Her entire life changed. From a healthy, hard working woman, she is now paralyzed from the neck down. She cannot do anything without assistance - and yet.................
Here is an incredible woman with the strongest spirit you will ever encounter.
Here is a woman who said that yesterday was about celebrating what we have.
I wrote to her and her amazing husband, Lou, about not looking back. That our responsibility is living in the moment, paying attention to what is around us, right now. There is a freedom in that. I use the word freedom with caution as I feed Linda, scratch her nose and brush her hair. I see what she goes through without truly knowing her total experience of it.
I guess, our past is about teaching us. It shows us what we want and what we do not want.
All of it deserves respect, even the difficult, sometimes traumatic events, as it shines a light on how fragile and how incredibly strong we are. That we all have that opportunity every moment to exceed what our minds think we can do. We are so very much more than that.
I taught a workshop myself this week and stressed how not to take short cuts. To dig deeper. Find the root of what is truly going on and solve that. Not the petty issues that complicate and weigh us down. It's all so simple when your mind and body are functioning well. Let's not wait until the real matters occur to be everything we truly can be. There are things to be learnt by looking back, but nothing to gain from playing the comparison game.
Linda is moving forward by seeing what she can share now from her new point of view.
From her heart, there are powerful days of gratitude and love. She calls it "learning the art of pain." She and Lou, shine and sweat from their hard work to thrive. They laugh and they cry. Every day she wakes and thinks, what now? And she does that with a purpose to make a difference. When they face the fear of when the wheelchair gets caught, when an infection spreads fiercely, when a cushion that brought comfort yesterday doesn't help today.
It is a constant adjustment and they do it like a ballet, not an aggressive fighting war march.
They approach it all with dignity and there is so much we can learn from that.
We have no idea of what this next year will bring - we do know though, that we embrace rather than push back and hide. Now that is a powerful way of living.
Excerpt from the new book from Linda Pestana:
Look at me as I look at you and together let’s shout I’m here and I’m important.
If I could ask you to do one thing, right now, could you point to yourself? Where did you point? So many of us, point to our heads, our noses, our stomachs, how many of us point to our hearts? Our hearts are where our story begins. That’s what keeps us knowing – we only know our story – no one else does. You have a mission and a purpose, please don’t wait until something happens to fulfill what you need to do as a human being on this earth.
Only love heals our hearts. Connect to that, the most genuine resource there is, and you will receive everything you need.