Can I be little bit vulnerable here, and tell you a story about my own life? I wrote this last week, and debated about whether to share it here. But I’d like you to know that I too live with pain and its struggles.

I used to always think of people who lived on the edge as those who took the greatest risks in life—skydivers, military personnel, extreme skiers … you know the people I mean.

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This morning I realized that I also live on the edge. It’s the edge between enough immune system function and another infection. It’s the edge between minimal daily pain and immune system over activity. It’s the edge between feeling my pain and pushing through it to accomplish something necessary. It’s the edge between peace and chaos.

I didn’t choose this edge, but now I’m thinking that I should actually revel in it like the extreme skiers. Is there a way to draw energy from the edge where my life exists? I think the positive side of the energy is feeling grateful that just for today (or just for this hour), I’m on the peaceful, mainly pain free side of the edge.

Today I’m fighting a sinus infection, and trying to make it to the (self-imposed) edge of six months with no antibiotics. So I’m taking an herbal supplement that uplevels my immune system a bit. And I woke up with major pain in a foot joint. (This happens with autoimmune diseases—there’s a delicate edge of immune function that has pain on one side and infection on the other.)

I wasn’t loving this edge … but still decided to go to my yoga class because that’s a place where no one judges me for what I can and can’t do. I knew half the practice was on the floor, and if I could only do half of the standing practice (on the “good foot”) I’d still get seventy-five percent of the postures. The pain in my foot was so significant that I even warned my teacher not expect a typical level of practice from me. And the miracle of the edges happened … I had one of most yummy classes I’ve had in a very long time. Being mindful of that one joint forced me to focus in a way I haven’t lately. I found the outer edge of my foot, instead of the inner edge. I concentrated on the placement of my hand as I held my foot instead of just grabbing for any old spot. I didn’t even look at anyone else in class because my balance was just tenuous enough to demand total concentration.

I may not be a skydiver, but I’m happy to say that living on the edge today is giving me energy and gratitude!

p.s. This post was written on Thursday. My edge shifted again on Friday morning, and I ended up at the doctor getting antibiotics. Not my preferred solution, but it had to be done. No matter what, I got some inspiration from the experience and hope you have too. Please let me know in the comments what edges you live with … or how this inspires you to be grateful!

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