Sarah Lysne: The joy of soulful living: Part II

Published 4:24 pm Friday, March 11, 2022

In my last column, I reflected on why I believe living soulfully comes with a price. In my life, living soulfully has caused heartache, exhaustion and embarrassment, but also joy.

It is important to me to keep pursuing my dreams.  For many years I have longed to share the lessons I have learned in life by participating in public speaking engagements, but the timing wàs never right. Suddènly, with my ALS diagnosis, I have been presented with opportunities to speak. I have worked with Mayo Clinic to help educate healthcare workers about the importance of compassionate care. I have talked to church groups about choosing to live joyfully even though I received a devastating diagnosis.

The timing for this public speaking adventure is right because I have something I am passionate about sharing, but my voice is not as strong as it used to be.  A 10-15 minute presentation is my limit because my voice gets tired. So the price I pay for pursuing this dream is exhaustion if I go beyond my 15 minute limit.  Fortunately, the speaking engagements I have participated in thus far have worked for me, and I am grateful to be able to share my story.  It makes me feel like I am giving back for all the support I have received since my diagnosis.

Living soulfully can also cause embarrassment.  I have always been interested in painting. Even though I’ve taken several painting classes, I never seem to get any better!  During one class I left during the lunch break and never returned. I was so in over my head that I literally had no idea how to start the assigned pàinting project. Today I found a way to paint that I am proud of. A family member introduced me to watercolor markers and they have chànged my world! Despite my disability, I am able to use the markers and the paint brush and get the results thàt I want.

Living soulfully takes courage, determination and hard work, but I would never choose to live any other way.