I wrapped myself in sunny afternoon silence as the new year was about to dawn and considered what takeaways I had gleaned from 2013 that may benefit others as we open the door to a new year.
The past year pulled and pushed me in more ways than I know how to describe. As walked a painful path, I found myself grateful to have some reliable tools to support me.
If you’re wondering what was served up to me in 2013, I’ll share in brief that I’m in my third year of being unable to walk with any degree of comfort. My legs have thinned - the once bounteous cycling thighs now reduced to skinny limbs. While the torn hip cartilage set me on this path, the descending spiral had most certainly already begun - likely some 20 years ago. My sense is that trauma sent me folding into the comfortable yet dysfunctional curves of my scoliotic spine, and it’s only been the past 18 months that have revealed how settled I’ve become in this circuitous pattern. The imbalances and compensations have resulted in atrophied muscles longing to be used and so, the commitment to body with an arduous and consistent weight-lifting regimen has become a primary focus.
I feel I’ve lifted out of the dredges of deep, unrelenting pain - this lasted just over a year. And soreness -- sweet soreness -- is a welcome change as I begin to resuscitate these legs.
It’s a gross understatement to say this path has been challenging. There are times that it has brought me to my knees, has unveiled tremendous grief, has kept me up nights wondering when and if there will be a reprieve from the discomfort of what I’m undertaking. Nowhere can I find stories of others who have unwound years of bodily dysfunction, and I’ve sometimes felt very lonely in the midst of my situation.
And so, it’s been necessary for me to hunker down and pull out the tools I’ve been gifted over the years. I felt some of these may be helpful for you as well ~
1. Follow the still small voice.
We all hold doubts at some point along our path. Perhaps you’re feeling pain or grief, feel misguided or unsure of yourself. These doubts and emotions will likely be reflected back to you ~ often through your closest family and friends. This only compounds the discomfort.
This year, my most consistent touchstone was found when I quieted myself, listened intently to the voice of my heart and followed its lead. No one can tell you what's best for you; only you can check in and know your own truth. Listening, hearing and holding this truth in your heart again and again will provide stability and comfort on your path.
It’s worth taking time to listen.
2. Curiosity yields the most awesome gifts.
Every day holds new energy and wonderful surprises. However, they may arrive in packages that are torn or disheveled, they may appear out of balance or be something you associate with discomfort. Holding judgment about how things appear can keep the true gifts out of reach. When we’re open to possibility - curious about what lies within - the gifts that reveal themselves will often be drenched in synchronicity, significance and depth.
When you feel yourself sliding into judgment, use that as a cue to become curious. I wonder what may happen next . . .
3. Transformation calls for commitment ~ and we can ask for help.
It's been my experience that the uncomfortable places often hold keys to transformation. No doubt we can transform ourselves to some extent in a gentle, easy way, but if the road less travelled is the one that calls, it's important to take it ~ even if it feels forboding.
I've made a commitment to myself to support my body in ways that will help it to walk with comfort and ease. Sometimes this work is so painful that I hold doubts about my ability to get to the other side. This is when I call in my helpers and guides, my angels and ancestors. They have lifted me up, have grounded me, have carried me through my personal fires and are helping me to build the core strength necessary to walk in the world in a new way.
Transformation seeks commitment - commitment to open the heart to receive something so huge as the dreams we hold. This also includes the commitment to asking for needed help and being open to receiving it.
4. Art heals.
I used to view my art as an extra activity ~ something fun to do in my spare time. I now know my creativity as an integral part of my life's experience. My interaction with art is like sitting with a good friend who reflects back to me exactly what I need to move forward. Doing art soothes, informs, sometimes challenges and most certainly aids in transformation. It offers up mystery in the way it portrays symbols, it causes me to ask questions, encourages me to take the next step and, yes, it's fun.
So, pull out your crayons, your journal, your palette, paints and clay and open yourself to what's flowing through. Now is always a good time to create.
5. Gratitude - always.
We're surrounded by beauty and abundance, but often get too caught up in the busy-ness of life to notice the angels in our midst, those little things that can brighten our day. Holding a sense of gratitude expands our attention to the smallest gifts, it opens our heart wide and allows in much more than we could ever have expected.
We only come this way once; be sure to take it in reverently. Thank you.