And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair ― Khalil Gibran
For the past 4 months, I have been healing. Na’la (the Goddess Cat)–though totally unprovoked–bit me at the beginning of March and partial punctured/tore my extensor tendon on my right (dominant) hand. No infection ensued; however, it was a lengthy process (and expensive) to diagnose the extent of the injury and it has been an even lengthier process to heal from this injury. I’ve learned a lot from this recovery time.
Lesson #1 – My entire body is tired from all the jumping, running, lifting, scheduling, working, planning, and playing hard. Thus, I needed some time to heal everything, and to listen to hear what my inner voice was telling me. You hurt. You need to rest. You need to enjoy being in your own skin and listening to what your heart is really saying. You need to hear it!
Lesson #2 – Kundalini yoga (also known as royal yoga, laya yoga) is the bombdiggity. You want to change? Start with a daily session of kundalini, preferably early in the morning, where you have no chance to say NO and you have to listen. I feel victorious when I finish stretch pose for 3 minutes or twist chanting SAT NAM. Today’s chant was SA TA NA MA. I detoxed for an hour–it was exhausting and invigorating and frightening. I felt nauseous, dizzy, light-headed, like I was floating, but in the end, it felt so good, so peaceful (and I never did corpe pose). Kundalini has it all: meditation, breath work, chanting, movement, prayer. So much to expand into and so many tools to rid yourself of the blockages that hold you back from being your highest self.
Lesson #3 – Societal expectations place a lot on our already overloaded plate. I’ve begun to examine little habits I once thought of as healthy or necessary and try to reprogram myself about the way I think about them. This is a very esoteric and existential journey with nothing to prove (and that, in itself, also motivates me). I cited my underarm hair, for example, this morning over a cup of coffee with my husband. I talked about how I wonder why women shave all the time–why is it necessary, what happens if I don’t, when would I consider shaving again? This inevitably leads me to believe that I would do it because I fear others’ judgment. Does it matter to him? No, he likes it, but I’m not doing this for him or even to buck society. I’m doing it to challenge myself into seeing myself as I really am. I have interesting, soft hairy armpits with (to my surprise and delight) grey hairs, which I can count at the present moment (see Lesson #4).
Lesson #4 – What does it mean to age? Birth, life, death, rebirth. SA TA NA MA. Infinity. Faith. Wisdom. Resilience. Laughter. Exploration. This healing period has introduced me to so much about myself I have avoided with lots and lots of activities. Although I love them all–the crossfit, the running, the dancing, the academics, the classroom–I have learned that what I can do is not as important as how and why I do it. I have less time to worry and more time to live. I want to experience life with laughter and curiosity and love, not fear of death and worry about health and what activities I can’t do because I am healing.
My lessons require me to take something ordinary and expand upon it. Figure out in a different way what will make me feel whole and safe. It’s been a lot of work (which began long before the cat bite), but (in a nut shell) it has been an exploration of lower chakras, shakti, meditation, god and goddess study, walks in Nature, journaling, and time on the mat with myself in the quiet morning hours before “rosy-fingered Dawn” appears. I carry this place of love for all and wishes of peace for all and self-love into each and every day. It’s hard sometimes. I don’t always know why I feel sad, or unbalanced, or nauseous, or tired, but I’m beginning to feel happy again, really, really happy about being me. I don’t need to apologize or worry about how I feel. I just let it happen. If I cry, I cry. If I laugh, I laugh. If I smile, I smile. I let it all happen with just a few caveats which I treat myself to each day–even if I think I don’t want to:
- A walk in Nature.
- A cup of coffee with MCT oil and ghee
- Time on my mat (or similar moments on someone else’s mat or, better yet, on top of a mountain or by the ocean!)
- Good food–not what’s considered “healthy”, but what I would like after years of deprivation.
- Time with the ones I love.
- Something to look forward to–a goal, a trip, a sunset, a trip to the beach or the springs or a new book–anything really, even chocolate.