Come meander with me on the pathless path of the Heart
in these anecdotal,
sometimes inspiring, sometimes personal meanderings of the Heart's opening in the every-day-ness of Life...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Body Wisdom and Obsession...

After a strenuous week I decided to put the hammock up on Saturday and spend some relaxing time out in the back yard, listening to the birds, the breeze, the highway traffic, the lawn mowers, the dogs barking, and the little water fountain on our back patio. Heh, heh, heh… Oh yeah, sweet swinging relaxation…

I sat my butt in it, noticing that 20 pounds extra makes a difference in agility getting in the thing – feeling more like a small, eldering (my new word for aging :), beached whale floundering around on the sand. I was adjusting myself in it, when I heard this rip sound as all the ropes across the top gave way, and felt myself start to fall. My legs were already in the air, and I had started to sit up, which meant that my lumbar spine took the brunt of the fall – thud. Oh-oh… sH_t!!! Amazing how a short fall can feel like it’s taking forever. And yet I was surprised when I hit the ground with a jolt. It couldn’t have been more than a foot, foot and a half at the most. And it happened so quickly! I landed on dirt with rocks in it – no soft, fluffy grass. “We” :) had set it up near the end of the patio so I could hear the water fountain.

Immediately there was a twinge of fear, as I was born with a form of spina bifida between Lumbar 5, the last lumbar vertebrae, and the Sacrum. That left an opening in the spinal column, leaving the spinal cord vulnerable. In a split second this body could have been paralyzed. Whoa. There’s a fearful thought. But legs were working. I could stand up, walk, no sharp shooting pains, although I knew my spine took the hit pretty hard, so I grabbed the soft ice gel pack out of the freezer and headed for the couch. Who knew that a hammock mishap could potentially ruin your day – maybe even your life. How easily life could have drastically changed in one instant. You know this somewhere inside, that life changes, that it *will*change, no state is permanent, including the physical state, but when you experience first hand the possibility of how quickly life can change, it hits with a sense of shock – and, for me, fear. Oh the joys of being in a body.

And then you see that Who/What “you” are is still being you, “you” are still functioning –or is it that your body is being functioned. You see that “you” are still being animated by that which animates life. The trick is not to *think* you are your body, to not identify yourself as *my* body, to not let your body define you… Although when the body gets hit with a jolt, you tend to focus on *my* body!

Despite this insight, I spent the next 3 days obsessing about “my” spine, as tingling sensations went down both legs – clearly there was identification going on here. I told my-self not to panic – but body-mind didn’t want to listen – and body-mind crescendoed into intense anxiety. I debated whether to go to the doctor, which would mean CT scan and possible referral to a specialist, but didn’t want to make that decision out of fear, knowing that I could set things in motion that I didn’t want to set in motion – causing more anxiety. I wasn’t quite ready to join the medical circus. So I listened to the voice of Intuition, barely able to get through all that mind noise, which said - strong spine, no worries - and decided to give it more time. The spine is better, tingling gone, although still a little sore on a couple of spinous processes. And driving this morning was interesting – eeuu! Spent a couple of stops readjusting the seat in an attempt to adapt to body as is…

And the metaphor here doesn’t escape me either – the lumbar spine being the major supporting part of the spine, and a hammock that didn’t support me…. Gee, do you think maybe I’m not feeling supported!? That conditioned, fearful little me feeling like it has to carry the weight all by itself!? Oh yes – an old victim mind-set. And what about those old vulnerability and trust issues too? Trusting that I am and will be supported; that it is okay to be vulnerable, without getting hurt – more conditioning… I also know that a lot of fear is held in this area of the body from birth, so it was not surprising that fear and anxiety were released when this “fearful” spot received this huge jolt.

So hammock days are over. Not worth the risk. Don’t want to create any more life changes than is necessary. Good grief I’ve had enough of those already! I know – it’s inevitable… Who knew a hammock could be dangerous – or bring such body wisdom!

~ ~

The photo is from 2 years ago


  1. What a lot of teaching and insight in this spill from the hammock. I relate to this fear of the body, perhaps we all do in varying degrees. A hearty good for you for not rushing of "to join the medical circus" I love that apt description! So easy to get sucked into their little vortex.

    And to see it all in the larger context, the context too of what can I learn from this? Take good care of your body and give yourself a pat on the back for navigating this situation with so much mindfulness.

  2. ZDS ~ Thank you :) Yes, navigating with mindfulness/awareness - with our hobbled backs and ankles. :) I like that... It applies so much to every aspect of our lives - bringing awareness to *how* we are living, taking care of ourselves and our resources, as you describe in your post today. Hope your ankle is better!

  3. Hi, Christine...you are such a gift...oh, the broken hammocks of life! Big, gentle hugs.--M.

  4. Hello Maria, my friend! :) Oooo, I like your metaphor too! The broken weaves, networks, threads - Yes! And hammocks, as I discovered, provide a little humor. I mean if you could have seen me struggling to get in it and then boom, on the ground. Humor is always good... I've been wanting to "take the plunge" anyway, to dive into that "pool of timeless Awareness" more deeply, although this isn't quite what I had in mind. But - it allowed me the deep rest that I needed - on the couch - fully supported... :)
    Heart Hugs to you! C


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