I really enjoyed my professional life. it was non-traditional most of the time, pretty sexy some of the time, interesting all of the time (or i’d bolt) and it made me feel functional in the world, often like i might have even been enhancing it even if just by being overtly friendly most of the time. Indeed, sometimes I relied on that.
I was laid off while pregnant with Josie and shortly after she was born we moved. The newness (and crankiness) of Rhode Island was disorienting, so I was pretty happy to be able to stay at home with her and really embed myself in – well, Tucker was rebuilding the house, so I was embedded in the pre- and post- reorganizations during all of the little steps of our little family. He did such a nice job on that house. But, it did take our entire 8ish years. During that time, I got sick. Once, before I got sick, I was interviewing for a job with the Boston Symphony (a sponsorship role, as I have no musical talent) and was one of the final candidates. I was crushed to have them select the other candidate. That was my last foray into the working world prior to my body shutting down. Cue the ‘woe is me’ music.
My body quickly became my job, as demanding a job as motherhood but initially much less rewarding. It made me sign a non-compete. Everything I did was measured against it, morning, noon and night. It was like one of those crazy contracts big monopolies try to saddle artists with – ‘we own everything you do, ever, because we gave you this buck once…’
I did not come to my body as my teacher without resistance.
Honestly, even after I accepted it as such, i had a solid 6 years of just being in ‘trying to fix it’ mode. Fix my body, at any cost. dig under every rock. try every remedy. be willing to change…. oooh, that was the hard one. But, then once i became willing to change I had no idea what to change into! What diet was right? Should i be pushing through the pain of this exercise to gain mobility, or should i be reading this pain as a sign to stop? Trying to find the single right answer in the haystack of possibilities was a fools task, and i embraced it whole-lifedly. Is this what will save me? Hmmm. don’t feel amazing yet, time to switch… is this what will save me?
Then to have a filling fall out and regain so much health so quickly – you can’t predict that stuff. Willing to run around like a chicken trying to find a needle to sew on its head, and then go ’round and have some random event change everything. I couldn’t tell if my gratitude was as big as my incredulity.
But, it taught me something. I taught me quite a bit, actually.
While “finding the answer” (in honor of my body) was the first leg of my journey, “being the answer” (by inhabiting my body) quickly became far more interesting.
Every moment spent relaxing into my body frees my mind a little bit. Stringing a lot of moments together always instigates an inspired action at the end, something i’m pleased to be doing, even if it’s only getting a glass of water. but, sometimes, it’s writing to an old friend or pulling out a game to teach the kids… or writing down an insight, or maybe this blogpost.
While the fixing stage had my days full of researching modalities, making appointments and buying and cooking specific foods, this being stage has me remembering to listen, to relax… trying to say a silent blessing in each interaction.. being curious about how this interaction is the unfolding of life and what fullness of attention I can bring to it. Much, much, better.
My physical symptoms still accompany me daily. they are the guidelines within which I work, and sometimes they decide what will or will not get done. i anticipate maybe someday achieving a state of consciousness that may allow the ailments to fall away. but i do not have that skill now, and so i trust that these ailments are part of my highest unfolding, and accepting them as my teacher seems like the way to make the most of the whole ordeal. Do i wish my hands and arms worked normally? Sure. that’d be lovely. But if this was the only way I could come to this appreciation of life itself, the importance of embracing life exactly as it is – recognizing that all of life is Life Itself expressing its utter joy at being alive… well, i’m just so grateful for the path that led me here…
I’m making my job evolution because its my defacto job anyway, on all the levels. This is how i spend my time reading and writing and being in practice. it’s how i do my best to manage my relationships. i still struggle with all of the uncertainty I struggled with at the beginning of my journey – perhaps even a little more, actually – but for less and less mindshare each day. each practice tips the scale in my favor, time in possibility over time in wishing things were different. such a subtle difference and yet such a dramatic one.