Pinned to a table by strong hands, my chiropractor announced that my neck needed to be adjusted. Every muscle in my body turned to stone in protest and I immediately debated his expertise, "Is that REALLY, TRULY NEEDED?" Despite the excellent care and healing I have received from him for years, when he reaches for my neck, I still panic. I issue a firm warning: if he breaks my neck, there will be hell to pay. He laughs, and says he can deal with my wrath. I'm a terrible patient; I can't stand the pain of staying where I am, but I fear the adjustment it takes to get me back to functioning.
Recalibrating life is often a painful process, particularly when the changes are needed due to circumstances we didn't choose. How can we arrange the hours and days that we used to devote to the care of a loved one passed? How can we find a new lifestyle, when the one we've enjoyed is no longer an option? These are real questions that impose real stress, as we seek to navigate some of life's most complicated paths. As Dr. Torture kindly reminds me, I can choose to stay with my pain; not sleeping, unable to drive or dig in my garden. Or, he can take 45 seconds to adjust my neck if I will allow the process to happen. I always allow it in the end, but it takes me thrice as long to convince myself that the fear is irrational, as the adjustment itself.
There is a special place in the woods I retreat to when I need to rejoin reality after too much spiritual work. Being with nature helps me remember how small I am, and how insignificant even my largest problems are in the complete scope of life cycles. In the summer the path is padded with pine needles and my footsteps are almost imperceptible. I am fully present to the sounds of the birds and the deer cracking sticks as they tip-toe about. The canopy of leaves creates a cool, eerie light. In the winter, it takes more effort to get my feet through the snow but the effect of the sunlight on the glistening white landscape is brilliant beyond what I can aptly describe. I often pause, gazing upwards if the wind blows softly through the trees releasing trapped snow into the air. The flakes catch the sunlight as they fall to the forest floor and the sky appears to be raining diamonds. It's totally worth freezing for. I don't go often in the Spring, but today, I needed to. I went in search of signs of new growth, wondering, "Will Spring ever arrive?" The wind was raw, air damp and the trail was a thick layer of ice. Interestingly, the rest of the ground was mostly thawed. Only where there has been constant treading of feet was the path slippery and difficult to navigate. Nature has already allowed the the unexplored parts to melt. I changed course, and walked there instead.
No matter how many times I visit this familiar place, it is always changing. Longing for signs of Spring, I kept searching for something green, but found nothing. With the experience nearly over, and disappointment creeping in, I realized my expectation of Spring was unreasonable. I demanded evidence of visible green growth, and only then, would I accept the change of season was really here. Instead, I witnessed the space of possibility and potential before the growth happens. Several feet of snow had melted. Some parts of the path were muddy, not icy. There was a small section of a stream that flowed freely instead of being at a stand still. Spring is definitely here, but it's growing beneath the surface and I cannot yet see it's progress blooming.
As I walked, I realized, I will never have the opportunity to be the person I was yesterday, again. Every day, I will have to start over. My entire life exists only within the moment I am experiencing. I allowed my joy to be dependent on my need to see green growth. I nearly missed seeing the progress of seasons because it did not yet meet my definition of what Spring is.
I let my idea go, and became present to truth. Spring is here. I regained my sense of being grounded in reality that I went in seeking, and walked out of the woods a content person.
Starting over begins with a choice to allow the change to happen. It can be helpful to create an affirmation of acceptance and "be" with that for a time period before you take action. If you are stuck for ideas, a suggestion is:
"I allow changes that support my happiness and well-being."
Next, make an action based effort. Keep it reasonable. If you know you need to relocate, take the small action of organizing a closet each day. Small, consistent efforts yield greater results than the occasional, large effort.
Finally, you will be required to go with the flow. Life will rarely comply with your expectation of it, but that doesn't mean growth isn't happening. Take time out to "get grounded" and be present to whatever objective truth you find outside of yourself. Remember...you shouldn't believe everything you think.
©Mollie Morning Star 2014 Short excerpts of this article may be shared on the internet provided a live link back to this original source is used. Reproduction in print is prohibited.