Recently I have been overwhelmed. I’m sure you know how it feels. Just when you think things can’t get busier, they do and then they get busier again.
It’s all great stuff, I’m in a place of taking in a lot of new information, learning a ton of new skills every day, connecting with lots of interesting yoga people. I feel very alive and connected to my purpose. And I feel a little out of control, caught up in a whirlwind of my own creation.
A few weeks ago I was rushing from my daughter’s school to my car, trying to make a train into the city. I was mid-stride, nothing touching the ground for a fraction of a second, and I felt something really weird in my hips. Kind of a separation of ball and socket. Time stood still and I had time to think, ‘ooh this doesn’t feel right.’.
Suddenly time sped up again and I was in a cartoon. Like a character with 2 pieces of overcooked spaghetti for legs, I landed back on earth, arms flailing, desperately trying to right myself. Literally and utterly out of control. Unbelievably I didn’t actually fall down. I landed squarely on my own two feet and I was in serious pain. I mean serious pain.
After crawling into my meeting in the city, which I could not reschedule I headed for the chiropractor, tears of agony slipping down my cheeks despite myself. The next 10 days were about visiting the chiropractor again and again and being mindful. The beautiful thing about being in pain was that I had to be mindful, I had to move consciously and as soon as I slipped away from mindfulness, bingo, there was the pain. It reminded me of what Ekhart Tolle teaches us, it’s not about being present all the time, it’s about noticing when we are not present. The instant we notice we are not present, we become present.
The other practice that I embraced becuase of the spaghetti leg incident was that I had to modify all the poses in my practice. It was like being an absolute beginner or a 90 year old woman. Everything was slow and each pose was a miniature version of itself. I dragged my mat to the back of the studio and surrounded myself with props. Yoga required a carefulness and attention beyond what I usually grant it. There was a questioning and exploration in each pose and attention to each transition.
Slowly my body returned to integrity. I am left with a supreme gratitude for my physical being, a lingering appreciation that I can move through space without pain. And in the periphery of my consciousness I sense a shadowy memory of the pain, reminding me to be present, and I think, ‘slow down’.