Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Pain and Gratitude

Today was such a good day.

It's World Kindness Day, for one thing. So I had a fantastic new play list for yoga this morning.

THEN, I got to spend an hour with a new student who came to me after having surgery a few years ago. She lives with chronic pain, although not as bad as before the surgery. She came just to see if there was anything for her in yoga.

I think you can imagine my answer.

We spent some time rolling around the floor of my studio, checking out the ways her body moves now and the limitations --some immoveable because of new hardware in her body and some that I think will disappear over time as her body gains strength and opens up. I'm designing a yoga practice just for her, based on Dharma Yoga. I got so excited, I forgot to offer her tea afterward! My head was already full of potential sequences.

And there it was, see: An answer to a question I'd been asking for a long time.

I always wonder why I had to endure those years of pain. How was anyone served by that? The indignity of it --why was that necessary?

But today, what I realized is that I had to endure those years so I could really get inside of that pain. So I could really feel what it feels like to inhabit a body that feels completely foreign. So that I could loathe myself, and then learn to love myself. So that I will never, ever forget what that felt like.

I remember how angry I was, how really deeply enraged I was at this betrayal by my body. I punished myself. I withheld things I loved from myself. Over time, though (and it took a lot of time,) something in my perspective shifted and I began to see how valiantly my body was trying to cope with this pain. And I began to nourish it in a different way, like I would a sick child.

When I stopped fighting myself and grieving over all the things I couldn't do, when I started to celebrate the things I COULD do and to feel grateful for those, it made space inside of me for joy to bloom again.

Which always makes me wonder if I had been able to release my emotional pain sooner, would my physical pain have dissipated sooner, too?

Anyway, because I had that experience with truly dreadful chronic pain, I am uniquely qualified to help others who come to me in the midst of their own pain.

Before every class I teach, I pray that I might be a channel through which healing and health comes for those who come to me. I am overwhelmed with gratitude at the thought that I might help someone in the same way I was helped.

So, I had this huge, enormous, heart-filling joy today.

AND...then I won a cool t-shirt from Yoga Inspiration, who had posted a question asking how yoga had changed its readers' lives.  I wrote, "After three years of excruciating chronic pain, I took my first yoga class. It triggered my healing and now, three years later, I'm a RYT and have opened a small studio. Yoga has been a miracle for me and I'm pretty sure when you get a miracle, you're supposed to share it!"

I'm pretty sure when you get a miracle, you're supposed to share it.

2 comments:

Kimos said...

Amen

Jennie De Groot said...

Well, there you are now! From personal experience, when I am "stuck" , I ask the universe for direction. I do this out loud and ask " Please help me " My kids roll their eyes, but they watch closely because….I always get an answer!! .I think you asked that question earlier this month in that quest to be more "you" .Now you have an answer. Fantastic..beyond fantastic.You must have seemed like a life rope or beacon of hope for that poor person who is standing where you once stood.Do good work.