Thursday, July 19, 2012

Bare Feet

I herniated a disk two months ago now (I just got the MRI results back and I have a large extrusion of my L5 S1 disk pressing on a nerve root. This is why I have muscle weakness in my left foot.  It was not a huge surprise to finally get an MRI and hear the results, but I was appalled the disk had extruded which means the "jelly donut filling" of the disk had not only splurched out, but had pinched off and was separate from the disk.  That seems extreme and makes me a bit queasy.

But the doctor I saw yesterday cheered me when he said, "In 6-12 months 90% of herniated disks are healed without any intervention."  I really don't want surgery so I am hoping my pain continues to improve and I start to get some strength back in the leg.  It has been quite a healing journey since February when my back started to hurt and then really started to hurt (I figure now that I must have had a bulging disk, but all my work to fix it in the beginning probably aggravated the situation, and I ended up with the extruded disk.)  I've gone to my chiropractor, cranial sacral practitioners, acupuncture, doctors, had a private session with my yoga teacher, gone to weeks of physical therapy and had many visits to the local CVS pharmacy.)

The first couple weeks I spent on the couch taking drugs and sleeping at odd hours while trying to do some parenting off and on.  The combination of pain and meds allowed me to let go and relax and meditate in a way I had not been able to with the busyness of regular life going full force.  Before the injury I had downloaded a series from Derek Rydall, a spiritual teacher who uses guided mediation and exercises to help you open up to become your true self.

 Being drugged and awake at 3am really helped me settle into the program and deeply ponder questions about my soul's true desire.

What came up again and again were bare feet.
My own bare feet.
Outside walking on the earth.

That's all.

Nothing about world domination or money making.

Really, just feet.
I had been intimidated about what I would uncover when I went through the 8 step process.

But it turns out there was nothing to be scared of.
Thankfully, after much hard work over the years, I have learned to listen pretty well to my true self, so I love the husband and my children I've got.  The job and the town I'm in now are pretty great.  I love the trees I see outside my window and the birds who sing all day.  My goal, my next step, my yearning - is really to be outside more.  To be myself.  To appreciate what is around me.  I think being in a compromised state of pain and immobility was actually helpful in the process because it stripped away some of my ego and left me with an uncertain future, making it easier to trust the now.  And the bare feet.

There were other things to work on, of course.  And many lists and maps and plans about how to move forward, but the recurrent theme was bare feet.  Outside.

Even though it is simple and easy as far as soul's callings go.  I still keep forgetting.  I put on my flipflops and move through my day as fast as I can.  I forget to go outside.

but the other day I finally took a walk with Cookie into the woods.
And I didn't wear shoes.
I lay down in the patch of partridge berry and looked at the sky.
I walked down the path.
There were rocks.
And there was moss.

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