Journeying From Injury To Insight


On Tuesday morning, May 10th, 2016, I experienced a sports injury. I was doing a hamstring exercise in my living room with one leg on a chair and my other arm supposed to be on the back of the chair for balance... In one nanosecond, my awareness went away from the present moment, I didn’t put my hand on the back of the chair for balance, and wham, bang! I fell back onto the raw oak wooden floor. Not directly on my spine, or my head; I didn’t go unconscious, but I fell from standing up to the floor. I lay on the floor in shock and amazement. As I scanned my body I could tell I had no major injuries.  In that moment, and all day, I felt blessed and filled with gratitude. 

What happened next? First there were the bruises from the fall. In the months of May and June of 2016, I experienced some of the most excruciating days and nights of my life. My back had tightened up. I could barely stand upright or walk. Something had happened to my ribs that restricted my breathing. I went to the acupuncturist several times and he got special Chinese healing pads for me, and I saw my massage, cranial-sacral person weekly. However, my back seemed to be healing slowly. It felt like the fall set something inside of me into chaos. Each week something else seemed to emerge from my body. One week, it was my thigh that had tightened, then it was my sacrum. Then it was indigestion. Then it was elimination issues. There seemed to be no healing pattern. As I said, it felt as if my body-self had fallen into chaos.

Falling backwards is no small thing. It truly can trigger fear or terror, especially if you have never felt held or held enough. The fall was the fall. This was one level. Then, it affected the years of contraction in my right leg and difficulty in walking freely. Now, one year later, from hindsight, it feels clear that the fall also opened a deeper emotional wound of not feeling safe or protected, of not feeling that my mother or my father had my back.

So many of us have current reality situations which trigger deep unconscious wounds. The more we recognize that, the more we can make that which is unconscious, conscious. The more we will be able to know what is a feeling and what is current reality. The more we will be able to hold and listen to these unconscious forces, and the more we will stop being run by them, so that we are no longer victimized by these very early, often preverbal, wounds. Then we are healing, we can choose new behaviors, beliefs and responses.

After three months of falling into chaos—from May to the end of August—I hardly shared what had happened, falling into an old pattern of isolation and not seeing consistent progress in healing. I knew I needed something more. I began seeing a Feldenkrais—Physical Therapist. As I lay on the table near the end of that first session, I heard a little voice within say, “I know my fragmented body will become whole again—whole and integrated.” My body was not really fragmented, or broken, but it must have felt that way to the very young me.

I’ve been seeing the F-PT person weekly since August 30th, 2016. These sessions began a very core healing journey filled with delight, awareness, surprises, grief, longing, loss, joy and new habits in moving.

Now, one year later, not only is my walking better than ever, but I have changed and keep changing. Was it a mess or a gift? Both!

As painful as it has been, as restrictive as it was, as evolving as it has been to recover from the hamstring injury, falling backward and the deeper physical and emotional wound it triggered, it has taken a full year to begin to write again. I’m not sure why I was silenced, but perhaps I needed my energy to face inwards. And when I began to speak it was more personal. I shared with friends and family what had happened. That sharing was right. I saw the profound difference between isolating and not sharing, and opening up and saying it like it was.

“Hello!” As I write this today, I’m imagining I could have also shared with you, my dear reader, a long time ago. I could have let you in on my journey, because it was also a teaching moment.  But it didn’t occur to me until now, so it must not have been right. My voice, however, is back now and I have a lot to share with you. Everything that happens to us can be an opportunity. I hope my journey from injury to insight serves you in your growth and development. 

 Blessings for your love and life,

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This article was originally published at From Fear to Freedom Blog. Reprinted with permission from the author.