Motion, movement, momentum, muscle memory… I am a woman on the move. I’ve always been active and more than a bit competitive. I’m driven. But I’m fearful too.
The first time I lost my momentum, I was twelve. I was in sixth grade and I dropped to floor one night in December with intense vertigo. I spent the next several months on my back, getting scans, visiting doctors and psychologists about the dizzying numbness and intense fatigue that had hit and seemed wouldn’t leave. Everything was inconclusive.
The words Multiple Sclerosis now explain that strange period and the others that followed, giving a name to the fear of lost motion, a break in my stride. A woman known for her purposeful walk, her powerful swift pace, her high energy– who would I be if those were no longer mine?
I would still be funny and kind. I would still be loving and loved. I would still be Sarah Josephine. I know that. But Sarah Josephine would change just enough to make me uncomfortable. I want to keep moving.
So I do. I cannot control the future but I can choose my path. I can influence my surroundings. I can accept and embrace the journey and all its obstacles and opportunities.
I am a woman on the move. And I keep on moving because I can, with faith in every footstep and gratitude in every breath.
Sunlight on snow has always been one of my favorite scenes. Cool, sunny skies invigorate me. But it’s deeper than that. It’s not just that this girl from the northwest still gets excited at the sight of snow. There’s something almost spiritual about the way the light dances on blankets of snow, the way a gentle wind picks up the crystals to create swirling patterns of glitter in my path.
It’s the balance of energies, fire and water that inspires me. We tend to think of these as opposites and as opponents. Water quenches fire. Heat evaporates moisture. But with sunlight and snow we can see how the two energies can exist in a complementary harmony.
Snow reflects sunlight. Sunshine amplifies the beauty of the crystalline water. The cold helps us appreciate the heat. And the heat slowly supports the shift from snow pack to life-giving water.
This is not a passive relationship. The balance is not static, but dynamic, and the catalyst of needed change. And the fact that we are blessed with this scene and its symbolic reminder each new year is a gift. We can enter the new year inspired to seek and create such balance in the energies of our own lives.
In my yoga, I remind myself that my soul craves and creates both power and peace. In my relationships, I remind myself that I exist to both give and receive. In my prayers, I request and I praise. I seek to create balance where it is lacking and to embrace the balance that exists.
In 2016, I learned the kind of life I want to live and the kind of love I want to have. I learned better the kind of contribution I want to make and the kind of legacy I hope to leave. I learned that I need others and that I have much to offer as well.
I carry these lessons with me into 2017 with a new appreciation of how they can be balanced in my life. I enter the year with a new perspective and the acknowledgement that I do not control the elements, but the elements are my allies. I will not fear the heat, for it brings the light that I need. I will not fear the storm for it brings new life. I will live in harmony as the sunlight on snow.
When I say I’m living my yoga, I mean I’m living true to my core being. I am honoring my soul. In yoga, I start by setting my intention. Why would my days, my life, be any different, I wonder. Yet they have been–and more often than not.
When I say I’m living my yoga, I do not mean I am as flexible or strong or dedicated as I can be. I mean I am practicing. Yoga is a practice.
I am practicing honoring who I am at my core every day. I am practicing how to take deep cleansing breaths when I least want to. I am practicing my balance. I am practicing get up after each fall. I am practicing how to listen to that soft voice from my soul.
I want to be the person my yoga mat sees, someone once said.