How do I possibly begin to sum up the seven days of life?! Well....I'll start at the end, if I may, and it might help build the picture better.
Imagine this: an ICU ward in hospital, a man you've known your whole life, full of tubes but sitting up in bed, watching the footy on an iPad. In that moment, place me, tearful but elated, at the foot of the bed. "Thank God" I say and mean it, going round to kiss his forehead.
The man in the bed? My dad. The reason for his being there? We're still not 100% sure to be honest....but suffice to say, there was a freak 'happening' when he went in for a (fairly) routine op last Monday. That incident saw him on life support and my world grinding to a halt for what felt like eons, but was in fact, around 24hrs.
I'm sure many of you have experienced what I did in that beautiful moment when I saw my dad again, healthy and safe: profound relief, immense elation and monumental gratitude. And I'm sure, too, that the specific emotions mentioned were linked to something pretty massive occurring. Gratitude is no small feeling, is it?!
It's what I've chosen to focus on this week as it seems a wonderful way to end an already pretty miraculous year!
Yoga taught me, long ago, that gratitude is a form of prayer. Saying 'thank you' aloud, to a God, deity, Force or Higher Power, is a wonderful, succinct way to acknowledge the miracle that is this life we're living. It acknowledges that someone or something is responsible for the marvel of all THIS and we know how lucky we are to be experiencing it.
Those who know my classes well, will know I'm a bit....erm....'chatty'! I love a natter! I love, more to the point, WORDS. I love how language works, defines, clarifies and connects us. I love how every word we utter has a feeling attached to it. I love that the LANGUAGE of a yoga class is AS important as the Asana or Pranayana. I love the vibration of words. So gratitude, for me, has always been a bit heavy in feel, if I'm honest. It's a tad subservient for every day life, somehow.
Sure, write that gratitude list....but if you're not grateful for the BIG stuff, the life/death/God stuff, can you really call it gratitude? Likely, it's more appreciation, (which takes less effort and feels lighter as a vibe) and to be honest, that's where I usually steer people. Appreciate life and you'll be doing just fine.
But sometimes, you have to pull out the big guns! And this has been one of those times. I'm GRATEFUL to the ICU at Northampton general hospital. I'm GRATEFUL to the nurses who cared for dad. I'm GRATEFUL that I get to see him swearing at the ref a few more times (many more, here's hoping) as he enjoys the football. And, in no particular order I'm also GRATEFUL for all of the following too: (forgive the indulgence, but I just have to!)
Ashleigh's kindness, Phiona's healing, Nadia & Olivia's help, my brothers support, my mums trust, my fiancées love, my friends' concern, my family's strength, the person who invented ventilators, the NHS, my clients' understanding, pranayama for helping to soothe me, yoga Nidra for helping me to sleep, my nervous system for alerting me when it was time to rest, having food on my plate, a roof over my head and God for knowing it wasn't dad's time yet.
I could go on. But you get the picture.
This week I've been 'paying it forward' with freebies, giveaways, discounts and gifts. PLEASE accept them with love: they're my way of thanking life some more for the miracles I witnessed last week and acknowledging they're no small thing!
As we head into this holiday period, please know I'm GRATEFUL to you all too, for keeping my beautiful little business going, for sharing your down time with me and for the concern you've shown for my well-being over the last few days. It's a wonderful feeling and I know how blessed I am, I promise!
Classes run as usual until next Wednesday, then we open on Thursday for Retreat goers only (some places still available if you want to join us!) and then we're off until January 4th. Have a magical season if I don't see you beforehand. Thank you again for joining us at TBIS in 2022 and here's to a wonderful new year! Merry Christmas everybody, much love