Turning & Returning

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The quality of life is in proportion to the capacity for delight. (Julia Cameron)

It's been nearly 7 months since my last post — and even though I didn't drop off the face of the earth completely, it feels like I've been gone for way too long just the right amount of time.

Last summer I hurt my back, and at first I thought it was a muscle tweak that I could fix on my own with stretching, massage & acupuncture. Still injured, I began yoga teacher training in June and hoped for the best. The outer edge of my left calf and the top of my left foot were completely numb. I walked slower each day, with a hunched over shuffle.

I was in pain and doing my best to push through. When I finally went to see a doctor, I learned that no amount of pushing or positive thinking was going to remedy my ailment. I needed surgery to alleviate the pressure on my spinal nerve from a herniated disc at L4-L5.

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I had surgery on August 3rd. It was a lot more real than I expected. Walking after back surgery is an accomplishment. Getting up into a standing position is a triumph. I didn't realize that I would truly have to start at the beginning. Friends cooked dinner for us. I played on Pinterest to pass the time. My work was extremely accommodating in those first few weeks after surgery. I thought about giving up on yoga teacher training forever.

After a few months, I woke up one morning and felt normal for the first time since surgery. I started physical therapy, but got frustrated with the pathetically slow movements of rehab. I walked a little, stretched and practiced some yoga. The fear of re-injury was (and can still be) a powerful force.

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I let myself get swept up by the glittering polar express of the holiday season. My Mister and I spent two weekends in Boston, cooked through our 5th Thanksgiving together, traveled to Arizona & Ohio to visit family, and finished 2012 with good friends, sparkly party hats and a keg of Stella.

Some things about 2013 feel very familiar, and yet I know there will be plenty of surprises. Last January, I focused on the Whole Living Action Plan. I had 12 awesome intentions and books for 2012. I was inspired and ready to go. This January, I tried to slow things down. Unpack from our travels. Eat healthier meals. Think about blogging. Answer emails. Enjoy time with friends.

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I won't be training for a half marathon this year (2011 and 2012 began with race plans). I will be training to become a certified yoga teacher. I won't be attacking my diet with such aggressive restrictions. I will be attacking my overactive calendar & to do list. I won't be so concerned about what's around the corner. I will concern myself with paying active attention to what's in front of me.

It's been nearly 7 months since my last blog post and I won't even pretend to know when I will post again. All I can say is that I think about this space often (dare I say daily?) and send loving thoughts to those of you who have traveled with me on this path.

I hope to come visit you again soon, but until then…

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I wish you sparkle, abundance and joy.

LifeKaileen Sues