What a difference one year can make in a person’s life. From goodbye’s to hello’s, from endings to new beginnings.

Last year at this time, I was at one of the lowest points I can remember in my life. Though I had pasted a smile on my face, my pain was high and chronic. The living situation I found myself in became rapidly untenable, signaling the absolute end of a relationship, and my health took such a turn for the worse that I really did not know if I would live out the year. And, to be brutally honest, I was so spiritually, physically, and emotionally fatigued and in pain that a small part of me did not care if I did or not. My skin was a mess of hives from stress and medication reactions that lasted for months. I could not walk fully upright, and needed a cane all the time. Pain in every part of my body was my constant companion, with little to no relief. I felt trapped within my own body – not able to do what I wanted to or needed to, my mind foggy at the best of times. I was simply but barely existing.

In the spring, I said goodbye to my favourite aunt (my mother’s sister) who died too quickly and too young, at only 53, of esophgeal cancer. (Tu me manque, ma petite matante.)

The stress of it all was so debilitating it took me months to recover. The effects on my health reached rock bottom by June, when I had my last known full grand mal seizure. It was at that point that I got fed up – angry at just existing, not living. My boys were my light in the dark – knowing that they needed their Mom, always, and needed me to model living for them, not just existing. I was not going to let them down, dammit!

Along came my foray into yoga, and a complete transformation of my life (physically, spiritually, emotionally). I went from constant pain, not being able to bend forward at all, to regaining and gaining new flexibility throughout my body to various degrees, touching my toes with relative ease. I went from walking with much pain, hunched over, to standing tall and walking with little pain and more fluidity, now using my cane only for long walks where MS fatigue becomes an issue. Yoga introduced calm deep breathing into my life – I had never realized that stress caused me to “hold” my breath and breathing rapidly and shallowly had become my norm. I learned the value of deep relaxation, not only spiritually and emotionally, but physically too – the benefits of allowing your body to relax and recover is critical. Most importantly – I became fully and deeply aware – aware of myself physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Double Plank Pose

A new peace and tranquility enveloped my life, giving me the wisdom to close doors on negative energies that only brought stress and pain to my life and to those I loved, and opening doors to a new peaceful and fullfilling way of living.  My passion for yoga became even more  deep as I signed myself up for the Yoga teacher Training in order to become a certified yoga instructor. My heart opened up to a new a deeply satisfying way of life, with a new yogic community of friends. Old friendships deepened for me  – and the value of these friendships have become only more priceless and special. New friendships opened up, fullfilling me in ways I simply cannot find words to express. And, most surprising of all, someone very special walked into my life and swept me off my feet – something I did not think could ever happen! SuperMike and I are yoga companions, best friends, (and so much more) – both keenly appreciative of the health benefits of yoga, tranquility, touch, and connection.

I don’t know what 2011 has in store, but I am so excited to see how it unfolds! Bring it on, baby!

Happy New Year…and….Namaste.