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From Dancing Toes to All my Woes August 24, 2011

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What is it about life that can have us floating around one moment and then completely grounded the next? Is it mother earth’s way of keeping us in check? Is it our collective consciousness seeking balance? Is it just a way for our higher selves to foster change so that we can grow and expand our awareness?

Although I would prefer to live behind rose colored sunglasses, I do get that being deeply connected to mankind requires doing a little soul searching, which means allowing our lives to ebb and flow through life’s highs and lows. This gives us the ability to stay grounded and connected and to have compassion, but it doesn’t always come so easily.

Before Saturday, I was gleaming from leaving corporate to pursue my passion to teach. My relationship was feeling rich and abundant and I was savoring every moment of my insatiable life. The sun was shining bright on my face, as we drove up in the convertible to the lake. I was smiling ear to ear sipping on a latte while all 10 toes danced happily across the dashboard.

That was obviously my high. The low came several hours later when I was thrown off a jet ski. I’m not exactly sure how it all went down because it happened so fast, but the impact of the water felt like a brick hit my face. I thought I was knocked unconscious until I realized there was blood running down my face.

I spent the next 48 hours in an extreme amount of pain. Everything from my teeth to the top of my head throbbed and the left side of my neck ached. Usually my life flows and I’m able to go where the wind takes me, but when I’m physically thrown off center, my mind becomes controlling and incessant.

Mind: Don’t be a baby … be strong … brush it off … it’s no big deal … it’s just a tiny little cut

Self: It is a big deal … it scared the shit out of me … I’m in a lot of pain … my whole face is throbbing … I think I might pass out

Mind: You’re going to ruin everyone’s evening … get it together

Self: How do I know if I’m okay … how do I know if I need stitches … what if I have a concussion … should I call my mom … I shouldn’t worry her … can I take Tylenol and Advil together … how much can I take … what just happened … I’m feeling faint … I really think I’m going to pass out

And the Mind went on and on through the next day too …

Mind: This is the first weekend in a while you don’t have to teach … you should get up and take a yoga class … you’re head doesn’t hurt that bad … you’re fine … now get up

Self: It’s okay to rest and take it easy and watch chick flicks all day … laying on the couch and eating pizza and ice cream is okay

Mind: Now you’re the victim and all this laying around and eating crap is going to make you feel worse … you should’ve gone to yoga … you’re being such a baby

Self: Shut up … I don’t have to be a tough girl … I’m not a tough girl … my  head hurts and I want to cry

And on and on it went …

After all the mindless noise began to settle, I found myself contemplating the bigger picture. Accidents happen and it could’ve been worse so I start thinking about the things that are really important to me like having a family and being a wife and a mom. My mind wants to label this analytical thinking, as bad, but is it? Life is way too short and perhaps this is why things like this happen in our lives … to get us thinking about things that matter.

If we were always floating around with our heads in the clouds we would never be forced to go deeper in to our selves and so although we must let go to a certain extent and accept our lives and allow them the flow organically, there’s something to be said about making conscious decisions. We have to use life, as a tool, and accidents, illness, and life’s challenges are a way of teaching us to connect to the body and get in touch with what’s important.

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Getting back on the mat July 24, 2008

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My teacher sent me a powerful email, which spoke to me on a deep level. Without going in to detail, she basically told me I needed to get back on the mat and as soon as possible. She was right. I allowed fear to overwhelm me when the doctor said I couldn’t practice because of my injury. I felt hopeless and defeated and I allowed myself to fall in to a place of feeling sorry for myself. I tried to find the beauty in what was happening, but I lost myself and allowed lower emotions to take over. 

Anger, fear, and hurt are emotions that will snowball if permitted. All you need to do is give them a little power by focusing on them and they will destroy you in a minute…flattening you like a human crepe. All it takes is the ego creeping in with negative thoughts and you’ll find yourself spinning out of control. It’s an awful feeling to feel powerless, but sometimes all you have to do is be aware of what’s happening and then you can gain back some momentum. If you try and repress what you’re going through then you’ll probably sit in the drama a little longer than if you surrender and let go.

All you need sometimes is a reminder of who you are and what you are capable of and then suddenly you’re up and running again. A sliver of light comes through and you start to remember your purpose and drive. My teacher’s email was the ray of light, as she reminded me of something very important. She said, “Use your injury to be a better teacher and your neck shouldn’t stop you from teaching or doing yoga…you can’t let it stop you…not as important as yoga is to you…so I say to you get back on the mat…” She reminded me I was a healer and needed to sit down and do some energy work on myself. Why are we the last to heal ourselves? We’re always about teaching and healing and doing right by others, but then we leave ourselves high and dry.

She was right. I stopped feeling sorry for myself and got back on the mat. Of course I was limited as to what I could do, but I was moving and breathing and opening myself up instead of getting stuck in the trauma around my neck. Sometimes you have to make a choice…do I want to be a victim or do I want to truly heal and move past the thing that is holding me back. Fear will paralyze you and hold you down so let go and surrender so you can rise above the thoughts to that place of pure consciousness where true healing can begin.

I meditated and then did some self pranic healing. I cleansed my room with sage and then rolled up my mat and went to bed. I woke up feeling empowered and more alive than ever. The victim was gone…there was no more feeling sorry for myself. It was a new day and I was ready to conquer the world. My grounding was back and I vowed to use my injury as a beautiful gift to relate to people and the limitations they face. What happened to me is helping me understand my body more and be more gentle with myself as I flow in and out of poses. It is making me more aware of myself and my students. Injuries help us cultivate more compassion and loving kindness so stop feeling sorry for yourself, roll out your mat, and practice. Be gentle with yourself and make space around the injury…do not become the injury! Namaste



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