The Aftereffects of Brain Surgery

Post SurgeryThe lessons I’ve received since undergoing surgery a couple of weeks ago are just beginning to emerge into something I can write down. While I am still recovering and understanding the profundity of this new experience, there is one simple truth I woke up with, in my anesthesia haze, that still hasn’t left my mind: I am so grateful to be alive. I couldn’t have envisioned the physical pain I felt the first week after surgery, but it was made gentler by the simple satisfaction of still being here, still having the opportunity to experience living.

As I get better each day, life’s more ordinary cares and worries are emerging once again. Yet those too are put at bay by the knowledge that the most important goal has already been achieved; I’m here! Everything we strive for, worry about, and long for, are all luxuries that come with being alive. And I’m so grateful that you’re all here too, as we experience this life together.

Surgery has given me a nice new titanium plate in my skull, endless sweet well wishes from loved ones, and an extremely thankful heart. As Thanksgiving approaches I hope the satisfaction of living extends straight from my heart to yours. (And that you don’t need a craniotomy to get the message!)


“So before we go and transform the world, let us transform ourselves” – Swami Satchidananda

What would life be like if the people you encountered were always happy to see you?  What would our relationships be like if everyone was already enjoying themselves, having a great time?

While asking these questions can lead to a seemingly impossible utopian vision where all people are happy and healthy, creating this world is a lot easier than we ever thought.  Creating an environment of health and joy can be accomplished in your life without controlling or changing those around you.  While at first this task of creation can seem overwhelming, Swami Satchidananda brings our role right down to its essence in this week’s Weekly Words of Wisdom:

ashram“When you fill your system with vitality, with health and happiness, you become contagious. People will sit with you and feel happy and laugh. Fill yourself up to the brim with your good health and energy and let it overflow. Just by your mere presence, you will bring health to others. You don’t have to talk about Yoga and health to others. If you constantly emit that vibration, that will be the beginning of world health. So, where should it begin? With you. It’s not only that charity begins at home, even health begins at home. Individuals make the world. So before we go and transform the world, let us transform ourselves. Let us reform ourselves. Make yourself healthier and happier and pass it on to others. God bless you. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.” Swami Satchidananda

Any TimeWhat do you desire from others?  Do you want appreciation, recognition, love, kindness, help, opportunity, or understanding?  Swami Satchidananda’s message of beginning health at home is also true for anything that we desire more of from our world.

The surest way to experience gratitude from someone else, is to first become grateful yourself.  If you feel a lack of love and compassion in your life, become more loving and compassionate towards others.  The result of giving that which you desire to receive is momentum.  Your action creates an equal and opposite reaction.

As an experiment, think of something you could receive from others that would make your heart sing.  Focus on whatever that may be, and spend a day giving that to all those you encounter.  For example, if you want more appreciation, recognize and thank the people around you.  You may find that what you once desired is coming back at you in larger ways than you could have thought up.