I was about to speak on contemplative practices for a group of churches during Lent.
There was a woman setting up an information table. I noticed her as soon as I walked into the building. I would soon find out that she was a founder of an organization whose desire is to assist and support those who have had brain injury. I had just come back from a training that empowered individuals to work with yoga and those who knew brain injury or had bodies that had presenting realities that limited their mobility in a physical world.
I would begin to work with the organization presenting a pilot program for those who have brain injury.
What working with people with brain injury taught me.
They would teach me far more then I could imagine.
Most of us won’t know brain injury.
BUT all of us will know shifts and changes in our bodies.
Whether through the aging process or as a woman having a child; or perhaps, an illness or injury crosses your path.
Our bodies shift and change.
There are things we could once do that we can no longer do with the ease at which once we could. There are the realities of how knowing ourselves to be in the world morphs through life.
Language arrives. Language helps.
One day as I taught a yoga class words began to spill from my mouth, “Acquaint yourself with yourself, as you are and how you are.” It has become a primary mantra for Living Mangaliso. Learn about yourself, today. Who are you as you reside in a body today? Another grouping of words that formed is this, “You are a person, in your personhood you inhabit a body, in inhabiting a body you take up space, learning how to take up that space and not place small BUT expand is the journey of a life time.”
I also sat and spent much time with the concept of NAMASTE. What are we saying when we say that? I have spent far too much time with platitudes. Namaste couldn’t become another one. So, what was I saying? What did it mean for me? I love language. Articulation of language and communication is important to me, so I sat.
“The light in me; recognizes, honors, and utterly delights in the light and dignity of humanity that dwells within you.” That. That, I could stand alongside. The light of me, honors you. The light of me sees you, you are seen. The light of me, delights in you. The light of me, recognizes that you are light, too.
The journey of being in a body,
changes can take a toll.
The journey to knowing what you are within your body today, finding acceptance and joy. Claiming and re-claiming a life, doing what you can, as you can, how you can is courageous. Admitting a need for help, that is powerful. Admitting that there is a struggle, wrestling with it and coming out the other side is a journey for all of us to take.
Perhaps once we ran marathons, now we call it a victory if we took three steps.
We can grieve the loss.
We can celebrate the new milestone.
Perhaps, there were once things I could do. Perhaps, the day has arrived that now I can’t. What does that mean for me? Where is my light and life now? What does it look like to explore and discover your life today? What does it look like to expand and find your expression, today?
Would you like help on the journey?
Elle Miller for Spiritual Direction or a Trauma informed yoga session today.