Ice, heating pad, yoga mat.
I breathe in, slowly bringing my knee to my chest, exhaling on the count as I hold.
One, two, three, four, five.
I look up at my ceiling and slowly cross my knee to the opposing shoulder, feeling the cushion of my mat beneath, and placing my energy on my breath.
Both knees into my chest, and exhale, before repeating again the sequence from the beginning.
After raising slowly from the floor and rolling up my mat into a soft spiral, I grab my phone to check my email.
Subject line: “Ouch! The surprising reason for aches and pains.”
I smile, my arm automatically grazing my back in a moment of acknowledgement.
“Focus your attention on the sensation itself and offer a simple truth in the form of an ‘I notice’ statement.
Next, to recall the moment you remember first having the sensation, you will remember an incident that was in some way out of the ordinary, or that gave you pause.”
Intrigued, I set my phone down and sit, supported by the floor and the back of my chair.
I close my eyes, and breath in and out. In and out. Then I place my attention on the tension.
I notice there is a tight ball of tension in my mid back.
I then inquire when was the first time I felt this.
Suddenly I’m 12 again, and the incident washes over me, and then the tears are falling, falling, falling.
I remember laying on my bed, in so much pain, face down.
I was scared, and confused.
Why did my back hurt so badly?
I hadn’t done anything out of the ordinary that day. My mother, equally confused and upset, scooped me up and we headed to the emergency room.
They did a full array of tests, checked me fully, and we waited for the answer.
The doctor came back and said nothing was wrong with me. All tests came back negative.
But, it felt like my back was breaking…
In the coming months puberty hit, and I developed stretch marks across my hips and thighs.
In horror, I applied lotion every day, hoping somehow they would go away or fade.
My bones were growing faster than my skin and I watched the white striations form, becoming self conscious.
How did this look?
This did not fit in with my pink eyeshadow and perm.
The back pain subsided as quickly as it came on, and soon I was blowing out the thirteen candles on my cake, with one to grow on.
I had left adolescence and entered my teens.
What was I entering now?
Fingers wrapping around soft tissue, I wipe my eyes as I come back into the present moment, taking in my business vision board, upcoming projects, emails from my tribe, affirmations and a slow trail of rising incense.
All around me the evidence of forming the life I truly want, one I couldn’t imagine in the face of divorce two years ago; the community I have longed for.
It’s coming true, it’s becoming tangible, and in my back, right at the spine?
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” – Marianne Williamson
I found myself on the floor fully feeling all of it, allowing that while this is what I want, I’m scared.
And as I admitted this fear, I felt the ball of tension open.
The tight circle in the middle of my back began to widen, and release, as though a small drop had landed in the still waters.
I looked up from the floor to see a small spider relaxed in its web, illuminated by the morning light coming through my window.
I used to have terrible arachnophobia, I used to hate spiders, but after holding a tarantula in my hand two years ago, the prickly skin and desire to scream waned. The tarantula was actually very light and soft.
As was this moment.
July was a big month. I opened my show, I completed a coaching intensive, and I jumped out of a plane at 10,000 feet.
There was a lot of growth, and while I felt the joy of the expansion, there was also an element of responsibility, change, and hurdling through the air at 120 miles per hour.
In re-connecting with the scared 12 year old feeling the physical effects of her bones, I realized I’ve been here before.
Growth can hurt.
And, the pain relaxed with something really simple.
Standing in my living room, I look at my cabinet, where the Louise Hay Power Thought card I pulled earlier is taped, so I have it as a reminder for my day.
As my back opens and I feel relief, I read the words again,
“I am in the process of positive change”
I believe those are birds she is creating.
Are you ready to fly?