"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower."
I've been thinking.....
It's harvest time, but what if there's something in you now that's waiting to bloom?
It's never too late to re-evaluate what's working and what's not.
For example: I thought that after my bike accident and resulting TBI last August I'd never ride again. Since my knees are funky, and my stamina irregular, eBike riding was a way I could be outside and get just the exercise that was right for me.
So I spent this year healing, grieving my loss and finding ways to reconnect with my "mojo" that didn't include a bike.
Fortunately, I was working with someone familiar with TBI recovery, and she said offhandedly mid-way through the year, "Oh sure! You'll be able to ride again! Give it a year and try it."
In September, I timidly got on a 2-wheeler and was stunned by how much better my brain immediately functioned when my whole body was involved in traveling. I felt more confident on the bike than I was driving my car.
Now I've traded my too-big-for-me eBike for my "little pony" eBike.
I feel stable, safe and happy riding to work and generally peddling my-self around town; and my brain is happier and healthier for it.
Warning: This is not everyone's experience, so don't go hopping into an activity that you miss just because! Ask your knowledgeable practitioner what's right for you.
So what limitation have you settled for? Is it time for re-evaluating?
I can help. It's what I do.
I love these easy tactics from Sheevaun Moran's newsletter so much that I had to share them with you:
"What a beautiful Saturday for creating and simply being,
Has this week left you with a bit of wobbly insight?
Are you feeling raw, but are ready for magic to happen?
Today I want to empower you to embrace the fun….
And I have some forgotten tactics, to take you from raw, to invigorated and ready to conquer the world.
3 Forgotten Tactics to Energize Your Body & Mind!
1: Shake Shake Shake… Shake Your Body
Shake. Jump. Run. Walk. Stretch. Dance. It doesn’t have to take an hour. It doesn’t even have to cause you to break a sweat. Just move your body. I challenge you to turn on your favorite song, this is one of mine, and dance your socks off.
It’s amazing how moving your body can boost both your mood and your energy level."
(In fact, you can get down to "Freedom" by Pharrell Williams right now!)
2: Become a Water Baby
"If you don’t have salt for a bath at home, the next time you are at the store, grab some. Detox from your week, from a long day, or even a stressful phone call with a soak in a salt bath. With just 20 min in the tub, tension, negative energy, and even stress wash from you into the water.
Don’t have a bathtub, that’s okay, you can sprinkle salt into the bottom of your shower and rub your feet into it. You can also add salt to your body wash / bath gel and then massage it into your skin while in the shower.
3: Give the Gift of Yourself
Do one thing today for someones else. No matter how big or small when you act in service to others, it up levels your happiness and energetics.
Hold the door for someone whose hands are full.
Bring home a new chew toy for Fiddo.
Read an extra chapter to your kiddo at story-time.
Make silly faces at the baby sitting in the cart in front of you at the store.
Pick up trash floating around the park while on your walk.
Text a friend, coworker, family member and tell them how amazing they are.
By taking time to help or share happiness with those around you, you are serving yourself in the process. So share the love, share the laughs, share you.
Make this weekend awesome. Make it full of laughter and some fun."
Check out more yum from SheevaunMoran.com and get the download 5essentialenergies.com.
What wild and crazy thing does Spring make you want to do?
After the rains and the cold; after the dark, low clouds, what is it that creeps into the corner or leaps into the front of your mind?
In the Chinese calendar the equinox and solstices occur in the middle of the four seasons. We are almost half way through Spring and on to Summer, says my acupuncturist friend, Kelly Shaw. So let's get on with it!!
My wildness plays out in a garden. Any garden will do. But now, mine specifically. Last year we had one of our ancient Hawthorne trees cut down to save our roof and this winter the other Hawthorne suddenly dropped a huge branch that had reached toward its buddy. Now another smaller branch hangs precariously.
So lately I've been stroking this old tree's several twined trunks carefully (it's not called a Haw-thorn for no reason!) And I tell it how sorry I am that it's lost its friend and how glad I am to live with it.
We are each of us part of this tiny planet, no matter how we've been conditioned. We're connected to everything and everyone in ways science seems to whisper about.
But why wait for more evidence??
Today, for instance, how might you dance with nature, or your car, or people, or...you name it "like nobody's watching?"
Need a little help? Give me a call.
How is your loving going these days? How do you practice growing it? Here's one way.
Lately this winter I have been waking early. I come downstairs to sit in my sunroom looking north across the bare trees in my little yard and watch the morning begin. I hold a cup of tea against my chest and let my slowly healing concussed brain wake at its own pace.
If I'm lucky, I'm early enough to watch the birds wake up.
The crows are first.
There is a winter roost to my west where hundreds of crows settle together for the night sharing stories and loving in their noisy, alien way. I have happened upon 3 winter roosts of an evening in Portland. One downtown. One on a steep slope by Johns Landing and the one near me on 19th and SE Oak.
In the morning just as dark turns to gray, but before colors are bright, the crow parade begins.
A group of 10 or 20 race high above my yard from west to east. If I'm lucky I'll be gifted to catch the friskier ones play tag along the way. Then empty sky. Then five, or three, or seven. Then two. Then one. And one. And one.
The sky lightens and little songbirds that my neighbor feeds flit between my small, budding magnolia and the asian pear tree. They hang out for awhile, then the squirrels bound their giant selves through the branches.
If I'm really lucky, a little later a group of 20-30 crows will have their coffee break in the bare branches of a tree 2 blocks over.
Once last summer: The crows have moved out of their winter roosts and into their own nests, I make friends with a young crow in my back yard. He caws and I say, "Good morning." We have quite a conversation for several days. He swoops above me, not too near. His mother keeps watch.
Then it rains and I think I've lost him.
The first sunny day after that long rain, I ride my bike down my driveway and turn up the street. A crow swoops low across the front of my bike and lands forward to my right, cocking his head, looking at me. "Good morning!" and I feel lucky.
Four hours and 2 stops later, I'm leaving a friend's house several miles away to head home. He swoops and lands exactly as he had earlier. We greet each other. If crows could smile, his smile would be amused.
I love crows. I love their mischievous, raucous, cautious, sleek selves. I've always wanted more than they give.
But lately I've come to this:
from a lesson that Kisma Orbavich posted from her teacher.
Love + Attachment = Selfishness
Attachment - Selfishness = Love
And I feel lucky.
We change all the time. We grow fluid and flexible and we become more rigid. It's happening even now as you read this.
I was at what can only be called a performance art piece on fascia a few weeks ago by Gil Hedley.
He reminded us that there are four primary things that influence the fine "fuzz"; that is the tissue between the tissues of our bodies. And this effects our whole being: mental, emotional, physical, spiritual.
When we suffer from these lacks, our resilience is diminished:
BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE... AND IT'S GOOD NEWS!
We can nourish ourselves and fill our reservoir with these:
So when you get up, move! Put on some music and dance like no one's watching. Get on the floor and roll around. Kick up your heels, even one at a time.
We are an electromagnetic system. We need to ground all the positive ions we produce back into the earth.
Just like it's safe to be in your car in a lightning strike, because the current won't travel through your rubber tires, it's the same with the shoes we wear--no place for those +ions to go.
Take off your shoes. Let your bare feet touch the ground or the floor....It's ok to wear socks, by the way....
Just smiling first thing in the morning, no matter what mood you wake in will slingshot you toward joy. Cultivate it. Grow it with your intention. Find things in your past, your present and in your imagined future that spark joy.
A few weeks ago, when I sat up groggily and burst into tears, I was inspired!
Actually, I had been driving myself for months. We sold the building I'd worked in for 26 years and I'd relocated 5 times in a year. So it had taken a sledge hammer of pain to get my attention.
I grew up with the chronic pain of degenerative hip disease, so I have had a lifelong pattern of ignoring discomfort in order to live the life I wanted....until I simply couldn't move.
The bugaboo for me is rest.
Am I resting or am I defeated? And by golly, I will not be defeated.
There's a difference between good hard work and going over the line. One message our society in the US encourages us to do is work till we drop. And there's another which says that because we do this, we "deserve" something good. We aren't encouraged to think about how we affect others. Comfort becomes the goal.
But there are other ways to be.
I also spent 20 years suffering with ulcerative colitis. During this time, a friend wrote me a note which I kept taped to a drawer near my treatment room. It said:
"If I don't want to talk to my client,
If I watch the clock during a session,
If I think my client is annoying,
This means I'm sick and I need to lie down RIGHT NOW!"
Then I would, and a miracle would happen: I'd feel better and my clients returned to being charming!!
This week I'm at the Oregon Coast where I'm not distracted by the pulls I feel at home. It's been glorious! I've had little hilarious adventures in healing and I've been drawing every day. And I'm having many, many hours of rest....and fun. And at the end of the week, I will come back refreshed, with new thoughts on connecting and caring--both for myself and for others.
And so what about you? How do you "push yourself around"? And how do you counter the messages that encourage you to?
Is it time for a little (maybe hilarious) help healing?
Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"
"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to."
"I don't much care where –"
"Then it doesn't matter which way you go.”
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Have you ever thought: "I want to go to ABC," or "I want to do XYZ, but I can't get started?"
Or maybe you've thought, "I don't actually know what I want."
Since we need a place to start, we might as well start where we are.
So it's good to notice if you're in your body--or not.
When we feel "spacey" or "in our head" then we're not connected fully to our bodies, and so we have less internal resource.
So how do we get grounded so we can take a next step?
If you've followed my blogs then you know getting grounded, and knowing your Base of Support is one of my favorite topics.
So try step one:
Of course there are more ways to get grounded and I'll go into that in my next blogs. In the mean time, just coming back to this simple exercise will help.
Oh, and remember to stay hydrated.
Let's toast to waking up with some water.
On my way driving to Cannon Beach, Oregon in the bright sunshine this week, I was stopped by beauty; so stopped that I actually turned around less than 20 miles from that rare sunny day on the coast.
I had been basking as I drove, in the loveliness of Spring turning to Summer; the beauty of things growing.
But I gasped at the beauty of something broken.
It was a magnificent old maple with limbs splaying wide in all directions--except one.
At the heart of the tree was a jagged tear where an enormous branch had recently broken. The branch lay there heavy and still. The gash on the tree was open and raw...and breathtaking.
My first words were, "Oh my god! How beautiful!"
In this culture, where we're encouraged to love the new and the young, what I was struck with was this:
deep, abiding and lasting beauty takes time to form. It takes injury and then the change and even flourishing after injury to form. The winds blow us into beauty.
It is wabi-sabi. "Pared down to its barest essence, wabi-sabi is the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection and profundity in nature, of accepting the natural cycle of growth, decay, and death. It's simple, slow, and uncluttered-and it reveres authenticity above all."
And wabi-sabi is in all of us.
I think of the deep, expressive, not-always-beautiful wrinkles on the cheeks of my father's mother that I longed to inherit, and that now are my own.
So what part of life shows in you that might take one's breath away? What have you grown around? What is your uniqueness? Your strength after injury? And how might you allow the ones around you to nurture your love of this part of yourself?
Alice laughed. "There's no use trying," she said: "one can't believe impossible things."
"I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before dinner!" from Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
If it weren't for the fact that every single year for my entire life the sun moves north and tulips shoot up and birds start singing their spring songs, I would wonder if this year I'd entered Narnia during the White Queen's reign in Oregon.
But something outside of me reminded me that this is not the year of eternal winter: two days of warm sunshine in a row after this long, cold, dreary fall-winter!
I can't always count on my own sense of what's possible and what's not. No one can.
We're social beings, deeply rooted in the fabric of Mother Earth.
Two things are true:
Two other things are true:
A few years ago, I'd been in an accident and had not been able to sit comfortably for months because of nerve pain. I went to a business conference to learn about money. Sheevaun Moran was the last person I thought I'd want to have a conversation with (oh prejudice!) and yet in her workshop, which I reluctantly attended, she asked me in front of the crowd, “Why do you want to get rid of this pain?” After each answer she'd curtly say, “No, that's not it.” and ask again. When I blurted out my secret, “Because I want a big life!” She said “That's it. Go sit down.” She gave a couple more simple things for me to do during the conference, which, since I was feeling much better, I did. By the way, she also helped me change my relationship with money....and with energy.
So think about your life. What's going well? What, outside of your self has helped? You have a roof over your head. Someone said a kind word. Someone insisted you do something you didn't want to do and it paid off. Spring finally arrived!!
And what's nagging? What, if it were gone, would help open you to your big life?
Make yourself available, receptive, “completely receptive.” And listen, watch, let yourself be curious. Take a step and notice what results.
Is the result in the direction you want to go? Great! Go for it!
Is the result nebulous or negative? Continue to make yourself available to the interconnected web of life, and take another step.
WOW! Look at her go!
Remember how good it felt to watch Simone Biles (take a look) do her amazing gymnastic feats?
When we see someone else dancing, running or making that amazing catch, our muscles fire off tiny little mini movements as if we were doing the activity ourselves. This happens because we have mirror neurons. Studies have shown that watching a video of a pro is as effective as practicing to learn a new move in sports.
Knowing this is incredibly useful because it works just as well all by our lonesomes: in our mind when we can imagine doing something we don't know how to do. And here's where it gets exciting.....We can use what we see in our minds to change how we move.
In fact, we need to be able to imagine a new movement before we can duplicate it.
I had an amazing experience with my imagination and what those mirror neurons could tell me.
About 10 years ago I was having some weird discomfort in my left leg. Now, I had both of my hips replaced in the 1980's due to a childhood hip disorder (Yay! Out of pain and into life!).
So anyway, since I had this "feeling" in my leg, I was playing around with one of Irene Dowd's exercises from"Taking Root to Fly."
Since I wanted to experience walking without that not-good feeling, I lay on my back, quieted my mind and did her visualization of seeing someone else doing exactly what I wanted to do.
The next step was to put my body image into or next to theirs and start to feel my muscles firing just a little.
Normally this would continue to develop over time till I was standing and moving the way I wanted.
Instead, what happened was that the only way my image of my body could move in the easy gait I was looking for was when two husky men held me up so my leg didn't take any weight. "How strange!" I thought.
And here's the important part: I trusted what my mind had given me, and so I made an appointment with my hip doctor.
The Xray showed that the replacement in my femur had come loose. There was no stability to be had.
So my surgeon (who wasn't a husky man, but a tiny woman--and nursing at that) opened me up, easily slipped the old prosthesis out, and gave me a solid new replacement.
The next time I did the Dowd visioning exercise, I was able to use it to improve my gait with the new hip! Of course, I also got PT and Aston-Patterning to continue my rehab....and then this:
"Your healing is remarkable!" said my surgeon on my first post-op visit.
And your healing can be remarkable too!
It's never too late to change old movement patterns into something better, easier, more comfortable and even stronger.
If it's time for you to take some action, make a phone assessment appointment
and let's talk.
Or come to one of my monthly Easy Healthy Movement classes. and find out what all the fuss is about.
Because I want your body.....to feel fine!
Do you want a kick-start to feel better fast? Click here to get my free booklet.
I'm Valerie Lyon, the Mojo Recovery Therapist.