Sprained my low back the other day while leaping up to answer the phone. Ouch!! Not what you want with packing boxes stacked in the middle of the room ready for many trips up and down stairs. But the gift was in remembering a lesson I learned during another move…
Fifteen years ago I sprained my low back during the middle of a move to a new town, which might as well have been a whole new world. Everything was changing: neighborhood, friends, career, and lifestyle. After days of agony, painkillers and yoga stretches, I reached out to a friend who teaches Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy. This modality features a privately facilitated session combined with introspection, body-mind psychology and intuitive movement aimed at healing the inner issue and bringing subsequent outer relief. Upon arrival at the session, my statement was “My back hurts. I just can’t move!” Then the realization “Ahh, I just can’t move.” I quickly realized then (and again yesterday), that the packing boxes may be ready to go, and the vision for my new space may be bright and shiny. But I hadn’t yet given proper thanks for the journey, or grieved the dreams that were lost along the way.
So yesterday I gingerly got out of bed, lit a candle and smudge stick, then blessed my Self, the cabin, the experiences and the people who have deeply impacted my life. After a good cry, I took the candle outdoors to the burning barrel, and set fire to some old pictures, journal entries, checkbooks, and a poster with the message “Hope, Sweet, Hope.” What I have come to learn recently is that hope equates to my version of life according to how I think it should be. And when it doesn’t go according to plan, I give up hope and things seem, well, hopeless.
Which is not necessarily a bad thing, as this story unfolds. During the past few months/years/decades, romantic fantasies of harmoniously keeping house with a loved one have dwindled, rekindled, then faded again. When I finally gave up hope, reality smacked me upside the head and I came crashing back down to earth. That dark night found me sobbing, every childhood fear came to the surface, and hope for a “better” life was nowhere to be found. But thanks to my yoga training, I was able to breathe through the emotions, knowing that Grace is always present when I relax into what is.
Within a day, my life miraculously transformed! Just by showing up, I gave and received many beautiful gifts. Friendship. Hugs. Herbs. Delicious foods. Songs and stories. A friend’s empowering belief that I am indeed able to create a beautiful, healthy home and garden of my own. My own strength coming back into play. An offer of financing and pre-approved loan. A greatly reduced foreclosure. A closing date in a few more days…
This morning, one day after my fire ceremony, I leapt out of bed, pain-free. Excited about life. Surrendered to what is. Open to opportunities. Sharing my gifts. Transformed with Grace.
Think: Are you feeling hopeless about some aspect of your life? Know that this is just a part of yourself that is waiting to be transformed. Relax. The only thing required at this moment is to take a breath. Just one. Just breathe.
Say: Say what is bothering you. If that aspect of your life could talk to you, what would it say? Journal the answer. Tell a trusted friend. Work with a professional therapist or counselor.
Do: Know that life can profoundly change in an instant. In a day. In a year. Give thanks for your journey. Say goodbye to whatever is no longer serving your highest purpose. Stay in the present. Welcome the new.