the moment physically frozen, she looks into our eyes and expresses her extreme grattitude for this life. She is now quite successfully feeding herself, with the help of an ingenious wrist-attached fork. Her left wrist has gained increased strength and movement which, for her prognosis, is incredible. Her left arm is more severely paralyzed then her right, so any advancement made there is yet another little piece of heaven, shining trough our physical bodies. A few days ago I was able to look at her X rays pre-surgery. My stomach must have flipped about five times. Quite a graphic break to say the least, her spinal cord was held out of position at about a 90 degree angle. Because of this, it is a true and remarkable gift that she is able to talk , breathe and comprehend normally. Her charm and beauty radiate throughout the halls at GF strong. All of the patients and staff are drawn to her noble presence and zest for life.

Even a life that is different from the one she once walked.

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.