“Just keep swimming”
Yesterday brought a sea change. For the first time since February 17th when the radiologist said to me, “Really, I think you have cancer,” I allowed myself to see my life after cancer treatment.
I have written before about not being sure of my future. About how I’m grateful for everyone standing in my hope gap because my own sense of tomorrows was tarnished. Then yesterday I found myself wondering what differences I’ll find in my asana practice after I heal from surgery. Wondering what changes I’ll make in how I teach classes; about how my dialogue with students will be different when I go back to teaching. Then I thought, “Holy crap! I’m planning for the future!” I was thinking about moving forward from being a cancer patient to living a life. It felt like I was liberated from a weight of despair; a weight I’m not used to carrying because I’m usually so sunny.
I started wondering what caused me to shift from joylessness and defeat to, “I can do this!” Not surprisingly, it was yoga. I had those future-oriented thoughts as I was doing pigeon pose (kapotanasana), which is a hip opener. Apparently I released some block that was keeping me mired in suffering and missing the joy. My spirit had been wounded, and I was unable to soar above my physical self to find joy. Suddenly I was in the flow again, accepting the moment for the fleeting thing it is. Then I remembered that I felt that same way when I got divorced. I had lost my sense of, “I can do this!”
The night before I went for my biopsies I was drinking my nighttime tea. My tea bag tag said, “You must know that you can swim through every change of tide.” I sensed in that moment that the results of the biopsies would not be good. I taped that tiny paper to my bathroom mirror, hoping that the truth of it would somehow make it’s way into my heart. It took awhile, but now I know I can just keep on swimming because as quickly as the tide goes out it comes back in.