Tag Archives: recovery

“Stepping On Old Grounds”

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Today I went back to place I lived in Philadelphia. I haven’t seen since the day I ran away in 1968. That’s 50 years ago. It was an institution in Philadelphia called Stenton Child Center. My younger sister and I were supposed to feel fortunate that we were in such a nice place. Most of the places the state provided for abandon children were pretty run down. There is no place on earth that could be better than being with your own family no matter how difficult things are at home.

I didn’t know how I would react when I actually saw it. As we began to approach I felt only a moment panic, that quickly turned to curiosity. I couldn’t believe how much it looked the same after all these years.  The memories so fresh in my mind and stories yet to tell. I couldn’t go inside because it’s now a shelter for homeless families, but I was okay with that because I felt like the monster it represented in my mind for so many years no longer had a hold on me.

On my way home I wondered about how this applies to what I wrote about yesterday in relation to place of shifting I find myself. Of all the different places I’ve been, this was by far the worst ground I’d ever worked in my life. But it’s also yielded the most growth in my life. It was a time of planting, growing, and nurturing. It was full of many cultivating opportunities that could have yielded many weeds, but instead continues to teach and bear much fruit.

I am not only in the winter of the season, but nature teaches another lesson in my life, that I am in the winter of my shifting cultivation. A time to rest, re-evaluate, contemplate, let go and chill out on a icebergs going with the rivers flow.

“Start From Now”- A follow-up from yesterday’s post

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This is a follow-up from yesterday’s post. “Start from Now.” I was asked for a source of where it came from and as I wrote the answer it got me thinking about how important it is to share with everyone.

It’s a phrase my Dad often said to me when I found myself discouraged by the choices I made or the circumstances I found myself in. I figured he got it from one of the many inspirational books he’d read, but since I was asked I decided to google it. There are many different references to the same idea but none that are specific to these 3 words. It was found within the quote written by Carl Bard. (see the photo attached.)

Many already known the story I wrote a few years ago, about how I found these words written on a yellow sticky note stuck to the inside door of my Dad’s medicine cabinet. Something he couldn’t miss each morning as he began his day shaving.  What many people don’t know is that he was a recovering alcoholic who had been sober for about the last 25 years of his life before he died at 79. Just because alcoholic’s stop drinking for long period doesn’t mean that the urge to drink goes away. It was a decision he had to make daily, sometimes several times a day. He found a way to take each moment and start anew because the other alternative would play on his mind, and he knew he couldn’t go there.  He also learned to apply it to many other areas life.

These 3 words for me are not just words of feel good fluff. I don’t share anything I myself don’t use in my own life. One thing I will say is that starting from now is not for sissies. It is hard work. Moving past the things in my life that drag me down feels like my own personal addiction to overcome. I’ve shared this quote with friends going through their own struggles. My friend Donna used it daily as she fought her way through cancer, and when she was too overcome by her condition her husband reminded her to take one step at a time…starting from now. Even through my own illness this past year and my surgeries where I felt stuck in limbo bringing myself back to the now reminded me that I was still alive, and that each day is a gift worth living no matter how I feel. Nobody said it was easy. The choice is there. I can choose to make the best of where I’m at each day or choose not to. Starting from now is just a formula to begin with…the rest is up to us.

“My Recovery”

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Today my post is about me in a different way. Since I’ve shared so much of what I’ve learned about myself through my  recovery. I thought it would be nice to let you know how well I’m doing. Tomorrow will be 7 weeks since my knee replacement surgery, and this past weekend I felt like I was finally making some great progress. Today at PT I was tested to see if I was ready to start driving. I past the test and with a little practice I’ll be free to go out on my own again.😆 yeah! I also practiced walking without my cane and did well enough that I can now go without it. 😆 yeah again! My gate (walk) isn’t perfect yet as the swelling still gets in the way. It’s my biggest hurdle to overcome next, but I’m able to keep my balance and that’s what’s most important. I’m also feeling more clear in my head and gaining some of my energy back. I’m beginning to feel like myself again, and look forward to getting back to myself and putting more time into my writing

Thank you for all your prayers and support.

Blessings and love…Connie

“Heel Toe, Heel Toe”

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“Heel Toe, Heel Toe”

“There once was a one-legged dragon called Hui.
“How on earth do you manage those legs?” he asked a centipede. “I can hardly manage one!”
“Matter of fact,” said the centipede, “I do not manage my legs.”

I couldn’t help but laugh when I read this ancient Chinese story told by Chuang Tzu. It reminded me so much of what I’m going through as I relearn how to walk correctly trying to manage my own leg.

“Heel Toe, Heel Toe!” No it’s not a dance step. It’s my walking mantra. I walk across the room one minute getting it perfect only to slip back to using my hip instead of bending my knee. I don’t even realize that I’m doing it wrong again. So I try harder to manage my leg. My steps become stiffer as I try to control it. “No! Like this my therapist shows me again “heel toe! You’re just thinking too much into it,” she says.

A patient getting treatment for PT at the same time puts his two cents in, “maybe you should put a shock collar on her to remind her every time she does it wrong!”

“That’s not nice!” I say.

When my session is over my therapist tells my husband to make sure I’m doing it right showing him the correct heel toe movement. “I try to tell her, but she yells at me.” Poor guy is just trying to help me. We both become frustrated at each other because I think I’m doing it correctly, but he has to keep pointing out what I’m doing wrong.

By now my ego is doing a number on me. “See how stupid you are. You can’t do anything right,” it plays in my head.

As I practice again In frustration I try to stop the negative defeating talk going on inside. Heel toe, heel toe I say over and again, and the mantra that it becomes quiets my thoughts. Suddenly I hear my knee telling my hip to get out of the way, but the hip wants to continue to protecting the leg. The knee thanks the hip for all its done to help it heal and get this far, but it’s becoming more of an enabler than a help now. The knee also tells the brain to stop trying to manage what it knows instinctively how to do.

Think of the trouble the centipede would have if another part of its body tried to manage its legs. It would lose its natural flow of rhythm. So I’m no longer trying to manage my leg, but instead working with my knee letting it figure out how to get back to its own natural flow of rhythm. And yes, I still use this mantra that helps in more ways than one, heel toe, heel toe not only gives me a sense of direction it also brings me back to the quiet of my soul.

“I’m Possible”

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“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!’ –Audrey Hepburn

My daughter Ginny sent me this quote today as I begin my 1st day of the 3rd week recovering from knee replacement surgery. I’ve taking the first step upon my new path as I enter the land of physical therapy. This path is no longer paved in red hot coals, but it feels like it’s full of pot holes and many uneven rocks to walk upon. I stop to stretch, bend and strengthen my knee which brings back those flashes of coal burning pain. It is the red light that goes off in my brain indicating that I’ve reached that point of pain in which I must rest. Ice, elevation and pain meds continue to be my reprieve. But the day is not over until I get up and walk a little further practicing what I’ve learned so far in the land of PT. Their motto playing ever so clearly in my head, “push it!”

Yes my new journey begins with the next step, but the success begins from within. It’s a joint effort literally in every way between the body, mind and spirit. It took a lot out of me, but I felt invigorated too by my accomplishments. As I keep my eyes focused on reaching the end of this path I know I have to work hard to get there, but looking at each step is just as important as the destination. It not only builds strength in my body but also builds confidence in myself. Each step teaching me something new about myself and my very own possibilities.

“On Being”

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IMG_0815“Evelyn Underhill said we spend our lives “conjugating three verbs: to want, to have and to do. Craving, clutching and fussing on the material, political, social, emotional, intellectual — even on the religious plane — we are kept in perpetual unrest, forgetting that none of these verbs have any ultimate significance, except so far as they are transcended by and included in the fundamental verb, to be: and that Being — not wanting, having and doing — is the essence of a spiritual life.”

Sometimes life thrust us into situations where the wanting, having and doing don’t really matter because you can’t do anything anyway. All there is exist in simple being. That’s the way these past few weeks have been for me as I recover from my surgery. I can sit and dream about all the things I want, I can pile up all the things I have around me, but I can’t find the clarity, energy or strength to do anything. I am living right now. Each day that goes by is a day I’ll never get back. So I can do one of two things: sit and dream about someday or be in the now. To be or not to be, really does become the question for me. If I want this day to have meaning, than letting go of what I can’t do anyway brings me face to face with me, myself and I. What do I do now? I am nothing without going deeper within. That is where the real meaning of being is found. It is a place where I am able to connect with all that makes me whole and complete. It is home and the words slip from my lips, “Here I am Lord.”

“Taking A Time Out”

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I’ve been working hard at gaining my strength back after having two sinus surgerys within a three month time period. Pushing myself daily to move and get back to the living. I had a good two days this week even doing some exercises and this morning I had to drag myself out of bed. So as I think about what I’m going to write today my brain goes blank. All I can think about is how I feel. So as I read Mr. Rogers quote I feel encouraged by his words; “Life isn’t perfect on any front-and doing what we can with what we have is the most we should expect of ourselves.”

Today this is my best, and I feel ok with that!

“Finding Purpose in The Little Things”

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I know it’s important to rest and take time out to let my body heal, but I’m not content to waste a day when I could be doing somthing that makes my life feel worthwhile today. Whether I am healthy or sick, there is no guarantee of another day. So I wonder what can I do in my limited state of recovery that would give my life a little meaning and purpose today? Instead of wallowing in my own pain and sorry, I’m reminded of the many people in my life who are sick and suffering right now. So while I sit, I decide to write them a note at my own pace, one person at a time. A simple note of thought and good will. By 3:00 pm I had 3 notes in the mail. Who doesn’t love a personally hand written letter in the mail these days. I have to say, instead of feeling weaker from my small little effort my own spirits have been lifted. Isn’t it funny how the simplistic things that have been forgotten can become some of the most precious gifts we can give of ourselves to others. It doesn’t even cost anything but a little bit of our time and the cost of a stamp. 

“A note from Connie”

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To my WordPress friends and faithful followers.

God has funny ways of providing the kind of situations that make us have to take a time out or step back to re-evaluate our lives. Tomorrow I go in for some minor surgery. I’m sure I won’t be thinking real clear for the next few days. However, as soon as my mind begins to clear, I’d like to take some time to re-valuate what I am hoping to accomplish in my writing. One thing I know for sure is that I love writing the inspirational thoughts that come from my own question about life. When I am truly writing from the heart it comes through so easily, and I know that it is then that I am in that place of passion that comes from my true self. I love the friends I have made through this site. We, as writers, are so good at inspiring and encouragement each other to keep using the gift we’ve been blessed with, and for that, I thank you.

I look forward to coming back feeling better, more clear headed, and focused.

Peace my friends,

ConnieIMG_0998