Sunday, August 2, 2009

What's the hurry?

I had my first experience with Hellerwork a couple of weeks ago. I'm going for another "dose" tomorrow. I hadn't really felt its impact until the day after my last acupuncturing, when suddenly it hit me. Among many things, it's re-educating my body. I was starting to have real difficulties walking, and my walking after the recent Hellerwork is... well, 'I'm not sure I'd call it "easier" as such, but it is different. I think my legs are working better, but my nervous system is still adapting to the changes. (Great. More adaptation, over and above what it's doing to recircuit around the MS damage. Oh well, if there's one thing you learn from having MS, it's that "things change.")

I used to be a very fast walker. Very fast. Even without their training, I could keep up with race walkers... but not any more. I am walking though, and certainly even "inefficient" walking is a better means of locomotion than even the most efficient wheelchair, but I'm walking very slowly, something that I'm not at all used to.

But really, what's the hurry? I have to really pay attention to the process of walking now; before, I may have been fast, but I certainly wasn't mindful. The "old me" got there sooner, but wasn't a full participant in the experience. The "current me" has to commit attention to the experience as I'm moving, without impeding it--the challenge is to "let walking occur" and be an active observer as it happens, rather than try to "make it happen," which just gets in its way.

(This is, of course, part of the practice of my style of kyudo: to be fully engaged in the experience, but not trying to be "in charge of" the experience; because if you claim ownership of the shot, you've missed the point--it's not about "you." Who'd have thunk it: A two-thousand-plus-year-old art, trying to show me the path through life with MS. Damn it, I really need to practice my kyudo more.)

Speed--or rather, slowness--is one of the biggest effects MS has had on my life. I do nearly everything much more slowly than I used to... but as I'm thinking about it now, that speed with which I was so comfortable was at the price of depth: a rock skimming the surface of a lake rather than submerging.

My legs hurt, I walk funny, recently I get "sort of" dizzy when I stand up... but in many ways, I'm living quite fully. I've always been overly sensitive, the downside of being sensitive is that you're, well, sensitive; but when my attention isn't being sucked forcibly into my physical suffering, I'm actually having a pretty good time, all things considered.

Today it's not too hot. Fresh, clean air, moving gently. Sunlight isn't too strident. Just a little more wind, and it'll be absolutely perfect. I'm going to try to be outside as much as I can today; right now I'm finding fresh, gently moving air to be the best medicine I could possibly get.

We're starting to enter the season of Earth, in the Chinese energetic calendar. The gift of Earth is "decrease." In the spring, we reach up, we reach up for the sun as we leave our winter beds; in the summer, we spread our arms and reach out, taking in as much light and warmth as we can; and now, we enter late summer: as Neil Gumenick writes so eloquently, "a time for slowing down and gathering in."

It's a nice day. I guess the last few acupuncture treatments are finally starting to do something, because finally, I can really enjoy the day.

1 comment:

Denver Refashionista said...

Glad you can enjoy the day. Happy friendship day to you.

Remember, mindfulness is a good thing.