I broke my leg in Mexico last week! I figured you could use a distraction today…amirite?
It’s true! Last Monday, as I was enjoying my work/play time in Baja, Mexico having just wrapped up my first Qigong by the Sea retreat, we headed out for a bike ride into the beautiful Sierra de la Laguna mountain range. About 3 KM into the ride I was in a downhill turn amongst the rocks and cacti, bounced off a rock the wrong way and veered too far downhill/sideways to recover. I landed on my left side with my left leg folded and slightly twisted under my body and bike. Ouch!
Mountain Man to the rescue!
Honestly, if you’re going to need rescuing from a mountain, who better to have with you than MM himself?
After he shuffled me into a shady spot (easy for me to say), MM went for help while I had an hour alone with my thoughts. Was it a long hour? Yes. Was I scared? Yes. But the interesting thing is as a lay there in the dirt gazing up at the clouds and cacti,
I realized there was NOTHING I could do about the situation.
Well, almost nothing. Before he left me, there was a moment of panic that washed over me. My brain raced for about 20 seconds thinking ‘what are we going to do?’, ‘how are we possibly going to get to a hospital?’, ‘this can’t be happening’, ‘what about our holiday?’ ‘what about his sore ankle (MM is still in recovery himself)?’…but then it stopped. I somehow returned my focus to the present moment. What do I need right now, in this moment? I don’t recall shifting my focus on purpose, it just happened.
That’s what I COULD do.
But I think it happened unconsciously because that’s how meditation and qigong train us to be, in the present moment. I knew that on a conscious level, but I didn’t realize I was living that way (for the most part).
So after an hour of breathing, elevating my leg as best I could, observing the sky, keeping an eye out for rattlesnakes and scorpions, drinking my water, watching the butterflies, some friends arrived and began the arduous task of getting me off the mountain. That part hurt, a lot, so I’d rather not recount it, but I’m in deep gratitude to our friends for their help.
Fast forward through a windy 2-hour drive through the mountains, in the dark, among cattle (yes even black ones), x-rays, insurance problems, good pain killers, great friends, Spanish-speaking doctors, our translator and price-negotiating amigo, a LONG CT scan, a slab cast, and lots of deep deep qigong meditation, we made it back to our condo.
I had a Tibial Plateau Fracture (TPF) and a torn ACL.
Surgery was required but not until the swelling had somewhat subsided.
Time to get home! We arrived back in Canada on Thursday, three days’ post-accident (with mucho luggage, paddleboards, and bikes in-tow). The trip home involved a missed connection, a great deal of pain, and more qigong meditation.
I had surgery on Saturday, five days’ post-accident. The surgeon said I was fortunate and that he would do a less-invasive surgery than he’d originally planned (he saw the scans remotely). The surgery involved inserting a composite bone graft to the top of my tibia and re-attaching the torn ACL to the bone. Oh, and I have a great story about the amazing qigong/morphine experience I had that night…but that’s for another time and place.
So here I sit six days’ post-op and 11 days’ post-accident. Healing, humbled, and exhausted.
But also hopeful, optimistic and grateful.
The roles have reversed in our home as Mountain Man is doing his best to care for me. I am so grateful for his loving care as he navigates through his own pain and healing (MM suffered a high impact trauma to his ankle in a waterskiing accident 19 months ago). I also have a dear friend and loving in-laws who have blessed me with food, love, and help this week.
And I have received great love and healing from my qigong community and my online Energy in Motion Community.
My class even ran without me these past two weeks! They are amazing! I have a long road ahead, with a few months of non-weight-bearing and physio beginning after six weeks. But I can’t focus on that; I can only focus on now.
But alas it’s not all about me.
The world is in chaos as I write this. I’m sure you’ve been affected by the Coronavirus as well. My heart is heavy for those who are suffering, stranded, alone, and scared. My heart is also heavy for the small businesses, the cancelled travel plans, the families who cannot be together, and those who lack the resources to be in a safe and healthy environment. I also feel for the elderly and their families as well as those who are immunocompromised.
There is so much we can’t control about this situation. That’s what makes it so scary.
But what CAN we control?
We can shift our focus to right here in this moment. If you meditate or practice qigong, this is what you have been training for all along. This is it! Tune into yourself.
What is it that you need? What does your body need? Acts of self-love (self-love was my intention for the entire week before my injury…so I’m just gonna keep riding that wave) can seem counterproductive or self-indulgent, but I feel they are actually the most powerful things we can do. When you love and take care of yourself, you are thinking with love, you are nurturing your body, mind, and spirit, you are tuning into your energy; how can’t that help the world?
Ready to try it?
Begin by turning your energy inward, taking a few deep breaths, feel what you feel. Don’t judge what you feel. It’s okay. Just feel. Drop your shoulders, smile, and breathe. Maybe you want to make a few notes about what you are feeling and where.
Now as you breathe, what is it that you are grateful for in this moment? Me? I have lovely chickadees and redpolls at my window bird feeder, the sun is out, and I’m relaxed and comfortable. My dogs are stretched out in front of the fire.
Now, what does your body need? Have you been eating well and drinking water? Your body loves that stuff! If not, plan a healthy meal or a make warming soup. Go get a drink (warm water is best). When was the last time you went for a walk? Can you do that today? Just for 10 minutes. Not a sprint, but a nice walk (…and think of me as you do so!). Notice the sky, the trees, the clouds.
Do you take supplements? Supplements can not only help boost your immune system but can also fight and prevent viruses. I am not telling you what to take. Please consult your doctor before taking any supplements. But here’s what I am taking: elderberry extract, an immune boosting formula with zinc, vitamin C, and antioxidants, a probiotic, vitamin D, fish oil, and magnesium/calcium.
Now what does your mind need? You did the gratitude, that’s great. But what else?
For me, I need to limit reading news and going on social media.
It’s important to stay informed, don’t get me wrong! But I’m limiting the time I consume information and seeking out sources that I feel are reputable and trustworthy. We need a filter. There’s too much information everywhere and most of its inaccurate. This is a powerful form of self-love in this era of media bombardment. Consider the information and images your expose your mind to comparable to the food you put into your body. Find the vitamins in there. Watch something light-hearted and feel-good. You’ll feel better.
Leave your phone on the charger.
Don’t take it into your bedroom. Stay off Facebook and Instagram as much as possible.
What else would help your mind? Have you talked to a loved one today? If not, give them a call. Share your love. Do you know someone who needs a hand? Is there a way for you to help them? Maybe a phone call is just what they need. Or make a plan for a visit or a meal. Sharing your heart with others is another form of self-love. If feeds and purifies your spirit and your soul (and theirs!).
Lastly, if you know qigong know that you have one of the most powerful tools to support your mind, body and spirit. Qigong not only opens up all your energy channels, balances your energy, and removes blockages, it creates an alkaline environment which makes it less hospitable to viruses. Plus, you feel so wonderful during and after! This not only helps you, but it helps the people around you, your friends, your family, and those in need of support. But what I like, during a time like this, is that qigong is like a reset that brings you home to yourself, to the moment, to peace.
There is no worry about the past or anxiety or fear about the future. There is just this wonderful precious moment.
Master Lin, my teacher and the creator of Spring Forest Qigong, shared a video recently on how to protect yourself from Coronavirus. He suggested warm water, mung bean soup, and two Spring Forest Qigong Five Element Movements: Connecting Heaven and Earth and Connecting to your Body’s Energy (watch Master Lin’s video here). It’s so simple. Just ten minutes a day! Here are instructional videos of me practicing Connecting Heaven and Earth and Connecting to your Body’s Energy.
The social isolation is an opportunity for us to slow down, log off, and take pause. What is really important in your life?
In closing, my friend, I thank you for your time and I want you to know we are all in this together and in the words of Ram Dass, we are all just walking each other home (some of us with crutches). We are not alone. Focus on what you CAN do. Come into the present moment. Love yourself. In doing so, you will help the world. Oh, and wash your hands and get a good night’s sleep. How are you loving yourself these days? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!
Love and light to you,
Path to Purpose live online group course (four months). March – July 2020. Email me to get on waitlist for next launch.
Spring Forest Qigong Level 1 for Health. Online class over Zoom conference. April 8, 15, 22, 29, 2020.
Spring Forest Qigong Level 2 for Healing. Edmonton, AB, Canada. TBD June, 2020. Email me if you are interested.
Spring Forest Qigong Level 3 for Advanced Healing. Edmonton, AB Canada. April 17-19, 2020.
Qigong by the Lake, Sunset Beach, AB. TBD. August 2020. Email me if interested.