Jacqueline Fowler is an academic, a mover, a mother, and a thriver. A newly budding yoga teacher, she is a physician that retired early due to spinal injuries and has found her light and joy while moving through loss and pain.
When I cast my mind’s eye back on the woman, I was ten years ago, there is almost no recognition. I was a healthy mother of two with a busy medical practice. My interests and activities were wide and varied. I loved mountain biking, snowboarding, surfing, and pretty much anything associated with an adrenaline rush. You name it, I tried it.
My life changed forever – twice. Once in 2012 and again in 2015, both at the hands of inattentive drivers. In those moments, that person I had been was altered in almost every way. Physically, I was changed. I struggled to sit up, lie down, stand, or make myself comfortable. Mentally I struggled with memory and fogginess. Emotionally, I was depressed and frustrated. Finally, after years of painful immobility and following two rounds of neurosurgery, my physical condition is improved. I lost the ability to practice medicine, and with it came crushing grief. I grappled with the concept of “if I am not a doctor, then who am I?” I had trained for many years and worked so hard so that I could serve people.
I decided to find joy in the uncertainty. I had my self, and that’s all I really needed. So, after the long recovery, I began to rebuild my life anew. The landscape of this new life is different, but it is equally as beautiful. It’s just different. Change is inherent in all things and embracing the impermanence of things allowed me to be present in my life now.
Today I am taking a new path. A yogic path. A route that I never thought I would be travelling. I am now a slightly dented mother of two with a busy study in the practice of yoga and a passion for supporting mental health and resiliency. I love road biking, snowshoeing, and snorkelling – anything not associated with an adrenaline rush. I am still me. That white light. The one permanence in a world full of evolution. I feel joy in what is now, and I’m grateful for it.