2021 is coming to a close and a new year is upon us. It has been a difficult ride. The world is undergoing a huge transformation and as all change goes, it can be painful and grueling. How do we bring about a positive outcome? How do we shine the light in places of darkness? As I contemplate the details of these questions, I continue to get one simple and consistent answer.
Love is a powerful energy.
It drives us to do things we would never otherwise do.
It lifts us to the highest elevation.
It makes us feel invincible and free.
It gives us unbounded courage, and catalyzes changes, always for the better.
It leads us to new horizons.
It breaks down limiting barriers.
It takes us on exciting adventures.
It gives us clarity where there is no understanding.
It dominates hatred.
It never discriminates.
It connects us to one another.
It ignites our passions and uncovers our greatest potential.
Love is the answer, the action, the direction, the plan, and when we follow its pull and embrace its power, we will always win and peace and happiness will inevitably prevail.
I hope in 2022 you all find the courage to be your best self, the strength to weather the storm, the trust to follow your intuition, and the wisdom to answer every question and action with love, wherever it may lead. Namaste and Happy New Year.
In a childhood memory, I am searching for a four leaf clover. I must be young because my recall paints the landscape as vast and lush with green turf rolling on for miles. In reality, I lived in a middle class neighborhood with ½ acre lots and houses lined up in close proximity. However, my recollection has me moving from one abundant clover patch to another, carefully examining each sprout to see if it contains the magical fourth leaf. This goes on for hours until my mother calls me in for dinner and I surrender in frustration. Empty handed.
The probability of finding a four leaf clover is 1 in 10,000. No wonder I was defeated after a series of determined attempts. I remember keeping at the hunt for weeks (or maybe days) until I finally gave up looking, chalking it up to one more bit of magic unattainable in the real world I was growing into.
I haven’t thought about four leaf clovers in any serious way since, until a few weeks ago when I was at a picnic and a man walked by with a handful of the green plant. I asked what he was doing and he explained that he was picking four leaf clovers. He had landed a few and it quickly brought me back to my youth. I was instantly curious and interested in discovering the secret to his success. He told me he found them often and that the key was to look for an irregular edge among the mound. I made a mental note, determined to give it a try the next time I had the chance.
This past weekend the opportunity presented itself. While docking my kayak after a trek across the lake, I noticed some clover on the shore and as if programmed, my mind quickly quieted and focused on the patch. I could hear the man’s advice and began looking for the irregular shape. Within seconds, it popped out. My heart began beating faster and it took a paused moment before I was able to reach out and pick it, confirming what I had hoped. It did indeed have four leaves and I had finally found it, after all these years.
I began to think about luck and how there may possibly be ways we can increase its probability in our lives. If we follow a few simple guidelines, can we attract more good fortune?
I thought about Pam Grout and her book, E2, which outlines several experiments to prove that “reality is malleable, consciousness trumps matter, and you shape your life with your mind.” In one of the experiments, she has the participant envision something (like the four leaf clover) that they want to attract and then shows them how to open up to clues or bread crumbs which lead to the desired object (or rather allow them to see it when it arrives). I had the opportunity to perform this experiment first hand during a workshop I attended with Pam a few summers ago and by God, it worked. At the close of the weekend, we had all received the item we were seeking, in one form or another.
I have also begun looking at other practices I am studying and their effectiveness in increasing the probability of luck. I am realizing that one of the most important steps is to first gain a clearer picture of what we want from a soul level. I find that through journaling, daily tarot contemplation, dream interpretation and meditation, our true desires can be more easily accessed.
Once we have a better idea of what we are looking for (this will continually evolve so it doesn’t have to be certain), we can start to implement methods to help us find it. I love the process of following the moon phases because it is continuous and methodical and allows us to reflect, create, experiment, revise, let go, forgive, re-write and move through the stages again and again, each time arriving closer to our goal and understanding ourselves a little better. We can also implement positive thinking, visualization and ritual to help bring our ideas and dreams from the ephemeral into the physical realm.
I believe another key to attracting and manifesting our desires is committing to the work. Finding a charmed clover does not usually happen on the first try. Many of the methods mentioned take time and persistence to master.
As I rolled the stem of the four leaf clover between my fingers in a circular motion, I began to realize that the good fortune I was seeking had been there all along, that it actually did exist in abundance around me. It became clear that the man at the picnic had uncovered something deeper than a simple technique for finding the charmed clover. He had discovered that an infinite amount of luck is available to each of us, as long as we are willing to open our minds and look for the exceptional or irregular among the common.
In addition to honing my skills and understanding of the deck, this practice offers me the opportunity to look more deeply at the direction of my life, contemplate the choices in front of me, and increase my self awareness. Yesterday, I picked the two of Wands and its message was particularly timely and on point.
Ever since last week’s blog about the importance of creativity, I have been thinking about ways to break out of my comfort zone and attract new experiences that will be more fun and expand my imagination. I have been making lists of activities I’d like to try and places I want to bring my inner artist as suggested by Julia Cameron in her book, the Artist’s Way.
It occurred to me that I had already started to experiment with a few new endeavors, like painting with acrylics while following a Youtube tutorial and concocting a variety of vegan dishes from a beautiful new cookbook I purchased a couple of weeks ago. Both of these undertakings have been fun with surprisingly good results, and even though the outcome has been better than expected, I am realizing that the real reward lies in the process.
According to Cameron, we all have access to an unlimited supply of creativity. As children, we are open and able to easily tap into this source. Then, as time goes on, we become blocked by limiting beliefs and experiences and have an increasingly hard time conjuring up our imaginings.
Most of us have a tendency to fall into repeated patterns and sink deeper into what is familiar. We seek out comfort and avoid pain. This past year, in response to the pandemic, we found ourselves shrinking into an even more limited existence with less stimulation and interaction. The grooves of our daily lives got deeper and smaller.
This week, as the sun continues to grow stronger and the world opens up, it feels like it might be time to break free and move into something novel and more energizing.
One way to do this is to make a list of new places to see and things to do, and then begin checking them off, one by one, even if they are outside our comfort zone. Having a regular and consistent time for these adventures is optimal as is doing them alone. It is also important not to focus on the outcome, like discovering the perfect destination, becoming an expert tennis player, or learning to play the guitar in 2 lessons. The process is what counts and it is what will attract more creativity and expand our experience as we continue down the road.
The 2 of Wands was a perfect pick because it encourages us to choose adventure over comfort. It tells us that envisioning our dream is good, but living it is even better. I love this advice as I am in the process of making plans for a few different experiences this spring and summer, like taking surfing lessons, mountain biking on one new trail each month, traveling to some local towns that are unfamiliar, and continuing to paint weekly. I have already planned a summer trip out west and have signed up for a beginner golf clinic.
Stepping out is scary, but once we do and let go of the outcome, I believe our imaginations will grow and soon we’ll be tapping into unlimited ideas, expanding our minds and having a lot of fun in the process.
This weekend, my boyfriend and I watched a documentary called, “Long Strange Trip,” which followed the Grateful Dead band from their beginnings in Palo Alto, CA to their eventual expansion as a worldwide phenomena. It was informative and inspiring and as we plowed through all 6 episodes, something notable began to happen.
We are musicians and before Covid hit, we were playing out regularly at a few local bars and restaurants. Our setlist was growing and we started bringing in other musicians and expanding our sound. It was always fun and the performances motivated us to dig deeper, practice harder, and experiment with new ideas.
Once everything shut down and we were restricted to playing alone in our own space, we lost motivation. We tried recording some videos and posting them on social media, but it just wasn’t the same. Eventually, we found ourselves practicing less with minimal enthusiasm.
Recently, we have felt a spark begin to re-ignite as the pandemic wanes and the promise of more abundant live music emerges. We have been looking at new tunes and considering a variety of styles, and after nearly a year of rest, something feels novel and promising. It is a growing ember and we are hoping that the flame will catch soon and we’ll be on our way again.
The documentary was perfect timing.
One of the most interesting parts of the story was the Dead’s innovative approach…to just about everything. Not only did they merge several styles of music (bluegrass, blues, folk, R & B, jazz, classical, jug) into their own unique form of improvisation but they also had a singular approach to handling the business of the band. Instead of following the conventional models of other popular acts, they created their own methods, allowing the journey to unfold and the long strange trip to come alive. Instead of focusing on making money or selling lots of records, their goal was to connect with their audience and create something together, something that was fun and free form, and that’s exactly what happened.
Innovation and creativity are strong values for me and so, this type of story gets me going. It makes me want to tap deeper into my own potential and find ways to allow more of what they had to flow through me.
As I began to think about ways to do this, I remembered a book I had read many years ago called, the Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. In it, she points out that everyone has an unlimited creative potential. It is part of our birthright. As children, our connection to this source is vast and unblocked. We easily move in and out of unique imaginings and creative experiences. We are open. We observe. We experience. We create. Then, as we grow and move through our lives, our creative essence is slowly eroded by society until we reach a point where we can no longer find it. Sometimes, we can’t even remember having it.
Cameron’s book helps those committed to discovering and recovering their creative power begin to unleash this buried gift. She has several techniques like writing morning pages to drain out distracting thoughts and tap into more wisdom. She also talks about planning a weekly “artist’s date” in which the reader takes their “inner artist child” out on a playdate, seeking new adventures and mysteries. All of the experiences and observations gathered are added to our ideas reservoir and become resources for our imaginings. I also believe that when we seek out fun and joy, we find our true selves and in this discovery, our creative potential opens up.
It appears that during the pandemic, my ideas reservoir had been running dry. I had limited social interactions and not a lot of places to go and things to see. I had plenty of valuable walks in the woods but that’s where it ended. My access to new sights, sounds, smells, touches, and tastes was limited. My imagination felt dulled, and I was not bringing much to the music.
Now that I have been vaccinated and the world is opening up, I plan to begin “stocking the pond” again and scheduling a “weekly artist’s date.” I am already a daily journaler and will continue that with the intention of clearing the way to my inner creative self. I may even commit to following the program outlined in Cameron’s book.
And as I think about the lives and accomplishments of the amazing Grateful Dead band, I will listen to more innovative arrangements, spend quality time with my guitar, work on new approaches to a variety of musical styles, write regularly, focus on fun, and take my hand off of the wheel, allowing the journey to unfold. After all, there may still be a “long strange trip” within me, waiting to be born.
During a Tarot reading a few months ago with one of my Soul Purpose Project clients, we came upon a difficult crossroads which called for some hard decisions. My client was a middle aged woman who had nurtured her family for years, often sacrificing her own needs and desires to assure the happiness and success of her husband and children. Her youngest had left the nest a few years earlier and the empty space which remained was magnifying the discontent she had buried for years. She could see the changes she needed to make in order to begin honoring herself and bringing back the happiness that she once knew. However, the fears surrounding the outcome and its accompanying pain was a scary proposition. It is not our nature to run towards a storm.
It reminded me of an epiphany I had several years back when I first started playing my guitar and singing in public. I remember one particular performance when I was on the stage alone, a sea of eyes directed at me in a room of silence. It was terrifying. My entire body began shaking and I could barely conjure up any audible sound. Thankfully, I was able to push through but I was sure I would never try that again.
Today, I am in a band and play out regularly at restaurants, bars, and festivals (at least until Covid hit last year). I rarely get nervous and am able to put forth my best effort with confidence. It is one of the most rewarding and fun activities in my life and I am grateful that I was able to work through that initial fear. I believe, deep down, that through this effort I may have also helped others reach out beyond their comfort to overcome similar obstacles.
The belief that helped to push me forward was the idea that whatever we do in our individual lives to honor our truest selves has a direct effect on the collective psyche. In other words, if I can be courageous enough to take the chances necessary to grow and heal and become a better person, then somehow that will affect others who may be going through the same thing. All of my bravery, forgiveness, generosity, love, honesty and healing will not only affect me and those that I touch directly, it will also bring more of these qualities out into the world.
I like this thinking because it means that when I face hard things head on, I am helping others as well as myself. This makes the effort that much sweeter with a payoff too enticing to ignore.
The concepts of a collective consciousness, collective unconscious, Gaia, and collective psyche have been entering more of the discussion in recent years. The basic idea is that we are all part of a greater whole and our beliefs and actions are influenced by our ancestors and ideas planted in our collective unconscious over generations of evolution. The concept of Gaia states that we, as humans, are all interconnected and together make up the larger earth body. In summary, when something happens to one piece, it affects the whole. When we feel a deep sense of faith or belief in something we cannot explain, the collective is where it originates.
As my client and I stared at the cards and contemplated the different choices, I asked her to consider the idea that moving forward in the direction which seemed best for her soul, even though it would take a great deal of courage and possible pain, could result in a truer and more rewarding life trajectory, and this change would not only benefit herself and those whose lives she touched directly, but it would ultimately affect all of humankind. Even though she would be running directly into the storm, she might find peace, happiness, and fulfillment on the other side while clearing the way for others.
As she contemplated this, I could see her face soften and a sense of growing assurance began to surface. She seemed to understand her choices and I felt certain the world was about to change.
I look at my watch and realize I am late. I need to be at the airport in 20 minutes but that is impossible. I am at least a 20 minute drive from the terminal and I haven’t even finished packing. My belongings are spread out all over my bed and my suitcase is already too full and much too heavy. I try to focus and pull myself together but I am quickly in an all out panic and completely overwhelmed. My mind begins to scramble and I lose any remaining mental control. I am going to miss my flight. Of that, I am certain.
I have had this recurring dream over the years and it successfully illustrates how I feel at times. I am an ambitious Capricorn and have always been striving for a higher plane. I know I have it in me to soar to greater heights, I just don’t know how to get there and sometimes it feels like I am carrying too much.
I have been reflecting on this theme recently because I have chosen the 10 of Wands repeatedly over the past month in my daily Tarot card draw.
The 10 of Wands suggests that we may be moving with too large a burden and that this load may be unnecessary and holding us back from realizing our dreams. It asks us to reflect on our situation and lighten things up by prioritizing, accepting help, and letting go of outdated and potentially harmful patterns, behaviors, and relationships. It says that our burdens come in a variety of forms including material, spiritual, literal, emotional, and energetic and that if we are to arrive at the desired destination, we will need to unload.
I have felt some heavy energy surrounding my efforts lately and have noticed that most of it is self-imposed (goals I have set for myself, guilt I am working off, scattered organizational energy, unprocessed emotions). I have begun to realize that many of these energies have been with me for years and have slowed my progress. I have started questioning what would happen if I began to leave some items behind. If I dropped some of my bags, would I make it to the airport on time?
As I consider this, I realize that perhaps it is alright to step back and enjoy the fruits of my labors without carrying any guilt. Perhaps it is better to face my emotions head on and provide time, space, and self care so that I am able to process and release the sadness, hurt, and loss instead of continuing to bring it along, and even though it’s hard to let go of familiar patterns, maybe it’s healthier to say good-bye to those that are no longer working.
In the process of determining what to keep and what to unload, I have found it valuable to observe all that makes me happy and gives me joy. These are the things I want to add to my bag because they are light and propel me forward, and they are indicators that we are on our truest path.
Everything else can go.
Of course, there will be negative and difficult situations, emotions, and energies along the way, but I know that the quicker I can identify, process and integrate or let go, the smoother and more successful the journey will be (to begin manifesting your desired life journey, click here https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/).
As we head towards the New Moon on April 11th, it is the perfect time to reflect on what loads we are carrying and if they are a necessary part of the voyage or are hindering our progress. We are the creators of our lives and if we want to travel to exciting destinations, it may be wise to let go of unnecessary cargo so that we can move along more freely with ease, flow, and unlimited grace.
Ever since I started following the moon phases, I have taken some time around the full moon to reflect on areas of my life that are painful or uncomfortable. I try to pinpoint situations, ideas, and relationships that are causing anxiety, pain, fear, or any negative feeling. I look at past events that have hindered my progress and people who have told me I’m not good enough. I consider the effects these beliefs have had and decide if they are bringing me happiness or holding me back from reaching my fullest potential.
We all hold onto things for a number of reasons. We may fear change, emptiness, the unknown, starting anew. We may have guilt or believe we are unworthy. We may be holding onto expectations, old patterns and pains, self-limiting beliefs, and harmful encounters that have been thrust upon us by others. We may hold onto the past because we fear saying good-bye. We may define ourselves by these experiences and feel that we are required to carry them with us for the rest of our days.
The renowned psychologist Carl Jung said, “I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.” He believed that we have the power to define and create who we want to be by releasing our attachment to past ideas, situations, people, and feelings that are no longer working. He believed that once we forgive and let go, we are then able to begin the process of manifesting abundance, happiness, alignment with true self, and whatever else we can dream up.
The more I practice the art of letting go, the more I believe this to be true.
When we make it a regular practice to reflect on areas of our lives that cause pain, anxiety, or unease, we can begin to identify their origin and take the necessary steps to release them from our lives with love and compassion. Working towards understanding the reality of the situation or belief rather than the story you and others are telling is important, as is determining whether or not we are avoiding painful realities by busying ourselves, perpetuating our perceived shortcomings through rumination, or attracting relationships and situations that reinforce these harmful beliefs.
If we are not living a happy, joyful life (most of the time), chances are we are not in sync with our true nature and there are likely things we are holding onto that are not supporting our best selves. So, how do we begin to let go?
I would recommend spending some time in meditation or journaling with the intention of uncovering any areas of discord and their possible points of origin. I would then make a list of all the people, situations, and beliefs that are no longer supporting you. Give thanks for all that you have learned from each experience and for any positive purpose it may have served. Send a blessing and then let it go. An effective ritual is to burn or shred the list as you release the energy into the Universe. This will strengthen the process and punctuate your intention. Also, it is important to remember that some of these beliefs and habits have been formed over many years or are deep rooted and will take a repetitive effort over time to fully release. I believe it is worth the effort and even if the letting go is small at first, you are still heading in the right direction and on the best path.
Once you have set your intention and have gone through the ritual of release, you can begin to heal and create a more spiritually rewarding reality. It is a good practice to replace the old patterns and beliefs with new more self directed ideas. Some ways to begin include expressing gratitude, creating and repeating positive affirmations, and practicing the art of creative visualization (I will get to this in more detail in a later blog).
This month, as I meditated on what to let go, older and deeper memories began to surface. I could see a pattern of self limiting beliefs that had begun years ago with the inception of an idea that I was flawed in some way. The accusation, planted by another, had taken root in my subconscious as truth and I had believed it. Throughout my life, I have made decisions that reinforced it and turned down opportunities that would challenge it. These perceived limitations kept me contained.
Today, I release all negative energies that are not in line with my true self. I let go of ideas, situations, and relationships that are injurious to me in any way. I forgive all those who have harmed me and I forgive myself for any pain I have caused to others. I attract love, abundance, harmony, health, and creativity. I have the power and confidence to manifest my greatest potential for the highest good of all involved and I accept the challenge.
While on a recent walk with my friend, Mary, the topic of spring came up and we began to express our excitement about the coming of warmer and longer days, the re-emergence of plants and wildlife, more access to fresh air, increased outdoor activities and the general hope that always comes with the season. We shared our enthusiasm for all that was springing forth this year and discussed how it was that much sweeter after enduring a year of pandemic.
Mary went on to tell me that over the weekend she would be heading to the nursery to buy some pansies to plant in her yard. She said it was something she did on the first day of spring every year and that it was a bit of a ritual, a way to welcome the new season, a response to its beckoning.
The idea of ritual has come to my mind recently as I work on refining the services offered through my business, My Soul Purpose Project.(click here to begin manifesting the life you desire: https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/). I facilitate the process of connecting with inner wisdom in order to manifest one’s fullest potential. I work with moon cycles, dreams, the Tarot, soul journaling, and other practices that use ritual in one way or another.
In addition to the benefits of grounding, encouraging mindfulness, reducing anxiety, fostering connection to oneself and others, and improving physical and mental well-being, ritual also helps us tune in to our values and connect with others who share the same beliefs. It helps us to focus our energy, to build habits and organize our efforts. It promotes creativity and gives credence to our commitments. It is a celebration of the things we love.
The aim of my business is to help people create a life of happiness and purpose. Once we identify what is most truly desired, we move into the art of manifesting which involves belief, envisioning, writing, repeating, and embodying the desired outcome. Thoughts and words are a good way to begin, but in order to bring an idea to fruition, we must feel it happening, see it in our mind’s eye, and believe it to be true. Ritual adds power to these practices through focus, repetition, creativity, connection, love and fun. It helps to propel our wishes into action.
The first day of spring was on Saturday and so far the temperatures have continued to rise and the sun has been shining. I decided to go to the nursery myself today and buy a crate of pansies to plant in the yard. They were a variety of colors and seemed eager to burst forth in their new life. I brought them home, thanked the Universe for the wonders of spring, the beauty of these tiny flowers, and the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, and then I planted them in a container by the front door.
As I stepped back to admire my work and reflect, I was reminded of the miracle of life and the unlimited potential available to us all at any time. I could sense the importance of taking the time to tune in and create rituals around all that I love and cherish and especially around the things I’d like to manifest. I felt hope that whatever challenges we face in the wintering of our lives, we will be offered a new beginning, a second chance. Spring.
I suspect I’ll be reminded of this each time I pass by the planter and I sense that the more attention, thought and feeling I give it, the more likely I will be to attract more of the same. When I look upon the expanding pansies, I’ll be reminded that whatever we put our attention to grows and the rituals we create will help magnify our gratitude, allowing us to celebrate that which we hold most true.
In my experience, the placebo effect has always gotten a bad rap. It has either been used as a way to disprove the effectiveness of a drug or therapy being tested or to uncover a group of hypochondriacs. Whenever the placebo effect comes out ahead in a clinical study, it usually means that an attempt at a real cure has failed.
I have been thinking about the placebo effect recently while developing my new business, a life coaching and healing enterprise called My Soul Purpose Project. (Click here for more information on how you can begin manifesting your deepest desires~ https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/). Several of the healing services I offer have no solid scientific backing. I perform Reiki, Tarot card reading, and moon phase planning in addition to the more (but not completely) proven methods of massage, craniosacral therapy, and soul journaling and the outcomes are almost always positive, sometimes in cases where more traditional methods have not worked. I have seen miracles happen and seemingly insurmountable obstacles overcome with a focus on belief, positive thinking, healing energy, and tapping into inner wisdom. I began to wonder if the success of these approaches was a result (at least in part) of the placebo effect and if so, did it dim their authenticity.
The placebo effect is a concept used mainly in the scientific and medical fields and is defined by the Webster dictionary within this context. However, a 3rd definition is given which suggests a broader meaning, “something tending to soothe.”
Through my recent studies and practice, I have been learning about the power of positive thinking and belief in shaping our experience and it makes me think about the placebo effect and it’s value in the healing process. Instead of looking at the placebo as a tool to prove or disprove the real cure or as a fake medicine to trick the patient into wellness, perhaps it is itself the remedy.
More recently, the placebo effect has been getting attention as a real player in the field of health and has become the subject (instead of just the control) of scientific study. According to a an article published in Harvard Health Publishing/ Harvard Medical School, The Power of the Placebo Effect (Aug. 9, 2019), “How placebos work is still not quite understood, but it involves a complex neurobiological reaction that includes everything from increases in feel-good neurotransmitters, like endorphins and dopamine, to greater activity in certain brain regions linked to moods, emotional reactions, and self-awareness. All of it can have therapeutic benefit.”
The article also states that belief is enhanced with ritual and by taking a sugar pill regularly or following through on a prescribed course of action, the results will have a much greater chance of success.
As I refine and develop the programs and services offered through my life coaching and healing practices, I will keep this in mind. I will continue to develop methods, exercises, and rituals to help tap into inner wisdom. I will encourage positive thinking and help cultivate ways to visualize and strengthen belief in the desired outcome. I will introduce techniques for gaining clearer insights by accessing the subconscious mind through the tarot and soul journaling, and I will foster a connection to the healing energy that surrounds us.
I believe we should all embrace the effect of the placebo as it appears to be a valuable medicine. Used alone, or in combination with other pharmaceutical, herbal or energy therapies, it offers a natural and self empowering way to heal and to me, this makes it a real cure, one of the broadest, purest and most powerful.
I had a ski accident about 5 years ago which left both my knees a bit tangled and out of sorts. My then husband and I were beginning our adventure on Mont Fort, a monster peak at the Verbier Ski Resort. It was our first day out and shortly after starting the descent of one of her highest peaks, I began a turn prematurely, my knee twisted and the skis did not release. I tumbled a good distance before digging into the unforgiving terrain and stopping myself from plummeting any further. I was stunned and positive I had done some significant damage. After several minutes of deep breathing and regrouping, I realized, injury or not, I had to make my way down the rest of the run to the nearest lodge, and so I did, heart beating and mind engaged in pleading prayer.
After a good while inside, my body settled and although my knee felt assaulted, there was no pain and it appeared the injury wasn’t as bad as I had feared. I was able to make it down the rest of the mountain, continue skiing, and even finish the two week trip with a reserved approach and determined spirit. When I got home and finally made it to an MRI, they found only a bone bruise, but I knew deep down there was more to it.
I mostly recovered by the summer and was able to resume my normal activities. I thought I was out of the woods until a few years later when everything got worse. My knee began to hurt and swell after my daily runs, and so I did what I always had in the past, I tried to push through it.
I have been active all my life and even in rare times of injury, I would recover within a reasonable amount of time without too much intervention. This time was different. At some point, I realized trying to whip it into shape wasn’t effective and so, I started to nurture it. I went to the doctor and began physical therapy. I stopped running. I iced. I rested, and still, it wasn’t getting any better. After several more months, I decided to see a surgeon, but the news there wasn’t promising either. I was told that I had natural wear and tear and would need to live with it. Surgery most likely wouldn’t help.
As I reflected on the reality of my situation, I began to realize that my knee may never again operate at full capacity. It may require continuous care. I may be limited and forced to make more calculated choices about which activities I chose to pursue. The process of maintenance and recovery could be slow and I would need more persistence and patience in all of it. I may need to accept the injury as a loss and treat it as such. I might be left with a permanent scar that I would be forced to carry forward.
I understand that life is not always easy and we can sometimes get hurt, and that even though the wounds can be healed, they never fully disappear. Instead, they become part of who we are and color the fabric of our character and our lives. I began to consider that instead of trying to overcome or deny the injuries, we can own them with confidence. We can move forward with pride for what has been endured. We can honor the lessons learned and be grateful for the significant ways they have allowed us to grow.
I went skiing this week for the first time in a while and had a wonderful time. I had to change many of my normal behaviors like racing down the hill and constantly challenging myself on difficult terrain, but I realized that there were other new blessings coming forth. I was more focused on taking my time and skiing on slopes that were more comfortable and fun. I was relaxed and felt more tuned into my body and what it needed. I didn’t have a need to compete but instead was more social, interactive and appreciative.
As we all begin to emerge from the Covid pandemic, we will no doubt have some scars and parts of our life will be injured in certain ways. Instead of looking at these hardships as blemishes, perhaps we can reflect on how they have changed us, how much we have grown and evolved, how much has been added to our character, wisdom and perspective. Perhaps we can begin to see ourselves in a new light, as we emerge from the wreckage much stronger and more beautiful.