“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.

6 Replies to ""Just keep swimming""

  • comment-avatar
    Nina Marcussen
    July 15, 2011 (3:19 am)

    Brandie,
    how beautiful you are. This brought tears to my eyes and hope to my heart. You inspire me and make me wanna try harder at life.
    Much love and prayers for you, sweet soul!
    Nina

  • comment-avatar
    Polly
    July 15, 2011 (2:35 pm)

    Beautifully written. I’m glad that you are thinking about life post-cancer because I’ve been making plans for you this whole time and I’m going to need you to show up. 🙂

  • comment-avatar
    Karrie
    July 15, 2011 (2:40 pm)

    You make me want to be more. Thank you. Love to you and yours, Aunt Karrie

  • comment-avatar
    Kelly
    July 15, 2011 (5:43 pm)

    Truly inspiring…I recently have experienced the same after being diagnosed with Sjogren’s and Fibromyalgia and living daily with chronic pain, fatigue, headaches, dry eyes, brain fog…yoga truly does help me through the blocks…each day is a challenge, but on so many levels yoga helps my mind and body cope and find hope for better life

  • comment-avatar
    Pam
    July 18, 2011 (6:06 pm)

    I check in frequently to find out what is going on for you. I’m praying like crazy for healing and peace and joy for you and yours.

  • comment-avatar
    Sandi
    July 18, 2011 (7:19 pm)

    Brandie, you are my inspiration as we swim our way through this! So glad that we have each other to use as floaties!! :)xoxo