curiosity, compassion, patience 2-14-17


Sacramento residents cherish spring-surprise February days. Especially this wet year. In a small backyard nook, even in winter depth, I can count on basking on those special days. Yesterday I moved my cherry red Adirondack out of maple-shade and wedged it in that nook. I lounged in bliss-flooded memory precisely where I reclined in the 80’s, leaning against the same fence, watching my babies crawl through the grass. I could almost taste the lingering sweetness, lost as I was in reminiscence. Now they are grown and gone with babies of their own. Time is strangely swift and plodding all at once.

I feel those qualities of swift and plodding reflected in my body. Maybe you do, too. I can cut my finger or twist my knee or bite my tongue and watch the swift healing miracle progress day by day. But we all experience those plodding along challenges. The older I become, the more I’m called to gently and slowly manage the chronic ones. In regards to healing the persistent, I’ve been noticing the value of unflagging curiosity, compassion and utter patience. Paying attention, slowing down, self-nurturing. Some pain does not disappear. We are totally in charge of our relationship with that truth.

Here’s a reality check in. It’s normal in any lifetime to experience at least one (if not several) episodes of low back pain. Comes with the territory. Your initial response to this noxious sensation is so revealing. Some obvious possibilities: anger—stupid to lift that heavy bag; worry—how am I going to go to work; impatience—I don’t have time for this; fix it—I’m calling the chiropractor/MD/acupuncturist/PT right now; frustration—not fair, had this last year. All too familiar.

If we live long enough and experience enough episodic discomfort, most of us find our way to a daily practice of making friends with our precious body temple. In good times and bad, we roll out the mat and just do it. Do what? That’s where the unflagging curiosity, compassion and utter patience come in. You might roll out the mat, listen and make your way through some base line routine moves, modifying as needed, creating on the spot. Maybe you are more fluid; moving from scratch each day, listening, developing, adjusting. Over time you find your style and one thing never changes: that just-do-it part.

Over several decades I’ve partnered with thousands ready to take themselves on. Together we discover what’s tight that needs to loosen, what’s weak that needs more power and what’s short that needs more length. This last Saturday the Pelvic Bowl workshop was full up with the dedicated and curious.   Among other amazing things, we focused on what was asymmetrically loose, long and strong in the pelvic region. I have a long history of one-on-one healing in the art of physical therapy. Healing in a group setting is my edge right now and I’m loving it. Between diving in with the Saturday group healing the bowl and holding the dance group Sunday dedicated to heart healing…well, I’m gratified to be doing this group work. It feels like the best job in the world!

If you are tired of feeling the victim, ready to take yourself on with confidence, psyched up to show up for yourself maybe 15-30 minutes a day, here are three opportunities to consider:

  1. Grow Loose, Long and Strong, three Saturday afternoons March 25, April 8, May 6 at It’s All Yoga. Each Saturday stands alone and is supported by a very specific home video. Or you can feel the way each Saturday builds on the previous and enroll in all three, with plenty of time in between to integrate and practice.
  2. Just want to cut to the chase and get the video? Video is free with the workshop but if you want it now, purchase here.
  3. Want to get very specific as quickly as possible? Come see me. I’m always amazed at what we accomplish in a single visit. You’ll go home with your own personalized video.

Time is strangely swift and plodding but nevertheless, it passes. Showing up for myself in good times and bad, nurturing and tending my body each and every day…it’s the only way I know to make the most of the time left. Let’s do it together.

Love, bella


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