My legs are starting to remember what it means to support each other in partnership. I got a clear download in rehab today while focusing energy on the wounded knee as pivot point for the rest of the body. I started doing some repetitive motions standing in stirrups suspended on springs. When the instructor demoed the reps for me it looked easy, and some memory inside me started to get scared. Fear started welling up inside me. “Now you!” she said. I could feel my body starting to stiffen with fear as I slid my feet into the stirrups. There may have also been some uncontrollable tears dripping down with the sweat, difficult to know which elixir pushed out first. I gripped the bars above me trying to rely on core strength to keep me upright and suspended without jamming my shoulders, hips, knees or ankles. FUCK! Within seconds sweat poured out. “What? What hurts? Where’s the pain?” asked my instructor. I felt energetic knots inside me suddenly with jerks and jolts radically loosen/unravel/reconfigure. It was like a hard reset gone haywire. My facial expressions must have been horrific to elicit her questions. Too much happening inside to come up with an answer in words. There wasn’t a specific physical body pain. After a few slow jerky terrifying reps, followed by her questions and my exasperated gasps for air and safety, I pointed to my forehead and looped around above my head. It was my preconceived notions about what I can and can’t do, about my strength and weakness, that’s where it “hurt”. It was my thinking that “hurt.”
“Hurt” was the wrong word. It was the decades of work constructing a castle of fear stories starting to crumble that hurt. What I said to her, which I’ve said more and more frequently during our sessions, is that it’s not physical pain or stiffness that’s holding me back from full extension, it’s pure fear. “It’s like <a child’s> fear of the monster in the closet, making me stay back and not open the door… and then finally opening the door slowly only to find an empty space.” I eventually said. She stayed focused on body. I am so good at redirecting energy when I want to distract focus. She doesn’t go for the bait. The fear was merely a construct that challenged my desire to get past a preconceived notion of pain and obstacle. In fact, going into the open space provided more luxury for deep breathing and joy. Release.
And so it is, my legs are getting closer to being in a balanced relationship. Clear knowing that they can’t do it alone. They need each other, the core, and so much more. It’s all a metaphor for the bigger picture, smaller picture, and so many variations around me in every direction. I can’t go it alone with just my left leg (mother/feminine) and right leg (father/masculine). I need the core (community) support and to get it I need to do the work to make it strong. Do things that nourish (community) safety, strength, connection, abundance, joy, integrity, expansion, love, spaciousness, health, and ease. Eliminate the piss and shit, so to speak.
At the beginning of today’s rehab session, I told my instructor about how healing my time walking on sand and being in and near the ocean has been. She immediately said, “Horseback riding’s great too.” WHAT?!?!?!?!? I did a big double take, and a little freakout. She explained why, and as she spoke I couldn’t hear her over the fear building up inside me at the thought of getting on a horse again. Great metaphor, I know. I need to get back on the horse, literally. It’s been 21 years since I’ve been on a horse! I can’t believe it either. I miss it so much, and I’m terrified of it. Terrified of putting my foot in an English stirrup, and then pivoting up to mount. That was the genesis of the original injury to my right knee. I have replayed that moment over in my head thousands of times. It elicits an immediate fear/tension/anxiety/freeze response in my right hip….every… single …thousand….time. Yup, I’ve been building up that memory/fear/anxiety/injury/pain/sadness/depression chain with moments of painful memory like grains of sand that eventually fill sand bags that wall of the possibility of healing, or getting past/through. I want to remove the sand bags. I want to heal it all in a day. I can’t. The fear walls weren’t built in a day. They were built by accumulating fear memories like grains of sand filling sand bags. I’m slowly opening the bags, and pouring out the memory/fear/anxiety/injury/pain/sadness/depression pattern.
Whew! Writing it out here has helped me figure out that pattern, and given me some spaciousness around the time and energy I’m putting into healing. As my dear friend reminded me the other day - I am a Healer of the New Dimension. It’s all new.
Note: In feeling into this post I send deep heartfelt gratitude to my little <core> support system 21 years ago back in Hódmezővásárhely. Three people in particular stand out in terms of the day-to-day core support - my neighbor at the time, who I will refer to as T, her boyfriend at the time, who I will refer to as A, and a true Nagy Szeret, who I will refer to as R. Theyshowed up and supported me without hesitation. They are the people I got to know deeply when I was forced to slow down and ground with my pain. I am so grateful for their love, support, and laughter. I am also reminded of a Peace Corps nurse to whom I owe a big apology. I made her the target of my pain/anger/frustration at that time. She tried to tell me to just wait it out and that there was nothing she could do to make the pain stop other than rest, ice, and tincture of time. At the time I could not accept anything less that immediacy. I pushed her and the Peace Corps to send me back to the States for a surgery that I now regret. My sincere apologies to that dear nurse whose name I cannot recall. I was young and thought I was immortal. You were trying to give me solid conservative healing advice that I could not receive at that time. Forgive me.
Additional note: The photos associated with this blog post were taken on my walk home from rehab. I have rushed by these blocks for years and never really noticed the messages for me in these murals until today. **Feeling oh so lucky to be alive**
Bonus note: My instructor has a retreat site in Mexico and offers rehab on horses there. I WANT TO GO! She says it’s best to do one-to-one sessions on horseback, which I’d certainly like to experience, and I think it would be great to go with others seeking same healing (warm air, warm water, slow pace, horses). If that’s of interest, please message me here: firstname.lastname@example.org.