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Being pushed out of my comfort zone….thank you grief, I think.

Julie Stansfield, Ebb and Flow Yoga Great Barrier Island

As I begin writing this, my second blog, it is one day past yet another milestone (do they ever stop?). It’s the 5 year ‘anniversary’ since my world started to spin out of my control – I’ve just received the worst news I ever expected or wanted to hear….”it’s malignant and we think it has spread through the wall of the intestinal wall. We won’t know the full extent till Chris undergoes an MRI and CT scan, as soon as possible”. The doctor’s demeanour is not reassuring. That night I try to digest the news through the fog that has engulfed my mind – I’m sure I’m dreaming and will wake up soon from this bad joke….Chris is blissfully unaware of what is unfolding because he is still under the effect of the anesthetic he was given for the procedure. I’ve had many lonely nights since then, but that was the longest and most frightening of all.

I’ve lost the count of the number of times Chris and I said to each other how blessed we were. Even though we couldn’t fulfill our dream of having children….even though at times we thought we would lose everything when the going got tough….even though those best made plans went askew. Mmmm, we really are just along for the ride, aren’t we? We cannot control our lives – we try, but end up unhappy, disillusioned and soon discover that whatever it is we are chasing is never enough.

It has taken me some time to accept that no matter how hard I try, I cannot control outcomes. I am just along for the ride that is my life. Life is full of happy, sad and ‘wtf’ situations – and there is a lesson in each and every moment. How we react and deal with each hiccup, monumental upheaval and joyful moment is how we find peace and contentment…..or not.

So, from the monumental upheaval I was experiencing in our hotel room in Auckland on 18th June 2012, where my life was starting to spin out of control, here I am today writing my second blog. Know that I would change things in my life in a heartbeat, if I could….but I can’t. I was lucky - yoga has saved my life….yes that does sound quite dramatic…but it is true! When I feel like I am losing my way, I roll out my mat, feel my breath and then a sense of calm envelops me. I’ve managed to find strength within that I never knew I had and this strength allows me to deal with all that life chooses to throw at me. The last five years have been a struggle, and there will no doubt be more struggles in the future, this is life, isn’t it? It’s our choice how we meet life’s challenges.

Following my love of yoga, wanting to share its beauty and power on my island home, this website and this blog is where I am today. This is how I’ve coped, and will continue to cope with my grief. Yoga does shine light on our darkness.

If you have grief or darkness in your life, the underlying cause may differ from mine, but the deep feeling of despair and hopelessness we feel at times is the same. I hope my words resonate with you. Know that anything is possible….even writing one blog, let alone two!

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