In a lifetime, most people experience something devastating: a loss, trauma or illness that faces us with our fears. These experiences, while painful, teach us lessons – we may not always notice them for what they are right away, but sure enough, down the road we can look back and say,ahhh yes. It all makes sense. There are lessons on how to handle certain situations; how your attitude can improve or worsen an already difficult situation.
We yell “Why me?!” to the universe, hoping for a logical answer that can be summed up like Coles’ notes. But we’re faced with such obstacles because we need to find that answer for ourselves,within ourselves. When faced with hard times, we can either shove them down to the pit of our stomach and lock away any feelings we may be experiencing, or we can choose to feel all the feels. It’s harder this way, to just let everything bubble to the surface, to look deep and sort through our junk. But in the end it’s cleansing and rewarding, in a way. And it makes dealing and grieving a little easier in the long run.
Take Amy, for example. She was an active woman into yoga and horseback riding, living her life in North Carolina. Then she broke her spine. All of the ligaments and tendons at her T12 vertebrae ruptured during a freak horseback riding accident, which she has no memory of. (She figures she passed out from extreme heat on the trail and fell off her horse). If that wasn’t already bad, she completely broke four ribs, punctured a lung, and spent two weeks in the acute critical care wing at a trauma hospital. While she doesn’t have a complete story to take away, she did leave that hospital with three metal rods in her back. Plus she had to learn to walk again.
“I am grateful everyday that I am alive and not paralyzed,” she says.
Amy’s gracious attitude spurred her along during her recovery. She’s two years into her recovery, which includes a combinations of physical therapy, acupuncture, the healing energy and support from family and friends, and “literally focusing on just putting one foot in front of the other, moving forward through intense pain and limiting disabilities,” she says.
“‘Just keep moving, just keep moving’ is what I literally told myself every waking moment, along with many other words of strength and encouragement,” Amy says.
“Life is so fragile and can change in a heartbeat. We can’t control life, but we can make choices, and I chose to keep struggling to just breathe and preserve my inner fire.”
Thanks to all her hard work, patience and positive attitude, Amy is finally able to restart her yoga practice, and she couldn’t be more excited. After discovering Inner Fire at her new studio, Amy fell in love with the inspiring phrases – the “whimsical words of wisdom,” as she calls them – and uses them as mantras to give her inner strength and push through the pain.
“I cherish these moments because I never thought that my spine would move and bend like this again,” Amy says.