Tuesday, April 06, 2004

I've Been Knotty

Spending Sunday at the beach (see below) gave me a real boost in every way. I felt really good, physically...relaxed and recharged. I realized while we were sitting at the beach how much of a toll the emotional ups and down of the last few weeks had taken on my body. It felt good to feel myself realigining physically. And then...I went to work yesterday...

I hadn't been there an hour when I could feel my shoulders start to rise up toward my ears and a big ol' knot in my right shoulder get tighter and tighter...and knottier and knottier. It wasn't long before I felt the tension all the way up the right side of my neck and into my (clenched!) jaw. I SO didn't want to be there. I spent the entire workday like that: aware of the horrible tension in that spot and periodically massaging it or rolling my head and neck around to try to release it. There might as well have been a big boulder sitting on my right shoulder for as comfortable as it felt. (Grasshopper learn much too late that the secret is "letting go"...)

I was outta there at 4:00 on the dot (which is nothing new...I avoid even a minute of overtime) and zipped home in the afternoon sun listening to NPR. It was a gorgeous day and I had thought earlier that it would be a perfect day to talk a long walk on the beach after work. But as my tension level grew and the knot increased to gargantuan proportions all I could think was how I couldn't wait to get home, climb into bed and put a heated rice pack on it. Which is exactly what I did. I was lying on my side in bed with the rice pack warming my knotty volcano, when I decided to call my 6-year-old niece to thank her for a picture she'd drawn for me which I received in Friday's mail. She drew me a rainbow with a large butterfly under it, against a turquoise sky (like the Caribbean!) on a bed of the greenest grass. I tacked it up on the wall above my desk. We talked for a few minutes. She wanted to be sure that I had found the school photos she had included with the drawing. I told her that her artwork was on the wall in my office where I could see it every day at work; she seemed pleased. (Not as much as it pleases me to have it there as a welcome distraction, sweetie!)

And then my brother got on the phone. We hadn't talked in awhile. A typical conversation with him usually only lasts a minute or two, since his call waiting usually comes through and/or he's just leaving the house and/or he's in his truck and heading off somewhere. (He leads a very busy life.) But he was home alone with my niece and rigging fishing poles (my father and stepmother are spending Easter there and he plans to take our dad out shark fishing) and I guess he was in a talkative mood. We had a nice long chat and caught up on each other's daily lives and future plans. When I hung up, it was still only 5:00. I gave myself a good talking-to and forced myself out of bed...threw on some cut-offs, a t-shirt and pair of flip-flops...left a note on the table for the boyfriend...and jumped in the car for the quick ride to the beach.

I left my flip-flops in the car (there's only a slim strip of asphalt to cover before reaching the sand) and headed for the water's edge. I walked in the surf to the western edge of the beach and then turned around and walked the entire length of the beach and back to where the car was parked. It's a couple of miles, round-trip. Here's the best part: I'd been walking for probably 15 minutes before it dawned on me that I'd spent most of my day feeling "crippled" by a huge knot in my shoulder. Not only was it gone, but I'd completely forgotten about it. Don't you just hate when you realize that you've wasted a lot of time and energy MAGNIFYING something that's bothersome to begin with? Not to mention that I "created" it in the first place by my resistance at being in the office. What a huge waste of energy. I love the power of our mind and emotions to create the kind of life we want--very few things amaze me as much. I only wish I wasn't so amazed that at this age I still find myself wasting that power creating what I DON'T want in a given situation. (Let's see, you don't really want to be spending your day doing this... I know! Why don't you make yourself really uncomfortable physically, too!) It's all in the attitude, baby...and mine needs a serious readjustment.


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