2015 -My year of fumbling grace or should I say a fumbling mind with physical grace. I could be frequently found running or biking. My need to move and be physical in part helped make up for my mental deficits. Grief robbed me of my attention span and often my concentration and filled my body with anxiety. I was in a daze and mostly thinking of Candice, our life together and how much I missed her. Everyone would encourage me and tell me how strong I was and this often left me feeling genuinely phony (not to reference Holden Caulfield). In the end, the year was a collection of many personal victories but also continued losses. I am not unique in this regard as this is the world we all roam in. If given our druthers, some of us like to ride the rapids, some walk the banks, and some of us like a combination with thoughtful preventive measures. Eventually though, we will all be pushed into a strong and scary current where we are propelled rapidly downstream without warning or a life jacket. When this happens, we get pretty banged up. To survive, we are forced quickly to take a leap of faith and through this we uncover a tremendous amount of learning opportunities. These challenges test and redefine relationships and our own sense of being. Some say that grief is something we all feel but we must go through alone. In many ways this has been the case, but it was clear from the onset - that my core would be transformed and in this I have received many gifts. The one bestowed in 2015 was the year of the “warrior”
This year was the first full year without Candice. I woke up on January 1, 2015 with one concern - will I continue to survive and even strive for greater heights without her? However - for those who love her, we all know that she was ever present and continued to send her amazing love and strength from the other side and with this I stretched.
For many years Candice encouraged me to take up yoga. She insisted it would be good for my uptight self. I laughed and said no way. But when I signed up for the marathon, it was recommended and I thought Candice would approve. So I took my first Yoga class for runners and it was at this time, I learned about a position referred to as the “warrior “pose. As I stood there, I felt transformed. Here I was - in the battle of my lifetime and I needed to be a warrior and standing there in this position somehow confirmed that I could be. But I also realized I was in a room full of strangers in the same pose with their own struggles and their own victories and losses. Suddenly, I was not a lone warrior.
I look back and there are many things I can write about, but in 2015, it will forever be filled with memories of my inner warrior but also with an undeniable truth. I could not have conquered these struggles without my fellow “warriors”. We all did it. We all survived and lifted our hands to help others and hopefully (if we are lucky) these helping hands were altruistic. We are always shifting and therefore timing in combination with our skill sets relocate us constantly. As warriors, we must understand that a person that gives them self to you may not be the same person you will help when your time comes (and it will).
I initially wanted to pay tribute to certain warriors on my blog but when I thought about it – that defeats the purpose of this very message. Perhaps one day – we can expel the notion of recognizing warriors as individuals and a new form of human evolution will open. When this is realized, my hope is that it may dismantle so many explosive and contentious places we let our minds sit. We can’t do it alone and any one person who is exclusively recognized for their good deeds had an army of warriors who willingly and generously gave of themselves sometimes anonymously.
In closing, Candice provided my armor this year. It was not physical but spiritual and she was with me on many journeys, keeping me safe. She will forever be my spirit warrior. Thankfully for me, she had some pretty spectacular reinforcements who still physically walk the earth.