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  • Writer's pictureMarc-Henri Sandoz

Strange lands to explore

Amputation, fear of the recurrence of cancer that has been removed, daily frustrations, pains, and tensions, the look of pity of the people I cross on the streets, the difficulty to walk with my new prosthesis, the memory of what I was able to do with my two legs, the grief, and anger.

How to go on living in such a situation? How to keep some hope, some life energy, some pleasure in life, some projects, some dignity amidst this turmoil? How to stay present to what happens without numbing myself to the ever-present pain, sadness, anger, and grief? How is it possible to remain open to enjoy all the good moments of love, joy, pleasure present every day, even in the darkest hours?

Here are some of the challenges I had to face since last May.

And paradoxically and unexpectedly, amid the hurricane, I experimented something new and extraordinary: a sense of presence even when I was very afraid or deeply depressed. It was peace going with it, especially when I was meditating and concentrated on my breath. It was not eliminating pain, anger and fear, but giving me a place where I could face them and stay with them. And I could feel this experience sustain and strengthen in my deepest being a solid hope and a wild desire to live.

From that experience is born the urge to grow and refine my spirituality. If what I am facing doesn't change my way of living, my way of seeing the world, and seeing my place in it, maybe it's not worth going through it.

I feel a bit like those Neandertal men going away from their tribes in unknown territories searching for food and ressources for their community. They had to explore, survive, and come back to share their discoveries.

Unintentionally and with many others who face illness and traumas, I find myself in this unknown and dark amputation and post-cancer life territory.

I've experimented my need for my human tribe, having received so much support and healing energy: from my wife Evelise, from my family, from the healthcare team, from my friends and colleagues, from the dear sisters and brothers of the Yoga world.

May I explore those strange territories? May I grow in doing that? May I go through this trial with dignity and turn it for my best. And may I discover food and resources, or at least some good stories, and come back to share them with my tribe.

May this blog and site be one among many ways to do it all.

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