On my way to FREE
I used to be active. Really active.
Picture the girl in the short volley shorts and sports bra at the front of a high intensity step class in the 90's - every day... That was me.
And then, out of nowhere, the pain came; plagued with 20 years of chronic neck and shoulder pain crippled me --until recently. When the spinal discectomy and fusion of my C5-6, 6 rounds of facet nerve ablation (they killed the nerves at the joints in my cervical spine), 3 epidurals, and the steroid shots didn't work, I started pain management 5 months ago, only at night bc I can't function on that stuff. It was a last resort and I begged my surgeon to go back in. Fix it. Please! When he refused to perform a second major spinal surgery, I decided to start seeing a physical therapist. Why not turned into why the hell hasn't anyone suggested this before???
It's been 5 weeks of twice-a-week PT and dry needling (which hurts like a bitch - look it up) and I've been off medication for 4. I haven't cried in 3. Yesterday I RAN, like really, for 20 minutes at 5.5 intensity/3 incline for the first time in years.
I've cut out sugar, with the exception of 70% dark chocolate and raw honey) and have stopped eating pork, beef, and chicken and am juicing every morning.
Add EXPANSIVE contemplative prayer, meditation, breath work, and focusing on the things that make me FEEL REALLY GOOD and bring me JOY (and steering clear or getting rid of the things that don't) brings a superior level of OPEN/EASE.
Everyday I hurt less and that is good.
It's simple really. Who would have known. I'm on my way to FREE.
Cup of Joy
The theme of this sacred winter retreat was Let it Go. Among the beautiful landscape of Camp Winshape at Berry College, I was nourished and my cup was filled. Some nuggets of amazing truth I'll hold onto as I get back to my busy life:
1. It's okay to move on.
2. "I'm behind you, baby girl."
3. It's really easy to trust God with what I know - "here are all my plans. Now bless them."
4. Pray for breadcrumbs....
5. I can rest. I don't have to go to one more retreat, join one more small group, sponsor one more new comer right now, start another study.
6. And - it's okay to move on.
Sweetest, dearest blessings to Dot and the Leadership team of #CupofJoy.
I was at the nail salon yesterday evening, zoning in and out of the giggly chatter of the women behind the counter and trying to read the closed captioned news report about a bomb on a bridge in Atlanta.
They are always playing these awesome 1980’s ballads, which I have to admit I love listening to in small doses, like when I’m getting my nails done.
Being ever present in my body, I felt the achy swell of teenage nostalgia rise up from deep inside me. The sting of a tear surfaced as Journey’s Faithfully and Fast Car from Tracy Chapman played back to back over the speakers. Holy F*! Where did that come from? I say that as I am writing, but the truth is I just settled into the memory quietly and rode the wave.
Songs have that way with me and smells do too. They can emote all kinds of feelings of; safety, love, repulsion, nostalgia, longing, regret, giddiness, and joy.
Here’s what I nestled into: the smell of gaffers tape and solder; Tom Sayer playing loudly in a dark theater; orange tic-tacs and Big Red gum; the freezing cold of Russia and the smell of wet exhaust; Callery Pears (cum trees) blooming in the Spring; standing at the bus stop cool as hell, smoking my Camel Lights; him.
It doesn’t happen often but there we are.
I got in the car and promptly assembled my 1980’s Journey, Chicago, Foreigner, RUSH playlist on Spotify.
My nails look great by the way.
My taxi driver was the coolest cat.
Born and raised in Boise, lives on 30 acres surrounded by wheat and corn fields, and just paid off his house. He pickles and cans lots of yummies from his large garden and fishes as much as he can. He used to bow hunt deer and bear but never acquired a taste for bear; he'd "rather eat a boiled boot."
He pans for gold and plans to sell some this summer to spend a few days in Manhattan visiting Times Square. He has family in Oregon and they trade canned goods for salted fish.
He laid concrete for 30 years and now drives a taxi 4 days a week for fun. He lives 4 miles from his son and twin grandsons and loves them very much. I loved his gentle 5am sermon about slow living and I took a deep breath as we parted.
All is good with my Soul this morning.
Now listening to One Republic and reading #DesireMap.
Five of my favorite things: 1: beautiful aesthetic – think Italian linen, French laundry tables, three dozen sunset shades of peonies. . . / 2: the smell of my children’s heads / 3: gastronomy – the art of badass food / 4: earl grey tea with milk and honey / 5 : the Mediterranean Sea