We’ll See

By Sarah Petty L. Ac., Dipl. Ac. on June 27th, 2012

Hello Everyone,

I hope you are enjoying the Summer! For those of you who do not know-I recently injured my foot in a rather embarrassing way (depending on your perspective) and have been awkwardly hobbling around on crutches. I am ok, and will be ok, but this experience does give me material for today’s blog.

Before I sprained a tendon in my foot this past week, I had never been immobilized. I take for granted my ability to get up and go, day after day, at the speed of my choosing, with ease and without pain. This experience has really brought more awareness to my body and its movements. I didn’t know how many times my everyday movements enervated my extensor digitorum longus tendon until I injured it-and let me tell you, it is a very important and frequently used tendon. It is the tendon at the top of the foot that connects to the four toes and continues up to the top of the ankle. It allows us to wiggle our toes and lift the foot which is important in walking. I welcome you to spend some time exploring your extensor digitorum longus tendons now. Enjoy wiggling your toes and lifting your feet.

That first day, I R.I.C.E.d my foot (treatment for sport’s injuries: Rest. Ice. Compress. Elevate.). It was like any other day, where I had planned to run around and do a million things. Now I had the opportunity to slow down my pace and take care of myself. I was pleasantly surprised by my immediate acceptance of my new situation, and I had time to reflect. The thesis of my thoughts was essentially this: Life is a dance, and it will be more graceful without the fight. Life shows up how life shows up. It is unpredictable, and there is much that is out of our control. My practice is to be open to what comes and be patient. Let me take this time to share a Zen fable with you:

A farmer had only one horse. One day, his horse ran away.

All the neighbors came by saying, “I’m so sorry. This is such bad news. You must be so upset.” The man just said, “We’ll see.”

A few days later, his horse came back with twenty wild horses. The man and his son corraled all 21 horses.

All the neighbors came by saying, “Congratulations! This is such good news. You must be so happy!” The man just said, “We’ll see.”

One of the wild horses kicked the man’s only son, breaking both his legs.

All the neighbors came by saying, “I’m so sorry. This is such bad news. You must be so upset.” The man just said, “We’ll see.”

The country went to war, and every able-bodied young man was drafted to fight. The war was terrible and killed every young man, but the farmer’s son was spared, since his broken legs prevented him from being drafted.

All the neighbors came by saying, “Congratulations! This is such good news. You must be so happy!” The man just said, “We’ll see.”

I feel this story illustrates so beautifully the gift of staying centered with the ups and down of life. How many events end up being blessings in disguise? Sure, our reactions to life can seem cathartic-but when that reaction is stimulated several times a week, or worse, several times a day, it is not so much productive and healthy as it is stress inducing and hazardous to our happiness and well being.

As I said before, life is a dance. You may feel uncoordinated, clumsy, frustrated or embarrassed at times, but often if you let go and let loose, you find yourself smiling and having a much better time. It has taken a lot of practice for me to adopt this ‘care free’, ‘go with the flow’ attitude. The more I practice, the less I get in the way of myself. Life as obstacle or struggle is no longer a reality nor is it good or bad. It is simply life, moving along with its ebbs and flows. Often it is our judgement of a situation that sparks an emotion and takes us out of the present moment, and often out of our bodies as well. I tell my patients that our minds are  precarious environments that can easily breed negativity. My practice is to quiet the mind and open my heart. I find this brings about peace, clarity and confidence. Peace because I am out of my thoughts. Clarity because my heart is the only voice I hear. Confidence because I trust my heart knows best.

Spend less time reacting and more time being. When you find yourself getting emotional over a stressful situation, take a breath and step back. My grandaddy used to tell me, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” Identify the small stuff in the moment and let it go. Remind yourself that there is a bigger picture. Your body will thank you.

I hope you all have a wonderful week. Be well.

Comments are closed.