Grounds for Sculpture

Grounds for Sculpture

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Finding Your Strong

What do you do when you need to dig in and find some strength for yourself
but you feel have nothing left inside?  Not even a morsel.  No prana left in the tank.
No reserve.
This is where I found myself today.  I was finally, at last, at my breaking point, and I just needed to fall apart a little bit.
The amount of pain I have been in has been escalating and as I sat alone in the little white room waiting to see my surgeon, ten days after my last visit with him, I realized I’d been waiting ten days with no improvement and now, three and one half hours just to tell him so.  Three and one half hours in a stimulus deprivation environment alone in the little white room.
I had books with me, I had pen and paper, I even had a phone.  But I was in so much physical pain that nothing could possibly help me.  I was worn to the bone.  And I didn’t like feeling this way.
I am a Yogin.  I tried everything I knew to do.  I surrendered.  I breathed.  I meditated.  And I was becoming untethered.
What I needed was to do was to cry.  And I did.  I cried for the pain I was in.  I cried for how long I was enduring this pain.  I cried for the lack of nurturing I was giving my body.  I cried for the ways I still don’t feel nurtured.  The ways I don’t know how to lean on people, even just a little.  Even just allow myself to rest my aching head.  My head which explodes from migraines.  
After my surgeon finally came in and spoke with me, he sent me for an x-ray down the hall.  The technician was deeply kind to me, but what he said to me was that he could never have done two surgeries back to back so closely timed together.  As I tried to lay still on the table, I heard his words over and over.  A strong strapping man’s words.  And I realized all that I have done, over and over, is try to be strong.  Try to be strong for myself.  Strong for others.  And the truth is, I am worn to the bone.  I am.  I am utterly and completely worn out.
I have been very skilled at holding my “strong.”  There’s a Boston College football player named Mark Herzlich, who has survived a rare form of bone cancer and has now coined the beautiful phrase, “find your strong.”  I love it.  Especially because he’s out there playing with a titanium rod in his leg.  It really packs a punch and I find it deeply inspiring.
When Desiree and I first met, well, the moment we met makes me fall over with laughter, but won’t make most do the same, so I’ll get to the point... Not long after we met, she walked over to my mat and immediately asked me to “demo” pinca mayurasana.  I whispered into her ear and said, “okay, but I’m not in my heart in this pose.”  She was straightforward with me and said, “I know.”  In that moment, I knew she was the “real deal” and in my book, “trustworthy.”
What followed was the longest “demo” of my life.  She had me upside down for a very long time because I had no problem muscling my way through the pose and holding it with my “strength.”  What she wanted to do was to help me find a NEW way in.  A softer way.  She kneaded my back like dough for what felt like an eternity.  
I listened to every instruction she gave me and surrendered to it with true adhikara.  And  Des and I were communicating back and forth in the deepest way I knew how, through the vehicle of my body.  Everything she asked of me, I delivered.  And because I knew how to “find my strong,” I didn’t tire.  
When the “demo” was over, she knelt down next to me and we spoke private words to one another which forged a relationship I knew we would both grown into.  Subsequently, every day, I honor all that we have cultivated and all that is yet to flourish.  
I mention all of this because Des recognized what I was willing to admit.  “I rely far too easily and heavily on my strength.”  And she supported me in finding another way.  It was about a 12 minute “demo” and I wish I could have seen it, but I know it was transformative.  Because I know myself.  And I don’t like to waste time.  I like progress.  
Today, I am aware that I am far too tired of being so strong.  I think Des must have wondered if this was true about me back when we met as well.  I’m just weary.  I’m worn out.  But if Des needed me to carry her out of a building for some reason, today OF ALL DAYS, even though I still cannot walk, because for some reason we were the only two left inside (and god forbid, “poo poo poo,” circumstances were such that she needed me to pull her out), would I find the strength to do so?  Even today?  In my condition? AFFSULUCHUSS!  (That’s Yiddish for “Abso_)(*&^%$%^&*()_lutely!!!”)  Even with no reserve?  Yes.  YES!  NO QUESTION ABOUT IT.  EVEN WITH NO RESERVE.  I’D FIND A RESERVE.
How is that so?
Because love TRUMPS any form of strength no matter the circumstances.  No matter the story.  No matter the reason.  
Anchor yourself in LOVE.
My Beloved is away right now.  And I am still deeply ANCHORED IN LOVE.  
When you do that.  You find yourself again.  You find your center.  You FIND YOUR STRONG.  You find it easily.  Without effort.  It’s just right there. 

Anchor yourself in LOVE.
I’m telling you.  I was completely untethered.  Exhausted.  I had no reserve.  
And now?  My friend Madge better watch out.  Because I’m back, baby, I’m back!!!
Full JIG AND ALL!!! 
I know Madge believes me because she hears me laughing.
Only Love.
And Blessings.
Jill Bacharach

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