About a month or so ago my right knee was talking to me so loudly that I sought a medical evaluation. Over the last 6 months there were abundant signs that something was not quite right, however the ever youthful and positive attitude I have about life kept me from putting much importance on a few aches, pain and swelling that came and went.
In December it became very clear that something significant was going on that needed attending to. Thus the primary care doctor, the x-rays, MRI and then Orthopedic Surgeon and Physical Therapist. Now I am “married” to twice weekly physical therapy sessions, exercise and stretching that are literally a part time job!
The cause of all this effort? A torn lateral meniscus and osteoarthritis that has taken up residence in this oft used and important joint.
Beyond the physical findings and implications of this particular situation what I want to explore in this post to all of you is how our conversations – internally and externally – can keep us in loss and victimhood while keeping us stuck or take us into possibility.
A wise indigenous Lakota Sioux once said that the Earth is perfect but we are just having bad conversations. That can be said as well for the conversations we have with ourselves and others when we are experiencing the unending shifts, changes, challenges and crises that affect our daily life moments.
If ego was running the show here is what my conversations might be based in the loss:
I am getting old and am going to just go downhill from here.
What if it gets worse and I can’t walk anymore?
I will just have to live with the pain, discomfort and limitation.
The doctor and physical therapist took away everything that I love to do – walking for exercise, dance, and a great deal of my yoga practice!
I am never going to be the “same” again.
Well you get the picture!
Here are conversations based in possibility arising from simply being with the situation the way it is in the moment:
Yes, my favorite activities have been temporarily halted while I rehabilitate the knee and I will indeed miss them. I am curious about what other activities I can do, or learn to do, while I am going through physical therapy.
I see that through this rehabilitation I will learn a lot more about how my knees function and other factors that led to this break down besides the fact of aging. I am going to do some research.
I bet that I will be stronger and more fit as a result of these efforts. I will rejoin the YMCA to assist with the rehabilitation. That means I can start swimming laps again which I love!
My 50+ and Thriving yoga class at the University of Texas started right after being told of my limitations. Let’s see how I can teach effectively without doing some of the poses and movements I am restricted in right now. I can use someone that has some yoga experience for a demonstration model. I will master my auditory teaching which will allow me to physically assist my students more often. Plus I will gain knowledge about yoga for osteoarthritis and proper alignment of knees in movement.
I am certain you feel the difference energetically in conversations based in loss and those based in possibility. One is remaining in the state of victim and the other is based in taking effective action. This does not mean that there is no place for grieving a loss. That is vitally important to give space for so that opening into possibility can occur. There lies the difference in simply positive thinking, which often disregards the need to grieve.
All of the conversations above based in possibility were actually what transpired for me during this last month. I have learned over the last year or so that taking effective action one step at a time, even when I have never done something, keeps me in a place of being and trusting the unfolding of life moments versus floundering in the rigid conversations of ego based in “certainty”.
Now I can’t say that I didn’t go into the ego/personal conversations above for a few hours after I learned of my diagnosis and temporary limitations, but those conversations felt so contracted in my body and without possibility that they were quickly left behind.
There is no doubt that each of us, our loved ones, as well as our planet will continue to face challenges. I would like to have a bumper sticker that says:
CHANGE THE CONVERSATIONS!
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Gaye Abbott, RYT assists individuals to dissolve the layers that cover the natural flows of energy we came in with and reveal, through a combination of the energy medicine of Jin Shin Jyutsu, yoga therapy and breath re-patterning, and as spiritual mentor/guide/coach, the larger purpose and co-creative expression that we are here for.
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