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Walking & Mindfulness
I’ve just been for a walk. While that may not sound like much, for me - it’s huge right now. This walk involved actual forward motion, no patella brace and no walking stick. Very minimal jerky movement. And no crying with frustration. Last August, I wrote the blog ‘Bad knees and integrity’, talking about the difficulty I was having with walking and how I was contemplating the physical and metaphysical aspects of what that meant for me. It’s been nearly a year and walking has become increasingly difficult, to the point where a walk further than the front door usually brings me to tears.
It has thrown me, not being able to really go for a walk. And while I can actually walk, after about five steps I falter. It’s like my left leg has forgotten how to take steps. So after living with this for a year, with it getting increasingly worse, I decided I needed help.
As a wholistic practitioner, heading down a more conventional path of healthcare can make me feel hypocritical. If I can’t walk my talk, how can I keep talking my talk? So putting my judgements aside (of myself and other modalities) I took a step in the direction of my wellness. I knew I needed exercises to strengthen my vastus medialis, so my patella would track properly. The exercises proved very successful - my knee cap is tracking like nobody’s business! And with that, my walking has actually deteriorated. This has sent me down a whole different spiraling path of despair. If my knee cap dislocating wasn’t to blame, then what was? I was so focused on my mobile patella that I didn’t see there was a deeper issue involved. Something which was going to take a lot more work than just strengthening one muscle. I needed to retrain my brain and muscles to not only keep my kneecap in place, but to not hyperextend.
Over the past year I have been contemplating the multi-dimensional issues around my knee. What is it that keeps me from moving forward with love, grace and ease? In yoga this week, the intention was Mindfulness. The teacher talked about being mindful of our journey. Which got me thinking about my knee. If the esoteric belief is that the left side represents the Feminine and the knee represents forward movement, what was I not being mindful of moving forward in the Feminine? A friend recently gave me her take on my knee. “Maybe it’s about being present.” Being present. Being mindful. Being present to every step on my journey. Being mindful that it’s about the journey (feminine), much more so than the destination (masculine). So maybe it’s not so much about completing a walk, but about taking each step as it comes. And for me, especially lately, it has been hard to be present. I am often looking into the past or wondering about the future. Whereas really, all we have is right now. And right now I need to take one step at a time. Not worry about how my knee used to be, or how I am going to get through a whole walk, but just focus and be mindful of the step that I am in.
I wish you presence and mindfulness in your journey. With gratitude.
Early morning. Quiet. Dark. A gentle fog blanketing the nearby hills of Mt Misery. Heavy rain overnight leaving the houses and neighborhood cleansed from the dust and debris. A perfect time to meditate. I meditate every morning, but this morning I was up early, not able to sleep past the early morning dreams. So candles lit my way as I sat in quiet contemplation. I was thinking about the creative healing workshops I offer, excited by the prospect of holding one for a client and her friends. I had offered a workshop on the weekend, but not enough interest resulted in it being cancelled. This scenario can get discouraging. But it's all part of what I do and what I offer. Sometimes it resonates and sometimes it doesn't. And sometimes it resonates down the track and comes back in the most unlikely place or way. I opened my eyes just in time to see something jumping in the shadows, coming towards me from under my alter. A frog. My first impulse was a small amount of terror - how will I get it out of this space since my husband isn't home to save me from the creature? But that is quickly surpassed by a smile and gratitude. What a gift to have this amphibian in my sacred space! But I've only got myself to rely on to get him out. And as lovely as it is to have him visit, he can't stay. How did he get here, in this furthest space from any door? I need a container to catch him and all I have is my water glass, which ironically has a sticker on it which says sacred. The water glass is full so I try to empty it by drinking it - this is never going to work. It's way too early in the morning to be chugging water. And I don't want to leave, for fear of not finding the wee frog in amongst all that litters this space. I move to the window and open it. We have no screens so I dump the water outside. Then capture the frog in its sacred and mobile aquarium of sorts. He stretches his long legs against the glass as I pick it up and move to the window. He is happy to hop out and makes the long drop to the ground to hop away to tell his story to his tribe about this freaky white woman who tried to eat him! But he escaped through sacred space and lived to tell the tale. Phew! I grab the animal cards to read about Frog. Before I even get to the page, I remember Frog is Cleansing. There is talk of tears and releasing and water and rain. And how without rain, everything dies. And how our tears are sacred and shouldn't be hidden or shunned. Crying is a release and through release, such as rains or tears, new life can begin. And I am reminded of the frustration I sometimes feel when what I offer isn't taken up. How the tears flow and how I can't verbalise what is going on for me but crying always seems to clear some channel which helps make everything look brighter. For me the frog was a reminder that all is well and as it should be. After rain comes growth. After tears comes a brighter day.
I love the power of story and story telling and writing is an integral part of my healing journey. More about me here.