I realized why loss of body function is so hard – I mean, beyond the physical challenges. If you are an active person, or an athlete, if you will, you probably strongly identify with your activities or your activeness. And when you lose your ability to be active and perform these activities, who are you?
This became apparent yesterday because our mountain town is hosting a film festival for films about inspired, push-it-to-the-limits active people who are living the life surfing, climbing, skiing, biking, running, etc. And for those of you who this resonates with, it really is considered the way to live for you. I didn’t realize this was how I wanted to live until about 18/19ish. Slowly but surely I was converted to the hyper-active lifestyle, hungry for adventure and determined to use my body. I got the climbing bug in 2006 and loved it more than I’ve ever loved anything, and then I hurt my shoulder and never went back. And then it was hiking, road biking, yoga and dance, and each time I got more limited from injuries I found something else. It didn’t take long until I was pouring myself into walking, haha! Seriously making it my sport. Until I couldn’t do that anymore….
So at this film festival I was surrounded by adventurous, fit young adults, high on their active lives, and I became miserable at the weirdness of knowing I am like them but I can’t be. But what is this misery about? It’s because I had identified so strongly with these things, and thinking I was this kind of person – not the other kind, that to be pushed out of my box left me questioning who I was left with with myself. And here lies the lesson: that we need to be flexible in life. Something may happen that changes you so much that you don’t know where your feet stand, so can we adapt and live life fully and happily on new grounds? When you lose an external thing that makes you happy, can you realize that happiness actually came from within and it can be found again, and has nothing to do with the stimulus?
It’s less than 3 weeks now until my next hip surgery. My spirit is – well I don’t want to say quite broken, but it’s dull colored, and kind of a mush lying on the ground underneath a stormy sky or something. It’s a long time until I can really walk, and an even longer time until I can hike, and a depressingly long time until I can do something hardcore adrenaline rush (the goal is surfing since we’ll be on the west coast). And I get really down thinking that my life is nothing right now. A whole year down the drain. But I know that’s not actually accurate, and so the trick is to look more simply: who am I and who are you? One that exists. Breathes. Mind. Observes. Heart. Feels. This, and more simple stuff, is the definition of living. It may seem that all the stuff in those films is really living and that being in your pjs watching netflix is not. But the bare bones of both is the same. It doesn’t matter.
So now I try to keep my perspective simple. Today I made strawberry rhubarb cobbler (see below!). I cried. I sold Rhonda the Honda ❤ <3. I did physical therapy. I reflected. And tonight I’ll make dinner and I’ll probably watch Harry Potter (5/8 baby). The bigger picture makes me feel like a loser but I’m living all the same. And this proves we can’t judge people for their lifestyle choices. Of course we all have our things that make us feel ALIVE, and we can compassionately wish that others may find this. And we can try and find it for ourselves. But in healing, when we have attributed this alive-sensation externally and begin to lose our full hearts, remember there’s a life parallel to this world – the unchangeable Self, the constant, the spring of satisfaction that dwells within.
And remember, it’s April 25, and it’s time to dine on rhubarb stuff!
Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler
5 stalks rhubarb, tough bits cut off, chopped in small bits
16oz or more of organic strawberries, halved
1/4c maple syrup
1c flour (I used brown rice, buckwheat, and sorghum)
1 1/2t powder
1/2t or less of salt (I am using more and more salt by the month!)
4T coconut oil
1/4c pomegranate molasses
1. Toss rhubarb and strawberries with cornstarch and syrup (the first 1/4c if you’re using maple syrup throughout). Place in greased up glass baking dish. Bake 15 mins at 400*
2. Mix flours and oats and powder and salt. Then mix in with spatula or your hands the oil and molasses/rest of syrup. Spread evenly on the fruit mix when it comes out, then throw it in there for another 15 or more mins.
3. I really want to have this with homemade meyer lemon coconut milk ice cream but I’ve been eating too much dessert, so this is for breakfast people!
Enjoy, love and peace. Yours truly,