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Transitions……ouch, that hurts!

Shifting away from one thing to another can feel as graceful as subtle summer departing while embracing fall. Or a kite surfing effortlessly on a breezy day. It can also be a “I’ll go kicking and screaming” kind of moment. Several weeks ago my orthopedic doc and I gazed at my X-ray. He said, “Walking every day isn’t good for your arthritic knee. Can you do yoga, an elliptical or swim instead?”

A part of me wanted to scream and cry and protest, or body slam this dude. “Do you know how long I’ve been walking 4 miles every morning? Do you know it’s the best exercise as you age? Do you know how many times I’ve been at this intersection? You expect me to throw that away?” Wut?

Then, it got real. I had to change again. Mama started me on the self-improvement tract at 12 years old because I was chubby. That led to finding ways to combat this in my teens and 20s so I stayed within the thin lane…..so I’d be accepted and loved. Then, for 10 years, I strength trained for 7 hours plus 5 cardio classes weekly. This was the armor that allowed me to be continuing feeling worthy and lovable. I really felt those overuse aches and torn bicep tendon. When I shifted to yoga, I had to give up lifting to gain flexibility yet significantly exacerbated low back pain. I came to realize this shit isn’t serving me any longer.

My health care team treated me for the back pain, while psychologically teaching me “less is more,” effort less, enjoy more. I’d been taught to give it all you got! Hard, hard lesson to unlearn. Ouch, that stung when it stopped working. And damn it, Mama, you were right. All those years of high intensity activity did a number on these knees. Yet something in me couldn’t stop the intensity to be strong, flexible, right sized. Hmmmm, when was it OK to just be me?

It hurt. It hurt to think in trying to be “healthy,” how I’d been socialized to think about health and wellness, I’d caused my body harm. It hurt to have to constantly double down and commit to keeping my body a certain way, and again in shifting into being active in ways that wasn’t creating more issues.

We worry or have anxiety when we are not in control. The way around is through. We call it a spiritual breakdown or an awakening. An ‘uh-oh,’ things need to be different. Let that hurt have some space inside of you, to be noticed and recognized, to be felt and held. To grieve the loss of what you knew and to be with the uncertainty of what tomorrow will look like. Let go of striving and cultivate resilience. Put a Band-Aid on the boo-boo and try on something different to see how it feels. Do the seams lay just right? Does it drape or snug your body like you enjoy? If not, make adjustments, a snip here or tuck there to shorten the hem or let out the waistband.

The transitions are what you weave into the tapestry of you and these are the journey. It’s brave to hold these close for a bit, then toss them into the corner for a day or two, try it back on, with curiosity, as to what it might look like today. There’s truth in releasing the armor and ‘going with the flow.’

You try it. Take inventory of what you notice in you that gets in the way of your truth. Let go of ______________ (comparison, striving, dieting, caretaking, over working, over exercising, helicopter parenting) and cultivate ________________ (authenticity, compassion, creativity, resilience, connection).

 

 

 

 

Dreaded meal planning
It’s time to slow it on down, y’all.

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