It's been a season, my friends. A season of growth. A season of change. A season of evolution. A season of intensity.
My father first entered the hospital in early May. He hasn't been home since. He's had neck surgery, acute rehab, skilled nursing, a feeding tube, a brain drain called a shunt, and more. His voice is weak. He can no longer stand without a lift being used to support him. He cannot eat without choking. He cannot swallow with ease.
“I never knew how lucky I was to be healthy, Rebecca. Moving around on your own, we so take it for granted.” ~ Rusty Butler
His decline has come on so rapidly, doctors from Dallas to Fort Worth are bewildered. And here I am again, horrified, terrified, mystified and motivated, as I witness another be loved parent lose their ability to breathe, move and enjoy their health.
Movement, Health, Breath — These are gifts to be celebrated, not neglected.
If you are new to me, you may not know that my mom died of ALS in 2012. In that journey, as I sat by her bedside, I learned — movement, life, breath, sweating, playing, wiggling fingers and toes, going to the bathroom independently, eating decadent meals... These are precious gifts. So many of us have no idea everyday how lucky we are to be able to do these things.
As a family, my uncle, my dad's girlfriend, my sister and many more of my dad's relatives are fighting this fight together, one step at a time. We have had so many ups and so many downs to date. My dad is loved. So many people have been reaching out to care for him, check on him, pray for him. All of that support matters so much.
Yes, I am still managing the studios.
Yes, I still have hosted a 200 hour teacher training this summer, taught in Telluride at the yoga festival, and somehow managed to have a functioning family.
Yes, my husband has been a complete and total rock star — stepping into the roll of Mr Mom like a boss.
Yes, I am obscenely grateful for all of the love and support from so many directions.
Yes, as in with all tragedies I have ever witnessed, there has also been oodles and gobs of healing. Familial relationships, friendships - old and new, these have been my life support.
And absolutely yes, yoga has helped me frame each step with calmness, serenity and peace. Now, more than ever, I am able to feel the deep and abiding benefits of this practice. I am my dad's advocate, his durable and medical POA. I feel empowered in this role. I do not feel overwhelmed; I feel honored. And if I do feel overwhelmed, I feel so grateful that I have so many people I can reach out to for support.
I am sharing this journey with you in case it serves you in some way.
Please, don't wait until a tragedy happens to consider getting healthy.
Celebrate your health and breath and movement now.
Come get on the mat with us. We have classes of all ranges for all types or practitioners because I want to do everything I can to empower every human I can to be happy and healthy.
These journeys I have gone through and that I am currently navigating keep me committed to this offering.
And as my mother once said when visiting me in a dream, #choosejoy