Life Changes

A recent call from my neurologist started with his description of an article he read in a professional periodical about mindfulness. A recent study found practicing mindfulness doesn’t prolong life.  My neurologist, “Harry” knows I’m a yoga and meditation teacher.  As a practitioner of yoga-meditation, awareness is awakened to the smallest details, especially the breath.  Harry asked for my opinion. I responded, it’s about the quality of life.  Whatever designated length of time I have then I want to live it fully and practicing mindfulness is an attribute of that fulness.  He tended to agree. I enjoy my visits with Harry, because he’s philosophical and has experienced life deeply including living in the Aleutian Islands and also for a period of time in a Japanese internment camp.

I consulted with Harry about a pain I started to feel behind my left eye in March 2023.  In the past two years I developed a problem with this eye, including several visits to a Retina specialist  who diagnosed me with Macular Edema (a blister on the lining of the retina). The blister has since healed, but I cannot take steroids because it blocks the healing process. 

Another visit to the ophthalmologist in March concluded a slight injury to the surface of the eye due to “dry eyes”, and the prescribed treatment is regular eye drops (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and a gel eye drop at night.  All these are documented in my file with my neurologist.  After a series of tests (MRI and blood tests), the conclusion he made is my eyes are getting old. Well that’s a relief.  This is the new norm.  

As we talked further, he shared his discovery from the MRI – I’ve started to develop lesions in my brain.  At my age, this is unusual but not alarming.  I started to worry.  Lesions in the brain usually start anywhere in our 60’s or 70’s.  I’m still in my 50’s (the latter half I confess). Harry wants to run more tests, and impressed upon me that “we’ll get to bottom of this.  It’s treatable.”  I became more alarmed.  I’m getting old really fast, I thought.  I joked, “So being a yoga teacher doesn’t preclude me from old age”.  

April 2022May 2022February 2023March 2023April 2023
Diagnosed with Transient Global Amnesia
Memory loss:
not knowing where I live, what kind of work I do nor if my Mom is dead or alive.  I forgot my plans to visit Mom in Hawaii and I start a new job upon return.
Healed from Macular Edema. ( off unexpectedly.
Started feeling the pain behind my left eye.  Stress is generally attributed to the blister in the retina.  Specialist said that retina issues do not manifest as pain.  Stress and life changes can bring on this condition.
Looked for work and interviewed with some studios – normal stress for multiple panel interviews.
– grateful that my health insurance was extended then COBRA to help pay for medical visits and tests.
Started my new job.
Spring of my life 2023, a renewal.
Here’s my mini-journal as a timeline of the past year.

There are patterns I recognize when I document the changes and step back to reflect:

  1. Change is stressful.  (Stress can be healthy as it promotes change and growth).
  2. Resilience to bounce back
  3. Growth with a new perspective
  4. Consistent yoga and meditation practice through teaching.  (I already have a standing 15-minute guided mediation every Friday morning at my new job just as I had in my previous job).  I remind myself to ‘allow and accept’ for changes.

Then naturally we experience internal changes when we tune in and recognize our changing needs in our relationships.  I’m a big consumer of books and modalities to learn and understand myself better. My intention is to work with my personality and express my true authentic self.  This is also a stress, which I deem necessary for my spiritual growth.  When a relationship changes it turns that inner ground to ‘yin’ (dark and spongy and sometimes icky to be reprocessed), then turns it around to ‘yang’ (light and activity and more experiences).  This is the deeper philosophy attributed to the I Ching that recognizes the flow of energy.

I sense there is pain when a leaf unfurls from it bud to its fulness. Then it dances on the branch, moving with grace to the moods of breezes and wind. Over time it succumbs to the forces of time, weathering and gravity. It returns to its source.

Leaf found, blown on the ground at Vincent Edward Park when it was still green.
Now, in its state of decay, it’s moving towards renewal and rebirth. 
The spirit goes on.

If I may, there are no coincidences, because as I was writing this blog the song “Falling” by Hall & Oates played on YouTube’s auto-play.  

The concepts of synchronicity (a word coined by Carl Jung from his study of the I Ching and what is called yin, or resonance, underlie the I Ching. One of the principle assumptions behind the I Ching is that everything happens is meaningfully related. Events occur not only simultaneously but also in a meaningful interrelationship.

The I Ching Workbook by Roger Green

Daryl Hall & John Oates Falling 1976 Capitol Theatre
“Floating through the clouds, goin’ down
Seems a strange point of calm
No past, and no future, just the wing and the wind
When the wheels touch the ground
A flood of feeling sweeps around
And the wheels of my life start turning again
If I could stay, if I could stay
If I could stay, if I could stay
If I could stay in the sky
Suspended in time”

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