How do we define wellness? Culturally, we think of youth and virility; the symmetry of a face; the layout of parterres in a French garden. Wellness is beautiful and orderly.
Let’s extend the meaning of beautiful to encompass that which is fragile, marred, unique, aged.
By expanding that definition, we can embrace the beauty in each of us, no matter how old, how sick, how broken or how fragile…
My skin was on fire. I couldn’t stand to have anything touching me; not even a necklace with a tiny cross on it. I had to be naked. – Cassandra
I started to realize this was my new reality. I had something that wasn’t going to be treated or cured. I felt like I couldn’t do it anymore. I remember thinking at least I had the medicine to put an end to my misery. – Cassandra
Two general aspects of fatigue affect those with FM – physical weakness and mental exhaustion. As if a leaden sheath has encased you body, your limbs weigh heavily and any movement requires concentrated effort. This incapacitation can seem to freeze the pain, and the inactivity often makes the pain sit in siege, a stalemated battle at best, but one that can deteriorate as the days pass and the siege continues. But the mental weariness is worse and magnifies both the physical fatigue and pain. A listless spirit or dulled mental faculties entangle all efforts to contend with FM and complicates the work necessary to resist the tide of despair… – Cassandra
The concept of impermanence…may seem scary, but for someone who is vomiting from a pain medication on which she pinned every last hope, impermanence is a beacon. – Cassandra
During long hauls of illness – weeks of being in bed, alone, isolated, falling into despair – meditation creates a space for hope to creep in. – Cassandra
I was saved by knowing that the experience of pain was just one moment in time — maybe an excruciating moment, maybe a long moment, but still a moment. I learned this my meditating. – Cassandra
For me, as a teacher, the biggest challenge is broadening the scope of yoga for Americans, who tend to view yoga as simply a physical practice or as calisthenics with an Eastern tinge. – Cassandra
The popularity of yoga is a mixed blessing. On the one hand, many are venturing in who would never before consider yoga. On the other, many often have misconceptions about the broad basics of yoga — from the approach, the benefits, the history to the fundamentals. – Cassandra
I practiced yoga for eight years before training to be a teacher. The training was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. – Cassandra