Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Change: 23

Finding Our Feet
(This is an ongoing story. If you want to start at the beginning, click here.)

A week or so ago, I spent some time complaining about my foot to Jillian the Yoga Teacher.  Her advice was to treat the pain more like an injury – stay off it, ice it, massage it. She thought that treating it with healing compassion might offer better results than just plowing through life like I’m doing now.

I tried to hear what she was saying, but a loud voice in my head drowned her out, and that loud voice said, “Flash Mob! Flash Mob! Flash Mob!”

By then I’d only been to one flash mob rehearsal, and it left me nearly crippled by the end of the day. Surely, people with serious injuries should not partake in flash mobs, a thought I did not care to entertain.

Jillian spoke again to me about the profound effect of “finding your feet.” She said, “When you can completely connect to the ground and then feel it up here, it’s one of the most amazing feelings you’ll ever have in your life.”

When she said, “Up here,” she patted her upper chest with her hands. She said, “I don’t mean just feel your feet up here,” she said, “I mean feel everything. Because when you ground yourself like that, a lot of emotion can come up.”

It was not her clavicle or ribs she was talking about when she patted herself.  It was her heart.

She talked about facing fears and experiencing grief and all of those things that yogis talk about – feeling our power in the world, feeling a sense of belonging,  connectedness, worthiness, peace.

As she spoke, I felt myself shutting down. I did NOT want to pass up this flash mob and I did NOT want to start feeling a whole slew of pesky emotions. My throat tightened while I listened to her, making me think there might be some merit to what she was saying. (At least about the pent up feelings part.) So I tried to stay as open as I could to hearing her but I tuned a lot of it out.  Then I went home and cried.

Since then, I have been taking extra good care of my feet. Ice. Gentle massage. No undue stressors. I’ve modified my morning yoga routine to include a lot of Tadasana (Mountain Pose), which is basically just standing tall with your hands in prayer at your heart, feeling the earth and finding your feet.

For the first few days, just moving into that pose made me sob. Not in physical pain, but in emotional pain. I worked really hard at staying with the feelings…following them and seeing what was behind them, but I can’t say I gleaned any clarity. Except when I become really conscious of “finding my feet,” my throat tightens. And I keep hearing a voice in my head say over and over: “Please. Don’t go.”


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