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Life lessons


Sometimes it’s good to take a pause. A pause to clean up shop, so to speak (the body and mind where we live and work); to reflect on why we are here, what things are bringing joy and what could be refined or cut out entirely. So often life lives us, instead of the other way around.

One of the things that has been a recent recognition for me is that when I first got out of the hospital after transplantation, I was very eager to ‘get on with things’. What things, you may ask? Mainly, the little things. Being a mother, practicing yoga, teaching. I knew some things would be different, but I could not begin to imagine how, or when the changes would begin.

At first, it was the physical things: the pain of having had a major surgery, and a new sensorial base. Sound, taste, smell, touch had all become foriegn. This normalized within about a month, as did my size, which exploded by sixteen kilos initially overnight, and then went in the reverse direction fourteen kilos more ( yes, a 30 kilo difference in 4 weeks!) After two months, I was released from hospital, and had worked through a lot of the changes in proprioception and general embodiment issues. Then I was reintroduced to life.

Initially I was overwhelmed just to see loved ones and to be out in the world again, and with my over-zealous, eager attitude, I was back to work in no time. Teaching not three months after the transplant, on the mat almost daily as well, I had no idea what was about to erupt.

It was my first trip to my mentor that gave me a taste of the first of many tears to shed. Big, unbelievable, heart-wrenching, village flooding tears. But where did they come from, and why? I was out of the dark, I had “made” it…or so I thought.

Not so fast, rumbled the heavens.

To make a long story short and to frame this post, it took me a little while to recognize that many of the decisions I was making in my life had become driven by fear. I’m not sure for how long pre-transplant I had been living this way, but suffice it to say it had been long enough, and the reasons were pretty obvious; so obvious I didn’t see it. Of course, we all have a fear of death, but the spectrum of hues that this can take on is endless. As I took on little by little in my new life post-transplant, it was quickly evident that living life in fear and making decisions based on fear- in any flavour- was no longer a way I wanted to live. Life, my friends, is too short.

I now am in the midst of one, of hopefully many pauses. A pause to see what is under the hood, to clean out the mental and emotional spider webs that come with just barely scraping by in a body. A pause to remind myself of what beyond kindness and compassion bring joy and happiness. A pause to remember to laugh and participate in extraneous and ridiculous things some may deem a ‘waste of time’. A pause to make cake for my son from scratch with hand drawn characters from his favourite book. You get the point.

While I’m still teaching yoga and Rolfing, I plan not to be doing as much while I resume my great love of eastern philosophy and ancient texts. I have tuned up the guitar and space has been made for a piano. Most importantly, days have been cleared to be with the people I love, and to surround myself the activities and the things that remind me of why la vie est belle. Et voila.

Lesson? Don’t put off what you love doing until tomorrow. If you question why you are doing what you are doing, question it a little bit more. Often the mind has a clever way of covering up our true intentions and our true desires.

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