I sustained my first yoga injury early last week. I came out of what felt like an amazing headstand and was greeted by not-very-amazing neck pain. Within 20 minutes, my range of mobility was limited. By the next morning, I couldn't look left to right, up or down, any direction really. Convinced I just slept on it wrong after a rigorous class, I drove to my desk job and started crying as I tried to check my blind spots.
Needless to say, I spent the rest of the week working from home, getting chiropractic and acupuncture care and not doing yoga. Or getting on my bike. Or running. Or driving.
It was torturous, forced stillness.
Throughout the week I experienced a lot of anger and frustration. Some of it was a product of the pain, but most of it was directed at myself. I've been flitting around like a kindergartener the day after Halloween for a few months now. I've experienced several gentle reminders physically and mentally that have told me to slow down. But I've all but heeded these kind little warnings. In fact, I think I greeted them with the same courtesy as a horse fly.
So, my body turned up the volume.
"Yeah? You think you can ignore me, babe? Not an option. If you're gonna make me yell, Imma yell. Nice and loud."
Oh, and she did. And listening sucked.
It's been almost a week since the message over the loudspeaker told me, "Be more mindful of how you spend your time. Be honest with yourself about your energy levels. You need to stop planning every minute of every day because you're scared to sit still. Being random and free-spirited is fine, but cut the impulsiveness down a little. Don't be afraid to keep saying no and say it more often. Create a healthier routine not just for your body, but for your heart."
Here's the rub, I'm really great at making it seem like I've got a lot things under control and that I'm living with a hyper-sensitive level of awareness. I used to be an actress. I'm a fantastic storyteller. I can spin just about anything, including the reality I want people to perceive about me.
Boo, lemme tell you sumfin. I been screwin' up all over the place. But I ain't mad. I'm just funna git better.
Slowly. Mindfully. And with heaping doses of forgiveness.
I have full range of mobility back in my neck now. You know what I wanna do more than anything? Get on my bike and ride until I vom. Then run. Then swim. Then go to yoga. Then make plans with everyone I know.
But I'm not gonna do that. I'm not even going to think about planning out time to do that. I'm just going to go to sleep and be so thankful that tomorrow morning, I probably won't cry when I try to lift my head off my pillow like I did a few days ago.
And that, is an amazing thing.