How do you react when life throws a brick upside your head and everyone is there to see it? This was my experience 6 months ago, when I was picking my children up from school and had a stroke. Okay, let me start by saying I still explain this story as if I was walking and slipped on a banana, got up, and kept it moving. But through reflection, meditation, and support, I have allowed myself to say out loud, I HAD A FREAKING STROKE.
As I parked in front of my children’s school, waiting for dismissal, I was talking to a friend on the phone about me becoming a full-time coach. I remember feelings of excitement because I knew this was my next step. No corporate barriers: A full-time life coach. Suddenly, a tingling feeling shot up my right leg and traveled up the side of my body. My body shook out of control, my vision blurred, and it happened. My whole right side shut down. Panicking, I watched my kids open the car door climbing in the car to tell me about their day. “Stay in control Dorothy”, was all I could say to myself. “But you have no control Dorothy”, was what my body was saying to me. “Don’t create a traumatic moment for them Dorothy”, was what my heart screamed. Tons of thoughts ran through my head.
So I paused. I closed my eyes and took deep breaths: my three days a week yoga breathes. I turned to my babies (I love my babies yall) and stated that I couldn’t move and something was terribly wrong. I proceeded to give them options. They could sit in the car and breathe with me or return back into the building and wait for the ambulance. My children decided to sit in the car and rub my back, and we took breaths. I allowed them to ask questions, and I tried to answer to the best of my ability. Their small hands on my back felt as if GOD, Herself, was holding me. This kept the tears from rolling and my voice from shaking. I cry about this part more than actually having the stroke. My children are very compassionate and brave.
In short, I made it to the hospital in time to receive a blood thinner that released the clot that traveled to the left side of my brain and caused a stroke in the right side of my body. I regained 100% function in all areas. I would explain more but there are way too many medical terminologies to run through. Most importantly, I am alive and well!
This experience shifted my perspective about the ebbs and flows of life. Especially the flows outside of my control. The stroke happened. It came and showed me that I can not control everything. It came in its own timing and did not care who was of witness. The only control I had was my response, so I took breathes and did everything that was necessary until things changed.
This experience has fully shaped the way I handle life’s peaks and valleys. I have learn to simple exist in it; life that is. Be in the moments of life. Observe what comes up emotionally, physically, and mentally. Listen to yourself, that inner soul self. What does the soul want in this moment? Then, if you are brave enough; ANSWER! Life is full of miscellaneous events and unknowns that forces us to learn; if we are willing.
And for me and my lesson (The Stroke), I am most grateful (insert tears here) for the experience. Through all things, I have learned to honor the moments, breathe, and let it pass. For in all things there are lessons. And these lessons forms life…and a life, all lives, should be lived!