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Broken Footed Lessons (and a love song)

January 5, 2011

Of all of the myriad things that breaking my foot has taught me (including how to get out of a car with a skirt on and my leg in a cast in the most graceful way possible), patience and rest have been the hardest learned and deepest felt lessons.

Patience with Rest.  Patience and Rest.   Patient Restfulness.  Restful Patience.

I am a doer.  I like to run around.  I like to accomplish.  I’m not good at idle unless all of the work has been done.  Having a broken foot has forced me to stop.  Stop running, stop accomplishing, stop pushing myself far beyond my limit. Don’t get me wrong, I try to push it nearly everyday, but my body rebels.  My foot aches, my hip screams.  And I stop.  And I remember that I’m not supposed to be doing.

I’m supposed to be resting.

Before this broken foot, I learned these patience and rest lessons by practicing yoga.   It was hard to learn on my mat and I’m still a work in progress.  It is harder off my mat.  Savasana?  For sissies?  Child’s pose?  Don’t need it.

Oh, but I do….

This six-week-long recovery is wearing on me.  I’m frustrated daily with how little my body can do right now compared to what it could do 4 weeks ago. No running (literally or figuratively).  No yoga.

No yoga.

Well, no physical practice of yoga; I’m practicing the spiritual part of yoga everyday learning these patience and rest lessons.

I have often thought over the past 4 weeks that this broken foot is a gift from The Universe.  A little challenge to push me further into the non-physical parts of my yoga practice.

“You think you have this yoga thing figured out, there honey?  Well, try a broken foot.  See how fully present you are, how equanimous your mind, how centered your soul—without the ability to fully use your body, with a loss of independence, without the ability to come on to your mat everyday.”

Message heard, Universe.  Heard loud and clear.

Tolstoy said,

The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.”

I always thought the two most powerful warriors were 1 and 2 (little joke for all you yogis out there), but I’m beginning to see old Leo’s point.


In other news…

I was listening to my iPod on shuffle this morning (something I rarely do because I don’t trust it to know what kind of mood I’m in) and to my delight, the raspy voice of Van Morrison came through the speakers.

Can that man write the heck out of a love long, or what?  Can’t you just feel how much he loves her?

“Baby it’s you.  You are my sunshine.  I am your guiding light.  Just like a ship out in the night.  Returning for light.”

Shivers.  He’s so good.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. littleplaceinouterspace permalink
    January 6, 2011 5:14 pm

    I’m currently reading Start Where You Are; a Guide to
    Compassionate Living by Pema Chodron and came across a concept last
    night that seems obvious now but was a real forehead slapping
    moment for me. I’ll transcribe pieces of it for you here: “When the
    world is filled with evil, transform all mishap into the path of
    enlightenment.”… Use the unwanted, unfavourable circumstances of
    your life as the actual material for awakening. …Whatever occurs
    isn’t considered an interruption or an obstacle but a way to wake
    up. NB: waking up in this book is used in lieu of
    learning/growing/becoming more aware etc. Seems to me you are doing
    a fine job of living this teaching. Wishing you a speedy and
    enlightening recovery. 🙂

    • January 6, 2011 6:35 pm

      I absolutely love that and this is going on the tip top of my “to read” list. Thanks so much for taking the time to send that my way 🙂

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