Listening To Your Body's Wisdom

By Steven Falcone

I had really done it this time. Laying face down in bed, with excruciating pain in my back and legs, I could barely move. It didn't make sense. I was only digging out a little bit of sod to expand the garden... then I dropped to my knees.

As I lay in wait for my chiropractor (God bless her for making a house call) I was unable to move. I began to recall bits of a conversation I had many years earlier with a very wise woman, but I couldn't remember it all. You know, like when you wake up from a deep sleep and can't quite remember all of a dream. Just then my chiropractor arrived. After much adjustment with what seemed like a whole bottle of essential oil, I could finally stand up without help. Well sort of.

"You've really done it this time." admonished my chiropractor. "You have severely damaged a disc, specifically the one between L4 and L5. It is very "hot" and I suspect it is herniated. If you do not allow it to heal properly, and that means absolutely no activity for the next few weeks, there may be permanent damage."

I began to protest, what about my busy schedule, my clients. What about the workshops that Kim and I had booked. There was the garden, and all of the household projects that needed to be done. And my exercise routine, I needed to lose some weight that had crept up over the winter. And my..... "Listen to what I am saying." she said. "You are at a crossroads here, and if you do not take care of this injury you may never work in your garden again!" This time I got the message, and it seemed strangely familiar to that conversation I had so long ago. The one I couldn't quite remember.

I spent the next few days between my bed and my favorite reading chair. My back hurt terribly. I knew my attitude would play a big role in my healing process. As I practiced visualization techniques, I could "see" the damaged disc. The heat and swelling caused it to expand out from between the two vertebrae that cradled it. I visualized a cold blue iceberg, cold and blue floating toward my disc. It began to cool my pain, began to put out the fire. I could "see" the swelling reduce and the disc moving into its normal position. The healing process was accelerating.

Each day I visited the cold blue iceberg. I began to look forward to the visualizing process. It was a quiet time for me to reflect on the events of the last few days. To experience the process, and to be in the now. As I continued to relax and heal, the conversation I had tried to remember became very clear.

It was many years ago, after I had gone through some major life changes. Maria, a very wise woman had "appeared" in my life and took on the role as a teacher. I would drive 90 miles once a week and spend many hours exploring metaphysical concepts. One afternoon while discussing chakra balancing techniques, Maria became very serious. "You have an important issue to deal with." she said. "And the universe has a very interesting way of helping you address these kinds of issues. You can choose to deal with it now on your own terms, or flat on your back in a hospital bed at some future time. Either way you will have to deal with it."

This floored me. After all hadn't I made major changes in my life! Wasn't I open minded to new concepts and ready to face new challenges! My ego conjured up half a dozen self righteous arguments as to why this couldn't apply to me, a chronic type A personality. Strengthened by my internal "logic" I pressed Maria for a deeper explanation of her statement. "Messages come through to us all of the time." she said. "We can choose to connect with these messages or ignore them. Sometimes sickness and injury can carry deep messages. If we have ignored the universe's past attempts to connect with us, then sickness and injury will usually get our attention." Her words intrigued and frightened me at the same time. I pressed her further, but she refused to discuss it and told me to meditate on it. That was a long time ago. Although I wasn't exactly in a hospital bed, this was close enough for me

I remembered Maria saying that as we travel on our path, the destination is important, but it is the quality of the drive that allows us to learn who we really are. I had always been focused on the destination. Just like when I dug the sod a few days earlier, and it landed me in bed, or the universe landed me in bed, or I landed myself there, or some combination of the three.

I began to understand that the "quality of the drive" represented a course that my life had not taken. I had always focused on the future rather than letting myself savor the present. What Maria had meant was "live in the present and find joy in each moment, because the present is the only time you can do anything to positively impact your life." Visualizing my healing process forced me to be in the present, gave me the opportunity to get glimpses of who I really was and helped me to trust that the outcome would take care of itself. And as I healed I listened a little closer to my body, and the messages it held for me... I'm still listening.

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Copyright 1997

Steven Falcone

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