Healing Through Stillness
I have had an injury for about a month and a half, which has prevented me from exercising. Exercise has always been a huge part of my life. As a young girl, I remember putting away Barbie’s because the neighbor kids called me a sissy, and I became a tomboy. I had natural athletic ability and usually excelled in any physical activity I tried. It didn’t take me long to realize it got me the attention I craved, especially from my parents. In turn, my body benefited, and I have always had athletic physic. As an adult, I have strived to keep pretty close to my youth’s body with a strict exercise routine and trying to eat mostly healthy. As you can imagine, not exercising has been very challenging. The first couple of weeks, I replaced exercise with other busy activities. As the weeks went on and my pain became more severe, I was forced to sit around more than I ever have in my whole life😳 In the process of having to be; still, I realized, being a busy body in mind and actions had been hiding the inner pain of losing connection to myself. Pride in independence, hard work, toughness, responsibility, and striving we’re valued themes in my family for generations. I had become attached to those values, and life of “doing” has ensued. I have been hard on myself, a taskmaster, pushing to do better, accomplish more, having a suck it up and do it mentality. Hence, my injury came when I really didn’t feel like going to exercise class but did anyway. I knew the instructor’s exercises were not good for me yet, I toughed it out, ending up with a hurt knee and back ugh! Heck, looking back, I have never really let myself even take a nap, no matter how exhausted, without feeling guilty about what I should be doing instead of being “lazy.” My mind was constantly filled with busy chatter of tasks I needed to do, thinking about others and serving (control situations) to make everyone happy. I constantly gave myself energy and power away, trying to be the person I was raised to be and thought I should be. In return, I felt valued, loved, and had proved my worth. The life of doing I created became a habit that has imprisoned me to a life of inner suffering that I didn’t even recognize. My doingness and the pride I had gotten from it had separated me from my truth, from living in and enjoying the present moment. What a great wake up call, a gift I was given by my body to force me into healing through stillness. For the first time in my life, I have quiet my mind enough to reconnect with myself. I have thrown off routines opening the gates of freedom. Freedom to be me; however, that looks each day. Checking in each morning and asking myself, “what do I need today?” Some days I have needed to exercise, some rest, some play. I have allowed myself to laugh more, cry more, be vulnerable, and even out of control. It has been a refreshing month of lightness, replacing doingness with beingness, getting out of my head, and living from my heart. My body has become a little softer and curvier, but I choose to love it anyway. When I want a cheeseburger or a beer, I don’t think about how much I will need to exercise to make up for it. I have realized making others happy is not my responsibility, so I no longer wait around to see how I can serve. Even in my relationship with God, whether going to church, reading the Bible, praying, or serving Him, each was a task to be completed. Even in my seeking through doing, I created separation where He could only reach me in the stillness of sleep or the fleeting moments of intuition or creativity. So, I have even renounced routines with Him, coming into a space of communion with Him through complete surrender to the present and the unique expression of myself. It has been challenging to break the habits, and some days I fail miserably. When the awareness of old routines nudges me, I get out of my head, returning my focus to feeling my way through my day in the present moment. In being me, I can reconnect to the little girl with the bright light in her eyes, with an authentic smile who harnessed her energy and power to be a complete expression of herself moment to moment—the spirit who intimately knew God before her earthly entrance. For the first time in a long time, I remember what it feels like to be me and be free. It is pretty damn awesome!