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Beyond the Existence

Beyond the Existence 1920 1080 Jason Stadtlander

One cold and bitter day, as the skies choked with clouds high above in a blanket so thick barely light could penetrate it, a small Neusahofu emerged from its shiny rainbow chrysalis. A tiny sliver of light broke through the thick clouds above the little cocoon and shined a pinpoint of light on the small creature. Although it had no idea, it was one of the most beautiful creatures in all the universe, pure of heart and shimmering with a pale violet skin that luminesced. It smelled fresh and clean, like a spring day unwrapping from the frigid, pale fingers of winter. Arms, opening to a soft glow that encompassed anyone that came within close proximity to it. But, there was no one to come close to it. In fact, there was no one at all… The Neusahofu was a female and the first of its kind, singular in beauty and mind – the embodiment of peace and the mortal form of radiance. She had perfect proportionate legs, arms, and torso, ultimate beauty in flawless symmetry. The female had no hair, but had two eyes and a perfect nose, with a head that pointed upward in the back to a nicely rounded cone.

She stretched her tiny arms out wide and looked all around her, basking in the singular ray of sunshine that had broken through the clouds. The Neusahofu looked high into the sky and saw the tormenting clouds that went as far as the eye could see, all the way to the red mountains in the distance. She looked down at the cold, frost-covered ground and at her colorful chrysalis that remained, splay open, having provided its one purpose in existence, that of a private home for this beautiful creature while she was nurtured. Her heart was pure beyond anything that had ever existed, it knew only love and peace. She looked down at her small hands, five fingers on each, and the light that flowed through her skin ebbed with her heartbeat, carrying small filaments of radiance out to the tips of her fingers where they dissipated.

The Neusahofu bent down, looking at the frost-covered ground and gently touched the frost then pulled her hand away when a spark flew from her hand to the ground. The ground itself illuminated in a small radius around her and the frost quickly melted. The ground came alive with a beautiful yellow-green grass that grew rapidly before her eyes all around her until it was an inch and a half tall. She touched it gently and felt as if a hundred small fingers touched her in return, soft and subtle. She gently petted it and felt the warmth of the tiny plants beneath her hand.

Standing up, she walked over to a stone surrounded by frosty ground, bending down she touched it gently and looked on as it illuminated from the inside out. The light flowed outward from the stone, lighting the ground as it had lit where she touched the ground before. The stone cracked with an audible ‘pop’ and broke open to show another rainbow shimmering chrysalis that resembled the one she had emerged from. Stepping back she cocked her head to the side, staring at it, curious as the light pulsated and the chrysalis beat as if a heart were contained within it. The Neusahofu moved up closer, knelt down, and gently touched it with her long delicate fingers, and felt the beating cocoon, it was warm to the touch. She sat cross-legged in front of it and began to hum sweetly until the cocoon finally stopped beating and instead began to push outward in jagged points as if something were pushing from the inside. Again, she cocked her head to the side and this time made a quiet chittering sound, petting the chrysalis to soothe it.

The surface broke on the thin rainbow membrane and an arm similar to hers poked through, then a hand grabbed the edges within and the creature inside forced its way out. It slowly opened its eyes and blinked with bright blue shinning orbs at the girl. She blinked back, chittered, and smiled. The other Neusahofu smiled back and stood, tall, nearly three inches taller than her, it was clearly male and had a strong body. It stepped out of the cocoon and held out its hand to which the girl took. The two chittered back and forth for a moment then stopped. She looked at him, knew him. She had in fact known him for a very long time. Then thought to herself, “Where have you been? How do I know you? Where are we?”

She then heard his voice in her mind, “Do you not remember? Can’t you recall what happened before we were here?”

She looked down, probed her memories hard but couldn’t remember. Then looking up she shook her head gently.

It’s me, my love. We knew each other on Earth. We have been with each other all our lives… Soul mates. I held your hand when you were young, told you I would care for you as we grew old together and in the end, you held my hand as I passed on.

As he spoke those words, a flood of memories came back to her. She saw the two of them playing as children, chasing a balloon and later standing at an alter before all of their friends and family. She saw herself sitting in an Adirondack chair sitting on his lap as children played down by the pond in the early morning, and later holding a grandchild on her lap. She saw him helping her when she dropped her blanket on the floor in the den by the fire and saw herself sitting on the hospital bed where he lay dying. She remembered curling up next to him as his life seeped out of him but could not remember anything after that. “I remember…” she said.

I remember it all, but the end.” She replied, a bit confused.

In the end my love, you died as well. We have been so connected for so long, one half can’t live without the other.

Where are we now then?

They looked around them. The skies had broken to reveal a new violet sky with crimson clouds. A huge dark grey moon lay just behind the clouds with a white sun on the other side of the sky. Giant birds swept the sky with tails so long they flowed on winds. The air flowed over the landscape causing a faint hum as it whistled over the eroded plains and the clouds blew by in a fury, yet the air around the two Neusahofus remained still. “I don’t know.” He replied, “I suppose this is what lies beyond our existence.

They had no way of knowing that they had been chosen by a higher power to usher in a new life on a planet far from where they came. No way of knowing that their souls are like all other souls in the universe. Part of a compendium of life that exists on a plane of existence that connects everyone in every far and distant reach of the universe. A singular dimension of life that is linked, forever part of one another yet apart, taking in everything they learn, feel, and experience to be part of the greater whole.

For beyond the truth of existence are those connected through emotions that cannot be defined with words. Soul-mates.

Neck Surgery or Yoga & Physical Therapy… No Brainer

Neck Surgery or Yoga & Physical Therapy… No Brainer 4032 3024 Jason Stadtlander

It’s been two months since I got the news that I might need neck surgery and it’s been one month and thirteen days since I decided to opt for “Plan B” of yoga and physical therapy, a decision that I am glad I made every single day.

The Diagnosis

Not a lot of people are familiar with my full story, but for the last thirteen years I have had debilitating migraines. Sometimes as many as four to five a week. These have been the excruciating kind of migraines that have caused me to be nauseous and dizzy. Where every little bit of light or sound felt like someone was pounding my temples with a sledge hammer.

For a while, nearly every day I would come home and my five-year-old son would meet me at the door with one of my T-shirts in his hand asking if I would like to lay down so that he could put the shirt over my eyes. It was horrible, existing day in and day out like this. Unable to enjoy the simple things in life because of these migraines.

After trying every beta blocker and almost every pain killer out there, I tried to make an appointment with my doctor who as it turns out was not available. So I opted instead to see Justin, the nurse practitioner. I told Justin about my migraines and he looked at me with concern, then said: “Have you ever tried PT?”.

I squinted my eyes and asked, “Why would physical therapy help my migraines.”

He told me that I had a lot of tension in my neck and perhaps this was something they could help me with during PT. It had never even occurred to me or my doctor that physical therapy may have helped. So, I booked an appointment with Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Sports Therapy and met with Kyle, a specialist in neck problems. Within one visit he had discovered the severe tension that I was experiencing at the C1-C4 vertebrae and had further shown me that I was capable of almost no movement in these vertebrae. So we began a regimen of traction and movement exercises. Within a month, my life was changed. I was coming home without a headache, much less a migraine. I was able to take my children places, spend time with my family and do it migraine free. I was shocked that four vertebrae could cause so many problems.

I continued PT for another three months and finally was able to sign off on it.

Fast forward five years to 2017 which my migraines began coming back again, mind you not with the frequency that they were back in 2012 when I had PT. So I once again sought the help of the physical therapists at MGH and this time Eli was assigned to me, to which I am extremely grateful. As before we worked with traction and movement exercises and it has helped immensely. Unfortunately, with the location of where the tightness occurs, I cannot always do these exercises myself so it is critical to have someone like Eli or Kyle to help with this. During one of our discussions, Eli recommended I see a neurologist due to other strange issues I’ve been having losing feeling on the right side of my face.

So – I was off to see Dr. Young at MGH in the neurology department who asked that I have a cervical MRI. I had had numerous MRIs of my head, but never a cervical one. My results came back and I was surprised that they actually found something. My C6 vertebrae had actually slid forward a little. It wasn’t a lot, but they found that it was putting pressure on my discs awkwardly and may possibly be putting a little pressure on my spinal cord. Dr. Young referred me to a neurosurgeon who looked over my MRI and told me “Well Jason, we have two options. You can either do surgery, which could fix your problem… or you could try physical therapy and yoga, which won’t fix your problem but it could give you enough flexibility that it will correct itself a little. The tension in your neck is basically because your muscles are trying to counteract the misalignment of the C6 vertebrae.”

The Decision

Lovin’ #yoga at @beaconhillyoga. #yogaeverydamnday #yogaeverywhere

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Obviously, I was already seeing Eli, so I told myself that I had to at least try yoga for a couple weeks and see if it even helped so I joined a Beacon Hill Yoga studio for a two-week trial. I didn’t immediately notice a difference with my neck, but I did almost immediately notice a difference in my body. After a few classes, I noticed how much more flexible I was feeling overall. I was sleeping better, I had more tone in my body and I felt more centered. I decided to continue the classes into a normal membership and I’ve been trying to balance my workouts with my yoga classes. I honestly had no idea what I was even missing until I began. I am now trying to attend 4-6 yoga and barre classes a week.

I still have a very long way to go, but I can honestly say that my newfound yoga is definitely helping in some ways. Only time will tell if it will keep me from having to have neck surgery, but that is my hope. On the other side of why I saw my neurologist, I am noticing a tiny bit of feeling coming back on the right side of my face. Perhaps that is from the yoga? Perhaps not. We shall see.

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