Day 187 to Day 191 – bouncing back

Day 187 – bounce back

Finally I feel ready to run again but my first attempt is thwarted by rain. I run some errands and when I get back the rain has finally stopped and the sun is calling me out. I get going and for the first kilometre feel like maybe the wind is too cold. I want to turn back again but I push on and soon I am warm enough and it is feeling great. At exactly the halfway point I sniffle and a torrent of blood comes out of my right nostril. I’m wiping blood on the grass as  have no tissues. This is gross. I am too far away now, the walk back would take forever so I just keep running. When I get home I feel that vibrant life force pumping through my veins again. I stop and sit with this feeling, meditating on it and enjoying the pulsation of pure energy. The radiant luminosity that had escaped me is now back and I feel ready to jump back into that manic scramble for time that I am used to. When I finish work, I have to sit down again. Ok, maybe I’m still recovering. I end up falling asleep on Krystle’s couch as she continues to chatter away for another hour. Then, in an act of pure love and selfless service, she carried me to her bed and puts me to sleep. No words can describe the bond of this friendship. When I’ve lost my bounce, she shares some of hers.

Day 188 – the long table

I am getting a treatment today with my friend Doc. With a light touch against my collarbone, I instantly feel my whole body relax. There are energy blockages all over my body and as he moves around to my knees, my neck, my back, my sensitivity gets ramped up and I become entirely conscious and aware of them. He asks if I can see anything. Behind my closed eyes, I have a vision of a long table. There is someone sitting at the other end. He asks who it is and when I look closer it is me, but older and wiser. I look more calm, more settled and yet, younger and more relaxed. He asks why there is such a long separation between me and my Self. We shorten the table until it finally disappears altogether and I am standing face to face with myself. Then I change places and become the Self looking back at me. It takes a long time to be able to do this, to enter the eyes of my spiritual Self and look back at me. The me I finally see is shy, young, like a child. She is looking up at me through her eyelashes. She is timid and afraid. I hug her to me, feeling protective. Eventually I let the child-like version sit on my lap and play. We are so close we start to melt together, fusing into the same person. When the treatment is over, I feel… luscious. I feel like I am vibrating at a higher level. I feel like I am pulsating in life force, like I am the divine Self, feeling out this body and enjoying every sensation. Doc smiles. He says if I can get the lusciousness then that is the whole point.

Day 189 – Sydney Harbour 10km

After only four hours sleep, I wake up excited and with a sore throat. I probably shouldn’t run. I get back into bed for a second and then that part of my brain that is constantly trying to prove it is tough enough, gets me back up and puts on my compression tights. It is time to run. I have been too excited about this! When I get into the city, it is freezing and still dark. There are fires set up where the runners are crowding around. I join the small huddle, looking around for someone I might know. No, everyone I know is still sleeping. Even mum hasn’t offered to be a cheering squad; she is going back home to bed. The race begins in the Rocks and wraps around past the Harbour Bridge and into Darling Harbour. It is only about a third of the way through the race when we see the fastest runners coming back around, on their way to the finish line. I feel like people keep passing me. I turn back to see if I am the last person but realise there is a whole trail of people behind me too. I realise I am also passing people. The sun is rising and the morning is bright as we pass the halfway point. I feel a stitch coming on right as I approach the second water station. At the 8km mark, I realise how far I have come. I have done this and nobody else. Nobody can take it away from me. Knowing my usual running pace is 8km/hr I check the time and realise it has only been 50 minutes. Excitedly, I round the bend to see the sun shining behind the Harbour Bridge. It is beautiful. As I approach the finish line, people are sprinting for the final dash but I just keep my pace. When I get my race results later that day I find out I completed the 10km in 1 hour, 2 minutes and 57 seconds. I have completely surprised myself! It may not be the fastest, but after recovering from the flu and having only 4 hours of sleep, I have beaten my own running pace and exceeded my expectations. I may have come in 35 minutes after the winner, but in my own heart I feel victorious.

After the race, I eat a quick breakfast and go to a Yoga for Runners workshop. It is basic, with lots of long holds and stretches. It is beautiful to just be led through a practice and not have to think about anything. It is the perfect thing for my tired, stiff muscles. I fall into a blissful sleep in Savasana and finally allow myself to realise how exhausted I am. I spend the rest of the afternoon in bed, sleeping. When I wake up, I am still holding the small medal. Sydney Harbour 10km. I did this for me. Nobody else can take those 63 minutes away from me. They are all mine.

Day 190 – the journey of hands on skin

One of my yoga teachers, Twee Merrigan, wakes up every morning and kisses the palms of her hands and then slides them all over her skin. It is her way of waking herself up with love, with appreciation for her body and to awaken the senses. When I tried this a few years ago, I remember pausing at my stomach and grabbing roughly at the “extra bits”. I remember poking meanly at what I felt were love handles over my hips and pulling back the extra deposits of fat between my thighs. At the time, my perception of my own body was distorted and I did not offer it any self love. I remember this lack of compassion and I feel sorry about it, but then I am so grateful for how far I have come. I can now run my hands across my stomach, loving every piece of it. I like the feeling of my hips and thighs and their curves and shapes. And I can allow someone else to run their hands across me without feeling shame or recoiling in embarrassment. It is a beautiful thing to finally accept and love oneself unconditionally. I hold my stomach in my hands gently and give it a loving pat. No grabbing, no judgement. Just. Pure. Love.

Day 191 – standing at the back of the class

I have just taught yoga and the small class of three students are in Savasana, resting. I close my eyes to the sound of Krishna Das’ beautiful, deep, voice. There is something magical about this still space at the end of class. I am standing at the back, feeling the chant wash over me. I have had one of those typical run around like a mad woman days. From the moment I got up, I just started rushing, even when I didn’t need to. Sometimes I think if I didn’t rush, I would always be on time? Now I finally slow down and accept this moment in its entirety. There is no other moment. There is no ‘ago’ or ‘yet’. Now is the only space we have. It may not always be still or quiet but even our silence roars and even if our bodies are still, the energy is forever expanding, like the universe. Someone told me today that I look taller. It is not possible that I have actually become taller since turning 25 but it is possible that my confidence makes me stand straighter, that my energetic body has expanding higher and that I take up more space with radiance. It is a beautiful day to be standing in meditation with three resting yogi’s. I feel like our energies are still dancing together, even after we stop moving. That is the lingering space that we all hang onto after class. That is the resonance we don’t want to lose when we walk away. So we take it in, swallow it down into our hearts and our bellies and we carry this light with us, sharing it with the world. That is what makes us grow taller.

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