Tuesday, March 23, 2010


I sprained my foot over the weekend and finally got to the doctor today. She wants me to get an x-ray and follow up with a specialist; and there is a part of me that feels very impatient about that.

The foot, the ankle, and the calf have begun to hurt more today, which has led me to think about rest, and relaxation, and the push of my usual quick quick hurry hurry get more done now now now sort of mindset.

American society feeds on alacrity and expedience. There is cache in zoom and zip... thrill in speed and danger... and a bankable credibility in pushing slightly beyond one's limits. Or perhaps the nagging of time is more linked to my personality (Type A struggling to land more Type B) and an internal pressure I exert based on expectations and attachment to what might be most accurately qualified as shoulds.

My shoulds are like a prodding finger, jabbing me roughly in the back and wagging furiously at any sign of repose or cessation. They creep into my neck and shoulder muscles, strain my vocal chords as my heartbeat increases, and sometimes even result in clenched teeth and exasperated brow-furrowing - typically directed toward someone else who has chosen to no longer move at the breakneck pace my shoulds so ardently wish to demand.

The ankle injury (and its resultant hurtiness) has reminded me to slow down. It's my body's not-so-gentle way of taking charge and insisting upon a reduced pace... one that might actually allow for breathing, contemplation, or inescapably being in the present.

Each little twinge approximates the corrective rap of a Zen master - carrying a sharp reminder to practice patience and embrace a more realistic and mindful tempo.

Slow down. Sit still. Be.

May you hear your body's subtle and insistent messages. May you move through your day with patience and purpose.

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