As I continue with my Handstand project for 2014 (at least one handstand per day with a picture taken), today I stopped to take a look at how it has affected me and wanted to share here. Besides all that had already showed up for me by the middle of the year, as I wrote in https://apathoflight.wordpress.com/2014/07/03/183-handstands-what-does-that-mean/, there is much more!
During the 9th month I focused on releasing fear by getting away from the wall, which becomes a crutch as you kick up and need to find something to hold you in case you go over. I mentioned in the link above I was afraid of somersaults and going over for me is scary because of that and from the fear of hurting my back. About 10 years ago, I went to Brazil for a visit during the holidays and was under lots of stress. After I made it there, my back started hurting like never before. I lied down and did not want to get up… I could not do a thing. I slept and lied there… For 48 hours! Sometimes my kids, who were 5 and 3 at the time, would come to me and say something, but I could barely respond. I didn’t want to eat, drink or anything. I started to see the world getting darker and darker. It felt like I was disconnecting from the world, and having life being extracted from me little by little. My mother got terrified and at some point had me go to the bathroom. The moment I squatted down for the toilet, my back gave in and I fainted in the bathroom from so much pain! She came and help me back to bed, but knew this was not normal, so she called a guy to apply some pain reliever on me so I could make it to a hospital.
At the hospital a fantastic encounter happened for me! They put me in bed and next to me was a cancer patient lying down. Eventually I started sobbing because I couldn’t see a way out of it… The lady next to me, gave me a hug and told me that everything would be okay. I took a breath and looked at her, so skinny, so lifeless and still helping me with what was left of her strength… Wow! I told myself, “Get a grip!” The doctor found out I lack a few things in my spine since birth, but I didn’t let that bring me down. In that moment I made the decision of taking care of my health and lead a better life with less stress and an overall healthier lifestyle. I started taking yoga – a therapeutic style – and healed in about 3 months. The condition was still there but I strengthened my back with the poses. Since then I couldn’t stop doing yoga; but now feeling stronger, I can try and handle more playful styles, including trying handstands. Sometimes, when I am cartwheeling out of it, my back seems to give in and all the fear from going back to that place in bed where I was losing myself comes to haunt me. So that was another fear to conquer!
Anyway, by month 9 I could go outside, focus and go upside down in the middle of the lawn! No need for a wall! That was a breakthrough. But on most days I still need the wall to catch me, and I accept it. Every day is different and I made a comment yesterday to a friend that I don’t think I will ever get bored of doing handstands. I approach it with a beginner’s mind because our bodies feel different from one day to the other (or even within minutes), and accept what I am gifted with for that particular day and from there I build up with no expectations – however it turns out, it’s all good. Plus, there is always something triggering inspiration for it – sometimes it is a sunset or other nice background for posing, a friend posting pictures while doing handstands, getting together with friends who handstand or simply the curiosity to see how your body will respond to it on that day.
On month 10, I realized it was not just fear… I had become attached to the wall! And from situations in my life also showing me how attachment was just making things harder, I started to work daily with non-attachment. What does that mean? Meditating on it, practicing yoga with that as an intention daily, and living mindfully so I could watch when I would attach to things and immediately be proactive about it to work on releasing it. For about three weeks I worked on this theme and as I saw results coming up in my life, I knew they would be there for the handstands too. It is all interconnected.
So, throughout 2014, I have been posting collages with my pictures on my social media account to not overload it with daily pictures. These are not posted with the intent of showing off, especially since my alignment is far from perfect. My intention is to inspire people to try things they are afraid of and give motivation for people to stick to their resolutions and keep working on what needs to be worked on. During this past week I have received various messages from many friends, even on the other side of the planet, telling me how inspired they were from my handstand pictures and decided to do something similar. One of them brought me to tears, as it was from a friend who has had many back surgeries and had naturally developed fear around any form of play with the back muscles and bones. This friend’s message told me how inspiring it was to follow my handstanding journey, joined in and had also a breakthrough of doing it in the middle of a room recently! And, like I mentioned above, all is interconnected, so I am sure this will mean other breakthroughs in this person’s life, too.
I will end this post mentioning how much gratitude I have for this journey and all the growth it brings; for my body, mind and soul working together many times during the day bringing me awareness, clarity, presence; and for daily support that I find in little and big things that show up in my life. Deep gratitude. I invite you to take a minute and bow in gratitude for whatever it is you want to honor at this time – all the possibilities that come with every new day, your friends, nature, sunsets, sunrises, resting time, or even your ability to breathe.