Oh my, I have not written anything on this blog in almost a year. I didn’t realize that I have been away for so long…
Much has happened this past year. Some good… some not so good. I will recap my year very briefly to give context for this blog post’s title.
A year ago I began teaching therapeutic yoga/mindfulness meditation at LaVita and I LOVE it. Even though I am only teaching a few hours a week it is allowing me to continue to participate in life, to be seen and heard… and to teach. As a person living with a disability, that is important, as too often we become invisible. More importantly, it gives me the opportunity to BE of service to others by sharing what I have learned about living well with chronic illness.
Physically, my body is changing as MS continues to progress. It is becoming more difficult to walk and my pace has slowed. I find myself relying on my cane and walker more. Burning pain in both legs keeps me awake some nights. This is all new… and to be honest I don’t really like that part much.
In August, I participated in a study at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester for Alzheimer’s Research. My father passed away a few years ago from Frontal Temporal Dementia (FTD). The gene for FTD, identified in 2009, runs in my family…. and it turns out that one of my three brothers and I have the gene. It expresses in 90% of all cases.
Convinced that I did not have the gene, I signed up for the study and genetic testing If I don’t carry the gene then it cannot be passed on to my children. What a gift I am giving my children! Or so I thought. It didn’t turn out that way … I have shed many tears – for myself, my husband, and my children.
Now my research has shifted somewhat from diet and lifestyle changes to manage an autoimmune illness to brain health. If dementia is in my future, I am hoping that it is the distant future. I am putting together a “team” of functional medicine and healthcare practitioners to help me in doing so.
We are looking at dietary changes… so I am re-committing to eliminating gluten and dairy from my diet. I struggle with that on and off. (More “off” these past few months if I am being totally honest).
More importantly, I am meditating and spending more time in contemplation. I am learning compassion towards myself through mindfulness practice and study. Self-compassion, it turns out is more challenging than giving up bread and cheese.
Deepak Chopra says that “healing is remembering our wholeness.” What is wholeness? How do I accept this new “what is” with dignity and grace?
This is my journey towards wholeness and acceptance of “what is.”