Opening the blind in my bedroom this morning, to look outside and be surprised to see the grass covered in snow – only a very thin layer by the way - the gratitude for my warm cosy place in my mam’s house was raised a few notches.
Even with the lower temperature, I’d set the intention to go for a long walk. This is something I’ve been doing more regularly these past weeks (I’m working on building my stamina and long-distance walking ability, hoping to set off to do the pilgrimage the Camino in Spain once the weather heats up).
So… this morning I felt enough enthusiasm to venture out into the cold. I wanted to sink in to my physical body more, ground myself and be HERE. This is what the walking has been in aid; feeling alive, in a flow and inspired.
This morning I intended to walk for the same purpose. I wanted to create my own little space of heaven – even if I’m in Arklow. I needed to smell the cow-dung, to feel the wind and cold on my face, to hear the birds singing and enjoy the scenery... regardless if the blue sky was hiding behind the grey band of clouds. I was excited – however ‘dull’ my description of Arklow.
Standing by the window, with these thoughts going through my mind, I simultaneously bent my knees in an attempt to flex before getting my gear on. With my back straight, knees slightly bent, I moved them both in a horizontal direction. First to the right. In that, my left knee cracked – but it was a nice crack; one of those that opens up the joints more. Then, thinking to create a balance, I moved both knees to the left, hoping to ‘crack’ the right knee… And in that instant... my right knee didn’t say crack, instead it shouted 'POP'... And I cursed in despair… ‘holy shit...’… just before shooting pains charged up and down my right leg. I soon cried out in pain and tumbled to the ground. As this was happening, I realized what I’d done… I’d popped my right knee from its socket... Thankfully it popped back into place almost straight away… But the shock and the effects of the pop meant I was in agony on the floor… screaming in pain... feeling sick, weak, nearly ready to pass out.
Ten minutes later, I’d calmed myself down… I started to move and thought everything was fine… I even thought I’d be able to STILL go for a 2-hour walk… I’m apparently ‘invincible’ – a very debateable suggestion!
As soon as I made my way downstairs, something was about to tell me that I’m NOT invincible and was going NOWHERE – not anytime soon! I was trying to make breakfast, limping around the kitchen and the pain got worse. Within half an hour I found I could hardly bend my knee. Even if I COULD (and still CAN) put my full weight on that knee, I COULN’T (and still CAN'T) bend it or move easily. It’s like my knee has come to sit looser in its socket and if I move without caution, it feels threatened to pop out again. As well the muscles surrounding it have been strained.
I clearly saw the connection between what I was about to do (a long walk) and the knock I got from the universe. It was as if out of nowhere, without doing anything physically exerting in that very instant, this little miss “I’m so full of the joys of spring (even if it’s snowing outside) and so ready and able to walk endlessly for hours without exerting my body too much” was being told to slow down.
Every knock, every pain, every sign, is here to tell us something.
Afterward this little incident, I knew I needed to sit for a while and be patient… A very wise lesson… Things like this always make us realize just how precious the human body is… Something we tend to forget, when we’re living our lives, caught up in the tiny details that really are unimportant in the grand scheme of why we’re here. Even when we’re in an amazing positive frame and doing things for the intention of only good things, it can STILL happen that the head gets in between the heart and body connection and we miss what we actually CAN and NEED to be focusing on right now. So maybe my body isn’t in need of a 2-hour walk! At least NOT this week…
These past days I’ve been thinking about exercise and what suits me more. I was reflecting on the difference I physically feel when I’m either doing yoga or walking. Both practices are totally different and therefore they awaken and stimulate a different kind of energy. As I contemplated, I feel yoga to be far gentler on the body (of course!). It puts me in a flow, it slows down my mind and I enter a positive space. I embrace my physical limitations – without judgement, frustration or friction. It brings me to my center and sometimes I can even feel how all of the thoughts - that will often be racing through my mind, even as I’m moving from one pose to the next and focusing on my breathing – are like a storm… But the poses let me move through this storm. I accept the racing mind. The more I flow from one pose to the next, the more I come into that centered state. And I learn so much by doing so.
Then, there’s the walking… Oh YES… how I love it. How it brings me to a state of appreciation for where I am… The longer the walk, the more into a zone I go, the clearer my mind becomes and the more energy I feel awakens. I feel on-course, heading towards a destination, but totally being IN the journey. This state only comes though, if I purposely walk for longer than just 1 hour. That's why I've been lengthening these little journeys. As well, the intention to walk the Camino in the next months, is a part of it. Up until today, it was working a treat and I didn't think I was pushing anything. Because I’ve been walking INSPIRED and not for the purpose of anything else that could be harming me on any level.
Yet… at this moment in time, I’m obviously MEANT to take it easier on the walking and simply continue the gentle yoga. This doesn’t mean I can’t go to the Camino. It just means I need to be more cautious of my body and realize that we’ll never know what can happen to set us back and change our course (if only temporarily). In that realization, appreciation for what we CAN do right now, will rise.
Sometimes our focus needs to deviate – not in a major way by only minor. Sometimes other intentions we’ve set need a priority and little knocks are to limit ourselves in certain ways, so that other areas can flourish. Interesting... especially considering how I’ve been having big insights and creative ideas coming through. These can only materialize by SITTING. And this knee is now letting me sit!!!! YAY!!!
As we ask for signs and guidance each day, we’ll always receive that which we’re in need of learning. Then again, without too much analysis… this little ‘popping of the knee from the socket’ could just be ‘one of those things’ and I’ll be able to move more freely within a few days – with more caution to that particular area.
It depends on how much of deep thinker a person is… However, in the depth of our experiences I believe and know it’s where the magic of our daily encounters can be found.