In my yoga practice, I have learned to appreciate and embrace the beginning and the ending pose of "Shavasana" - it is the allowing of your body to regroup and reset itself. Lying in stillness is one of the most challenging poses. I read in a yoga magazine that it is recommended to practice life shavasanas, an opportunity for you to retreat and look within yourself to restore light, energy, perspective.
Every day take off 1 hour for yourself.
No cell phones, emails or messages. Just you with yourself.
Every week, take 1 day to spend in nature, off grid
Every month take off 1 weekend to go someplace new and spend
Every quarter to half a year, take a long weekend
or 1 whole week to travel and clear your mind completely from the daily clutter.
Every year, take 1 month to deepen understandings
and practice or experience a different culture.
Every decade, take 1 year off, a sabbatical,
to rethink your direction in life, your priorities,
goals and purpose.
This past year has been a forced "shavasana" for me, a necessary time for my body to reset and restore. Chemotherapy has cleansed my systems, I have brand new hair growth - it's like starting over from scratch. It has resulted in my having this chance to live a quieter pace of life, to spend a great deal of time within myself, alone in my home. I remember when our children were very young and Jason was working shift work. I would have paid to have a day alone in my house, to do nothing or to be able to enjoy time doing what I want to do. I have been given this gift during the past year. Yes - just like yoga, I have faced challenging poses, I have been poked, prodded, twisted, turned, with some pain - but I have had the opportunity to return to Shavasana on many days and stillness has healed me.
Shavasana is very much like returning home to me. I often can't wait for this posture at the end of yoga practice. I use this analogy to describe this past month. July was a wonderful, busy month in our household. Jordan and I travelled to our dear friends the Somers-Crisp family in Calgary for a few weeks. Jordan is like sisters with M and R. Jenn and I went on an amazing road trip to Jasper and Field BC. It felt so great to be able to hike Johnston Canyon, bike in the mountains, lounge at the Jasper Park Lodge, attend the Stampede, dance at Nashville North and Stoli Lounge, laugh in the field of dreams at the Palisades Centre - so many amazing memories.
But, despite my heart-warming "check one off the - I'm done with cancer bucket list", flying into Breslau airport and walking down the stairs off the plane and seeing the faces of people waiting for their loved ones to return HOME brought tears to my eyes. There waiting for me was Jason. HOME to me. My shavasana, There is no better feeling than returning to one's mat at the end of practice and there is no feeling like returning HOME from being away to the arms of your loved ones.
My year long Shavasana is fast approaching an end, a new beginning. A new role in my career to look forward to. I am anxious to get started. I continue to enjoy good health and do not have any lasting side effects from treatment. Aside from some mild neuropathy in my fingers and toes. Last month, I had a productive appointment with my family doctor. Being proactive, I requested bloodwork to check all the levels that the Oncologist doesn't include. I am happy to report that my thyroid levels are all normal, cholestrol, glucose, everything completely normal. A great feeling. I have my next three month checkup with Dr Stevens next week and fully believe that I will continue to have normal blood readings i.e. white blood cell, ERS etc. and no cancer markers. I know that I am not considered CURED for 5 long years but 13 months in remission is a wonderful feeling and I will take it!!
I am grateful for a mini-shavasana with Jason to the cottage where we enjoyed blazing sunshine, much reading, dinners and dock sitting. Thank you to Jason for the purchase of a hot tub for our family to enjoy some quiet times together, free of social media and distractions. I congratulate Cam on his successful four weeks as an LIT at Camp Kintail. Warms my heart to see him enjoy and love camp life so much, making such great friendships and life-changing experiences. A quiet month of August awaits us before the craziness of school and work schedules greet us.
Stay tuned for a hilarious update on the highs and lows of my hair re-growth. What an experience!