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Achilles Heels

Achilles Heels

On Tuesday afternoon, I was hurrying down the stairs (admittedly, simultaneously reading a text), and I caught the back of my right heel and ankle on a very sharp edge of a stair tread. My foot was moving so quickly and forcefully that my flesh was torn away from the bone --the calcaneous bone to be exact. A bone I appreciated, but I never thought I would actually see, was very clear to me as I tried to assess the extent of the wound. After a trip to the Urgent Care center and many stitches and antibiotics later, I find myself contemplating the lessons I need to learn. It is haaarrrrd to face our weaknesses, but oh so necessary if we hope to evolve.

After understanding that I will make a full recovery, my sons found it very humorous that their “mindful mama” sustained such an accident. Multi-tasking is something I have discouraged them from doing their whole lives. Ha! Children are so helpful in keeping us humble and accountable -much like my teacher does. I do tend to get moving too quickly sometimes, and my intention to overcome this tendency, is one of the reasons I first turned to yoga and meditation. It is a tendency I need to continue to work on. Beyond this obvious lesson, however, I am seeing additional opportunities to learn, in this situation.

When I first returned from the urgent care center, my mind began to drift toward feeling sad, I felt the emotion and sat back to watch. Then I remembered the words of the kind, Indian doctor as he was sewing my heel/ankle back together, “You really did a number on your heel, but you are so lucky that the Achilles Tendon is unharmed”. It could have been so much worse. Focusing on the silver lining or looking for the seed of light within the darkness is what my teacher has taught me for many years. We must actively seek what is good and positive if we aim to discover and experience it.

Yoga Sutra 1:33 clearly spells out one method for overcoming negative obstacles, by cultivating the opposites of them. It is not enough to simply refrain from negative thoughts, words and actions, we must actively do the opposite to overcome them. What is the opposite of rushing around while not paying attention? Slow down. Be still. Be present.

Evidently, these are the things I need to do more of --right here and now. So, rather than resist and struggle, I am learning to surrender to “heeling” (get it?) and all that this situation has uniquely dictated. I am actively taking steps to allow more space for slowing down, being still, being present and healing.

Many of my friends have been enduring a wide variety of struggles lately, so if you are too, please know you are not alone. I pray we will all find a way to look for what can be learned from our circumstances, be willing to feel the emotions (no matter how negative), and then sit back and watch, so we can accept and grow. Seek the seed of light within it all.

Among the many things I continue to ponder, are questions like, "What do I get to do now...that I wouldn't have otherwise been doing? For starters, having my husband drive me around and cook for me are pretty awesome!


I was already planning to be away from my regular class schedule a good bit in May, due to a family vacation and a trip to Kentucky for my son’s college graduation. I am sorry to miss seeing and practicing with you even more, during this time, but I trust our reunion will be all the sweeter, when it comes.



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