Learn to Trust Your Body’s Inner Wisdom
My journey with my body continues. As it turns out, eventually I could benefit from having my right hip replaced. I am no stranger to this concept, given the fact that my left hip was replaced in 2007. I have survived the grief that came from the recent news about my right hip and leg. Thanks to life coaching with a great coach and trusting some amazing doctors, I now find myself in mid to late Square One of Martha Beck’s Change Cycle. Beck describes mid-Square One as the time when you have “realized that your old life is over, otherwise known as no man’s land!”
I used to have the identity of a strong, vibrant woman who was tremendously athletic and could take on almost any physical challenge that I chose to. That identity is no longer mine, and that is what I have been grieving — and grieve I did. So, lately I have been trying to discover who I am at the present moment. I am still strong. I am still vibrant. I may not be as athletic as I was a year ago, and I certainly know that I cannot take on every physical challenge put in front of me at this time. Yet, I also find myself to be wiser than the woman I was a year ago. I am a woman who has a better, though not yet perfect, connection to my body. As a result, I find myself leading a more authentic life.
Beck calls late Square One “Rebirth.” This is the time when you begin to have a love affair with your real life. You have stopped, for the most part, arguing with reality. You have not only accepted your new identity, but you have also fallen in love with it. I am not quite there yet, but I am getting closer all the time.
Let’s return to mid-Square One. In the past I have felt the pain in my right hip and leg, but I ignored the message of the pain. I did not want to know what the message was. I just wanted it to go away. I was arguing with reality. Having grieved and entered mid-Square One, I have decided to create a working, collaborative relationship with my body. I have come to believe that the best way forward is to work with my body, as opposed to battling against it. After all, it is believed that modern medicine knows less than 10 percent of what our bodies know instinctively (Deepak Chopra). So, it behooves us to tune in, get out of our comfort zone and try a different perspective. Most of my life I have been taught by my parents, teachers, and medical professionals that it is our job to take care of our bodies.
Conventional wisdom would agree with this approach. Most personal trainers and nutritionists would support this belief. The real truth is that we must allow our bodies to take care of us (Deepak Chopra). At least, this is what I am learning while in no man’s land.
In my last e-newsletter, I posed this question: What if we turned to our injuries or illnesses and let them show us the way forward instead of allowing them to hold us back? I have been playing with this change in perception. I have been listening to my body more and more each day. Interestingly, my pain has decreased as I have listened. It does not have the need to speak as loudly now that I am listening more closely. This is not to say that my pain is miraculously gone. It is not. However, I am choosing activities that feel good based on conversations with my body. For example, I have started doing some acupuncture for the pain. My body appears to appreciate this tool. Additionally, at my last workshop where we dance for an hour prior to life coaching, I only danced for about half of the time. I knew dancing for the full hour would be extremely painful afterward.
Tailoring my activities to respect and honor my body has become an everyday practice. This weekend is mulch madness. It is our traditional mulching weekend. We have a very large garden, and we invite friends over to help us mulch the entire thing. One truckload of mulch will be delivered in our driveway today and will be rigorously and lovingly placed in our multiple gardens by the end of the long weekend. Many of you know that mulching is a lot of work. Typically, I am the individual who moves the mulch from the pile with a pitchfork, puts it in the wheelbarrow and then moves the wheelbarrow to the location currently being mulched. This year, I will change my job to accommodate my hip. Obtaining the mulch and putting it in the wheelbarrow requires a ton of twisting, which I know does not please my body. I still choose to be involved with mulching, but I am going to choose how to be involved in mulch madness this year.
I am not experiencing any sadness around making accommodations for my hip. I feel perfectly happy and eager to mulch. I feel good about these accommodations because I am making choices. I am choosing to work with my body, rather than feeling as if I have no choice but to limit my activities. I have nothing but positive thoughts about how I am choosing to proceed. I am learning to trust the inner wisdom of my body! By so doing, I hope that I am co-creating a loving relationship with my body to support my true self.
When in your life did you lose your old identity (even temporarily) due to illness, injury, divorce, getting the perfect job, etc., and find yourself trying to discover who the new you would be? Please share!
I love this Albert Einstein quote. He had it right on! His quote helps to confirm the new thoughts that I am working on creating within myself.
“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”
— Albert Einstein
I thought I would share with all of you one of my favorite TV shows, called The Newsroom. It has become a bit of an addiction for me. The first season aired on HBO last summer. Brilliantly written by Aaron Sorkin, The Newsroom is about a cable news show that is anchored by a character played by Jeff Daniels. Jeff Daniels’s character and the executive producer and the head of the news for this cable channel make the decision to be true to what they know is right. They decide to do the news as the news was meant to be. This show brilliantly displays how it is a daily struggle to be true to one’s true self. Many times, it can be an unpopular decision. If you have not caught this show, I highly recommend it. You can watch the first season on HBO GO to catch up before season 2 begins. Also, I suggest watching the series in order. I am so excited! The second season starts Sunday, July 14. Woohoo!
I thought this Ralph Marston slide show was perfect for this e-newsletter. We often think that injury and illness are disruptions to our otherwise fine lives. Truth be told, injury and illness or challenging circumstances are a huge part of the richness of life. How will you choose to proceed? Will you quit, persevere at any cost or take a moment to listen to what your body is trying to share with you? It’s your choice.
Stay tuned for the ongoing journey of me and my hip. In the next e-newsletter, I will fill you in on how Mulch Madness went. Suffice it to say that a world record was made this year!
Until next time,
Safe Space Life Coaching