When my Cammie was a baby she had reflux. I know...so what? ALOT of babies have reflux. ALOT of people have reflux. Buy some drops. Get some Prilosec. Hell, I don't even think doctors perform tests for reflux anymore, do they? They just give out prescriptions or recommendations and send you on your way.
But back then, reflux was a BIG DEAL. Well, in our case, at least. It took TWO YEARS - all kinds of tests, heart-wrenching procedures, hospitalizations, and more for the doctors to finally figure out that the root cause of her health issues (upper-respiratory infections, earaches, pneumonia, persistent vomiting and fever) was REFLUX, of all things. I don't think I slept at all during those two years. By the time she was finally diagnosed, she had ulcers on her esophagus and the first full year of treatment was solely dedicated to healing the damage that had already been done. A two-year-old with ulcers in her esophagus? *sigh*
One of the things I remember most about that time was when she was a little older and started eating "big people" foods. She would repeatedly cry and whine and say she was hungry. I would give her something to eat. She would throw up. This was a constant vicious cycle for my poor baby. Oftentimes, she would put her little hand on her chest and say to me, "my heart hurts." It kills me now, just typing those words. The doctor and I finally put two and two together and realized she meant she had heartburn. That was her way of explaining how it felt. "My heart hurts." Even now, some 20 years later, that brings tears to my eyes.
So, why drag up old, painful stuff like that?
Well, I was thinking about how sometimes people hurt our feelings, but we don't know how to respond or what to say. So we swallow it. Right? Suck it up. Gulp it on down, like a jagged pill. And there it sits. Our body responds by producing acids - like mini-pac missies, racing to gobble up the "gunk" - but then turns on itself, like an emotional auto-immune disorder, and becomes toxic to our system. We feel it - churning in our stomachs. We feel it - rising in the back of our throats. Swallow it back down, and the cycle continues. Sometimes we will even become physically ill from it. Regurgitate it, and more often than not, it ends up splashing some poor soul in the face who had absolutely nothing to do with it in the first place.
So, I wondered...
For those of use who don't know how to tell people they've hurt our feelings...
I wondered if we might try very simply saying this...
"My heart hurts."*
*No satisfaction guarantee, but it certainly beats choking yourself to death.
I am willing to acknowledge . . . the ups and downs of life need not get me down.
There are days you wake up feeling bigger than life. You are on a natural high! Then the very next day, you can wake up feeling helpless, hopeless and worthless. You may feel that if you had the strength, you would bury yourself forever. Both of these experiences are natural, normal and to be expected. They are what we call the ups and downs, the highs and lows of life. There are, however, some very important things you must be able to do in order to make it through these experiences without getting bruised.
When you are high, be aware of the commitments and decisions you make. Discipline yourself to avoid taking on more than you can do because you feel like you can do it all. Restrain yourself, knowing that even if you remain up for the next few days, your plate may be full, your days may be scheduled. Take your time in doing whatever you are doing so that you will not be forced to redo or overdo at a later time. Do not get caught up in the high times, allowing a good feeling to motivate you to take on things which could cause you to crash.
If on the other hand you wake up feeling low, lowly or low down, allow yourself the luxury of the experience. Allow yourself to remember that you are human and that life goes on. It renews itself each day, offering you the opportunity to do the same. Avoid the things you do to deny where you are. Simply be! Perhaps you need the rest. Be present with yourself and what you feel for at least forty-eight hours. After that, pick yourself up, pump yourself up, spruce yourself up in anticipation of the next wave of feeling good.
Until today, you may have questioned or dreaded the feelings of up and down that go along with being alive. Just for today, take note of where you are. Allow yourself to be there. Take precautions not to do or say anything that could convince you that this is a permanent state of being.
Today I acknowledge and embrace
the highs and lows of my life!
Prognosis - Late Latin, from Greek, literally - foreknowledge. Also - the prospect of recovery as anticipated from the usual course of disease. ~ As defined by Tina - what "they" say (with all due respect); do any of us really possess this thing they call "foreknowledge"?
And also this...
Miracle - Middle English, from Old French, from Latin miraculum - An event that appears inexplicable by the laws of nature and so is held to be supernatural in origin or an act of God
~ As defined by Tina - what I know we can expect, if only we believe.
I have admired this print from afar for at least five years. I wish I owned it. In fact, I'll even go as far as to say...I wish I owned it in a huge size...framed...so I could hang it over my bed. Yeah, that's where she belongs. Bucket list.
But for today, I will settle for sharing her here. I know you're my friends and all, but....please don't steal her! :)
Today I need her. Cuz, she inspires the daylights out of me, and secretly has for many years.
Truthfully, I have always imagined her emerging from the swamp, slipping and sliding in that mud. Look again. Her hair is muddied and sodden. She is undaunted. And it seems to me the storm clouds are following her. She is resolute. Look at her face. She is intent.
The way her arm is sinking...it makes me wonder if there is quicksand in there...and, if she stops - even for a moment, to rest - what will happen then?
There is no "visible" Sol in this image, and yet, you can tell the sun is ahead of her by the subtle rays gracing her limbs.
In my mind, I clamber alongside, and whisper.....
"I know you can. I know you can. I know you can."
*Aside: she "travels" much like a lotus flower, don't you think? :)
I paid more for these shoes than I have ever paid in my entire life. Partly because I needed the orthotic benefits, and partly because a portion of the proceeds goes to breast cancer awareness.
Ironically, I received a message today that one of my students had passed away last Tuesday. She had been in remission from breast cancer and had recently undergone reconstructive surgery. I hadn't heard from her for several months.
Funny how I totally dogged these shoes at first --- saying they were ugly and how I can't believe I am having to wear orthotic shoes. Now I don't want to take them off. Suddenly, I feel mega-proud and honored to wear these shoes. I feel beautiful in them - almost as beautiful as my beloved friend, student, and one of my greatest life mentors, Joyce Davis.
So, for you Joyce, I will wear these shoes with great pride. I will honor myself by taking care of ME, as you would want me to. I will march forward on this journey, baby step by baby step with the exquisite grace and dignity you exuded.
~ In honor and loving memory of Joyce Davis, who absolutely adored warrior pose, and had the most beautiful one I have ever seen. You were truly a warrior, in every respect of the word. ~
My friend Yvonne posted this picture on her Facebook page.
There goes my gut again. And my throat. And then....that feeling....that just ripples and echoes throughout my entire body.
As I said to Yvonne - I can literally feel the heartbreak of these poor pet owners all the way to my bones. I know that helplessness. I know that shock. I know that all-over numb.
And, as you can guess, this resonates even more deeply with me now. And yes, it does make me think about putting up my own sign. I have to wonder if it would give me any sense of closure? Or perhaps be a way of granting myself a "voice." Or, least likely of course, cause someone driving along that road to think. Yeah. Awareness.
Eh. Maybe not. Probably not.
Maybe this picture just awakened a little part of me. Yeah, that's probably it.
It's just me.
Standing in the darkness. And blinding snow. Screaming out. To a Universe that doesn't hear me.
This blog post sponsored by: my good friend Yogini Extraordinaire TJ (in case she wishes to remain anonymous) who recently wrote to me:
"I have made such great progress with my physical therapy that my therapist feels that I will be doing downward dog by the beginning of summer."
Summer. Summer? Summer. Now - all I can think of when someone says Summer is.....you know.....THE BEACH. And....usually.... I am at the beach with my toes in the sand on our annual girls' vacation on the first day of summer - Summer Solstice. BUMMER.
I am saddened to report - we have decided to forego our vacation this year because of a few reasons, primary being - you guess it - Ye Old Foot.
Summer. Hmmmm. What's that date again? June 21st.
*Click over to handy dandy Outlook.*
No way. Nuh uh. Get out!
Just so happens - June 21st is the tentative date for YOF's release from solitary confinement!
OMG - are you kidding me?! So.....lemme get this straight.....we actually could have scheduled our vacation after all?!
Well....I'm just gonna have to change the subject here and now before something BLOWS.
So - it seems my friend TJ and I have yet something else in common! We will both be counting days and working hard in rehab and looking extra-special-forward to Summer Solstice 2010!
That got me to pondering.... (no! please don't run! lol)
I am willing to bet that at least one other person who reads this blog has some goal(s) they'd like to achieve within the next 60 days. (Feel free to jump right in and correct me as/if necessary.)
SOMEONE here is recovering from a physically, mentally or emotionally traumatic event. SOMEONE here is trying to shed a few pounds. SOMEONE is trying to break a habit; or establish a new one. SOMEONE needs to pay off those bills or eat healthier or trade in their tude. SOMEONE wants to shed the Winter GUNK.
If you know ME, you know where we're headed...And, of course, to know me is to love me is to amuse me by riding shotgun with me, wherever I may roam and regardless of your motion sickness issues ;)
Me, to insurance company rep: There has been some mistake. You sent a bill here for $753 with my husband's name on it and he has never even been to your hospital!
Him: Has he had physical therapy at the Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Center? (which is in a medical building adjacent to the hospital campus)
Me: Yes, but what does that have to do with anything?
Him: Oh, that is our facility charge - the charge for using the space.
Me: Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?! For how many visits?
Me: Are you kidding me?
Him: No Ma'm.
Me: Ok, please don't take this personally or think I am taking it out on you - I understand you are doing your job, but.......are you *expletive* kidding me?! Let me get this straight. Your hospital charges $700 for the use of a room for 1/2 hr. while a physical therapist works with my husband? And even worse, passes that cost on to the patient?
Him: Well, not to the patient, but to the insurance company. You DO have insurance, don't you?
Me: That's beside the point. You are charging SOMEBODY $700 for 1/2 hour, am I right?
*inhale. count to three. exhale*
Me: Again, please excuse me, but..........That's the most absurd damn thing I have ever heard in my entire life. And, whether they are ripping off me or the insurance company off or some poor soul that doesn't even have insurance, it's 100% pure, all natural, organic BULLSHIT. Thank you for your time and kind assistance. Have a blessed day. *click*
Lady Justitia, Roman Goddess of Justice
*Aside - does this get a rise out of me? You bet your sweet toes it does. And... I know I know I know.....I am fighting a losing battle against a huge monster that is far bigger than me, and I will not win (this time). However, I will put my foot down (pun intended) in my own little way. They will not rip anybody off and put my name on it! I know one little thing - I will make damn sure - I will preserve my own health and well-being and get the treatment(s) I need (including physical therapy) but not one visit more than that.Not one session more. Not one minute more. No way. No how. I refuse to feed THE MONSTER any more than I absolutely have to, to take care of ME. This is my own tiny way of making a statement.
Therefore, I shall carry on by: not moving my ankle, but......moving my toes, massaging my foot and leg, hip openers, hamstring stretches, 4 stretches, Reiki, i.e., I'll do my own dang therapy!
*boot-clad kick to the groin*
"THERE! TAKE THAT YOU - YOU - YOU - BIG, UGLY, MEAN U.S. HEALTHCARE SYSTEM MONSTER!"
p.s. if this is any indication - oh my - just wait until that bill comes for my surgery! I don't think I live here anymore...
I got a new pair of summer yoga shorts quite some time ago. Since I'm always wearing black and gray bottoms, I decided to go all out of my comfort zone and get a pair in bright blue. That's really making a statement, huh?! lol So, I get home and discover, much to my *sigh* dismay, that I don't have any tops that will match them, except for plain old white - b-o-r-i-n-g. Eh. I've had one eye out for something just right ever since...(there's that relentless ellipses again)
So, this morning I get an email from Cafe Press, reminding me that I have a whopping $4 in my account. They tell me to go shopping. Oh boy, I can really splurge now!
The funny thing is - I had forgotten all about my own products in my Cafe Press store, including, quite ironically, Faces of Eve T's and tanks with just that color blue in the logo. Doh. *smacks Self* Geeeeeeeeeze. Again, if you see my mind floating around somewhere, could you please send it back this way for me?
That made me think - if I forgot about my Cafe Press store, maybe everyone else did too. lol So, I went in and lowered the prices on all my summer garb., i.e. a whole THREE products! Brace yourself. Here comes the shameless plug :)
FEAR. Oh yeah! Now that's a HUGE ONE, eh? Yep. Good ole FEAR. Sure to make you stop dead in your tracks. At least for a moment. What is your reaction to fear? Do you notice anything in your physical body when you are experiencing fear? Does fear sometimes disguise itself and come out in another way for you? Fear is a sneaky lil booger! But valuable, nonetheless, when used appropriately. :)
Anyway.....did I digress again? lol
As you may have guessed, I'm practicing a technique :)
See - I've come to realize - I need to work on my relationship with the phrase, "hit and run." Cuz, every time someone says it, I feel my solar plexus contract. Cringe, even. And then it heads for my throat chakra and goes straight to the jugular. And then that blasted whatever-it-is tries to strangle me! Huff! I've also noticed that, in conversation, I tend to leave out that little detail about my accident...the "hit and run" part. I guess I don't even want that phrase in my mouth. And on those occasions when I'm somewhat forced to disclose the details - the other party's reaction to that phrase ain't so good either.
Yeah, there's definitely a negative implication tied to the phrase "hit and run." Not just for me, but for anyone. No doubt about it. And, I certainly don't want to lose my sense of empathy or compassion for other victims I see on TV or read about in the newspaper. No, I don't want to do that at all. But I would like to turn down the hit and run negative impact dial just a tad...
Vic-tim - noun - a person or thing that suffers harm, death, etc., from another or from some adverse act, circumstance, etc.
This suggests that something has happened to you/me/us that we had absolutely zero control over, right? And we suffered for it - do I have that right? You're damn right! And it's true. And not fair. And we don't like it. And rightfully so!
On the other hand - be it truth or not - be our feelings justifiable or not - I'm not gonna let victimhood DEFINE or CONTROL me, are you? No way. No how. I am so much bigger than victimhood. I am bigger than any negative thing that has ever happened to me. And, I can wear those experiences like charms on a charm bracelet - reminders of the lessons I have learned - but I'm certainly not gonna wear any of them like a huge, heavy, winter cloak! In fact, I'm not gonna wear anything like a huge, heavy, winter cloak ever again! (Yes, you heard it here first *smiles*)
Here's what Carl Jung (one of my favs) has to say on the subject:
"I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become."
What a brilliant and powerful statement that is! Wish I'd thought of it! lol
So...I dunno...I have this crazy wild hair to attempt the impossible, yet again. Because, well, I'm just stubborn like that :)
For our next trick, folks - I shall attempt to change my relationship with "hit and run." It could take some time. So maybe go get yourself a beer and some swag or sumn...
Back to my list of emotions. These are all the thoughts and feelings that arise when I see or hear the phrase, "hit and run." Some of them are good, right? So...I could choose to just focus on the good ones and shoo away the others I suppose. Meh. Emotion shooing is solast year :) Nah. I'll just sit here with them for a spell instead - all of them.
Maybe I'll imagine I'm at the beach with my sandchair in the water, just the way I like it :) And all those thoughts and emotions and words will flow in and out with the tide. One will rush beneath my chair, causing it to sink, and almost toppling it over (with me in it). The next may barely grace my toes, scattering bursting seafoam bubbles all about like ethereal glitter . Some will carry jagged shells and rocks that nick my feet; followed by others that gently cleanse and smooth them over. Yep. I'm just gonna sit here with my fruity umbrella drink and let them all come and go as they may. I'm fine, really :) Then.....just when that Glorious Sunshine Sandwoman lulls me off to the Land of Blessed Bliss.....
The Grand Tsunami! It's the BIG ONE, folks! The Grand Tsunami of F-E-A-R!
Woman down at MP 7! lol
There goes my margarita! AND my book! AND my beach bag and towel and *cough* my bathing suit top!
Even so, much to my surprise, and maybe yours too, I haven't drown yet! Ha! Survival of the fittest, yanno! :D
Hey! I faced all those emotions and lived to tell about it! I didn't shoo. I didn't bury. I didn't avoid. I sat with them. Allowed them to rise and fall, and even "have their way with me" so to speak. And, as far as the Great Tsunami of Fear goes - while I may have looked like a piece of t.p. swirling down the toilet, I'm still standing! (Topless and tousled perhaps, but standing nonetheless!)
Meanwhile......back at the bungalow.......
Where was I again? lol
Ahhhh. Yes... Hit. And. Run. Somehow, it doesn't seem quite as powerful now...not as much umph as before. In fact, while I know I'll always feel some sense of sadness when I hear it, I just may choose to redefine it for myself. I already have a few ideas brewing :)
a handmade card or care package in the mail - for no reason at all = HAR
a tea date with a friend, after too many lost days and months and years = HAR
"thinking of you - no response required" texts = HAR
helping a stranger I'll most likely never see again = HAR
and more, which shall remain confidential :)
Who knows? I may even do something really out there like put sticky notes all over the house.
Sit in easy pose, do forward folds, cat stretches, puppy pose, one-sided hamstring stretches, and even balancing cat (although it may not look very "balanced" with this 15-lb. monstrosity along for the ride) HOOOOOOOORAAAAAAAAAAY!
A whole gang of chickadees have come to visit me this morning. I can't stop watching them. I notice that they don't just sit on the deck and feast at the feeder like the other birds. They come, get a nibble, then fly back into their trees. Then sit on the gate and babble for a while. Then back to the deck. Then fly around for a while. Then back for a nibble. ~ They flit ~ I was thinking about how much energy they are "wasting." Why don't they just sit there and graze leisurely like most of my birds do? (Ha! like I am so much smarter than a chickadee....)
I'm so captivated by them, I must get out my "Bird Signs" deck. I love this deck. I've never seen anything like it. Cammie got it for me as a gift. The cards are beautiful, and it comes with a really nice book that talks about the significance of each bird.
When birds do something compelling enough to get my attention, it almost always involves ravens. The raven is my totem or "familiar." So I know alllll about ravens and have tons of entertaining stories about "our" antics together! lol Of course, a totem animal certainly doesn't have to be a bird! My other totem is the turtle. Do you have a totem or familiar? Or any kind of creature that keeps on "showing up" in your life time and time again? Investigate! :-)
Anyway, here's what the chickadees had for me this morning (excerpts):
Inspiration: Playfulness (aaaahhhh.....the flitting!)
Healing colors: black, white, purple
Message: Playfulness abounds when your youthfulness emerges
...Chickadee's message is to take life less seriously. Revisit your inner child....do cartwheels in the grass...play a game...climb a tree...Chickadee reminds you to laugh at yourself rather than at someone else...Is the number seven your lucky number? Seven species of Chickadees breed in North America. The seventh chakra is the crown chakra, which is connected to your truest spiritual vision. Do you see someone who wants to connect with you? Perhaps someone is thinking about you. Perhaps a voice from beyond, a close friend or relative who has passed on, wants to encourage you to have fun and to play again. Chickadee reassures you that the person you are thinking about is fine and that your life can move forward....you are safe and happy and free......
Mmmmmmmm......how delicious and ironic, yet absolutely fitting is that?! N-i-c-e.
I love that. Compelled to read it over and over again...
Mostly, it reminds me that....my inner child doesn't need two "good" feet to play, or dance, or do yoga on the beach by moonlight....and, just as my signature greeting card reminds us (shameless self plug).....
Her angel whispers yet once more
"One need not have long legs to stand tall.
Nor flawless wings to soar.
It is time to fly."
Yeah! I kinda forgot about that. And I kinda like it. Alot. :D
I've never been one to "publicly" declare any of my goals. Or aspirations. Or even just regular ole plans for that matter. Have you ever noticed that about me? :)
First of all, I fully believe you can jinx yourself! And you can set yourself up for failure and - well - humiliation! lol Not only that, but in my personal experience, when you start gettin all cocky and declaring stuff, the Universal hand sneaks right up behind you and smacks you on the head. Oh yeah - and, Iyanla Vanzant says you are just giving away all your energy when you go out into the world and blab all your plans and secrets and things you're working on. Last but not least, everything is subject to change at any time without advance notice. You know the saying..."We make plans, God laughs." Boy,am I glad I finally got that one!
Anyway, I've mustered up my courage and I'm going way out on a limb here.....
I hereby declare that I have goals for next week.
There! I said it! :D
*Note to Self and others - I did not promise to achieve them all, and hereby reserve the right to make any/all necessary changes at anytime. I also grant myself permission to stumble and curse as necessary along the way. There! *grins*
1. I will make every effort to ease my way back into work at a reasonable pace. Further, I promise (myself) to maintain a sense of balance in doing so, in order to preserve all progress on my healing journey to date.
2. Upon receipt of my shoe (ordered!) and resolution of the boot conundrum (see below), I will begin walking practice as tolerated and in moderation, per post-op instructions. *keyword: moderation*
3. I will get very firm with the Orthotics Dept., who has ignored two messages from me, about exchanging this defective boot - my healing depends on it.
4. I will allow myself to have fun by accepting several generous invitations from friends, but be mindful not to overdo it.
5. I will resist the urge to vacuum and clean the bathroom floor.
6. I will practice some level of restraint when it comes to ice cream!
How about you? Plans? Goals? It could get very lonely for me out here on this limb all by myself! :D
*In preparation for Goal #1 I have been working on organizing my office space so I can do some admin. work this week. And, while I'd love to take up residence in my little studio in the woods, that would require a bit of a "commute" and involve stairs. Maybe next month :)
Yes, of course I know it's a little crooked. But it's the best I can pull off this morning.......
And, before you get all ruffled up, here's my disclaimer:
- I realize there's a weensy chance somebody reading this could get offended or question the Sri Krishna Lord of Love stuff. And if so, I apologize, and maybe you should just go out for a latte or sumn :) OK, so...it's an excerpt from a story. The Bhagavad Gita. And, in Western society we have fairy tales and nursery rhymes and cartoons, with hidden meanings, do we not? We use Sesame Street (is that still on?) and Dora (whoever she is) to teach stuff to our kids. Even Christianity refers to parables in the Bible, right? So, if you can get past your own resistance....simply waltz right through it......I think there's much for us to learn and enjoy...just in this one little verse...I know there is for me, at least...hence, I share -
I made a feeble attempt at scanning this, rather than just typing out the English translation and commentary because I just love the way it looks. In fact, I simply love all Sanskrit writing. It's my favorite language. Beautiful, isn't it? :)
And there is much that resonates with me in this verse. You? The word attached jumps right off the page and heads immediately for my solar plexus. *gulp* Am I the only one who is constantly working on this principle of non-attachment? I'm always talking about it. Maybe it's just my personal challenge and yours is another? One hard principle to master, methinks. And clearly, I have a long way to go.
On to selfless action - karma yoga - Easwaran (the commentator) is pretty blunt, isn't he? "...a marvelous concept which most of us cannot even grasp....we live in a prison of Ego" Hmmm. "....we are not free agents, but robots....automata, being pushed from behind by forces out of our control...." Whew. That's some heavy duty stuff right there. Thoughts? Not quite convinced about the automata thing? May I propose a challenge? I challenge YOU/US to designate a day.....a weekday......to make yourself as silent and still as possible whilst still functioning in your everyday world, and just observe the goings-on around you. Just for fun, of course ;)
And that last part - boy, that'll really getcha - "...when the walls of this prison have become so high we cannot climb over them at all..." Quadruple Whew! Is it hot in here?
~ the "lesser known" Sanskrit word that means "not me" or "its not about me." It reflects the notion that we are not the ones in control. During those inevitable times when we feel lost or confused, don't know which way to turn, or when our best-made plans go awry, trust that all is as it should be and remember, Namaha~ Inhale: It's not about me. Namaha. Exhale: All is well. Namaha. Inhale: There is a greater plan. Namaha. Exhale: I have faith. Namaha.
Me and Namaha go way back. Yep. I confess. I've had a secret romance with Namaha for years. Namaha hides in my pocket like a handkerchief or worry stone or good luck charm. We are destined to go places, Namaha and me :)
So, I've been thinking alot about the direction of this blog. And, indeed, I think it has been and continues to serve its purpose. I am truly blessed with many people who genuinely care about my well-being and are interested in my progress. For that, I am most grateful. But, can you imagine me trying to respond to all the emails and voice mails and text messages, especially given the snail's pace at which I'm currently um....hobbling (cuz, the word "moving" certainly doesn't fit at this time)? I'm already behind as it is! And it makes me feel terrible when I accidentally forget to respond to someone or thank someone. Cuz, that's just ME.
But everyone knows I'm ok now. And on my way. And God(dess) knows how long this could go on, right? I mean, realistically, a healing journey lasts a lifetime, does it not? And, I do recognize that people could get a little bored with hearing about my foot every day, no matter how much they love me. Seriously, as much as YOU - my friends and family and students - are a part of me - my healing journey is much more about US, than it is about ME. And, I realize more and more every day, the ripple effects of my car accident and my surgery and so on and so on. Yeah, I realize more and more every day...it's not just about me.
Back to my contemplation. So, how do I go about establishing a boundary - a goal - a cutoff point - before this thing suddenly morphs into a wandering ivy? That's what was on my mind the other day when I accidentally (or not) stumbled into a blog that had a tremendous impact on me. And, much like a small but very powerful, antithetical twister, it came - it went - and all that remains is residuum. Not even sure I could find the darn thing again if I wanted to; and yeah, I know, I should have bookmarked it.
The subject matter was a young woman's recovery from the Brostrom procedure (the same surgery I had) and a number of other procedures on her foot. Within these pages she chronicled her progress pre and post surgery for one year. Keep in mind - there are innumerable like-type forums, websites, and blogs on the net. But, there was something about this one. There was something about her. She included pictures of herself. She included descriptions of her procedures. She held nothing back - on good days and bad days and everything in between. At first glance I thought to myself....."a whole year? now, this is sure to get super boring!" But I gotta tell ya - even to my own surprise - I ended up reading every single post from beginning to end. It takes alot to keep my interest like that!
Yeah. I'd say she touched me. She had an impact on me. I found myself crying with her, hurting with her, taking baby steps with her, falling down with her, getting back up with her, and rejoicing with her. And when I reached the end - much like a great book or kickass concert or beach vacation - I didn't want it to be over. I wanted to hear more and learn more. That, in my humble opinion, is impact.That is influence. That is how to leave a watermark.And THAT is what I wanna do.
*pause for breathing practice and neck stretches*
Given that her journal was dated several years ago and appeared to be left untouched since, I had to wonder - did she leave it there purposely for just such a person as Moi? Did she just get caught up in the rest of her active, post-surgery life (she's a runner, as I recall) and forget it was even there? Does she herself return to it occasionally, somewhat like an old diary from one's adolescence? I dunno. But I just wonder things like that :D
I kinda wish I could thank her - Ms. Nameless Inspiration O Mine. As absurd as it sounds, I feel like I know her. Like she's my younger sister or something. I can seriously see myself hugging her and patting her on the back and saying, "YOU GO, GIRL!" Funny...
*pause for spinal twists*
Where was I again? Oh yeah - Namaha :)
So, what I want to say is - I'm gonna keep writing this blog. Until I feel like it's "done" and has served it's purpose. It's purpose for my family and friends and students. It's purpose for me. And, who knows? Perhaps it's purpose for someone who accidentally bumps into it in the year 2013.
See...I am not the only Little Yogini That Could. There are many! Who?
The senior citizen who comes to my class even when their joints ache - he/sheis a Little Yogini That Could.
My Cammie - she is a Little Yogini that Could.
The student who claimed "she would NEVER get her butt over her head for a shoulder stand" (you know who you are) - she is a Little Yogini That Could.
Mom - you are a Little Yogini That Could.
The lone, hesistant male, in a class full of females - he is a Little Yogi That Could.
Each and every one of you who live with chronic pain every day - you are a Little Yogini That Could.
You - you over there in that gorgeous triangle pose - you are a Little Yogini That Could.
You - tired Mommy, Wife, Student, Employee, and amazing Friend - yeah, you! You are a Little Yogini that Could.
Yet another student - the 5 year-old little girl who is mute - she is a Little Yogini That Could.
Emanuel - still doing yoga at 92 years old and one month before he passed. Yes, Emanuel was definitely a Little Yogi That Could.
You get it, right? It's not about me. It's about US. And, for that reason, I will continue to do this. I will continue to allow myself to be a vessel and to in turn use this blog as my vehicle. (Pun intended - it look like the Honda's gonna be parked for a while). Cuz, this is my way. And those who are meant to come along for the ride WILL. Those who get bored WON'T. And I'm totally OK with that :)
All of that being said - who's designing our T-shirts??? *smiles*
heyam duhkham-anagatam ~ That which is to be overcome is sorrow yet to come. ~
Yoga Sutra 2:16
"...physical, emotional, and mental pain are inevitable in life. Suffering is another matter. Suffering is the personalization we bring to our difficulties...Life may be difficult, but we do not need to suffer..."
How often do you choose to suffer? Yeah, I said, "choose." Don't answer that immediately - to yourself or to me. Just ponder if you care to......as am I :)
*Caution - what follows gets lengthy and may superficially appear to be nothing but nonsensical, insignificant babble. (GASP!) Read at your own risk. Or simply FF to tomorrow's blog if you just ain't in the mood for it. lol Something tells me however, that anyone who needs to read it WILL. And anyone who needs to "get it" WILL. And, if nothing else, maybe I WILL :)
I had my first official "outing" since surgery yesterday! Woooooooooot! FREEDOM! It felt sooooooooo good just to venture out, even if I only went as far as Dunkirk and Huntingtown! *THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU, TO MY LOVELY CHAUFFEUR, ELAINE!*
As part of our "date," my friend Elaine was kind enough to take me to see about getting some new shoes. Not quite sure either of us knew what we were in for!
See - about the shoes - the physician's assistant told me on Monday that I can continue to progress in weight-bearing "as tolerated" and start to practice walking. Woooooooot! However, in order to do that, I need to have a left shoe that is more even with my walking boot. OK, I guess that makes sense. She added that the up-and-down-hobbling is not helping matters with my spine, and that my hip may start to give me trouble if I continue with this "gait." Umm.....OK, I guess I'll buy that too. Thus began SHOE QUEST 2010...
I dove right into my internet research.......forums of Brostrom "survivors," suggestions from top ankle specialists, etc. Cuz, you know I'm not one to make an uneducated purchase! :) It's becoming quite apparent to me at this point that I'm not only looking for a stable and height-appropriate shoe for my left foot, but I need to keep in mind that in 4 weeks I will need a right shoe that will also be stable and will accommodate my new ASO (lace-up brace that you wear inside a shoe).
*sigh* I guess it can't be a $5 cute flip flop from Old Navy?! *double sigh*
Hmmmm....now, if you know anything about me, you know that I absolutely despise shoes of any kind. Period. But if I am going to be forced to wear something on my feet it will be a sandal or flip flop or some type of canvas slip on thing that allows my feet to move and breathe. And even that is really pushing it! So, I'm not crazy about this whole regular shoe idea. But concede that, if it's really necessary in order to help my foot heal properly, and I'm going to spend all this money, it must be a pair of shoes that I absolutely love. MUST. And they can't make my feet hot. And nothing heavy or bulky. So I get my heart set on a "stable" pair of Merrells - and yes, there is such a thing. Cute. Mesh. Comfy. With added "stability and motion control," according to the internet description. (And yes, CR, I have been wearing the Merrells you gave me, but rehab requires a closed back and higher shoe : / ) I print out the specs on the Merrells and Elaine and I head up to the hi-fi specialty shoe store.
BINGO! They have them! Woooooooot! Enter gruff, but very knowledgeable store owner, who "has been fitting orthotics for over 30 years" and very blatantly informs me that the Merrells won't do the job. Not only that, but they would do more damage than good. WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?!
Mr. Buzz Kill proceeds to measure my foot, examines the insert the Orthotics Dept. gave me and comes out with "just the right shoe for my needs." Ummmm. OK. Ummmm. He tells me to walk. Let's just say my catwalk strut ain't what it used to be! lol He calculates and rubs his chin and studies my gait. "Perfect!" sayeth He. Ummmm. Yeah. "PERFECTLY HIDEOUS!" sayeth Me (to myself, of course).
I - most diplomatically - inquire if there is a comparable New Balance shoe available as a consolation prize. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. I admit, the New Balances feel pretty good, and are at least less...ahem...conspicuous than the others. I meander over to the full length mirror. I gaze at the reflection, and can't help but wonder....."Who is that girl? Cuz, that certainly ain't ME! Not with that black monstrosity on one foot, a senior citizen shoe on the other, and *egads*look at that off-kilter Mountain Pose! No way. Nope. And if it is me, how the hell did I end up here and looking like this? That's what I wanna know!" Pivotal.
Meanwhile, Mr. BK tells me to stand up straight and look straight ahead. Um. I already am, Dude. And, did I mention that I recently got run over by a truck? (literally!)
*sigh* I meander back over to the big leather chair (they don't have those in Sports Authority, now do they?) and allow myself to just collapse into it. As ridiculous as it may sound, I feel defeated. I sit and bite my lip while Elaine and Mr. BK engage in small talk. I chew the inside of my cheek and eye, one last time, the Merrells and wide array of cute (yet, orthotic) sandals displayed on the wall. And, OK, I'll go ahead and admit right now to being a mopey, bad attitude brat, and silently exclaiming to myself, "now this just friggn BITES." Hey, at least I'm woman enough to admit it! :-)
End result? I left without shoes.
Yep, you read that right. Hobbled out. Unevenly. Up and down - up and down - up and down. Not doing justice to my poor feet. Or my spine.
Clearly, I need a little time...
Time to swallow and come better prepared for the absurd price of real shoes. Seriously, I was totally clueless.
Time to learn to how to fully respect and appreciate something most of us take for granted - our feet!The complexity of the human body, and how our feet affect the rest of our Whole Self. Surely, I have a new appreciation and respect for the elderly and diabetics after yesterday.
Time to adjust my attitude. And come to terms with the union of two totally unrelated terms in the World According to Tina - "summertime" and "socks and shoes" - as silly as that may seem to everyone else. Oh yeah, Mr. BK lectured me about socks as well. Time to process and absorb and really GET the lessons - cuz I know they're there - hidden in the everyday experiences of this healing journey...even when it's as "simple" as buying shoes.
Time to acknowledge and accept the magnitude of my condition. I have a long road ahead of me. From what I've gathered, the entire healing process from this surgery is about a year; and that's independent of my spinal cord injury. Honestly, to date, I think I've been slightly remiss and unfair to myself.
*Rewind to the Yoga Sutras and Judith Lasater.* So, how does this all relate to suffering? From my perspective, some bigger and much more important choices have been presented to me (and maybe others if you're still with me here) in the form of a Shoe Quest parable. I can:
a. continue to stroke my own Ego, resist, and fight this whole thing tooth and nail = suffering. hobbling. uneven. off balance. even to the point of risking additional damage to my body, which equals what? more suffering. But, "STILL IN CONTROL," sayeth Her Majesty, the Mega Ego.
b. practice acceptance. relinquish control. let's face it - control is underrated and merely an illusion anyway.
That is to say... Yanno - Mr. Buzz Kill is not my boss. Nor is Dr. Holt. Nor are the physical therapists. In fact, NO ONE is my boss. I can do as I damn well please. I can go barefoot if I want to. I can buy cute shoes if I want to. Hell, I can take this boot off right now and walk around in the backyard if I want to. I can allow Ms. Mega Ego to be IN CONTROL! But.....I would only be causing myself unnecessary suffering in the long run. Physical suffering. Mental suffering. Emotional suffering.
See? Get it? I think I do :) And, if I just spent an hour of my time processing that, creating a shortcut for myself and others, and attempting to put it into words for OUR future use to save us some time and heartache, well then...
(Duke expresses his sentiments about shoe shenanigans)
So...a dear friend, client, and fellow yogini extraordinaire (thanks, Carolyn) suggested I devise a centralized way to post "from the road" as I embark on this healing journey. No worries - the car's in PARK, for now at least. DO make yourself at home. DO stay as long as you like. DO send me love notes! DO bookmark this page and float in and out at your leisure. I'll be here - foot in the air and doggie nursemaid at my side! All wine, cheese, and dark chocolate donations will be graciously accepted :D
TLYTC's Tribe, Comrades, Sisters, Mentors, Accomplices, Muses, Defenders, Circle of Light