Two weeks ago I chipped my heal bone doing a front flip and for the first week it was improving substantially each day but then last weekend I went a little bit overboard with activity (walking, dancing) and this week the healing seems to have plateaued.
So I began to ask myself – what is healing? How does it work? And how does the body heal?
It seemed like a fitting time to read the Yoga of Healing by Swami Radha again and as I begin to read a message rings out to me loud and clear. Do not ask for a miracle, if you’re not willing to do your part. Don’t ask for spiritual healing if you’re not willing to rest your foot, get enough sleep, eat well.
Bone healing takes calcium, rest. And so this week I work from home to save the travel, take Friday off completely, use a cane, drink more smoothies.
Radha then goes onto describe the practices taught at Yasodhara Ashram as tools to aide healing. Meditation, relaxation, pranayama, yoga.
And I remember that I know these tools, I have these tools.
And as I reflect on my injury, I can see it as a reminder to do what I already know is healthy for me. To eat well, get enough sleep, rest, and make time for meditation and relaxation in my daily life.
And this is a shocking thing to say – even to myself – as just a couple of months ago I saw renunciation as following a long list of rules that force one to give up everything fun or pleasurable.
That isn’t renunciation at all actually.
And I recently I let go of my attachment to completing all 30 books report by the deadline. Not giving up, but detached from the outcome. Transforming it from a to-do list item to part of my life’s work.
Spiritual teacher and pioneer in bringing yoga to the West, Swami Radha, says that renunciation cannot be forced. You can be very determined but the cucumber will only drop from the vine when its ripe.
And as the burdens I have carried for far too long begin to fall away it’s an indescribable feeling of freedom. It’s the feeling of flying down a hill on my bicycle. It’s the feeling of a bird flying quickly through the forest. Darting in and out through the tangle of branches. Fast, focused and free.
And I want more.
So my work is ripening the cucumbers – which as a gardener I know is both a complicated and simple thing to do. The main ingredient is time but the cucumber will not make it at all if the seed is not planted or if there isn’t day to day care.
And as I tend the burdens in my life – giving them water and love – and wait for their time to ripen – I am learning to be like that bird.
I am learning to be free.
 Radha, Swami. On Sanyas. Kootenay Bay: timeless, 2010, p. 23.
Pioneer in bringing Yoga to the West, Swami Radha writes, “Maya [or illusion] is seeing the form without the essence.”
When I get caught up in my Stats page – reading about how many people “like” my blog – that’s where I get caught, in illusion. I see the form without the essence. I get caught up in the details and forget the purpose.
I started the blog to learn how to become who I want to be, to learn to live my ideals. And so as long as I’m learning I’m connected. So I can step back from worrying about Likes, Followers, Marketing My Message and relax into the process.
Maybe one day I will have dazzling internet fame – and maybe I won’t – but that is not my purpose.
I am learning already. The victory is already won.