July 15, 2018
"When you're broken, you have a story."
For the past 5 years, I've been doing battle with my body. The best part of me (or the part that I valued the most) decided to say, no. One morning I knew who I was, and the next: identity theft 101.
If you read the first chapter of my Vulnerable Warrior blogs (apparently, this will be a series), you know that the goal of my January 1st, 2018 post was not only to be a better helper to others but to actually let some helpers into my life in the first place. Not everything needs to be a struggle....or so "they" say.
What I didn't know was that by the 9th of January, in an attempt to make one last push on the war against my body (yes, I realize that sentence/attitude is part of the problem) was that to do so - I'd have to lose it all - deliberately - before I would gain it all back. I was strong enough, I thought, to take the next drastic steps to heal. I'm a warrior, right?
By day 8 of the healing process, I knew that I was crashing, emotionally and physically. Attempting this ordeal on the heels of grief and loss was the best and worst timing to attempt this arduous task. My daily progress videos would act as my witness: I could stare at myself falling - or reach out and build something new while the other part of me silently pieced itself together.
By day 10, I would practice what I preached and meet up with a fellow warrior to help me build the muscles I needed to pick myself up again.
No, this blog isn't about money or music, it's about the fact that you can't make money or music if your body is unable to make the investment.
This subtle shift toward my other strengths snapped my mood and energy immediately to attention. Like being presented with a juicy new score, I had been given a challenge that would soak up all of my negativity for the next 90 days (yes, I was counting).
At every private yoga session, I would be rewarded with a new, more challenging yoga pose. While my weak side quietly mended itself in one area, I discovered how strong I could be in another.
And then came CROW.
I'm kicking myself for not documenting my first attempt at this pose. Initially, I couldn't even THINK how I could possibly execute my hands on the ground, knees on my triceps while lifting my entire torso into the air. Seriously. What?
At first, you assume it's all about using every muscle in your body but, the REAL muscle that you're developing is patience and kindness toward yourself.
I would stare at my hands on the mat, incredulously, for 2 months with little gains. It wasn't until I switched my thinking from, "DON'T FALL" to "UP,UP, UP" that in April, my CROW took flight.
Somehow, I trusted myself enough to lean impossibly forward, get my ass up in the air, feet together, to hold CROW for 10 magical, shaky seconds.
By June, my feet were tucked up entirely and I didn't feel the burden of my efforts. I didn't shake, it didn't hurt, my breath felt hollow and open, my gaze soft.
All that time I thought I was struggling, it turns out, I was growing.
We even introduced a new bird: CRANE.
Apparently, I will straighten my arms fully for this one.
Just barely attempting that in the photo below.
I'll let you know how it goes in, ohhhhh....a YEAR or so.
On this 187th day of healing, I've (mostly) stopped fighting myself. I've started to value the scars, embrace the imperfections, and am optimistically seeing that the new version of me might just end up being the best version.
Though my journey is far from over, I share this first part of my story with you because I, personally, am more inspired by how people get up the mountain than just staring at them standing on the highest peak.
Thanks for reading, gang!
Keep pursuing, keep singing, keep saving.
(Jay Williams, former NBA star after a horrific motorcycle accident)
"Because YOU have the shoulders to lift yourself back up."