Being new to Internet blogging and networking groups, it’s standard that you place your profile picture as your new online “image” for the world to see. This always freaks me out a little, as we all know first impressions are everything and ugh, the anxiety of picking the oh so right picture is just plain mean. Fortunately we have the flexibility to change such pictures out when boredom sets in or perhaps you’re lucky enough to get that fabulous shot of you looking svelte….. the lighting perfect……. a light breeze blowing through your hair and your face looks as if someone has airbrushed you into looking 10 years younger. Well I was fortunate enough to get that perfect shot. Only the shot is far enough away that my face can hardly be seen, the breeze is blowing, only it was not a light breeze, but forceful winds blowing fiercely against my balancing body on top of a high cliff… and although I wasn’t airbrushed, the light just happen to be so perfect that it looks like my arms were airbrushed into looking svelte and muscular. And it doesn’t make me look 10 years younger… I just am 10 years younger. Okay… maybe not 10 years, but it was a few years ago, where a lot in this body has changed. The infamous image I am talking about, just so happens to be the one you see on my about me page. My blog shot. My Twitter shot. My only shot. I had to write about it because I get comments on it weekly, if not daily about it. Only I like this shot not because it’s all I have, but because of what it stands for, for me. It’s me showing my inner strength, my freedom, and most importantly, my balance for life. Hence, balance4life… for you twitter lovers out there!
I can confidently write about it now because much has changed since that balancing yogini perched high on top of a mountain. A yogini who’s sort of been there and back and making her way there again…. with my practice that is…. my yoga practice. I can honestly say, when I first started my practice over 13 years ago, I could feel myself physically progressing fast, watching my body transform with strength, endurance and perseverance was a powerful feat that I wouldn’t exchange for anything. And as the years passed and injuries became more prevalent, so did my setbacks. In a time when my practice once again became at it’s peak, my business ideas thriving, everything falling right into place with just the right timing… another setback would soon happen. Only this time I didn’t listen to my body like I teach my students too. My denial was keeping my knees in pain and the more pain I was in the more exercising I would push through. Until I could barely walk after an extreme workshop, did I finally make my way to the doctor who diagnosed me with a torn meniscus. Very common… not so bad. I can deal with this. With a noninvasive procedure and a recovery of only a few days, I scheduled an appointment for surgery pronto. I still had all my plans in check right up till the day of surgery and all the commitments and appointments lined up only a week after. Yes, right on schedule! Not so much. Feeling like a baby coming out of a sweet slumber of what felt like 2 seconds, I hear voices of the doctor and nurses telling me, “Okay Marianne, you need to keep this immobilizer on for 6 weeks….. 6 weeks….. 6 weeks…..echo, echo, echo…… “Huh? What happened to my little band aid I was supposed to have? My week of recovery? The doctor kept repeating to me… “This is good news! Your knee was in such great shape, we could actually reattach your meniscus that pulled away from the bone. This is a very rare repair, you are very lucky!” “Um, excuse me…. good? Good? I’m sorry, what exactly is the good part in this? HELLO?! I don’t have 6 weeks. I don’t have time for physical therapy. I don’t have time to heal for the next YEAR!!!!! Is anybody listening to me????!!!!!!” Just writing about it, almost brings tears to my eyes recalling my emotional pain. No pain in the knee of course…. not a single ouch…. just a bruised ego that was so emotionally damaged… it didn’t quite hit me until I had to spend much time on my once comfortable couch, that didn’t seem so comfortable after weeks of lying down! But all in all, with much comfort and support through family and dear friends… with much tears and meditation did I realize how too easily things were falling into place, that I forgot to focus. My “drishti” as we call it in yoga, a sanskrit word for focal point, had been completely blurred and my balance had teetered to a fall. And so, like that little girl who keeps falling down the steep hill, did I pick myself up again… manage to refocus with the intention of acceptance as to where I was right now in this moment. Accepted that this was temporary, no matter how long the recovery, but even more significant for me, remembering that my practice, my physical being wasn’t about how powerful I was anymore, but how the healing process on a physical, emotional and egocentric level…. is truly where my power lies.