glow notes

Thursday, August 18, 2005

rhythms of change

Recovery from my hip/low back injuries was a looooong slow process (12 years). Same with my elbow tendon injury, though that was only about a year.

One of the steps along the way for me is this point where I get a clear picture of what it would look like to live without that pain. What would it feel like, how would I move, how would I get out of bed in the morning, dance, run, play, make love, eat, breathe.

Would I wear my hair the same way without back pain? Would I have the same job?

These may seem like silly questions to ask about a body ache, but the thing is, I don't think so. Our bodies are the vehicles through which we outpicture our spiritual existence, and being in pain - or feeling blissful - impacts who we are, how we interact with others, the choices we make.

Any actor knows the impact of adding a limp, a facial tic, or a slumped posture on character. Character is not just about acting, it's about who you are. And we've all probably felt fat or frumpy on a particular day, for whatever reason, and then, again for whatever reason (a sincere compliment, a bit of well-applied self talk, a good workout, etc.) felt like a shiny god(dess).

Back when my hips and back hurt, as I was doing yoga, I would ask myself those questions about how it would look/feel to be without the pain. Free my inner Mind said. Free free free free free free free. I would run, jump, dance, and sit with exuberance. I would be unconstrained and full of childish laughter. I would be fearless. I would never have heard of fear.

And it is wonderful to put on running shoes and just go, without fear of pain, just the air in my lungs, the sound of my heart beating. It is wonderful to move freely. It is affecting the choices I make each day and how I interact with the world and people in it. It has freed me up for something new and wonderful that's just beginning. It's about much more than physical pain - or, rather, my body isn't separate from my mind or my spirit.

These things are layered, in my experience. Get rid of one pain or emotional constriction, start working on the next. That sounds sort of depressing, but it's not. It's wonderful. Because each step reveals a precious layer of essential, pure self. It's always there, it's never gone, but it's constricted, bound up, and it feels so good to rediscover it.

And that pure self? It's always giving you taps on the shoulder. Helloooooo it might say could we please take care of this issue so we can be even more joyful and free? Don't mind me, I'm just going to give you this little migraine to get your attention. Love you, g'night!

Last night my incredible, wonderful, gorgeous new girlfriend Aleila gave me the most blissful 2 hour massage I've ever had. I've had a lot of massages. And I've had long massages, and wonderful massages. But this massage, it was deeper than muscles and tendons and joints. I had that experience I mentioned earlier, of beginning to picture what it would be like to live without a pain.

What would it be like, my inner self asked, to live without always trying to control the world around you and everything in it. What would it feel like not to manage other people's emotions and reactions? What would it be like to be yourself one-hundred percent, straight from the heart? How would it feel to allow a bit of chaos around you and know that you're still grounded in yourself. How would all of that feel?

Like God exhaling, so deep and complete.
Pure release.

I slipped into sleep like diving under a warm ocean wave. I slept cradled in the rhythm of that wave. I woke up with the sound of the ocean in my eardrums, the rhythm in my blood, a drumbeat calling me home.


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