Courage Through Fear


Today I leave for a weekend workshop for Acro Yoga. I loooove acro yoga but I am so scared. This morning I am coming from a few nights of restless sleep over a fingernail polish debacle on my comforter, excessive licking from my dog on his hurt paw and ill timed, unnecessary alarms. Then the cherry on top is just my natural tendency to tear up easily. So here I sit writing this blog with my messy hair, sighs and sleepy giggles and that weird amped feeling I get when I’m tired and nervous so I can show you the real time mess that is a part of my whole person.


Truth is I worry. It’s a natural part of my personality which is why I meditate. Meditation just helps me to slow the wheels from spinning as fast so I can get a little perspective. I have already mediated this morning but it’s not quiet quelling the worry I feel over the physical strain I will put on my already tired, rheumatoid arthritis having body this weekend.


When I was first diagnosed with this disease my perspective got so clear. I found a gift in pain management, I was so consumed with just getting from A to B that I had no time to think of anything else. It was only about “what can I do right now?” and sometimes the answer was “lay here” and that was okay. Now that I’ve found my mobility again, now that I am able bodied to about 90% of what I once was my urge to push has kicked in. I want to satisfy the curiosity I have with my body and what it can do but I don’t want to let my ego take over and decide to sacrifice my body in order to reach some imposed goal.


This is such a tight rope act for me. I am fully aware at how easily I get sucked into the nation wide idea of fitness and health and that’s what scares me. The idea that we have to push our bodies to it’s limit and beyond does not serve a person with an autoimmune disease. When we push beyond the body attacks itself. The idea that suffering through and ignoring pain will get you to the next level is exactly how this disease started for me and I was unable to sleep without pain for weeks from a shoulder injury that spread into every joint in my body.


So now I’m learning how to stop before the big breakdown and believe me it is not something I do gracefully…yet. I get a little pouty and I wonder if I should tell people about my disease. I want to tell people why I stopped so they don’t think I’m just being a whimp or ruining their fun. Then I tell myself that I am not defined by this disease so I don’t have to give any explanation I just have to love myself and give the space to listen to my body. Then that other half of me pouts because it wants to push…Sigh.


So there’s my messy. I’m committed to listening this weekend. Listening to my body and stopping when I need to. I haven’t found a satisfying way to communicate this information to others yet but this weekend will be a great opportunity to practice it again and again. To reinforce my dedication to healing this mornings meditation was on glittering, healing light with the feelings of gratitude and well being. As I ate my breakfast I was reminded of the visual that inspired this light. Last spring as light shined through the petals of an Iris I saw it contained glittering light within it’s cells and that night I visualized that light flowing through my veins healing and calming every cell in my body.


So here’s goes nothin’. I’m off to test the boundaries that really matter. To be courageous enough to listen, to communicate and to honor the wonderful body that’s taken me this far.


One thought on “Courage Through Fear

  1. I ended up with a group of people who had their own injuries and limitations, making it even easier for me to express when I needed to take a break and to my surprise I needed far fewer breaks then I had anticipated. In fact, I even found myself able to run lightly on my tip toes to the bathroom with the only thought in my head being “oh my god, I’m running! I’m running!” All of my group was so conscious of one another and one of them had a shoulder injury while another one had a port. I hadn’t seen a port since my friends chemo port but I certainly recognized it. It’s placement and her abilities seemed like this port was not for cancer but anyone with a port is dealing with something big and she acted like it wasn’t even there. So inspiring!

    So, I played on with my group with the realization that we all have things; aches, pains, fears and challenges and I didn’t feel so alone or odd or like a burden. I felt the same as everyone else and that was a beautiful thing!

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