Susan: Healing my Body with Pilates

Dancing with Fear

It has been well over a year since I posted to my Blog as my well of capacity ran dry and I needed to stop to focus on taking better emotional and spiritual care of myself.  I needed to be quiet as I continued to heal.

I know many of you do not see me on a daily or weekly basis so an update:  I am walking most of the time without the use of a cane; I fit into my clothes again; my hair has grown back and sometimes I can wear a regular flat shoe and not a sneaker (I still have a goal to wear platforms again one day:))  I continue to increase my Pilates teaching hours, take two Pilates lessons a week with June and have added ballroom dancing to my physical rehabilitation.  My leadership consulting and coaching business, New Leadership Distinctions, continues to grow.  Unfortunately, I continue to suffer with neuropathic pain and spasticity from my knees to my toes on a fairly constant basis- a source of exhaustion. I am trying alternative methods to heal including acupuncture and hypnosis hoping to turn burning pain into a burning desire. 

Fear and courage continue to swirl as partners in a search for balance in my life. The value of balance in life is talked about so much today-  eat a well balanced meal, live a balanced life, strive for work life balance.  Achieving balance in life can be an attribute of a person who is able to lead their life vs. life leading them. Balance can make the world sensible, known, safe and secure- the opposite of chaos.  Who wants chaos in their life?  With chaos thrust upon me two years ago I felt kidnapped, my balance was hijacked, the scales tipped against me. And even worse who I took myself to be was thrown to the wind with no desirable replacement in clear sight.   Fear took control and I often believed that I was in a win/lose scenario where I was the loser. I felt afraid that I would never walk with ease again, stand without falling, be able to hold a child in my arms safely, walk on the beach with my feet in the ocean, climb a mountain, walk a cobblestone street, navigate through a crowd of people in a restaurant to be able to get to the rest room on my own, live a full day without pain... ever again in my lifetime.  I believed that I had been abandoned by the universe leaving me forever in chaos. 

In these two years I have learned and grown so much.  One thing I have learned is to dance with my fears.  This has allowed me to re-calibrate and find balance again in my life.  There are not many of us that want to admit that we are afraid.  I had to do this to move myself forward and heal.  I had to see, feel and voice my fears opening my heart to them- not hiding them behind a wall of bravado or victimization or depression. This continues to be work in progress(a continual discovery), a dance with fear, as I realize that I am often telling myself a story, living into it and allowing myself to be kidnapped.  I am learning that being vulnerable is a starting place for great courage to arise.  My fears are present but do not have to be in control.  I have fallen many times, I stumble often and I wobble with many steps. Many of you see this happen to me.  I am afraid of being in a crowd of people and not being able to keep my balance- falling- AND afraid of what others think of me- some shame here I must admit- afraid that others think I am less capable, "disabled", having "something wrong with me". There are two kinds of fear operating here for me: a very real struggle with my physical balance and a created story in my mind.  I have control over both of these.  I do protect myself physically(my physical balance) and I notice, allow and work through my "stories of fear"(my figurative balance).  Finding my figurative balance is hard work, harder than my physical balance.  I have to allow fear and courage to dance together and this dance requires practice.  The more I practice the more my courage tips the scales in my favor and I find some balance. 

Have you ever thought about dancing with your fears- the ones that keep you chained and cloud possibilities in life?  The day I made the decision to dance with my fear is the day that I became unchained from my wheelchair, walker and cane opening up the possibility of my finding myself once again.  I often think about myself as "rising from the ashes".  Clearly burning is an intimate part of my life.  I am rising up to change the game-from win/lose to win/win!  For me this is a new paradigm of healing and well being.  It continues to amaze me that my struggle, my suffering that threw me off balance, to the wind, seemingly chained to a lost life has given me this opportunity.

 God's blessings to you all.  Glad to be back!  Susan