Ready For Anything

Yesterday I was walking, rather slowly, in much narrower strides than I usually take, up a long incline, heading back to my parked car.

I felt the now familiar yanking kind of burning dull ache in my right sits bone. One of the doctor’s that I’ve visited recently voice popped in my head “….since it’s hanging on by maybe less than 20%…possible it could pop off…careful until surgery…”

I suddenly pictured 1/5th the amount of attached tendon pulled really tight, like an over-stretched rubber band about to “pop”.  

Oh. What was that? 

I think it’s popping off right now. Could it be?

I kept walking. I noticed the view below of the blustery lake, the space needle off to my left (Seattle icon), wind blowing my hair into my eyes.

Having an injury, with chronic “pain” (which by the way seems to come and go) really reminds me that I have a body.

This flesh and bone thing that I appear to inhabit. Something is on low-grade alarm, radiating from the leg. 

But right now, I also happen to be facilitating the Pain, Sickness and Death teleclass, and we’re looking, as I’ve looked a bunch of times before, at what is believed about HURT and SUFFERING and PAIN.

It hurts. I am in pain. She hurts. He hurts. This is terrible. Having a body is vulnerable. Having a body is dangerous. I’m in control of this body. I HAVE a body.

Are these things true?

Oh brother, YES. Would you stop asking that for once? This is DEFINITELY true. 

Without a body, I wouldn’t be anything. I wouldn’t be here. And this thing, called a body, hurts sometimes. It can get hurt (I have evidence)!

It appears that other people get hurt! 

But I don’t actually know if this is terrible, and I don’t know if this body needs to stay NOT hurting, and I don’t know if it’s really dangerous and vulnerable to have this body. At all. 

OK OK! I don’t know if it’s even true that this is MY body. I’m not sure who or what invented it, and it appears I had nothing to do with it.

How do I react when I believe the thought that this sensation is called “pain” and that it means something terrible is happening, already happened, or is about to happen in the future?

I have images form in my head, flashing like a speedy movie of moving flash cards, of surgeries and knives and cut off limbs and death and other things that frighten me. 

I feel sick to my stomach, nervous, worried. I treat myself like I’m a victim, something happened TO me. I got unlucky. Other people are walking around freely with connected hamstrings. 

Look, there goes a person now, running by. She isn’t having stabbing pains in her pelvic bone! That’s the way it’s supposed to be! 

I chuckle. 

Who would I be without the thought that this sensation “hurts” or that it’s very bad news, or that I am getting surgery, or that this body is mine, or that something is wrong with this right leg. 

Strangely light. Like giggling. Goosebumps. 

Without the thought that this is a bad situation, I’m here, now. Tuned in. Alive. I feel a pulsing awareness of everything, sensing it all with this thing called a body. 

No regrets, no fear in this moment. 

Now here’s the bizarre thing: without the thought that this is terrible, wrong, that pain is bad, or that this is my body and it is dangerous to have one….

….I’m almost looking forward to having this surgery. 

Oh wow…that’s the ultimate turnaround. I am willing to have this hurt, to go through this, to feel this body…..I look forward to having this hurt, to go through this, to feel this body.

Weird, right? WOW! COOL!

“The Master gives himself up to whatever the moment brings. He knows that he is going to die, and he has nothing left to hold on to: no illusions in his mind, no resistances in his body. He doesn’t think about his actions; they flow from the core of his being. He holds nothing back from life; therefore he is ready for death, as a man is ready for sleep after a good day’s work.” ~ Tao Te Ching #50 

With Love, Grace

4 Replies to “Ready For Anything”

  1. How very wonderful, Susan. Thank you for sharing. I love your term “organic machine”. And how fascinating to even consider not being against the hot flashes and just watch them…thanks for your comments! Nice reading you here!

  2. It is kind of interesting Grace that this was the subject of the first email I have received from you. This morning I was lingering in bed — I guess you could say I was meditating about The Work which is a relatively new concept to me. One of my extreme hot flashes suddenly drew my attention. After years they are not getting better and can bother me every ten minutes, making me sweat buckets with waves of nausea and anxiety. I have been so sick of them!!!

    But then I began to question my struggle. I have been fighting them and the reality they are probably not going away anytime soon. It is time to surrender to them, like I did going through labour without medication. Surrendering really helped. So I started to do the inquiries, remembering that I am not my body. I am the observer of a beautiful miraculous machine that operates from a wisdom beyond my understanding. My body is a gift that I can take care of as best as I can, especially if I listen to what it is trying to tell me.

    I realized my body must have a good reason for those hot flashes and that it is not my job to decide what those complex inner workings need to be doing; that is beyond my control mostly. But because I can feel the discomfort I know to throw off the covers to help it out. I though of my old computer and how the fan used to always blast out cool air because it over heated so often.

    Now instead of feeling sorry for myself I am going to try to use each hot flash as a reminder to meditate on the beauty and wisdom of my organic machine. For some reason the thought of a human brain, organs, and blood used to scare me a bit. I avoided thinking about them. But suddenly I see can see the organ that is a brain as stunningly beautiful. I want to adore my brain and entire body like it is my child and take care of it as much as is possible. The physical discomfort of a hot flash can make me step back from my ego, like Eckhart Tolle says to do, to create space and observe even more deeply what a miracle life is. So I am going to try to be thankful for them.

    Thank you for your great post!


  3. Be well, Grace! This too shall pass. And you’ll be running circles ’round the rest of us in no time.

    And when people ask ‘is there anything I can do?’ say yes. Tell them you need a foot massage. Or to hear a good joke. Or a ride to the grocery store. People want to do something. Let them.

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