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Thursday, April 01, 2010

tranquil space newsletter musing: lessons off the mat

"no matter how cold the winter, spring is sure to follow." - proverb

life is full of lessons. some welcomed. some not-so-welcomed. i've been "blessed" with an interesting one of my own this past week: shoulder surgery! in december 2008 i began having a tweak in my shoulder, but carried on assuming it would pass. finally, growing frustrated, i headed to an ortho last summer, began physical therapy, and even got a cortisone injection. ouch! feeling pain i returned this year for an MRI and they found a bone spur which would require surgery. got it scheduled and was wheeled in donning blue attire last thursday. whew, what a week!

my normal modus operandi has been turned upside down. of course when i got home from surgery i was still numb so i whipped out my laptop, carried flowers, candles, and incense into the bedroom, and feel into my old patterns. as the numbness wore off, i was a mess. couldn't move, get comfortable, eat, or e-mail! my excitement over being able to rest for a few days was slowly wearing off and reality was setting in. this surgery was a big deal. not only did he remove the bone spur, but he found the dreaded rotator cuff tear that means months of healing versus weeks! uh oh. looks like i'll be sans chaturanga for awhile.

this past week has been full of lessons and it felt apropos to share these in my april muse. patterns are hard to break. pema chodren sums this up beautifully in wisdom of no escape where she writes that the same old demons (lessons) will continue to show up until we learn the lessons they came to teach us. hmmmm.

over the past decade i've become addicted to rushing from meeting to meeting, being accessible via email at all times (cut off the cell phone addiction a few years ago - yay!), overscheduling, wanting a quick fix (i'm the one in meditation workshops asking, "so what is the perfect formula?"), and juggling multiple projects and deadlines at once. is this surgery going to stop this addiction? i don't know the answer to that one, but i will share that it has forced me to slow down substantially. for most of this week i've been handling e-mails, shipping online TranquiliT orders, and doing day-to-day tasks with my non-dominant hand. clearly, that slows down the process.

i've been savoring the *most* phenomenal book over the past month called the not so big life and i can't recommend it highly enough. the premise of the book is to slow down, savor, single task, and still get things down. written from a zen perspective, it is the perfect off the yoga mat book! this book plus my surgery is sure to instill some change.

as spring blossoms around us, i, too, hope to bloom in a new way. due to my MSW class schedule, my teaching schedule will shift this summer into the following year. i've held tight to my classes, even teaching on my birthday or getting back in town early to teach. life has a way of shaking things up so we don't get comfortable. this change coupled with my forced slowing down, healing and recovery process, and dedication to living "the not so big life" is sure to have an impact. i look forward to sharing the journey with you on my blog, tranquility du jour, and through my monthly musings here.

may this new month and fresh season offer you, too, a chance to reflect on patterns that feel out of sync. how can you bring more mindfulness into your every day? what is calling for attention deep within? listen intently or it may come forth without a pretty bow tied around it (ex. forced slowing down due to surgery). life is full of lessons and discoveries. if only we'll listen. sip tea. take a walk. do legs up the wall. write in your journal. bask in being.

your soul with thank you.


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Analiese said...

I love that you are using what some people might view as a setback as an opportunity to recommit to mindfulness and self-care. You are such an inspiration!

I, too, loved "The Not So Big Life." It's such a wise concept. If you're enjoying that, you might also like Carl Honore's "In Praise of Slowness," about creating a life in tune with our natural rhythm and letting go of our need for speed!

Mindy said...

Dear Kimberly,

Thank you for this post. It is important to share our struggles so that we can learn from each other. I am do-er - in - reform as well, working to incorporate more "being" and less "doing" into my life. It is a work in progress and I truly believe awareness is a big step in the change process! So you have already made a big step!



Leslie said...

So sorry to hear about your shoulder injuries. I know, if anyone can, YOU will be able to savor this time! You're in my thoughts.


Anonymous said...

I am running into that issue as well, where I run and run and don't have time for myself to heal. If I give myself time, I feel guilty for spending time on me and not others. But, in order for us to care for others we need to care for ourselves first. Take care Kimberly! Feel better!