When I was crafting what Living Mangaliso would be, I had a conversation with my brother. He talked about table tops and legs. I remember writing about these things in AMAZEMENT. It is good to return to the heartbeat. It is good to return and return to what it is one is doing and why.
Here, I will begin a series of talking about the FIVE lenses through which we at Mangaliso see through.
Recovery (CLAIMING AND RECLAIMING YOUR LIFE)
More about these lenses exist in chapter 9 in AMAZEMENT: Reclaiming the Brilliance of Wonder, written under my former name, Mims Driscoll.
CLAIM AND RECLAIM.
It is your body.
It is your practice.
It is your life.
I don’t remember a life before physical and sexual abuse.
I do remember a life before spiritual abuse.
I remember coming into faith through a visitation of sorts. It changed my life. I went from praying to what I thought was just air, to standing in the presence of magnificence.
I do remember times of abuse within church.
I remember stages of brokenness.
I remember stages of being awake or not.
I will never again be that unknowing, hungry to love Spirit and humanity, young woman. She no longer exists. There are realities of her that were very good, there were realities of her that needed to grow up. There were realities of her that didn’t know how to express herself, question, not just accept and receive. There were places within her that were so hungry for love and affirmation, that she would do anything. Places within her that had only known abuse, places that didn’t yet know health that could be manipulated and used.
I am not that girl anymore, she no longer exists.
There are many places within my almost 47 years of living that I can look back and say, I am no longer this or that. There are many places within my life, where I can now say, I AM this and that. That, too, will change.
That is true for all of us.
In this time, I am able bodied. That may change. In this time, I feel like my heart and my mind function at the best that they ever have, a level of wholeness courses through my being unlike anything I have ever known.
There could be a time when my body isn’t so able, there could be a time that time and age bring dementia, there could be a time where time and age bring lack of sight or hearing. I hope that with whatever life brings, I will hold CLAIM and RECLAIM.
If I am breathing on my own, then I am living.
What that life looks like can and will change.
I hold claim and reclaim very seriously.
Especially, with my work with those living within the world of recovering from trauma. Whether it is traumatic brain injury, the realities of long-term physical illness, sexual assault, abuse or many other realities, there was a time before the event that people remember. There was a life being lived. That life is gone.
I was once a mom of 6 very healthy children. Within a short period of time a child of mine would become very ill, living in pain without a specific diagnosis, for over two years. What that time shifted within me, will always now be shifted. There were things I took for granted. Realities I never knew, that now I do. Going from not having children to having a child, being single to being married, graduating high school and going to college, graduating from college and going into the work force; there are many realities that bring shift into our worlds.
Even those that hold excitement and wonder, hold change.
Claim and Re-Claim, recover your life as it is NOW.
That is a process.
A letting go of one thing, a turning towards another.
I don’t do well talking about one lens without weaving in the others.
They are all so interconnected.
As you claim and reclaim life, discovering and exploring what the new holds and what the old held and what that all means is a process. What is your expression of life like now? What can you do? What can’t you do? How do you expand into life, not playing small or less then, not shrinking back? The “new” whatever that is can be disorienting. The old, familiar. There will be grief. There will be reflection. There will be nostalgia. Getting used to the new is a process. For some like, a new mom and dad; sleeping in on a Saturday or a Sunday nap that was once a given, isn’t a given so much anymore. The shift and change is different for all of us. Some more drastic then others.
BUT FOR ALL….
The union and reunion of the body and breath and awareness does come…
I will always hold to the simple reality of yoga meaning union.
What is being brought together is body, breath, awareness.
Trauma, as we define it at Mangaliso, is anything that disturbs, disrupts, desecrates that union.
Living Mangaliso is dedicated to holding space for the union and reunion, the claiming and reclaiming of a life. Your recovery, the recovery of an equilibrium, the finding of the new “normal,” whatever that is, IS our priority.