Tag Archives: therapy

“Telling My Story”

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“When was the last time you told your story?” The question comes from a Native American Medicine Man.

medicine man

Sometimes we keep telling, sharing or re-writing our story the way I have for so many years. We can’t help the need to release and express that which presses on our heart. People may get tired of hearing about it, but it is only through the telling over and again that we are able to understand it all. Mark Nepo adds that, “It is the sweat and tears of the telling that bring the meaning out of its sleep as if no time has passed. It is the telling that heals.”

I was encouraged by today’s reflective reading to close my eyes and imagine the passages that have brought me to the person I am today. It’s ironic that I come across this right now as I’m re-writing my story. I’ve actually been noticing how many doorways and thresholds I’ve crossed through. The deeper I go into these various places the more I see clearly as if no time has passed. The journey, this time, is not a walk I do alone. I am holding the hand of my younger-self. Something my wonderful therapist once taught me to do. I let her lead the way as she walks me back through each doorway of our story. While it can still be painful at times to live through, I am able to remind my younger-self that it is okay now because we made it all the way through. I’ve learned to thank her this time too. For the strength, perseverance, bravery and the faith it took to get through one thing after another. My hope is that when every doorway has been gone through noted, and the last word is the end. That the child in me will not only see how much she is a part of who I am today, but that she will let go and become as I am.

 

 

“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.