Pose of the Month: Comfort vs Uncertainty by Mary Pat FitzPatrick
It takes only a little experience to learn there is not much in life we can totally control. We all live with “uncertainty” in some measure. We may be keenly aware, and even accepting, of the unpredictability in our own lives, but we should also be mindful of the apprehension that may arise in some situations for people who are living with disabilities. With further thought, we can honor the strength, trust, and growth that exists in so many who are truly sitting in the presence of uncertainty.
Laura Hallisey is a two-time Opening Yoga Level I/II Workshop graduate. Since returning to Ireland from her latest training, she has been genuinely exploring her yoga practice and has become conscious of heightened awareness. She shared her recent experience of heading towards the shopping center in her wheelchair and being frightened by a stranger who began pushing her chair. It had happened before, and Laura knew he meant no harm. However, she couldn’t shake the feeling of being struck from behind. Still, after recounting the experience with her mother, Laura concluded that this experience, thanks to her new awareness, was different from previous encounters. The experience revealed a welcome and perceptive presence in her body. Laura recalled Toni Morrison’s words: “coming back to life hurts.” She concluded that, even with uncertainty, “feeling something” far outweighs just wanting to be comfortable.
Annie Hickman demonstrated how one can “craft a life that has more balance” by knowing where one is at any moment, playing with the equilibrium between remaining in one’s safe zone and risking moving forward. Annie’s love is downhill skiing. She always had a team behind her ski bike, tethered to her to ensure her safety. However, last March, Annie and her team decided it was time for her to ski solo. She was beyond thrilled at the opportunity. Of that day, she says, “the spillover into the rest of my life continues to evolve.” Trusting in the lesson she learned on the precarious ski slopes, Annie decided that although it may be more comfortable to stay in the known, she was ready to undertake more journeys into the unknown. Six months later, Annie is still free of the “tether.” She has taken a new teaching job, dropped much of the fear, become an avid self-advocate, and feels she has “wings instead of wheels.”
Through hanging out with MBS students, one has innumerable opportunities to learn about moving forward and survival in an uncertain world. Just the act of traveling to or from work or yoga class has the potential for unbelievable mishaps. It’s not always comfortable, and there’s never a certainty, but the lessons that are shared on and off the mat, as Annie said, will “spill over into the rest of our lives.”
Read Laura and Annie’s recent blogs and more from our MBS family at adaptthis.tumblr.com