June 26, 2012

When the universe conspires...

This year my birth month June decided it was time to slap me across my face in an attempt to wake me from a semi-conscious slumber concerning various aspects of life. It smacked me hard, not once but twice, as if to make sure the message really got through.

It did. I heard it loud and clear both times. I was reminded of the most important relationship we have in life -- that with ourselves. I have been working hard to understand what is going on.

As Deepak Chopra writes in The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, "You must learn to get in touch with the inner most essence of your being. This true essence is beyond the ego. It is fearless; it is free; it is immune to criticism; it does not fear any challenge. It is beneath no one, superior to no one, and full of magic mystery, and enchantment. Access to your true essence will give you insight into the mirror of relationship, because all relationship is a reflection of your relationship with yourself."

He also writes, "Whatever relationships you have attracted in your life at this moment are precisely the ones you need in your life at this moment."

And so I am grateful for this challenging month of June. The first smack came at the start of the month. It is a long, and naturally one-sided, story should I choose to tell it here and one that involves close family relationships.

So I will only say that, most importantly, the event triggered what one may call, as Brene Brown said in her superb Ted talk embedded below on The Power of Vulnerability, a Spiritual Awakening aka Breakdown. While initially it felt like the latter, I now realize, and choose to consider, it the former.

Anything that makes us unhappy in life is an opportunity to look at the reasons why that is so. And then consider what we can do about it. I cannot control what other people do, think or feel. But I can control how I think, feel and act. And that is enough. I am enough.

Like the universe's first slap, the second was also a culmination of neglecting obvious signs. For the past month, I have struggled with extreme tightness in my legs that, while being superbly released by my sponsor Chief Chiro, keeps returning and has now resulted in outright pain following Sunday's Scotiabank Half Marathon.

Finishing in 87:02 in the Scotiabank half, I was eight seconds off the PB I ran in April this year. I was pleased with my race on Sunday. I won the F40-44 age group, see division results here, as this event takes the top 3 open and top 3 masters out of the age categories. I was 12th female and 4th masters woman behind three inspiringly swift women who ran 78 (1st) and 82 (2nd & 3rd).

However, as the day progressed my right leg, in particular my heel, got so sore I had trouble walking. Clearly, I need to change something in my body's flexibility and strength if I want to get rid of the increasing level of tightness that keeps reccuring despite regular ART treatments.

I take it as the universe's way of asking me, "So how serious are you really about your running ambitions? For years, you have been talking about increasing strength and flexibility but you keep telling yourself it is beyond your energy and time. Well, here's an ultimatum so you'd better do something about it."

Bikram yoga might be the answer. Tim has been going to the Squamish-based Bikram Yoga Sea to Sky classes recently -- an initial blast in December and then as a regular part of his triathlon training for the past month -- so on Sunday night I went along with him. It felt great, though absolutely exhausting, and I think it helped. I could walk a little better the next morning, though running was out of the question, so I went again on Monday evening. I am going to try to go tonight again to take advantage of that first introductory week and see if it is something I can add to help my body -- and mind.

The universe has a great way of teaching us about ourselves and it certainly has done so for me this June. I am getting the message loud and clear, and have chosen to act accordingly.

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