Acceptance

7 12 2014

Well, it was almost a year ago that I chose my New Year’s word. Rather than go through the silliness of a resolution which literately ends up being thrown to the wayside, I took a friend’s advice and chose my Word for the year.

As soon as I saw her facebook post about choosing a word, Acceptance popped into my brain out of nowhere. I pondered it for days, wondering if any others would rear their literary and karmic head, guiding me onto a more compassionate level of human understanding. But no, Acceptance was the only one that clanged and resonated for me. At the time I thought it would be accepting others…. Acceptance of my boss’s moods, that cranky cashier, the kid who teases my daughter. Or that I was feeling left out of some of my friends’ lives, with me working almost full time and not being in their immediate circle. Or any of the other external sources of worry and fret.

No. I wasn’t prepared for the truest meaning of Acceptance; to be drawn inward like a long slow inhale. As I ventured through this year, I was met with several hurdles to cross. Mostly physical within my own body and mind. I realized as I navigated pain and a desperate feeling of being let down by my own body that I was to accept what was. It never meant that it was the way it was to be forever, and even now as I mumble my way through chronic pain and this ongoing irritation of what SHOULD be rather than what IS, I humbly realize that I must accept.

Accept it, rest and acknowledge. Accept and allow. Accept and move forward. Accept and respect. Accept and honour.

It has been a year that I met with several instances of physical issues, mostly my lower back and stomach. Throw in chronic migraines and other odd and sometimes alarming symptoms are usually met with me panicking and imagining the absolute worst. But there was that word… It just kept popping up for me, time and time again.

I accept that I will never deadlift.

I accept that my body is starting its aging process in a way that threw me for a loop.

I accept I need to nurture my self and give in to rest.

I accept I have a hard time listening to advice.

I accept that I will always have pain.

I accept that I can and will continue on with my healing.

I accept that I am still strong, just in a different way. I will never have the washboard stomach of a 20 year old, and I accept that maybe, I just don’t really need to.

I am now starting to wonder what word will blast and burrow into my mind for this upcoming year. I am anticipating it with a child’s wonder. What will my innermost self tell me what I need to know? And how will that guide me?

 

 

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If you guys really know me, you’ll get this…..

27 06 2014

One day my boss (a doctor) hired a man to mount a TV support on the wall of his office so he could hook up his ultrasound to the television in order to do injections on patients for the pain clinic I work in.

The older fellow came out at one point, asking “where the guys are”. I told him they were both in with patients and couldn’t be disturbed. He looked like he needed help, and so as I was not so busy at that moment, I offered my assistance.

He looked at me (literally, up and down) and said (with a slightly condescending smile):

“Oh, no. I need a man. I need to lift a heavy piece of metal to the wall to mount the TV on.”

I said: “Oh.”

He smiled at me, but then he read the expression on my face.

The expression on my face was a cross between subtle disgust and disdain, topped off with a raised eyebrow. I slowly crossed my arms and waited for a second. And then I said: “Let’s just see if I can lift it before disturbing the doctor.”

WHAT I REALLY WANTED TO SAY WAS THIS:

Oh, I beg your pardon. Does my vagina get in the way of lifting something that is roughly the same weight as a load of laundry and a toddler? Or four bags of groceries hanging off one arm while I close the trunk with my right foot (while in high heels)? Or the cord of firewood I loaded last weekend for my father in law? Or the furniture I move on a regular basis to clean? Or the fact that I can run 800 meters as a warm up and then go on to complete a WOD that includes push presses, burpees, lunges and pull-ups that would make you weep?

Right. That damn vagina of mine.

He LITERALLY backpedalled you guys… right into the office.

I marched in there (in my heels and skirt, y’all) and lifted that motherfucking mount up onto the wall and asked “Is here good?”

He agreed it was the perfect place and proceeded to place the mounting brackets while I patiently waited, bracing it up against the wall, while I admired my flexed biceps AND my pretty painted nails.

After it was all installed, he complimented my strength. And so I thanked him.

 

 

 

 

 





Reconnected and it feels so good….

11 11 2013

There has been some emptiness in my life lately and I have been struggling to define it, to discover the source and to fill it all back up.

Life, this crazy chaotic thing that has this ability to toss us about in a storm of kids soccer games, work, doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning, working out, somehow trying to  make time for everything. Everything! The source of all our ability to at least try to keep up with life is within us. And we know all too well that if we do not give to ourselves then we cannot give to others.

We all get lost in our way of what we feel we need to give ourselves. I started to work out a lot the last couple years, indulging in high intensity interval training and dabbling in Crossfit. And whoa, did I (and do I) ever love it. I love that muscle soreness the next day, I love the end of a workout and being amazed at what my body just did. I loved seeing muscle definition where there was none before. I feel so good about my health and how I look and feel. It’s really an addiction, a very healthy one. Unfortunately for me I have been struggling with a lower back issue for the last four to five weeks that has brought a full screeching stop to my intense workouts. Frustrating to no end, let me tell you. I felt disconnected with my body and my old nemesis of depressive traits that have haunted me for years began whispering in my ears again. I found myself treading into the territory of self-doubt and soul-crushing sadness. I felt ready to cry at the drop of a hat. Stress built up in me: I had days of migraines and my stomach issues flared again. I marched on, missing my old happy self, missing something I could not define. But then one day, I realized that I had truly not been on my yoga mat for months.

Oh, right, I remember now, I said to myself. I unrolled my mat and lit a candle. I sat cross-legged, folded my hands in prayer in front of my heart. I closed my eyes and then I breathed. Long drawn-in breaths and exhales that began to calm me. It was like I hadn’t breathed in weeks. Every cell in my body was shriveled up, but in this feast of oxygen and awareness, they plumped up again. My breath became an ocean of waves, each one bringing a taste of awareness and each outgoing current taking my worries away. I don’t know how long I sat there, breathing. Frankly, it doesn’t matter. When I let my eyes open and allowed the world to saturate back into my mind, I felt lighter. I moved on to a deep yoga practice that left me feeling limber and elongated and completely whole again.

In all my life I have never known a love like I have for this practice of yoga. It makes me a better woman, when I give myself ME. In turn, I am more loving to my husband and my children. I reach out to my friends more readily without judgement. I am more patient at work and in the world. I see more beauty, I laugh more. I am more me when I give myself time on my mat. And I felt so terribly sad that I had let this slip by the wayside. Yoga was like a forgotten friend, patiently waiting for me to pick up the phone and call.

This is not to say I won’t continue to work out as I do. (Hell no…that’s far too much a part of me as well.)  But I deeply believe that we all need to give ourselves some form of quiet reconnection to ourselves, where we can listen to what our soul needs to say. Where we can be quiet and humble and satiated in our breath. Whether it’s a hot bath, a walk in the woods or a yoga practice with meditation, it really doesn’t matter. As long as we give our selves what we truly need. A connection with our own body, mind and soul.