Spring has Sprung here in the Northwest. We have turned a corner with the Coronavirus Pandemic in Washington State, there is toilet paper in the stores, and in my bathroom. The sun beckons me outside and the garden begs to be dug. I am afraid.
I am afraid of recurring back pain when I dig, or lift heavy objects. As I’ve aged I’ve not kept up the exercises that I know my back needs to remain strong and flexible. My back is strong still, but stiff. I can lift normal stuff no problem, but digging is another thing. And the garden needs digging!
Iris bulbs and vegetable seeds are begging for a soft bed of earth- I hear their call!
Me, I am working on it. I’ve started doing a yoga stretch, a neck stretch, and the Empath stretches with the Peace Prayer designed originally by my mother, Tammy Narena. Slowly, I push against the stiffness, into the pain, just a bit. I hold it there, I breath. I relax all the muscles I feel straining. I focus on the meaning, newly interpreted by me, my personal peace prayer, my prayer for world peace.
Everyone, everywhere Triumphs, communicating Peace with enthused,i>,
dignified energy seeking heart connection to life, joy, and wisdom.i>.
Where is the fear in that? Maybe I am afraid of pain. I am a boundary pusher, but am I the luminous magnet of joy that my humanness offers me? I will need to go through my pain: communicate my pain, allow my pain. Even if I am rejected. Which will be so much more pain…
As a child I learned to survive by taking care of those around me, as well as myself. I couldn’t trust that I would be taken care of. As a teenager, I broke my poor misshapen back, And accidents kept happening: a motorcycle accident, a motor scooter accident, a bicycle accident, I was in pain, but somehow I learned that I was taken care of. That I could allow others to take care of me. That the universe would take care of me. That I would heal past the pain.
This continued to be my experience, despite so much pain. There were interventions, I worked hard, I asked for what I needed, and lo and behold: people were happy to help me. My back pain disappeared after just four months in training with a program of extreme weightlifting, slow sustained movements (Tai Chi), and yoga stretches. My posture improved, my muscle tone improved, tummy disappeared. And no pain! The exercises had been painful, and a bit scary. But I’d figured I had nothing to lose, so I worked the program. And the program worked.
I continued to push boundaries with business: making the first handmade herbal soap, and then creating a commercial brand for Health and Natural Food Stores nationwide and in Canada. Beyond Soap was the name, and it shot me to fame, as it were. After 13 successful years I sold the company, staying semi-retired to raise my then 2 year old son.
My marriage was short lived, and newly divorced, life pushed me into a new profession, and a new way of life. I eventually became a psychotherapist, trained in Contemplative Psychotherapy, a boundary pushing approach to the ego and mental illness that began from the premise of basic goodness, and the innate healing capacity of clients’ own selves.
Communicating my needs has become easier with time. Communicating my feelings and needs: still challenging. But that is my profession: to teach people how to communicate their feelings and needs. To own their feelings and their needs, not to push out mental constructions of blame or shame onto others or themselves.
So, I feel some anxiety about my back being hurt after digging and I need help digging up my garden right now. I’m strong, but not that strong. I will put it out there that I am looking for a strong back to help me, a social distanced help,
I will triumph communicating my needs, my feelings, what I’d really like to happen: my victory garden will be the first garden I’ve planted in many many years, and I am so looking forward to it!
My hands hold a baby bird inside my gentle fist, arms stretched out in a “V”, this is Empatharian Movement for Peace: “Victory”, with back elongated, head tilted slightly, imaginary string from the top of my head up to the heavens, shoulders down/relaxed, elbows straight. There is effort, and it strengthens me.