I took what could have been a serious tumble yesterday during my yoga practice . It shook me. It happened when I was attempting a new type of inversion. When my arms buckled I crashed to the ground – fortunately I tucked hard and so took the brunt of the impact across the tops of the shoulders instead of the neck; that ‘tuck & roll’ instinct probably saved my life and/or limbs. But that is not what I want to write about. It’s the awakening process that the incident brought me that I want to speak of, for that spooky fall did indeed tumble me headfirst into reverence and gratitude.
The tumble, (more accurately “crash”) happened in slow motion in my mind, I had mental time enough, while it was happening, to watch the fall and mentally comment on its moment by moment unfolding. From the moment my arms collapsed, my thoughts went something like this: “I’ve done it now. So this is how it ends. So be it (the body eases a little). I’ve broken my neck. Is anyone close enough to call? I accept it – tension eases. Are my teeth ok? No damage there. Good. What about head injury? Not sure, maybe (head is throbbing). I accept it – body relaxes a little bit and my head pain begins to diminish. Neck okay? I think so … don’t move it yet tho. Wait ’til it releases. I accept it – body releases even more. I am SOOOOO grateful! (waves of gratitude now) Thank you, Father, for protecting me.” And my body continues to release and relax.
As I continued to assess my body damage, slowly, slowly releasing, uncoiling the body from its recent crisis by lying very still at first and then beginning to make small adjustments, slowly unwinding the body towards a full corpse pose on the floor. I’m guessing it took some fifteen minutes to unwind my crumpled body into shivasana (corpse pose). Time is difficult to guess when we are operating outside its relevance, so I am not sure how long I lay there barely moving on the outside but with mad goings-on inside my mind? I know it must have taken a full half-hour or more before I was ready to uncurl into full standing pose – my head still throbbed on the way up. I continued to slowly seek standing alignment, gently stretching as I went, until I found myself in my qigong ‘ready’ position. I was surprised, I hadn’t decided or planned to do qigong but obviously my body thought it was a good idea so I cooperated. 🙂
Unimpeded by my usually bossy mind, my body led me through a gentle unwinding. My job was simply to let go and let it lead. I did. As the body moved through various qigong forms I focused on Source, bringing healing life energy in to re-establish balance in the body after its upset.
I noticed that the quality of my thoughts had changed dramatically, moving from the terrifying thought, “I’ve done it this time!” – to thoughts of acceptance and surrender, “I trust that I am ok. I trust that I am protected – that this is happening for me, that I am safe.” Such thoughts gently nudged my body into a relaxed state from which to unwind any damage that might otherwise have resulted, if not from injury, then from the tension and contraction of going through the trauma of the fall. I relaxed enough to release and thereby prevent damage to the point that I sit here today writing this with little negative effect whatsoever, beyond some tolerable soreness.
My fall turned out to be a powerful testimonial for the healing power of acceptance and surrender! It verified my conviction that healing requires the ability to fully relax into trusting Source. I am convinced that it is surrender/accepting/leting-go that most often saves us because when we let go and trust reality and the way things are we don’t have to fight against ourselves, and /or Source. Resistance always leads to contraction and creates a barrier that causes us to pull away from life rather than to allow love and healing to happen. Trust in Source alleviates the need to resist. With trust, peace and healing enter naturally the space that surrender creates.
I felt I was a part of a miracle yesterday morning. It brought me an enhanced awareness of how tenuous and fragile life can be and allowed me to experience how powerfully protected I am. I walked out of that room yesterday grateful to be walking and profoundly aware of the Presence of a Loving Source who is ever present and into whose capable, loving hands I can relax knowing that the more I fall into surrender, the safer I will be.