When I was 18, I was riding my bicycle down a very steep road when I flipped my bicycle horribly, landing on my head, breaking my jaw and cheekbone, suffering a traumatic brain injury, all in spite of wearing my bicycle helmet. I had just graduated high school and was on my way to be a student at UVM. However, my accident changed everything--it changed my view of the world and shook me up both literally and mentally. Throughout my ordeal, the physical pain and mental anguish were overwhelming and heartbreaking.
One major gift that helped me come to terms with these challenges is my practice of mindfulness meditation. It has given me a system to work on my trauma. I am able to break up my experiences into bite-sized pieces to make it easier to understand and cope with my trauma. The meditation that I want to share is about relaxing the body and finding its innate value. Letting my body rest and appreciating myself for who I am, not what I was, have been two important lessons since my accident. I hope that you will give yourself the time and space to take a pause and recognize the beauty and wonder that is you.
I have been very grateful to find the Center for Mindful Learning (CML) in East Johnson, Vermont. The CML gives me a place to practice, work, and live. As an artist, I'm working on a picture book to share my story--the story is sometimes very raw and real, which I think will resonate with others who have a shared experience. CML has challenged me mentally and physically every single day, which has made me a better, happier, and more whole person.
Anna King suffered a severe traumatic brain injury in 2005. Since then, she has found her passion working as a Mindfulness Teacher, Artist, and Resident for Center for Mindful Learning.