Merry Christmas to me, I twisted my knee.
My left knee was making a peculiar ‘click, click’ sound, which I found amusing. I went to the Osteopath to check it out and he was boggled. “Listen!” I said as I popped up and down into my deepest and fastest squats, “Listen to how loud it is!!!”. The doctors face twisted up slightly as he commanded me to “Stop doing that”. He said it was a bladder infection, which I had no other symptoms of, but was happy to accept an inflamed meridian as a cause vs. something more architectural. So cranberry pills it was and he sent me on my way.
It continued to click click… and swell swell. A few days later my sister Malynda was arriving from the Western U.S to stay for Christmas. Her flight was early morning, so I traveled to Lisbon a day early and stayed with a friend. Before rushing off pre-dawn to the airport, I thought I would dutifully settle in for a “Quick meditation”.
Funny thing, when going into Sukhasana, I always put the right leg in first. For some silly reason, I thought, “Today I want to fold the Left leg in first”. Talk about pushing the limits. Gently and so quietly… whatever had been being yanked on, had it’s final yank before it gave way.
“What kind of Yoga teacher takes her knee out in Meditation???!!!”
“What if I am wounded forever!?? I will have to change profession!!”
“Have I done my last Virasana??!!!!”
Later that day I messaged my good mate Milly. Her response was; “I think your knee is telling you to slow down and enjoy Christmas with your family”.
Oh, yeah. It is not all about me. My pain does not stop the need of my family to have me present and kind. Nor does my pain color the entirety of my experience. That hit me like a great revelation… Trumpets blew from on high as I realized that pain is an attempt to stop our joy… but joy lives in the realm above and beyond pain.
Joy Trumps Pain.
For the first time in many, many months, I missed my morning meditation. I slept in until the unheard of hour of 7:30. I did no Yoga. I did not dance. I did not diva off in the afternoon to chant by myself for 30 minutes. I saved every moment and drop of energy to be with my family and friends.
I came to many comforting thoughts throughout these days. One is that I cannot be all talk when I say “We are consciousness having an experience in the body”. I must walk that hobbled walk. My experience of being “me” shifted when my body experienced a movement limitation, but this just shows how strongly I identify myself with my body. What if I wasn’t a bendy Yoga teacher, or graceful dancer? Would I be mud? Or does my consciousness not waver, quiver or tarnish with the flaws and weaknesses of the body?
The latter of course. I can be unconscious with an Asana practice as a crutch. Or conscious within any conditions of my physical body.
The body can suffer when we stray from consciousness…. But not the other way around.
Consciouness trumps body.
Another thing I have come to believe is true; “My pain is my teacher, my truth is my healer”. And what is more true than our relationships with our loved ones, our ancestors, our species?
I hobbled through the next few days, and made it through Christmas…. Delaying giving the knee the real care it needed. It was worth it! But by December 26th there was a price to pay and it was a few days in bed. So I rested, grateful up to my seventh Chakra for my beautiful family, friends, community, existence. And not withstanding, grateful to my subconscious… for the check-in I gave myself. Let my identity NOT be with my flesh and bone and the surety of my ligaments, but with the infinite parts instead.