Choosing. Not Choosing.
I do not choose my path,
My path chooses me.
I do not guide my steps,
My steps guide me.
I do not know my heart,
My heart knows me.
Walking a path less traveled,
Watching truth unfold.
Living a life less ordinary,
Learning to trust what is.
Breathing into my existence,
Binding my mind to my heart.
Why am I going to India only 3 months after a serious spinal cord injury?
The truth is I really don’t know why I am going. I don’t understand what has driven me to make this trip happen. I just know that I am going and it makes me happy.
I do know I am going to flow in the healing light of freedom and truth I cultivate on grand journeys. I know I am going to practice healing yoga asana, to study this practice of yoga more deeply, and to melt into the traditional healing art of Ayurveda.
Do I need to travel over 8,000 miles to do this? No, not really. But I want to, and I can, so I am going.
Those two small words have huge meaning for me. When the fire of my desire to go on this journey was first lit, I did not know if it would be physically possible. I was lying in a hospital bed unable to move most of my body. I saw an email subject line that said something like, “Come to Kovalam in 2016 with David” and every part of my being said OK, I will. It made no sense and seemed completely unrealistic at the time. But some part of me knew I would make this journey, even then.
Mostly paralyzed and only a few weeks into my spinal cord injury recovery I started telling people I was going to India in February 2016. I said, “If I can walk, I am going to India.”
People’s reactions varied between placating nods of agreement, “Mhmmm, sure you might go to India, we’ll see how you are doing.” to direct shut-down “That is ridiculous. There is no way that 3 months will be enough recovery time for you to be ready for that big of a trip”.
I was undaunted. Completely unaffected by outside opinions of whether this trip made any sense or not. In my heart I knew, if I was able to walk, I would go. It became a driving energy behind the hard work it took to get my body to walk again. I never said that aloud. I never even thought it directly. I didn’t have the cogent thought, “I am working so hard to walk again so I can go to India.” But on reflection, I know that I was. My heart knew my path.
I have no idea why this trip feels so important, why it always has. Just like I have no idea why or how I fell down the steps last October.
In all of this, I feel the powerful influence of forces beyond my understanding at work. And understanding has become less important to me. What is important to me now is doing the work of connecting into the primal knowing of my heart and physical body. I am certain the most profound lessons in this experience are rooted in a new and unfolding understanding of the relationship between my mind and my body and the nature of knowing.
Lizandra Vidal is a poet, writer, and wellness expert. In 2015 she suffered a spinal cord injury and this blog is a space where she shares the story of her experience.