Guest Blogger: Loving this offering from a Yinnie out there in the land wanting to share a process of healing from a head injury. See below and send us your writing to be featured on this blog.
Yin is yielding; allowing; nourishing.
It is long, slow holds. Finding your edge in a posture, in this moment. Yielding to this edge, allowing for the nourishment of the least flexible of our tissues. Appreciating that today’s edge may differ from how yesterday’s was, or tomorrow’s will be. Not judging it for existing, nor for differing. The true healing potential lies in honouring this edge. Yielding to it. Allowing it to simply be. Sitting with it over time, creating the opportunity for the possibility of an invitation to sink a little deeper. Accepting that this may or may not come today. Sitting with the discomfort; the stretch, the ache of the fascia. Pushing further, engaging the active, dynamic muscles to assist in reaching “just a little further” is yang overpowering the yin. Pushing for the approximation of how you imagine a posture should be loses the purpose of the practice. The yin is in the yielding; allowing what will unfold to do so as your body allows, in this moment. Your posture will be unique. Unique to your body, unique to this snapshot of time. And as you sit in stillness, the emotions rise. Sitting with them, for long, slow holds. Simply allowing. Herein lies its power to nourish and restore. Its rich, full healing potential.
This is a time for more Yin.
It has been nearly two years since my injury, and I am finally starting to appreciate its timeless, permeating effects. Yielding to the longterm nature of recovery. More fully appreciating that recovery to who and how I once was is no longer the goal. It is uncharted, unpredictable territory ahead. No one knows what “full recovery” looks like, nor what it truly means. More likely than not I will always have some symptoms when my brain is less rested and most stressed; pushed to its limits I will find it harder to function. These limits will differ, change, evolve. It will be a lifelong process of learning and relearning my limits, and how best to respect them.
Perhaps this was always life’s process. It is less about limitations and more about finding your edge, playing the edge as it shows itself each and every day. The edge differing at various times, for various reasons. I have just had to learn this lesson in an obvious, in-your-face kind of way. Perhaps earlier than expected, perhaps not; who knows what might have presented itself otherwise.
As a wise friend told me, the answers come in the quiet. In the time taken to pause, to slow down, to honestly reflect. I am coming to terms with the headaches being the limiting symptom persisting, halting further recovery in other domains. To better appreciate and accept them for what they are. No longer something to simply push through, as I would have prior to my injury. They hold much more in their power now, with cognitive, vestibular and visual symptoms within their domain. I am learning to heed their messages, the teachings they offer when I stop to listen. To yield, and to allow them to be what they are. There is no pushing forward that will ease the suffering – it only further compounds it.
I am grateful for the progress I have seen with this time off. The possibility of a week between migraines previously unheard of. A revelation in sitting in relative stillness, learning my edge. An exercise in patience; one of mindful presence and self-compassion. Seeing the headaches decrease in their frequency and intensity, improvement in the visual and vestibular symptoms, now better able to undertake the rehabilitation training these domains require (all of which require finding and honouring their own respective edges). Grateful for the overall lifting of my mood, the decrease in anxiety sitting unfocused and uncomfortable within my chest, within my mind. Grateful that I can now read for a few hours each day; still simpler content, fiction primarily, with improvement as well in denser nonfiction. Most importantly, feeling more like myself. Finding myself in the quiet, in the stillness. Feeling more like who I want to be. Freer. Lighter. More compassionate. More self-compassionate. Enjoying my days. Our days together. Having time and energy for walks with my husband, long conversations in the time simply spent being together. Time and energy for walks and canoe rides and short paddleboard outings with my dog; for cuddles with a purring cat in my arms, for he only comes when invited by stillness. Time to revel in the warmth of the morning sun on my face, to play a game by a crackling fire.