First off – this image is from July 2012. Second – this is from a fight with pavement, clearly I lost. Here’s the story…
You know how the universe tries to send you messages. They keep trying and trying, waiting for you to listen until they eventually just smack you over the head, or in my case against pavement. As I’ve mentioned many times before in my blog, I am now a recovering workaholic. This is one of the reasons why I say “recovering.” In 2012, I was the Director of a Yoga Teacher Training school operating across the country. It was growing in leaps and bounds and I was pushing it forward with every minute I could squeeze out in my day. At the time I was single and my dad had recently passed away, so I was throwing everything I had and then some into work as a welcomed distraction with no one to really tell me otherwise. On a rare Saturday afternoon off I was riding my bike downtown to meet up with friends. I’ve been riding in the city for as long as I can remember so familiar with the chaos of the busy streets, except with my new road bike I’d become a bit cocky. Passing people at every opportunity and well, being a bit too aggressive for sure. And then it happened – streetcar tracks. Every rider has fallen victim at least once in Toronto, for me this was twice, and the second time was the charm. My tire got caught and down I went, hard. Luckily, I fell in towards the parked cars, slid right under the back end of an SUV in fact and, as I always do, I was wearing my helmet.
As soon as I realized what happened and where I was, I managed to push myself back and stand up. With my adrenaline pumping through the roof, I felt like I was ready to take on anything. I was a bit limpy and sore, but no broken bones (relief! – I do teach for a living) lots of road rash and scratches, but I thought I was okay, a little invincible in fact. This photo was taken by my BFF because at the time I thought it was hilarious and needed to be documented. She proceeded to help clean me up and then we went for a few beers, imagining I’d be laughing about this for years to come. For the record it does make me laugh, but also in that awkward I know what comes next kind of way.
The next morning, I woke up and literally felt like I smashed my entire body against the pavement, mainly because I had. But that was nothing to what I felt like emotionally. In that very moment of opening my eyes I realized I had nobody to take care of me. The thing was, I’ve never needed anyone to take care of me. Or at least never thought I did – but I will share with you something, no matter how strong and tough you are, we all need someone. My sister and I have always relied on each other for this, the irony is my sister had just given birth to my nephew 3 weeks before and was still very much struggling from a C-section. I had actually been taking care of her for the last few weeks. So here I was, alone in my apartment downtown not sure how I was going to get out of bed and my sister a 30-minute drive away taking care of her brand new baby and needing me there. With this realization I knew that somehow, I needed to make some serious changes in my life. The other layer to this, is that there was something that I wanted more than anything that I had been pushing down and refusing to admit to for fear of being vulnerable or hurt or ridiculed (which is ridiculous!). I wanted love. I wanted someone to take care of me when I couldn’t get out of bed, which I guess took that very fact to actually let that finally come to the surface.
My road to recovery was tough. Physically, though no broken bones, I couldn’t put any weight at all on my right wrist or elbow, which is extra tough when you teach Yoga. But at least I do know the value in not pushing myself through injuries and truly taking the time needed to heal. It was the other changes that needed to be made for my real healing to happen. I took a hard look at my schedule and started to delegate more, saying no more often. Basically creating space in my life to have a life. 7 years later, and many more smaller lessons along the way, but I did manage to carve out just enough time to avert adrenal fatigue and also find love as I celebrate 6 years with my husband next weekend. I count my blessings that my wake up call, though impactful was minor. I’m grateful that I had the awareness to see through the illusion of “self” (ego) to come back to “Self” (the light within).
I’d love to hear what woke you up to help you live your truth.