Impermanence brought to life: I’ve been whisked away to a spontaneous, romantic ski weekend. I’m sitting at the top of the perfect ski slope in Aspen, it’s sunny, the sight is stunning and my boyfriend is right in front of me. We’ve had a couple of exhilarating runs where we feel completely happy and connected to each other and to nature. I take my first turn on a challenging, double black diamond slope, I hit a bump, my skis separate and I proceed to do two complete helicopter turns. Both skis flew off and I continued my high speed descent, head first, gaining speed, before my boyfriend jumped on top of me and bravely stopped my trajectory into the trees. Net result? A dramatic rescue and a torn ACL. My first ski injury.
I’m currently lying in bed with a bandaged and swollen leg following my surgery yesterday. This has given me the time to reflect on how Mindfulness Meditation has altered my approach to life. Here is what I have noticed:
While being dragged, head first down the mountain in a rescue sleigh, I focused on my breath and starred calmly at the blue sky above. I relinquished control, I didn't think about what would happen next. The two days before my surgery I focused on the present moment, the fact that I could move around independently, and I organized my life as much as I could.
The day of surgery, I woke up early and meditated to prepare myself (meditation has been shown to reduce the fight or flight response in our brains). When I reached the surgical center, I wasn’t anxious because I relinquished control to the expert, my surgeon, and focused on what I could control which was my attitude.
Post surgery I feel incredibly fragile and vulnerable (the exact opposite of my normal self). My leg is numb and heavy. The sight of my swollen foot makes me want to gag. I feel very unstable on my crutches and I am totally reliant on the help of others for everything. And yet I am calm and I have the clarity to accept my situation. I’m focused on what I can do today. I see myself taking things one step at a time. I’m noticing that I’m being gentle with myself ( in the past I would have bullied myself, pushed to go faster). I have the clarity to find things I can do today that will help my long recovery: I’m reading, I’m listening to Masterclass to learn new things, I’m meditating more and I am present to the love and support of my family and friends. This is an evolution for a type A, impatient, i-can-do-it-myself woman. Regular Mindfulness Meditation is teaching me, showing me that life is impermanent and the way we show up is the only thing we control. I feel centered relinquishing that need to control what I know I can’t. If you would like to take the first step in learning Mindfulness Meditation please don’t hesitate to reach out.