It’s been awhile… Today I drive to Houston (in the hatchback so I can lay flat) so tomorrow I can fly to Durham, NC. Friday will be my much anticipated visit with Dr. Grey at Duke Medical Center.
This is my affirmation for the trip. Traveling alone. Trusting in the helpfulness of strangers along the way. Putting complete faith in the universe to get me there and get me healed. When I get scared, or feel alone, this is my mantra:
It’s funny, when you can’t really stand up or move your body, exercise, or think clearly for 9 months – something shifts. A deep shift, way down in the marrow of your being. I’ve always prided myself on being fast moving and quick witted. I was the fastest, most efficient, waitress, college student, marketing exec, and mother. In fast, I was so quick and so efficient getting to the next step that I never in my life slowed down to really BE where I am right now.
Well I got hit by the freight train of all Universal Freight Trains. How about a condition to slow you down, mentally and physically? These are just some of the important lessons in gratitude I’ve learned. In preparation for healing, I have been putting together a list of the things that a CSF leak has made me grateful for that I never knew I was. This is my gratitude and farewell love note to my spinal fluid leak….
1. I love the feeling of warm water on my hands as I wash them. It’s really a lovely experience. Slowing down to appreciate the sensory experiences of my day. Particularly those that are most subtle. The soft slipperiness of soap on my hands, the gentle aroma of soap.
2. I cherish the feeling of a clean body after I get out of the shower. When every vertical moment counts, the option of taking a shower is weighed equally against sitting up while eating, hugging my kids, going to the bathroom (kind of an important one) and the amount of pain I’m willing to experience. That said. I don’t shower a lot. It just doesn’t rank high in the cost/benefit ratio. But when I do – OH – clean hair. Clean skin. The feeling of gentle detox after my skin has a good salt scrub. Heaven.
3. Having the physical ability to snuggle, read, and tuck my kids in. I won’t lie. Before this, the end of the day was rushed. Hurried. As everything else in life. My overall emotion (though not expressed) was “hurry up and go to sleep already I have a long list of things to do yet”. Now, I weigh if I’m physically capable of walking down the hall to their room, sitting slightly propped up reading and snuggling. And the days that I get there – are truly beautiful, precious, and cherished by all of us.
4. Clarity of mind. I can’t remember when I last slowed down, meditated, quieted my mind, and reveled in the silence. Moving slowly. Removing the clutter of thought. Taking time to just be still and quiet. Feel the gentle breeze on my face, listen to the birds, and reward myself a few precious minutes away from the eternal “to do list”.
5. Listening. It’s amazing how much more you hear, see, and feel from others when you slow down and listen. Subtle shifts in energy, love, the needs of those around us. It’s like a whole world, the energy between people. But you have to stop. Slow down. Take a breath. Take another. Close your eyes. And listen. (much easier when there isn’t a lot of activity up there!)
6. Caring more about taking care of myself and less about what people think. Challenge. How much does what other people think affect your day? Be honest. Now, could you pull out a yoga mat and lay for 20 minutes at the park? on a crowded sidewalk? What about an airport? Could you strike up a conversation with a stranger and two sentences in say “excuse me, I need to lay down while we finish this conversation?” and lay down. Right there. Wherever you are. Without a yoga mat. Because you simply must. It’s confronting – but extremely freeing as well. Getting over what people think so you can get on with what you need to do in your life, is an incredible super power. Try it. Especially someplace random and public where you’ll never see the people again. I dare you.
Create your Sunshine Life. I’m grateful for the rich experiences that have given me new perspective. I encourage you to try slowing down for 1 whole day. Wash your hands mindfully, read a book, lay on your back in a public place and look at the clouds. This is the good stuff. And it has absolutely nothing to do with anything that we think is important. Besides, it’s MUCH easier to just learn the lessons yourself than receive the Master Lesson from the Universe in a rather unpleasant way. I’m all for one-upping the Creator!
It’s going to be a long trip, but what else do we have to do?