My first post for 2014 considered aim for even as a way to live. I saw it something like this: in every experience I give what I am able to give, mindful that no two occurrences are the same no matter how similar they seem.
Remembering that uniqueness is not easy but is key to maintaining my balance. If I offer more than I am able to give or if I give less than is possible, I miss my mark.
In 2014, I aimed high and low aplenty but by year’s end I found myself more and more in the middle—in balance, even—as I let go of a mind-set that skewed my aim.
Letting go meant giving up tried and true ways that comforted—at times even protected me—from the chronic pain inherent in my life. The subconscious is not easily dissuaded for it has had a lifetime to fine tune what comforts in order to cope. It’s its own infinite loop.
It would take me most of 2014 to break out of this mind-set. I wrote about it—a lot—on this blog.
In “The Winds of Change,” I believed I was slowly but surely losing my ability to walk. My response was I would adapt, like always. After all, I have an active online life and a great picture window with a view of the woods.
By September, “Some Awareness My Way Came” in the form of spinal and cognitive issues. Yet, I would need another warning from my body that old ways would no longer serve. My kidneys sent a short but clear message.
“Only in Expanding My Cone of Habit” did I begin to dismantle the mind-set that had comforted me for decades. I turned to traditional Chinese medicine believing I had nothing left to lose. As I would discover, I had a lot to lose.
Transformation leaves behind habits of a life lived. There is no “getting my life back.” Life anew is an accumulation of every misstep, every revelation I experience. The stuff of transformation is recognizing that the great teachers in one’s life have always been there.
One of mine is chronic pain. Our relationship has changed completely. I no longer need to cope because I no longer fear pain, emotional or physical. I no longer fear pain spiraling out of control. Rather, I sit with my emotions as my body sends sensations.
I aim for even.
My transformation is far from complete but the changes I am experiencing I cannot explain other than through my new relationship with pain. I walk–slowly–without any limp and am just beginning to take short—really short—walks.
Every day, and I mean EVERY day, I have a level of energy, something I lost decades ago. On the same day, I can complete errands, do some housework, and write–if necessary. Nine months ago, I thought I would live from my adjustable bed.
The pain is not gone but the mind-set is. There is no seeking comfort to mask the pain. Rather, there is the slow movement of yoga and the stillness of meditation, the balance of acupuncture. And there is food that fuels the biological changes taking place in my body rather than inflaming it.
Every day, I aim for even.
As I was writing this post, I kept trying to find ways to impart what aim for even might look like separate from chronic illness. August McLaughlin seemed to read my mind when she posted this graphic in her wonderful blog post.
She captures aim for even beautifully. In giving what we are able to give, no more and no less, we resolve to live life as the ebb and flow that it is. We keep ourselves afloat.