I cannot believe it’s been a year. And what a year…One step at a time has become my mantra and my yoga practice has never been put to the test like it was over the past 12 months. We welcomed sweet Nate into the world last April 26th and settled into the slightly overwhelming work of taking care of a newborn. To be honest, it’s a bit of a blur up until the 4 week mark when we found out he had a heart condition that would likely need surgery. We were so well cared for through Sick Kids’ over that month but at 8 weeks, Nate was admitted and had heart surgery two days later. Handing our baby over to a surgeon was the most excruciating thing I have ever experienced but my only option was to trust. Doing just the next thing was the only choice that week. And Nate made it through beautifully. He was home 8 days later and quickly thriving. There really aren’t words for how relieved we were. And, I was surprised that given the intensity of the hospital experience, there was part of my awareness that was very conscious of how much my gratitude practice and my belief in our energetic connection to one another were critical pieces in being able to cope and to not miss the kindness and love around us. 

A few weeks later, we started to notice that he wasn’t making eye contact. Over the next several months and many appointments, we were told that Nate is visually impaired. He was born with a very rare retinal condition. We do know that he can see light but beyond that we won’t know until he can tell us.  Around the same time, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune thyroid condition called Graves’ disease. This was such a powerful lesson for me. I’ve always believed our bodies hold our stories but never had I experienced it so poignantly. For 8 months I’d been entirely focused on this sweet boy and most of my self-care and beloved personal practice had just not happened. As soon as there was a little bit of space, my body let me know it was time to process and get back on my mat. So, to start, I would lie down and breathe 3 times a day. I tried to feel the emotions as they began surfacing and always focused on the gift that this boy is. He is sunshine despite his challenges. And actually, he doesn’t see anything as a challenge. He’s just happily doing his baby thing.

So here we are at the one year mark. I think I’ve learned more about yoga in the past year than in all my previous years of practice. I know now–in my body–that if I stay present and don’t engage with the dark imaginings of the future, everything is perfect. I can handle the present moment. Of all the things I worried about when I was pregnant, having a child who cannot see was not one of them. But that is how it is and we’re more than fine. I also understand, in a way that I didn’t before, the yogic idea that one of the causes of suffering is the fear of being in the world without knowing. Being in the hospital with your baby really drives this teaching home and I realized that this is actually the human condition. We don’t know. And we need to learn to be comfortable with that. Tall order. I am astounded every day by this little soul and how he is bringing so many of these ancient teachings to life. 

That’s a little bit about why I’ve been off the radar for longer than I had intended. Obviously, Nate needs me as much as possible so I am currently putting together a work schedule that both inspires me and meets his needs. 

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