The energy has been intense this summer. I was not the only one having difficulties sleeping on more than one occasion. Many friends and clients reported that they simply could not calm down their thinking at night. So I have added an MP3 recording of a guided meditation for physical relaxation to my website. You can download it and listen to it during those sleepless nights. It might lull you to sleep, or it can help the body relax sufficiently to go into the restore-repair mode of the parasympathetic autonomic nervous system even while you are still awake. Insomniacs know that trying to sleep will do the exact opposite. So if you simply enjoy releasing the physical tension from your body while listening, you will at least get the benefits of rest and self-repair the body is supposed to do at night.
Before the intense heat hit us in early summer, I went on a road trip to Colorado Springs to receive CranioSacral treatment myself from Avadhan Larson, one of the top teachers of the Upledger Institute International (UII). This was a part of my self-care commitment, and also a requirement of the Mentorship Program through the UII that I signed up for. I called it a "Treatment Intensive", four treatments in four days, lasting from 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours each. Spacing the treatments so close together causes a build-up of intensity that takes you deep into your healing process.
It was most successful! I have been feeling safe and at peace within myself ever since despite some abrupt changes to my summer plans.
Besides work and study, I had envisioned a summer of horseback riding, swimming in mountain lakes, hiking and camping. In other words, a typical Montana outdoors summer. All those plans shattered, due to a little brown cat.
She was sitting on the trail when my horse and I returned from a particularly lovely ride in the North Hills of Missoula one evening. My horse happens to be scared of brown, crouching critters on the trail. The cat apparently had never seen a horse before. So this 10 pound cat and my half-ton horse had a stand-off on the trail no more than a half mile from the stables. Wide eyed and ready to explode, both stood there motionless and terrified.
I thought it was hilarious, but also dangerous for anyone behind me, should my horse suddenly decide to whip around and make a run for it. So I decided to get off her and shoo the cat-monster away. Just as my right leg was swinging over my horse's back, she sprang into action. Not getting my foot caught in the left stirrup and getting dragged along with my head bouncing between my horse's feet was my priority, so I jumped clear of her. That worked, except landing on the uneven trail snapped my right ankle on impact. Triple fracture and dislocation. Whatever I do, I do thoroughly.
I want to mention that my horse behaved exceptionally well while the EMTs removed my boot, applied a brace and pain medications, and hauled me off on a stretcher to the ER.
I had surgery the next day. Now I am the proud owner of two new scars, a metal plate and 9 titanium screws that cost the insurance company more than I paid for my car. Thank God for insurance!
Needless to say, I spent the end of spring, and half of the summer on the couch with my leg elevated and wrapped in ice. I had a profoundly educational experience with pain management, getting along on crutches, depending on external support for the most basic activities, and having to sit still for the integration of my recent Treatment Intensive. Previously, my own body-mind-spirit integration had never interfered with my work. This time, it was a life-changing experience.
What would have been a drama and "Why me?" event before the Treatment Intensive actually turned into a great blessing. Yes, it was painful. Now I am even more compassionate with people in pain. Yes, it was limiting. Now I know that I can receive help graciously, and it is there when I need it. Yes, on the outside I was unproductive while resting on the couch with my ankle wrapped in ice. But on the inside I healed in body, mind and spirit. Yes, it was a financial blow -- but I got through it, and I always had what I needed. The bills got paid.
My fears had manifested, and I limped through the adventure with flying colors. Most importantly, I realized a much deeper level of trust in Life itself. I shifted from efforting to make things happen towards letting things happen. I still show up and put one foot in front of the other. And after I've done my part, I can let the rest go and trust more easily that "All is well in all of Creation." The shift is not complete yet. It still is an ongoing process, and may be for the rest of my life. But for now, I got a break.