sprawled on the sidewalk…7-28-23


One moment: upright human being out for early morning walk.  Next moment: pathetic creature sprawled on sidewalk.  Just like that.  One more lesson (as if needed) on how change happens lickety-split.  I lay there, a ball of woe, gathering my wits along with the self-esteem splattered on the concrete.  A week later, still bruised and tender sore in multiple places, I’m healing.  It’s what happens.  Over the top gratitude.  A navigable left wrist sprain…could have been otherwise.

I’m not traditionally religious, but I do believe in forces greater than just little me.  A super-power presides behind the scenes providing just what I need.  Often not what I want.  I’ve treated my share of wrist sprains but never had first hand (pun intended) wisdom opportunity like this.  I was gifted not only the physical experience but also two divinely pre-arranged schemes to escort me on to the path to healing.

First, three dance days to slow explore my altered body in motion and shake out the shock/trauma of the tumble.  Lucia Horan’s guidance was stellar.  She’ll be back for Heartbeat October 27-29.  Don’t miss it!  And then, on the heels of dance, three slated Harbin days directly following.  Dedicated quiet time for initial healing, moving in and with hot/cold water immersion, releasing with balls and rollers, the skill of my good right hand massaging affected areas on the left.  I’ll be back at Harbin for 5Rhythms and Roll & Release Sept 24 & 25.

Harbin always provides lots of precious down time with all the pursuant gifts.  As I sweet-talked my body, I found myself reflecting on the name Body Joy.  A name that arose in 2005, anticipating a shift in the way I would be working. In the letting go wake of Dreizler Physical Therapy, I felt the accumulated years of treating patients troubled with chronic, often severe, injuries.  Many of them stuck in endless cycles of suffering.  The name Body Joy erupted spontaneously.  An intuitive hit, a call to pivot.

Interestingly enough, in no time, I knew it was the wrong name.  Needless to say, fostering embodiment, even in radically different ways, opens the door for so much more to arise than joy.  The full spectrum of emotion is stored in our tissues.  Went through a long spell wishing I’d named it Body Wisdom or Medicine in Motion or anything other than pigeon-holed Body Joy.

Twenty years down the road maybe I’m coming back around to it again.  More and more I invoke cultivating pleasure as the most natural way in.  How to appreciate the rainbow of internal sensations that well up as we flirt with our suffering edges.  How to bathe this juicy awareness in breath.  How to trust and follow an awakened intuitive guidance.  Suffering can deliver a big dose of presence.  And this is great joy.

What gets in our way is a tendency to avoid all feelings of discomfort.  But pain (any kind, not just physical) is an amazing teacher to turn toward, open the box, futz around inside.  I’m only finding three things in the pain box of this wrist sprain:

  1. Physical sensation: sharp zing if I turn my palm up or grasp.  Dull ache throughout the hand.  Stiffness if it’s immobile even a short while.  I could go on!
  2. A veritable carnival of emotions felt in the body but also experienced in the mind.  Fear ‘til I found there was no fracture, anger about not being careful enough, frustration about the timing, shame around falling (again!), worry about how to function one-handed.  And compassion for all of us hurting out there.   Curiosity (an emotion? a thought?) about how it will evolve.
  3. And then there’s the story.  Belly tightens when I call to mind the futile forward falling steps on the way down.  The memory of the impact.  The stumbling walk home.  The story has a past.  And the story has a future.  How long will this take?  What if it doesn’t fully heal?  How is this going to integrate with all the other issues in my tissues?  Add to this pile the mind-boggling analysis of X-rays and my too keen knowledge of carpal bones delicately nested up with radius and ulna. My obsessive measuring of available supination each day.

Look at all the stuff in this box!  The mind loves the pain story.  And then we get caught in our feelings about the story.  Can I let the story go for a moment—the past and the future and what I feel about all that.   If I can be here now, I know that right now it’s O.K.  Maybe not perfect but I can be with it.  So much of the baggage of the past and the worry about the future weigh down the present moment.  Not only am I not this pain, this pain actually changes all the time.

Impermanence is a fact…so keep on moving through.   And watch your step.  If you want a partner, a witness, a coach in unpacking that box….I am so here.

Last Sweat Your Prayers in Sacramento until September 10 is this Sunday.  Community pot luck follows at noon.  Come visit for a spell.  All is quiet for the month of August at Clara.  But I’ll do the Sweat in Grass Valley on August 13.  I’m out there one-handed teaching Release and Realign today Friday July 28 10:00am at Sacramento Yoga Center.  Come be inspired.  We continue this healing offering Friday mornings without a break.

And though it may not be exactly what you want, imagining you receiving just what you need.

Love, Bella