Build a Strong Foundation
Please read the following TOJ Blog: Foundations of Peace and follow the journal prompt at the end.
Over the past five years, I have learned so much from my body. I didn’t realize I had left it; in many ways I had disconnected from it long ago to protect myself from all of the things highly sensitive people feel. But as I’ve come back into it, through breath, movement and human connection, I began to realize everything that I still expect of it. I still want to swim, play, and flow, through life. I decided that I wanted more for myself, that I wanted not just to dream more, but to be more, to feel and fall in love with myself in a way that would make my life better and set an example for my kids that could help change the trajectory of their lives too.
My north star is to heal patterns of generational pain that cause us to shut down and develop compensating patterns and defense mechanisms that harm our relationships with ourselves and others and keep us off the path to our fullest potential. And one thing I know for sure is that the path starts with a firm foundation, and for the past 10 years I have had a hard time feeling my feet firmly planted on the ground.
What I know is that our physical, mental, and energetic bodies are not separate and with a degenerative right ankle and a bad surgery I had in 2012 that displaced my heel position, I had struggled to get both feet squarely on the ground beneath me. My foot positioning impacted my ability to balance well and use both sides of my body equally. The repercussions that came from that were many, from compensating patterns to not being able to train certain muscles even if I wanted to, to feeling very vulnerable to anything that was coming at me from the right side. And even though most people would never have noticed, I knew that it was time to correct course and get my feet firmly planted on the ground again. They are our foundation, where we gain the ability to ground our thoughts and actions and begin to let in the sensations that tell us where we are in space. Although I have tried every intervention you can think of from massage to myofascial tissue release, to acupuncture, to get my foundation back, I needed some Western medicine to intervene. On Feb 14, I woke up after surgery at Kerlan Job (can’t say enough about the quality of their care!) with my heel back underneath my foot and the strong possibility of a full recovery to a strong foundation. This is where my optimism shines…I know it’s going to happen and it’s worth every non-weight-bearing moment.
As I journeyed home from the surgery center, a car ride I barely remember after a 2.5-hour surgery, the one thing I do recall was coming back into my home. This gratitude I have for the calm, regenerative space that I have owned for the past 3 years is immense. Hobbling back in on my crutches, I had the same feeling as the first time I saw it. My home has a healing spirit, and I feed it every day with essential oils, lavender sprays, and routine sagging and palo santo burns so it can keep its ability to strengthen and restore anyone who lives here or comes to stay. Even though life has landed me in a very nice neck of the woods on California’s Pacific Ocean, it’s never about being fancy, this space is about safety and connection and providing a place where people can gather to restore and feel understood.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve needed so much help to keep my universe on track - non-weight-bearing and can’t drive - and the support that has poured in has flooded my heart with gratitude. From the meals, rides, and company to the calls and texts to check-in, I can’t thank you enough for the ways I have felt loved - my home has felt like a sort of co-op, and it has been the most amazing feeling. This has been my body’s chance to heal and slow down, but also my mind's journey to greater places and my spirit's time to recharge to give me the energy to see my vision through. The connection I have made over the past few weeks coming through the pain of surgery to ensure a solid foundation is that without that, I would not be able to keep this roof over my head that I am so grateful for. What I know for sure is that the foundations that we build, shape the homes we create and the roofs over our heads. The cool thing is it’s never too late to work on our foundations.
As I watch from a distance what is going on in the world, I know there is so little I can do on a grand scale, but my north star of generational healing is a little piece of parallel universe that allows me to give back and makes me feel less helpless.
I want to leave you with a quote from C.S. Lewis that struck me this week in the wake of all that humanity faces today:
“If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things - praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting with our friends over a pint and a game of darts - not huddled together like freightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds. “
Whether the microbes that have consumed our lives for the past two years or the heartbreaking destruction in Ukraine, I am praying for peace through strength and strong foundations...from the ones beneath our feet that we are responsible for, to the ones we create in our homes, and out into the far reaches of the world, so that the human spirit can live freely with safe roofs over their heads. Praying for the safety of the Ukrainian people who deserve to live in peace and do all of the sensible things C.S. Lewis’s words so eloquently expressed. Not a small prayer, but for each of us, it starts with doing the next right thing so we can be a little bit better today, to be stronger, so that we may be free tomorrow.
TASK: Write a Journal Entry.
What is one thing you are grateful for that is part of your foundation?