Through this series of blogs, I explore the process I went through before leaving the legal profession as an attorney and jumping on a plane to Europe for an adventure that led me deep into my own subconscious.
While the bicycle accident delivered a potent message, it also left me in severe pain. When the initial recovery period was over, I began physical therapy. Even simple arm and shoulder movements caused me to cringe. It took a lot of energy simply to avoid crying the whole time. After a few weeks, the physical therapist recommended I try gentle yoga to help open my body. I resisted.
“I tried it once in high school” was my first response, “and I didn’t like it.”
He chuckled. “It could be worth trying again.”
My face hardened. “But I love lifting weights. That’s what I prefer to do.”
Since my senior year in high school, I had become a “gym rat.” Working out was my favorite hobby. Looking back, it makes sense. Every other part of my life was focused on the mind. On intelligence. On thinking and doing and strategizing.
While lifting weights, I escaped all of that. Instead, it was just me and the weights. Inhale, lift up. Exhale, pull down. There was nothing to analyze. My body synced with my mind, rather than being left out completely.
The physical therapist looked at me, in all seriousness. “You won’t be lifting weights for a long time. It’s too tough on your shoulder joints right now. Just give yoga a try.”
Exasperated, I left his office. A week later, I wandered into a 6:30 a.m. yoga class at the gym. My guard was up. The teacher had us move slowly and intentionally. We stretched our body from side to side. It felt surprisingly good. The class I’d tried 10 years prior was too fast for me. This one was just perfect. I left feeling calm and relaxed.
Every week, I ventured back to class, and even tried other morning teachers. Carrie (who had been my bike buddy) and I started to swim together in the pool once my shoulders felt strong enough again.
The difference was subtle at first. Over time, it became apparent that I was no longer interested in dominating my body. It’s certainly not how I would have described my workouts prior to the accident. Yet, that’s exactly what I had been doing.
Whether it was bike riding, running or pushing large weights on the leg press machine, I wanted to whip my body into submission. I wanted it to comply with my demands. I wanted it to do what my mind told it to do.
Go harder. Longer. Be stronger.
The relationship I had with my body was from the head down, not from the body up. Slowly, that began to change.
I actually heard what felt good and what didn’t. Forcing myself to “push through the pain” no longer made sense. “Why,” I questioned, “do I believe that feeling bad is necessary?” As though my pain threshold was some epitome of achievement.
It wasn’t. The desire to dominate washed away the more I slowed down and listened. Communication with my body replaced the dictatorship. Moving began to feel even better.
After I’d been practicing yoga for about a year, a friend invited me to a three-day dance workshop in Virginia to ring in the new year. We had gone to a few conscious dance classes together, and they felt so liberating. The workshop was facilitated by Amara Pagano, a certified 5Rhythms teacher. It was the final piece I needed to unlock the wisdom of my body.
We were encouraged to drop down into our feet and legs and move from that place. Not the head. To let the body move how it wanted. To listen and respond to the body’s requests. It knew just what to do and didn’t have to be told by me. The more I released the desire to control my body, the freer it became.
What made me think that my head knew better?
Why had I believed that my body couldn’t be trusted?
The goal was to allow the movement, rather than forcing it. The way of the feminine fully introduced itself. To allow. To receive. To feel. To intuit. It was new. It was different. And I loved it.
Want more? Stay tuned for next week’s blog on the continuation of my healing journey. In the meantime, join me on Wednesday, August 19 at 3 p.m. on FB Live (www.facebook.com/thepathtosovereignty). When you subscribe to receive emails, the Three Fundamentals of Sovereignty will be delivered straight to your inbox. Blessings for lots of movement, dancing and laughter!
© Jessica Falcon 2020.