Over the past several months, people have often asked me how I’ve stayed strong through all this.
First, I’m flattered that they think so. This healing process has involved intense moments of human “weakness.” Of anger, of lashing out at those I love, of bitter reflections on why me and how unfair and exhaustion at, time and again losing everything.
Truth is, I haven’t always stayed strong through this, nor graceful. But as I often tell my students, sometimes part of moving forward is to just try – however graceful or not so graceful our attempts seem.
Perhaps instead of asking how I stay strong, a better question is how do I keep moving forward? Short answer is there’s not really another choice in life.
But what has gotten me through this, on a personal level, what keeps me moving are three tools: yoga nidra meditation, other forms of meditation, and subtle body yoga.
When we cannot move, we can breathe. When we can breathe, our spine undulates with the rhythm, subtly performing yoga. Oxygen, spirit, blood moves through our veins and we can tune into their passing – the yoga of life.
Breath calms the nervous system, lowers the heartbeat, soothes the intensity of pain. Even when we cannot move, we can practice just by listening to the tunes of our bodies. Even with oxygen tubes in our nostrils, IVs in our arms, brain scan nodes plastered to our heads, strapped to a hospital bed, we can meditate.
This knowledge alone is what has gotten me through. The knowledge that I still had something left, however small, that I was capable of doing. That could still feel like living.
Strength got me through this? No. Rather I’d say complete surrender to the life force within me.
Strength had very little to do with it.