Friday, November 4, 2011
A Message from My Shoulder
My left shoulder blade has a twinge this morning. I keep exploring this sensation, moving my shoulder up, down and in circles. I’m attempting to make it better, or worse, but it nags without change. My mind, of course, wants to know: “How did this happen? What did you, body, do wrong?” When my shoulders hurt, it is usually because they’ve been too helpful. In this instance, my shoulders tried to help my hips.
Yesterday, I enjoyed a fabulous yoga practice that focused on grounding and hip opening. Hip opening has little to do with shoulders, but whenever my body attempts something challenging, my shoulders always try to help by lifting or straining. It reminds me of myself as a child, the eldest sister, who needed to perfect my younger sisters’ actions. “Here, do it this way.” “No, no, no, you better let me do it.” My shoulders apparently haven’t given up this annoying habit.
At least I am conscious of this pattern so I can try to change it. I’m usually aware of my shoulders’ tendency and tell them, “Relax, the rest of my body can handle it.” This incident is a reminder to stay aware. It also makes me wonder where else in my life am I being overbearing in the guise of being overly helpful.
In the meantime, I’ll spend the next half hour on a self-designed, shoulder-strain-relieving yoga practice and then a few minutes with a tennis ball to release the remaining trigger points. Meanwhile I will consider how I can learn to let things be.
I’ve been here before with my shoulders and I will be again. Mind-body learning is a life-long process that starts with a body sensation that leads to awareness through exploration and contemplation that becomes an opportunity for growth and change.