Persistence, Patience, Respect, Resilience

A rock in its hard place.

I did some dreamwork for the first time awhile ago wherein I set the intention of receiving wisdom from my dreams (with a little ritual to make it more than a casual request) and I got some really clear, giant, banner-like guidance in the form of these words: Persistence, Patience, Respect, Resilience. They have been echoing and resonating ever since in various ways, and in one particular way I want to share with you.

I have a human body, too! I have my own struggles, strengths, weaknesses, challenges and successes. I need help, I need people to help me see what I cannot, and I sometimes flounder in difficult stuck places like everybody else. It often seems like I get one thing all figured out and another puzzle presents itself. Some worse than others.

For the past few years I have been working with a particularly challenging lower back issue that at one time made it painful to stand and cook, to work, to walk. As recently as last December I was in a lot of pain, unable to take short walks without suffering. I had to stop and think when I was feeling my most fragile and frustrated, “What is truly going to help me?” My gut told me that it was more active than passive- the bodywork I had received had only brought temporary relief and it felt to me like I had to build some new movement patterns with a practice of some kind.

To deal with this I had to quit an exercise routine (crossfit) that was making me feel great in many ways (and had helped me fix a problem I had been living with for 30 years) and switch to something that was more of a long-game (Pilates). I then had to put Pilates on hold for a month or so to step back even further to do some physical therapy (with Heidi Gans, who is fantastic). I had to slow waaaaaaaay down, feel the subtle movements of my habitual strengths, and commit to a practice of awareness that I then took back into my Pilates class.

Although I have longed for something that would just be “the answer” and make the problem disappear without me having to work at it so much, it turns out that persistence, patience, and respect have restored my resilience. Twice weekly Pilates classes for an entire year did pay off- I can walk, cook, work, and am considering getting back into more active cardio workouts again! The ongoing practices of tuning in, staying curious, being compassionate about my limitations and frustrations- these things make me stronger in more than just the physical realm. I am grateful to my dreams for their wisdom and encouragement!