7 lessons from the toilet bowl

so here i was, cleaning the toilet, when i reached over and zing, i strained my lower back, right above the hip bone.

quite a fascinating experience, and what i’m learning from it can be applied to other areas of life as well:

  1. when there is a warning sign, pay attention and stop.
  2. after the injury, be it physical or emotional, relax.
  3. allow your system to take notice but don’t seize up. the hurt is in one part of your life, not in all of it.
  4. just like a martial artist, allow the natural course of things to aid you.
  5. keep paying attention.
  6. experiment with what you can do and what you can’t do.
  7. give yourself more rest than normal but don’t stop completely.

here’s how this learning came about

fortunately, i used to be a bodyworker so i have a bit of an idea what to do. as soon as the pain hit, i realized this was serious, different from a little bump or the type of random nerve firing we get once in a while. i immediately stopped what i was doing, stood still, and tried to relax my back as much as possible.

as i’ve mentioned in a previous post, i know that many long-term consequences of such injuries stem not from the original trauma but from the whole area involuntarily trying to seize up, and from other compensatory movements and postures. so i did some gentle gravity exercises to counteract that.

throughout the day i paid attention to my back and performed very careful exercises, feeling for which muscles needed to stretch and which ones needed to be left alone. i gave myself a good mix of normal movement and rest.

my body was very tired at the end of the day, but it was an “ok” type of tired, and i went to bed early. it’s slowly getting better; i have to be careful but i also feel that my body is healing.

thanks, body, for this teaching.

and, needless to say, i didn’t need any reminding to do my grounding exercises. this sort of experience makes it very easy for me to stay in my body!

3 thoughts on “7 lessons from the toilet bowl

  1. wayne

    so true so true. the first time my back spasmed, I tensed up and was in pain for days. Now I breathe into the pain as you describe. It is a mindful moment.

  2. eeabee

    I like the title!

    I’m amazed by how much I’m learning from yoga and bodywork about what different kinds of holdings and bracings and compensatings do effect-wise. I had no idea until I got into these things. And I used to have all kinds of pains and knots. Now much less so.

    I’ll have to remember how this can apply and help with minimizing the damage of an injury.

    eeabee’s last blog post..Forth-going, Down-settling, and other Sensations Sought and Found

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