Today, I Begin Again

Photo of Heather walking into mountains for Today I Begin Again

Today, I begin again and my story begins with a journey into the unknown…

“That” Fall began with ideas of how my vision might unfold, where exploration and travels would take me, and how they would bring me home. I had ideas, creative intentions, work to do and adventures to create. My path would unfold, but life provided something entirely different.

I experienced severe physical trauma late that fall. Instantly, I embarked on a timeline of full-time healing and recovery, surgical procedures, adjunct medical needs, and therapeutic work.

This long-term recovery stripped my life bare; only essentials mattered. In that one moment, my life changed abruptly and in ways that I wasn’t aware of until years later

I was told over and over that I wouldn’t heal fully functional, wouldn’t be able to do this or do that. I decided that I would.

I ended up with boxes and cupboards full of medical records and bills, copies of X-Rays and assessments, before and after images, and insurance documents. I burned them all this past summer in a ceremony of moving onward.

On ‘That’ Fall day, my path suddenly diverged from what I knew, all that I had been doing and became unforged. Life manifested challenge and uncertainty.

It’s daunting to accept that during that time, I was still living my life. I hadn’t paused or taken a break, and I wouldn’t “get back to it” later.  Surgery, recovery, and discomfort were my life.  I fought it for a while, then surrendered and finally embraced it.

I faced daily challenges of doing the work to heal. I struggled with isolation, discomfort, and sustaining the intense focus needed to heal optimally while feeling so unwell and fatigued.

This long-term recovery stripped my life bare. Only the essentials mattered.

H and Leela looking into distant mountains

I faced daily challenges of doing the work to heal, struggling with discomfort, isolation, and sustaining the intense focus needed to heal optimally while feeling so unwell and fatigued.

I was forced to abruptly let go of my ideas of what my life was and might have been.

I entered a different realm of society — being unwell and being cared for.  Not being noticed, thought of as less-than by many. Often, I was a silent observer. (Literally, as I could not chew, eat regular food, or even speak well for almost three years!)  

Yet, I was enough. Good enough. Okay, enough despite being unwell and needing so much help. It was not lost time; it was worth the effort. 

I entered a different realm of society — being unwell and being cared for.  Not being noticed, thought of as less-than by many. Often, I was a silent observer. (Literally, as I could not chew, eat regular food, or even speak well for almost three years!)  

Yet, I was enough. Good enough. Okay, enough despite being unwell and needing so much help. It was not lost time; it was worth the effort. 

Even though my world was narrow and limited for many years, it produced the opportunity to be boundless and unlimited now, almost seven years later.

Recovery and healing demand time and toil. Sometimes, the amount of each is out of our control, despite our best actions or desires. At other times, we can impact our healing in profound ways through diligent effort.  Over and over, I painfully learned that lesson and each time became more resilient. 

Some things are good to let go of, not everything is meant to stay

I faced sadness, frustration, and fear during times of greater struggle. So, I worked hard at not wallowing or indulging in self-pity. Sometimes I did but tried not to dwell there. To help myself I invested in a few awareness, mindset, and perceptive process programs and ultimately a 1:1 mindset/life coach: which has been priceless to me recently.

I shed layers of self and perception.
I strived to find some opportunity in the obstacles I moved through.

I explored my mindset deeply, my underworld, my fears, and my uncertainty. Immersing in somatic embodied practices. Coming to Know it would pass and it was temporary no matter how long it felt.

I realized the story I took from it was up to me.

I could not argue with or change what happened, but I could create what I wanted from it.

After I healed up from yet another significant procedure in late summer, roughly four years after it all began, I longed to be outside in nature. Being in wilderness for just a bit before my next round of procedures, surgeries, and who-knows-what!

Before my accident, being in wilderness was more my norm than being inside. Although I had skills and training in healthcare, wellness, body-based awareness practices, and more, I had created my life, so I was in the mountains often and lived at the bottom of one!

Since my accident, I had watched nature from my window, or my spouse would take me somewhere to sit for a bit or help me amble along for a short way. What I was thinking of doing seemed impossible; but felt normal.

I decided to walk back into my body and the world. I was still figuring out mobility, balance, gait and other issues. I knew I still had more procedures and healing to come. At that time, I did not realize how much more!!  I just knew it was not over yet

For me, the wilderness was the perfect place to begin transitioning away from full-time recovery.  The idea sounded a bit mad and much too soon to some, including several of my healthcare practitioners. (I was working with eight yes eight healthcare professionals.)

These same exceptional practitioners who helped me so much also told me I would never heal fully. Our opinions differed.

Despite that, I went. The hardest part was taking my first step. When I did that, I left behind what had been, stepping over a threshold into what is possible. Knowing I might fail; but also knowing even if I failed, I had already won. I was walking a path of healing. And a path of soul.

H walking on high mountain trail


For this pilgrimage, I chose a high-altitude route that traversed the Continental Divide Route and Colorado Trail, ultimately trekking about 250 miles at an average elevation of 10,000ft. I walked the first 80 miles with a friend. Then, I soloed the rest with support from my spouse Christopher, pausing for a break to care for my health needs.

It was incredibly challenging and at the same time, exactly what I needed.

I almost quit many times; but somehow, I found the resolve to tread onward. Pausing and taking care of myself, learning how to walk again functionally, working with body issues, pain and balance. The mountains took me in and showed me the way even though they took my breath away over and over.

It felt like an act of devotion honoring where I had been and where I was headed. The experience created deep confidence and connection while bolstering my physical capacity.

I walked into the mountains broken, healing, and recovering.
I walked out remade, restored, and ready.

heather walking and sharing today I Begin Again

As an outcome of the years of surgery and unwellness, I developed impactful adjunct medical issues and needed to do ongoing adjunct therapeutic work. I even had a few “surprise” fix-it procedures, one I am working with right now.

Moving away from this is a process. But instead of it being my life, It’s now part of my life. 

During the last years of my medical needs, COVID-19 occurred.  The summer COVID-19 began, I headed into tests, appointments, and preparing for a bigger surgery that would take place the next year.

More than six years later, I still do therapeutic work and self-care. Every day. I still have a few check-in appointments, several therapeutic-focused mini procedures-you here and there.

After all these recent years, I’m now immersed in the reality of the intensely arduous undertaking of continuing to rebuild my life in all areas. Sometimes it feels more challenging than going through my accident and medical recovery. The world is a very different place now.

Yet, here I am. Inspired and committed.

At times, I find myself impatient and overwhelmed—full of longing and sometimes sadness. When that happens, I pause. I feel it and notice.

I remind myself that I am guided by vision and not by circumstance. 

I remind myself that I can do this. I have the time I need and the capacity to begin anew.

Throughout these years of healing, I lived in a world of unwelcome, unknown, and uncertain. My journey through may ultimately offer me a more meaningful life than my previous destinations, ideas, and ways.

Patience poem with woman on the background for today I Begin Again

I used creative work through art and writing as restorative healing and to give myself a voice.  As I recovered, writing helped me sink into and explore my underworld, burn in the flames, embrace the changes, and rise.

In my state of unwellness, creative energy felt renewing and produced its own reaction and regeneration of health, wellness, and further effort. It helped transform my trauma into something different, making me more resilient, healed, and empowered.

There is no ruin here artwork by heather

I have been in the process of writing and publishing two upcoming books. One is a book of poetry, prose, and artwork. Watch the short video for Today, I Begin Again, here. (Thank you!) The other is a story about walking back into the world through the wilderness. Watch a short video about this book here. (Thank you!)

I am creating a new story and life path for myself, as my accident and period of unwellness disrupted my old one.

I will also be continuing to write articles about my process and steps to move onward into a different season of my life. They will be shared via this blog as time goes onward. As part of this, I will offer tools, methods, and suggestions that you can apply in deliberate practice in your life. Our Lives are our practice!

I am creating a new story and life path for myself, as my accident and being unwell disrupted my life, and I knew my old story was over. I am now my own storyteller.

These are my offerings. So, join me, and as I share this unfolding, unwinding, and reforging. These are my words of truth.  Today, I begin again. 

In gratitude,

Heather's Signature

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