There aren’t a lot of people who know this but, for the last few years
(meaning, really since a car accident in 7th grade) I’ve lived in a state of constant pain. Some days that pain is huge and significant, some days it actually seems rather trivial, but the point is, I’m always acutely aware of its changing state.
Because this pain has lasted years, it’s been with me throughout a lot of struggle that hasn’t been seemed physical at all. There’s been some psychic pain, emotional pain, innumerable stress triggers that either made my pain unbearable or indiscernible depending on how my body needed to cope and aid in my basic survival.
And I’m not telling you this so that you can feel bad for me
(I mean, feel free to, but I should be honest and let you know it really won’t help us get to the point or your own healing any faster). I’m telling you this because now, at this point in my life, I’m probably more happy than I’ve ever been before. I’m much better able to handle life’s shiftings than I’ve ever been before. And ironically, I’m in much more physical pain, daily, than I’ve ever experienced in life.
Again, I’m not revealing this for your sympathy. I’m sharing this so that I can help you understand my real point: consciousness heals.
I know. What the f*ck am I talking about and what do these yoga shadows have to do with anything?
Well, honestly, I’ve always been active
(give or take the 7 years I’ve devoted to not dying in grad school) and I’ve been doing yoga in some form for the last 3 years (really only super seriously since August 2013).
What I’ve learned through all of the pain + developing a serious yoga practice in addition to "my new workout situation" is that … well … only when you’re truly conscious, when you truly allow yourself to feel, can you allow yourself to shift and transform.
How do I know this? Well … remember those 7 years of grad school? They were completely traumatic. There was family death, borderline poverty, breakup after breakup, fake makeups, and then … well … there was grad school. And in all that time, I never had a serious practice of consciousness (ok well, this last year not included) to accompany the continuous task of having to survive.
There was a lot of hiding from feelings. A lot of check-ins. A lot of “oh shit! Let me pay attention right now so I don’t die because shit is clearly f*cked!” You get where this is going. So in that time, where so much of my brain space was focused externally, so much of my energy was being spent on putting out hypothetical fires, there was very little focus placed on my physical wants and needs. Honestly, there was very little emphasis placed on my wants and needs, period.
So … now … that I’m happy beyond belief and actively very rarely in any state of panic … and really (sometimes, entirely too) aware of my own body, I’m finally feeling the pain.
The pain from years of not stretching after having spent more than half my life as a dancer that stretched every day, from years of not lifting after having spent 4 years doing so almost every day for shot put and discus, from years of not running after 5 years of doing so every day for volleyball or basketball or track …
And it was only in my becoming conscious of myself and my needs that I could really feel … I could really allow my physical needs to register loudly and clearly, outshouting the need for security or financial stability or love or acceptance. And in feeling that pain, I was able to shift, not simply throwing myself in and out of any new workout regimen as I please (as I had in the past … most likely doing more damage than anything else), but rather creating a real system of love and care and attention to the areas of my body asking to be rebuilt. And the pain is again shifting: from sharp or nagging cries for attention to a soreness indicating that I’m changing … and for the better. And I’m fine with that.
And I know that I said this was about your healing but then continued to drone on and on about myself … but … at least you’re paying attention now.
So … Are you feeling? Are you hurting? What do you need?
You may not know right now. But don’t be afraid to keep asking.
Today’s Mantra: Consciousness heals.
When I remain present, I can address my own needs. I am more than equipped to execute my own healing.
A small prayer ushered up from me to the farthest corners of my universe,