So many things/people in life try to get your attention, first with a whisper, and they gradually speak louder if we don’t respond right away. Until finally if they have not gotten your attention yet, they have to yell to get you to listen.
In this instance, that something is my shoulder. It’s been whispering, “Hey Brittany, would you take it easy?” For months now. Then a little louder… and a little louder. Did that stop me from rock climbing last Wednesday?!?! No way, I just put some KT tape on it and “persevered” because even though my shoulder needed me to take it easy, Brittany needed to climb!
Well, come Friday morning, after a week of climbing, yoga and a lovely ballet class at Colorado Ballet, my shoulder was screaming at me!!!! So I said, “Okay, fine! Let’s go see Dr. Cashin (my amazing chiropractor/acupuncturist in Denver) and see what he has to say.” He did an alignment adjustment and put some needles in and said the same thing that I tell all of my students/friends. “You need to listen to your body and take it easy.” With a pout, I said that I would “try”.
But how was I not going to take yoga from my lovely new teacher at CCYOGA, Rachel Ploof?
During her restorative class that Friday evening, where I am usually able to enjoy the full meditative and relaxing class, I was anything but meditative and relaxed. My inner dialogue was more like “Grrrr” along with a lot of “Whoa is me. Why can’t I even lay on my back and relax without my shoulder yelling at me?”
It wasn’t until the next morning that it hit me! And I remembered the saying once again, “If you spoke to others the way you speak to yourself… would you have any friends?”
I don’t remember where I first heard this saying, but it resonates so powerfully in moments like this last weekend when I realized that I wasn’t being as kind to myself as I would like to be.
When in life is it ever helpful to ask someone that doesn’t feel well to do more than they can in that moment?!?! I was definitely a little slow on the pick up on this one, but when finally I surrendered ten minutes into Rachel’s Saturday morning Hatha yoga class, I made the shift in my inner dialogue from being angry at my shoulder to, “Thank you shoulder for doing the best you can.” and that became my mantra for the rest of the class.
This changed everything!
While I wasn’t able to do a chaturanga in Rachel’s class or later in our guest teacher, Dave Farmar’s class on Saturday. I was able to find ease in each of the postures. I also gained new perspective in my practice for what was possible when I brought gratitude into the equation, even when things weren’t exactly as I wanted them to be.
Thank you shoulder for being the lesson that my heart and my ego needed to learn. I will be kind, not just to other people, but to myself included!
Friends and Students, please help hold me accountable to this.
love and light,