Funny things happen to your body post baby. I was seven years younger last time and this time it’s definitely harder to rebound back. I hurt more, I’m slower paced, crickedy in the ole’ bones.
In mind/body therapy, the body is seen as a sacred messenger, a literal expression of internal emotions, memories, un-recognized feelings, soul needs or patterns of old ways of doing life that have resulted in injury.
My problem has been in my feet, mostly my left foot. I can barely walk some mornings. Such as strange thing for me. I know pregnancy ignited the ligament issues but my Lordess, do they hurt like never before.
The podiatrist says it’s tendinitis and Plantar Fasciitis. Oye. For me my pain radiates from the bottom of the outside of my foot up to my ankle, almost as though the tendon is just so tight, it literally can’t stretch as far as it needs to.
So what are my wise old feet trying to tell me? As I close my eyes and sit with them, they tell me I’m still getting my footing and bearings with our new family circle and the shifts required in that. The memories of my old life that got pulled out from under my feet the last time I had a baby, lingers in the cells of my precious feet. They feel cautious, uncertain if they can securely lay roots and ground. They wonder if it will be safe based on the memories of my ex-husband’s infidelity and the loss of everything I had last time my other baby was born. This translates into me over-doing everything, trying to be a good wife and mom so that my husband won’t leave (even though I know he won’t cause he’s a good man this hubby). I take little time for myself to try and ensure he’s coping okay and won’t bail on me like my first husband but this old outdated, wounded belief is showing up in the ligaments of my feet. I’m exhausted, depleted, over-stretched, tired of serving everyone else but myself. I need to balance the scales…and my feet!
In her book The Secret Language of Your Body, Inna Segal lists some contributing factors with foot issues as…
- feeling stuck, bogged down, obligated to others, missing the big picture.
In particular she gives special attention to each foot. The left foot in as in my case reads (pg.42)
“Disconnected from your needs. Too much focus on the outside world and what you need to do for others….Dragging pain from the past or from difficult relationships. An imbalance between giving and receiving. “
The ankle (left) (pg.13)
“Difficulty tuning in to yourself and listening to your own counsel. Belief that you have to be a slave to others, especially your children, your partner or your work. Not spending enough time nurturing yourself and discovering what is important to you.”
So if anything, my feet…my wise crickedy body – is saying that in order for me to find my footing again I must create more space for me in my own life. I must tend to my own needs alongside the needs of others. I need to carve out me time, fun time, creative time. I also need to let go of the old memories from the last marriage that have lingered into my new life.
In shamanism, illness occurs when we have somehow lost our sense of power and connection to the Universe and I must admit this is true for me. The trauma of the dissolution of my last marriage that resulted in me losing my house, my dogs, my marriage, and my security, all with a new baby in tote…has put me in a role of servant out of fear. I fear I will be abandoned again (only a small part of me, but I guess deep down the fear is seeping in my tissues). So here I go listing my most radical fears to get it out of my body…
-I fear if I am not everything perfect, perfect mom, wife, perfect body, he will leave and find someone else.
-If I don’t hold most of the load he will feel overwhelmed and leave because he won’t be able to handle it,
-I can sacrifice more, I’m stronger that way, I can suffer more and bear it than him, this way he won’t leave.
Those are the fears that live at the root of my actions to put myself last. They come from my first marriage, from a partner that was never enough and that was our relationship contract. I gave and gave and he took. I need to surrender these memories, these old ways of balance in parenting and plant them in the soil to decompose and turn into something new. I will literally do this, list them and plant them in the soil to rest. Maybe on rocks, maybe on paper.
To be in my power is to know that I can connect to my needs, express them, tend to them, do what I need in balance of the needs of others. I need not sacrifice myself to receive and maintain love and if so, it is not really love, nor a healthy relationship. New cellular beliefs…
–Both parents and spouses have the responsibility to equally hold their share.
-I can ask for what I need and allow myself to go out and get it or to receive it.
-I don’t have to be perfect, I can have failures and still be loveable and loved.
-I can express and meet my own needs which means letting my husband hold the fort and me taking a break from it.
I ask my guide for some further direction and she says, “There’s a letting go here that must occur, a softening, a release, a surrendering of the fearful memories and paralyzing fear. Soften into your power and stand tall no matter what. Meet your needs first no matter what and all else, including your foot and alignment will fall into place. You will be loved, you are love.”
Isn’t the body amazing? What a journey that was.
So if you want to understand your own body’s magic wisdom here are a few steps.
- Close your eyes and take a few breaths, allow yourself to move into relaxation and calmness.
- Move your attention to the place in your body that is giving you some pain or struggle. List words, feelings, sensations that come to find as you move your attention there. Literally write them down or doodle images that come to mind.
- Imagine that part of your body became an alive person, and ask it some questions…what are you feeling? What are you trying to tell me through the pain? What are you needing? How can I offer you some relief and healing?
- Imagine a loving, healing, supportive guide come and place their healing energy onto the place of discomfort in your body. Ask this guide to tell you what would help for further and deeper healing.
And so it is my friends.
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