Wednesday, April 6, 2016

My Shoulder Injury

Beginning this month, I'll be chronicling my experience into healing an idiopathic frozen shoulder, both shoulders, actually. Examining the anatomy, biomechanics and all of the different movement and manual therapies, Yoga, diet, sleep, and all manner of advise I've been given and tried for the shoulder... basically everything I've been exploring to heal. 

What's exciting to me about this challenge is I now have a new depth of understanding when a student comes to me in pain. This particular pain is like nothing I've ever experienced. It's rendered doing little things like fastening my bra, gathering my hair in a ponytail, putting on a coat, sleeping (in any position), playing with my boys or doing any weight bearing exercise nearly impossible without sharp pain or simply impossible due to stiffness (frozen) in the joints. 

For a little background on life and how I ended up with an injury which has no known cause... here's the newsletter I sent out this past month to fill you in below. I'm hoping that the transparency of my journey will enable us all to dive in a little deeper into how not only complex our bodies are but also-- to get real. I feel very humbled by all of this- I'm no longer able to do all the things I want to do, and some days I'm angry, other days I feel sad. Most days, I don't dwell on it and plow through best I can. 

Feel free to post in the comments about your own injuries and journey, especially if you've had this condition. I'm listening. And hopeful this journey will grant us both new empathy and resiliency, if not at least more insight to work with clients through a movement I'm passionate about: Yoga (#yogaformerlyknownasyogatherapy). 

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"As I write this, I cannot believe we are approaching March already. March for me has always been symbolic of pruning, new growth and eventually, blooms. And, this month is no exception. 
My transition to Calgary (from Kuala Lumpur) has been significant, albeit, a little disjointed. A full teaching schedule hasn’t enabled me to really “move into” and become a part of my new city yet. I often feel as if I’m running from one carpool to the next or to one dentist or doctor appointment to another… and time feels as if it’s dissolving at an ever increasingly rapid pace. Do you ever feel like this?

My relationship to time is often how I view my relationship with stress. In this way, stress corrupts my view of time. Each day, armed with a list prepared the day before, I begin valiantly with a short meditation and stretching but often soon after, the day starts to look more like a roller coaster. Rather than being the creator of my day, I often allow myself to become a target and even a victim to time, reacting to events placed in my path almost as if it were obstacles to scramble over. Even going to Yoga (on time) feels rushed. How many of you have raced through traffic only to get to class minutes late and then spend the whole session trying to unsuccessfully calm your mind? As a mom, there’s nothing I can do but embrace the little alterations in plans when my child is sick, needs you to listen to his book report (6 times) or needs to get a new mouth guard or… Likely by the end of the day, I haven’t had moments to care for myself in a relaxing way. 

“So many people come to me asking how could I pray, how should I think, what should I do, and the whole time they neglect the most important question, which is how should I be?”
 -Eckart Tole
As I shift my focus this spring to blooming and adapting, the most effective way I can do this is by learning to find pockets, moments or even seconds where I can just be. Be still. Finding just moments of this, rather than huge unrealistic blocks of time, is equivalent to hitting the snooze button on my alarm. Stress is removed from it’s dictatorship into a more manageable role. I begin restoring my equilibrium (and sanity). 

Then, I look for ways to slow down. 

When I slow down, I feel. I become aware and awaken areas of my life that if I face rather than suppress will reveal new secrets and eventually out of the calm and quiet mind, clarity will come. It’s when I try to seek clarity out of chaos or stress that more confusion results. 

In my own life, I am learning (forced) to slow down through a shoulder injury. The phrase- she carries the weight of the world upon her shoulders has taken on a very physical transliteration for me. Meeting these obstacles from a different frame of mind and at an unhurried pace has allowed me to see myself from a new light. I am still me- only a bit more mindful and a little lighter in spirit. 

Right now. I invite to you to find that lightness by pausing for a moment. After you read this, imagine yourself near the ocean. At the surface, it’s restless, with breaking waves. Allow yourself to slip down below the surface of the water where you find it still and quiet. There is no sound and everything is moving at a silent, soft and steady pace. Stay there for a while and listen for your breath. Then, go about your day with an inner smile. 

                                           With grace,
 

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