I’d like to thank Mary McManus for being the guest writer on my blog today. She has just published her 3rd book of inspirational poetry, “Songs of Freedom: Poems from a Healing Odyssey. She has one of the most moving stories I’ve ever heard and as a guest on my New Pathway To Healing blogtalkradio show was so completely honest in telling her WHOLE story that I was near speechless. If you’d like to hear that show please go here.
Thank you Mary for giving the gift of your story to give others the courage to do the same!
“A New Beginning” – Curtain Rising on the Second Act of My Second Act
In December 2006, life as I had known it came crashing down around me as I was given the life giving diagnosis of post polio syndrome, a progressive neurological disease. My body and Spirit were crying out for healing. The years of hating and using dissociation to keep the pain of paralytic polio and childhood trauma at bay finally caught up with me. In May 2007, I walked away from my award winning career as a social worker at the VA to heal my life. I discovered the gift of poetry in my soul which helped me to express not only the pain bound in my body but I was able to access feelings of love, light, joy, gratitude, healing, hope and possibility.
In April 2009, I ran the Boston Marathon as a mobility impaired runner, had two books of inspirational poetry published and thought that the finish line of the Boston Marathon was the end of my healing story. But, every finish line is a new starting line. In October 2010, a friend of mine suggested I join her for a yoga class. Me? Yoga? Come on take one look at me and you’ll see I don’t belong in a yoga class. But when I went to her house for a New Year’s Eve party, I made a New Year’s Resolution I’d try one yoga class. On January 15, 2011, I met Pat Donaher who, along with his teacher, David Vendetti would become my guides on the next phase of my journey as a new beginning slowly came into view on the horizon.
Pat and I began work in individual yoga lessons. He asked me if I was working on a particular postural issue with my bodyworker. I told him I didn’t have one. He told me I needed to see his teacher, David, a certified Kinesis Myofascial Integration therapist. In addition to KMI Bodywork, David invited me to a holotropic breathwork session with his yoga teacher trainees. After the session, he told me to go home and write a beautiful poem. Why did he say that, I asked myself. I had sent him an email before we began working together mentioning in passing I had written poetry. Something was tugging at my soul and I did write a poem, “A Song of Freedom”. Out of that one poem, my soul gave birth to my 3rd book of inspirational poetry, “Songs of Freedom:Poems from a Healing Odyssey,” available on Amazon Kindle. As I am discovering on this amazing odyssey, there is always a new beginning after an ending, and poems for Volume II are beginning to flow.
During my bodywork sessions with David, he would talk about yoga teacher training. I was intrigued and loved the breathwork session last July. I began going to David’s yoga classes and ‘just happened’ to take the Sunday class which the teacher trainees attend. I became friends with other teacher trainees and realized the Universe was calling out to me. In August the curtain will rise on the second act of my second act as I begin yoga teacher training. We shall see where the road leads as my odyssey continues.
About the Author: Mary McManus is a retired social worker from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Since 2007, she has been on a healing odyssey which, in January of 2011 led her to the yoga mat. Her symptoms of post polio syndrome and post traumatic stress disorder diminish and feelings of strength, healing, confidence take center stage. For more information about the KMI Bodywork and Holotropic breathwork session Mary mentioned in her guest post, visit http://www.anatomytrains.com/kmi/experience and http://www.holotropic.com/about.shtml. Mary continues to write poetry about her healing odyssey and in August will begin yoga teacher training. Her vision is to use the treasures and wisdom from her healing odyssey to help others heal their lives through the practice of yoga. You can visit her website and follow her blog.
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