I have been having a real tough time recently, as evidence by my last post. What I had not mentioned was the problems with my shoulders. They keep getting stuck. My massage therapist, chiropractor and intuitive healer have all been working mightily to get them moving again. But each time I show up for a visit, my left shoulder especially is stuck again. Which is strange because I can get in my car after a session where one healer worked hard getting it moving, and drive to the next healer only to find the shoulder stuck again! It was maddening!
So today, my yoga instructor Carrie, per her usual synchronicity, invoked Shiva for our session. And at some point we were doing a rather oddly strenuous version of the Warrior II pose where we were thrusting one hip out while turning the other in a vastly differing direction. When we came out of the pose, rubbing our inner thighs and our aching hip joints, someone asked for the name of the pose. Carrie sheepishly sort of laughed and said, “We call it the Wounded Warrior.” And suddenly something clicked in my head.
Later during savasana, I asked Carrie if she could check my shoulders for me. I explained the problems I had been having as she bent over to adjust them. She suddenly looked very concerned as she found the same nodule everyone else had been working on over the last two months. She looked me in the eye as she said, “Katrina, that knot is directly behind your heart.” “What is happening with your heart?” She looked deeply worried and her concern struck me right where it mattered. I said, “Oh … yeah!” What else could I say? She helped my shoulders to relax with what to me looked like eyes on the verge of tears.
Later after picking up some special items from Trader Joes, I stopped for a visit to Sligo Creek Park. I hadn’t visited in so long, and the bright sun reminded me of why I love that park. I walked to the bridge and paused to listen to the waters. I breathed deeply as I crossed the bridge; it felt like coming home.
And that is when I noticed all the damage. Several of the trees had lost branches; some had lost major limbs. It was devastating. One poor young tree had been split in two, exposing her delicate inner structure to the wind and the rain.
I paused at each wounded tree and expressed my deep sympathy and grief for its loss. Touching my hands where I could over the open wounds, connecting to the still living trunks, I expressed my hopes and prayers for recovery.
At the poor tree ripped asunder, I expressed my sorrow and I could feel her respond. I reminded her that her life was not over, as long as she could still feel her roots in the soil and take in nourishment from the sun and rain, she could still grow and thrive. I asked the older trees, especially those who themselves were wounded to tell this young tree about how life could continue. And to tell her especially that she would live not in spite of her wounding, but now more because of her wounds.
As I sat down to rest a bit before returning to my car, something broke apart inside of me. I suddenly felt all that had been wrenched away from me. I could see all my inner preciousness and vulnerabilities exposed to the elements. And just as suddenly I began sobbing. My poor shoulders were trembling with each wave of tears. As I sat in my misery, I suddenly heard voices. It was the trees repeating back to me all I said to comfort the youngest of them.
“You will live on not in spite of your wounding, but because of them.”
Now a new wave of sobs erupted shaking my entire frame. I cried and cried until I didn’t even care who saw it. I cried until I no longer could hide my sadness or repress my grief.
Yeah, there was something going on in my heart. This wounded warrior was carrying a lot of unexpressed grief. Grief I now know that must be expressed and cared for in the now and not stored in my body.
As I left the park, I expressed my deep gratitude to the trees. And to all my healers and teachers, I say Namaste.