In this lifetime we are gifted one soul suit and one voice. This journey, living, is a consistent practice of discovery, through trial and error. We learn to speak as infants, making noises and understanding how to communicate our needs. But our voice, the one we come to find later in life, what leads us to our dharma, it stays dormant until you are ready to own it. When you find it, you’ll know.
I just found mine.
Soooooo it’s been awhile since I’ve published any of my writing on the blog… here I am! I’ve been writing… a little here and a little there… disorganized thoughts and stirred up feelings. Nothing I felt lead to share. Over the past four months, a LOT has happened and at the same time I feel like it’s been the same old thing day in and day out.
My six month post-op appointment with Dr. Feldman went amazingly well. The hardware in my spine is stable; thank you, sweet baby Jesus. Not going to lie, I was a little hesitant what the x-rays were going to show having rediscovered my yoga practice and moving more than I ever have in the last few years. With those fears calmed, there was an issue that we addressed and a plan solidified.
Last August, due to the paralysis on my right side and crazy instability in my right knee, Dr. Feldman went in and worked his magic, per the usual, breaking bones and inserting more hardware to correct the problem. With two previous failed corrective procedures, I didn’t psych myself out with end result possibilities. Fast forward more than a year later as D. Feld, Tiffany and myself are in the exam room looking at x-rays of my right leg and he turns to me and says, “I did a really good job.”
“Yes, sir. You certainly did,” I affirmed as our hands connected in a rather forceful high five. I couldn’t have asked for a more successful corrective surgery. When he clicked over to the x-ray of my left knee, all three of us, very loudly and in unison go, “WHOA.” I am standing, walking and yoga-ing on a leg with a knee that is in a constant state of dislocation. Not only that, because the degree of correction on my right side was so great, I actually lost an inch of length in that leg. So my left leg is currently longer than my right and it is VERY noticeable. Especially at the end of the day. I have officially given up on living a totally pain free life. It’s too big of an expectation to place on my body and on my heart. However, with things the way they are right now, I can’t do it. Some days my pain levels warrant tears and on others a bad attitude. While the best I can do is to just be — the length discrepancy and instability, long term, will wreak havoc on my spine and other joints.
November 13, I go in for surgery on my left leg and hardware removal in my right ankle. It’s a plan that we all feel really, really good about. In comparison to the spinal fusions, this will be a walk on the beach. I haven’t been super open about this next step for a few reasons. The biggest one being that there are people in my life who think that this is something I want… something I enjoy… something I create for myself, another surgery. Nothing has ever made me feel smaller. How am I even supposed to react to such an accusation? Wasting my energy trying to defend myself and explain how hard it is to face another change and the fight that lies ahead to return to baseline is definitely not the answer. What is important is that, both Dr. Feldman and I, feel very confident in the short term plan.
Moving on to more pleasant things. If you’re not familiar with the lunar phases and how they serve us, the new moon is a magical time to spark new and exciting beginnings; a time to get clear about the things you really want to create and manifest into your life.
Sitting down to set my intentions for a new moon has become something that I make a nightly ritual out of and absolutely love. I’m talking bubble bath, glass of wine, candles, meditation, a little yin — the whole shebang. Prior to writing out new intentions or reaffirming ones that I have already set, I glance back over my intentions set for the new moon over the previous few months. Magic. It literally makes my heart swell and puts a blanket of comfort over my what if’s and I cant’s. As I continue to refine and get really clear on what I need and want to happen in my life — my intentions are manifesting. Community, yoga, healing, love… I’m not going to go into the specifics, as that is personal and trust me when I say, when you put your intentions out into the Universe… well, see for yourself. So much YES!
There have been moments where major events have happened throughout my healing process — milestones. The majority of it, however, has been quiet; only those closest to me [physically, here in FL, and that is not many] bearing witness to my progress. At first, I was having a really difficult time with that. Once I finally felt settled into my new abode and somewhat of a routine, I realized that it’s truly a beautiful, somewhat sacred thing. Those meant to walk parts of the path with us, they show up. Their timing is perfect. And when someone is no longer meant to support us, they turn left or right and go their own way.
My Dream Team, here in FL, it continues to grow and it’s awesome. In addition to my St. Mary’s Medical Center posse of staff and patients turned close friends, now I have my yogis. Since my rehabilitation benefits ran out right after my spinal decompression in April, I didn’t know what in the world I was going to do. Traveling outside of my comfort zone and asking for guidance has gifted me a new, accepting, unbelievably compassionate yoga community and the presence of one miraculous woman in particular [I’ve mentioned her in a previous post]. I’ve only known Katherine for a few months and yet it feels like a lifetime. She is a yogi and a structural integrative massage therapist. This woman has catalyzed HUGE positive change in my life. From a broken spirited, uncomfortable in her own body with internal scaffolding, woman, convinced that chronic pain was going to be present the rest of her life to an empowered yogi, no longer on an ungodly dosage of nerve blockers, walking unassisted with even weight distribution in both legs who has also seen a dance floor more than once at only 5 months post-op. I mean, if that doesn’t scream magic to you, then I don’t know what will.
About a month ago, I read an article about the impact of nerve blockers on new synapse formations in the brain and I FREAKED out. In that moment I made the decision to wean myself off once and for all. Lord knows I have enough going on — I didn’t need to add brain fog to the list. Unless induced by too much wine the night before. Hah! Aside from the physical body work that Katherine does [the word massage does not even come close to covering it] she is also a magnificent listener and confidant. With her knowledge and support, I weaned myself off of the nerve blockers and together we found a solution to my nerve pain — sand bags. Yes, I typed that correctly. Bags of sand. Heavy ones. Weighing down my pelvis and femurs calms my nervous system. It’s quite miraculous, really.
All strong women need strong women in their life, especially when you’re on a path of deep healing. Yes, we all have to do our own work AND when you have a courageous, honest being [or beings] who ride the ups and downs with you, it serves as an incredible source of inspiration. Grateful am I for Wildkat, and a few special others, who have joined me on this path. Individually we are capable. Together we are unstoppable.
The past couple of years have been a ride, to say the least. People said that your thirty’s are some of the best years you’ll have. Psssh. Part of me wants to say that I beg to differ. And yet, when I look a little closer, despite the major changes and challenges, the third floor has peeled back some layers on this little soul suit that desperately and unknowingly needed to be shed. Age may just be a number. And beneath the surface, I find that there are some hidden expectations. You know, the whole, be married with kids and a house with a white picket fence making six figures. Blah blah blah. Not this girl and not anytime soon. And that’s OK. I live to defy expectations and break barriers.
Someone recently posted this and it deeply resonated with every ounce of my being; more specifically regarding the last year and a half of my life.
“No one knows the days that almost crushed you. No one knows the heart break that almost broke you. No one knows the fear that almost froze you. No one knows the courage it takes to be you. No one knows the strength it takes to face the battles that you do. No one knows the inner warrior you must invoke in order to get up and give each day all that you’ve got. No one knows how far you have come. What each movement forward has meant. What each of your triumphs has had you triumph over. What each moment of healing has helped you to accept. Winning isn’t always about what we get. It’s about what we’ve learned we can overcome. Glory isn’t always glorious. Sometimes its quiet. Uneventful. Unseen by the world around us. Witnessed only by the goddesses that guide us. Each of us needs to be witnessed. To be acknowledged in our entirety. To be recognized for the spark of divinity that we are. It’s human to want that kind of recognition. Attention. Acknowledgement. It’s our job to make sure that we find our own way to shine. To illuminate what is most meaningful to us. To take the stage that will best showcase our kind of light. We are all made of stars.” — Chani Nicholas
My voice. The one that I have been sharing since I was nine years old, has been found… errr… I suppose I could say rediscovered: with an unwavering amount of stability and confidence and lack of hardcore Boston accent. Over a year ago I received my 200hr Yoga Teacher Training certification. After all was said and done, I was not ready to teach. My voice was weak and my confidence low. After cannonballing into the sea of non-judgment and love that is the Haute Yoga community here in WPB and having yoga completely heal and transform my life, I dove into a second 200hr YTT… with two of my favorite women who are walking this path with me.At the beginning of the training we were asked if we had any expectations. I said, “none.” The only thing I was hoping for was to find my voice, or at least part of it. It wasn’t an expectation, I looked to it as a possibility. Between my previous training and internal scaffolding reconstruction, there were still parts of me that felt lost — pieces of the puzzle that were missing. Over the course of six weeks, with two beautiful leaders, twenty three yogis turned immediate bffs, became a family and united through this way of living called yoga. I could go on and on and on about those six weeks… and I probably will in another post.
At one point, my now dear friend and renowned superwoman, Jan, and I started talking about public speaking and sharing my story at schools etc. And the conversation led to me possibly speaking at Palm Beach Day Academy where she taught. Next thing I know, I am at the school meting with the head of students and have a date set to talk to grades 4-9. In that same week, the week before my next tune-up, I was also teaching my first yoga class.
For a woman who wanted to find her voice, well, what more could you ask for? Along with the opportunities came a stack of mild panic attacks, sprinkle of self doubt and waves of excitement that managed to bring the negative emotions crashing down. Phew.
The evidence below will give you an idea of how things went.
My soul suit has never dictated how I live my life… nor will it ever. It has, however, contributed to the way I see my journey, my environment and the beautiful people who come and go or stay awhile. It has opened me up to my voice. A confident, guiding light that, every day, continues to lead me down my designated path. Some days it’s a whisper and on others it’s LOUD. My one voice is also one that I choose to share.
So much L O V E.