Last month I was reading about a book in which a woman faked a pregnancy in order to have a “maternity leave”. I was initially shocked to hear that someone would go through that much trouble just to get a break. At the time, I was stepping off a plane from Africa, after finding myself on five continents in sixty days. I was feeling like I was on cloud nine, full of energy and excitement, and grateful for all of the opportunities I have. Then one day, after successfully leading a final retreat for the program I run at work, I felt it. Depletion. Complete burnout. Don’t. Want. To. Do. Anything.
Luckily for me, just days later I was having major hip surgery. I was going to be forced to take a break. The night before surgery I found myself with everything crossed off my to do list and literally no plans for the next two months. Fast forward to today, nearly four weeks after surgery, and a lot of things have changed. I am excited again, but not for what I thought I would be. I usually am looking forward to the next trip, the next event, the next “instagrammable” moment. Yet right now, I am excited for my dinner tonight. I am excited to wake up in the morning and do my daily meditation. I am excited about a PowerPoint presentation I am going to create tomorrow. I. Am. In. The. Present.
In these past few weeks I’ve done a lot of things I never expected to do. I sat for hours at a time watching birds building a nest and miniature horses running around. I read 1-2 books every day. I ate meals without watching TV. I spent hours with my sister learning about numerology, angel cards, akashic records, and even had reiki healing work done on me. I lived moment to moment, and it was magical.
I absolutely miss being able to do anything physical. I’m weeks away from being off crutches, I won’t be able to run or do yoga for many many months, and I’m reliant on my family and friends for many things. But what I now have is a renewed sense of finding balance, which is something I always thought I was pretty good at. I don’t need to continuously be in go mode all of the time. I must find stillness in each day, and appreciate every moment, even if it’s just beacuse I need to ice for 20 minutes. This has been one of the more challenging and frustrating experiences of my life, but with it, I’m finding and connecting with myself. I’m finding the space that I need to think, to reflect, to write. I’m finding gratitude for the achingly slow recovery process, because it is forcing me to just stop and make the most of each day. I know I won’t feel this way every day, but I will work to feel it most days. I’m most excited to discover how to find this balance, this bliss, long after my recovery is over. I’ll end with a quote from my most recent guided meditation: “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, let the mind remain in the present moment.” – Buddha