Mikaya Heart
Mikaya Heart on Body Wisdom

At age 62, Mikaya Heart travels around the world kite-surfing, offers shamanic rituals, and writes on everything from orgasm to the future of the planet.

See parts one and two of our interview for Heart on ageing outrageously. Here, she talks about healing from a serious car accident in record time.

Tell us about your car accident.

I was driving along in South Australia, and the car went out of control. Later I discovered what happened: it had skidded on some gravel. I had a head-on collision with another car, and the other driver was killed instantly.

I don’t remember the impact; I woke up in the hospital and there were four policemen around the bed. They had arrested me – that’s what they do in South Australia; even though they fully acknowledged that it was an unfortunate accident, they had an obligation to prosecute.

I had a fractured skull, a fractured foot, and four broken ribs, and there I was being prosecuted. It felt really bad; it was a horrible situation. They had me under arrest and they can put you in jail for a year, so I was advised to get a lawyer. That was the worst of it for me.

About my injuries — well, I was back kitesurfing three weeks after the accident! I won’t say it was pain-free. Wriggling in and out of my wetsuit was actually agonizing; you can’t wriggle when you’ve got broken ribs. But the fractured foot wasn’t serious, and the fractured skull, well, I still have a bump, but … you can’t really talk about luck in a situation like this, but in a way I was incredibly lucky because the car rolled four times, and an inch more of the impact and I probably would have lost my foot, and I would certainly have lost my eye. So I feel pretty lucky.

The key thing that came out of it for me was being treated so badly by the authorities when I was feeling bad. I kept questioning why I would want to be on this planet; it would have been so much easier if I’d been the one who died instead of the other driver. The only answer I could come up with was that I’m on the planet so that I can bring more compassion to the planet.

How do you do that?

I believe that the most effective way to create change is through one’s own being, one’s presence. So I feel it’s my responsibility to make sure that I treat people with absolute compassion.

I certainly haven’t always done that in the past. When I was politically active as a feminist I was very angry with men, and I was violent towards them. It was actually very empowering for me to do that, but now I’ve made a commitment not to do that anymore, not to engage in violent activities of any kind, whether it’s a casual remark that puts someone down or actually hitting someone. I’m not willing to go there. I want to treat everyone kindly; it doesn’t matter how they treat me.

I used to need to project a sort of big image, but now I’m a bit softer. And someone even commented that I look smaller. I think I’m just not protecting myself in that somewhat pushy way that I used to do.