Recently, I enjoyed something of a revelation within my body which relates in no small part to some other shafts of light that have been making way into my life these days. I celebrate my joy and relief by sharing them here.
With my tailbone injury comes a fair amount of tension along my spine that radiates out to the rest of my body. I keep that tension in check with the deliberate movements that make up my regular Pilates practice. And I get support from various practitioners to slowly whittle away at the underlying tension patterns that have a hold on me. It would seem that I’m making headway because recently I was able to feel something entirely new and gratifying. In sitting and nursing, I often feel discomfort across my upper back. I’ve known for years that this is indicative of my seated posture, I’ve even known how to change my posture. But my body was under too much load to integrate the change. In short, the pain remained no matter what adjustments I made. (Movement has been the saving grace, I just keep moving and that has kept much of the pain at bay.) But on this occasion, I was able to make the appropriate change, which is to sit upon my hips rather than slumping into them. Instantly, my upper back pain disappeared! This brought about a sense of relief that has been years in the making.
In a completely different area of my life, I’m enjoying a whole now sense of happiness and self-empowerment. My son is nearly two and a half years old now and he’s entering a new phase of independent play. One of the gals who has helped us with caring for him while I work, is leaving us because she found a full-time position that better suits her needs. For a while I was struggling with how to re-organize our childcare arrangements and it finally dawned on me that it’s time for me to have less help and more time with my boy. I can’t exactly describe the cascading benefits of this choice that I made other than to say that it was clearly the best scenario for both of us. I partly attribute this to having passed through a rough place in my own personal healing process that becoming a mother initiated for me. I share this because it is my belief that parenting presents us each with opportunities for healing old and long forgotten wounds. The experience of tending to those wounds is not fun and not commonly embraced or even acknowledged in our collective conversations, which makes the challenge of it that much more than some of us would like to bear. But coming through to the other side, has been such a clearing that it almost makes me eager for the next challenge that will inevitably come my way.
These two experiences put together bring to my mind another idea that’s been brewing since I put Rupam’s suggestion into practice. If I think of my body as a vessel, then it makes the most sense to fill that vessel with love and light. In doing so I expose the feelings and emotions that the dark thoughts in the recesses of my mind have embodied within my physical form. The more that I fill my body with love, gratitude, forgiveness, and acknowledgement of that which hasn’t best served me, the more I clear out the dark places and complete myself. In the physical sense I have noticed a spaciousness that comes with this clearing process. That makes room for the constant expansion that drives so much of what I do. I applied this idea to my Pilates practice one day when I was feeling particularly stiff and sluggish. The result was immediate: the entirety of my body opened and released. I was longer, lighter, and more supple instantly.
We cannot always bypass the challenges that face us. Often the only way is through. And I’d argue that going through, rather than over or under, affords us the best opportunities for growth and empowerment. In the face of adversity, we can honor ourselves. We can focus on love and light. We can give ourselves the best possible support for making the hard journey. And we can assure ourselves, that we will eventually arrive at a clearing.