Catastrophe — writing a different story

I've had that fall

Every now and then life presents me an opportunity to realize I’ve changed more than I thought. Two weeks ago I had one of those moments when I wandered into the garage carrying a big bag of books and failed to realize I’d reached the edge with a small drop onto the driveway. I planted my foot on the little ledge just the right way to cause my foot and ankle to twist so much it threw me down. Also close to the door frame, I banged my forehead on that and, with my hands occupied I couldn’t catch myself so my other knee smashed into the cement.

Having had a lot of falls in my life, I remember the aches and pains and recovery process well enough to have a pretty good sense of how bad a fall is. This time, though, while one part of my mind started estimating how catastrophic this had been, another part seemed to quietly decide that it would prefer a different way. Before getting up and moving on with my errand I did some Reiki on the twisted ankle. When I got home the ankle was swollen—though not as badly as I expected—and I had lumps above my nose and on my knee. Although I wanted to just lie around and whine and take Ibuprofen, I decided to see what my triggers of release work would do, so I performed a whole series, including the ankles (gingerly, with less motion than usual). I also set up an appointment for a Bodypatterning treatment the next afternoon.

The next day I awoke feeling amazed at how much less pain and bruising there was compared to other falls of equal magnitude. The bodypatterning helped even more. And I ran into a friend who recommended putting Vaseline around the lump on my face to avoid turning black and blue. Now I’m not going to tell you I had an instantaneous miraculous healing of all wounds. But I just wore an ace bandage for a few days and neither my ankle nor the area around the large lump on my face turned black and blue. All in all far less pain for far less time than any other such fall.

We’re told so many stories about how bad various kinds of accidents are and how badly hurt we are and how long it will take to heal that I think we start incorporating all that into our expectations. Since I seemed to be accident prone as a child I created my own story about it based on some combination of fulfilling the stories of others and my cumulative experience and then re-lived the story each time something happened—kind of an embodiment of Jon Kabat-Zinn‘s Full Catastrophe Living.

After all these years of practice and working to re-train my mind, this was the first time I managed to automatically step aside from an accident like this and choose not to have a catastrophe. In making a different choice and handling it a very different way, an accident that could have kept me laid up for several days was instead a minor ripple.  Part of that was the actions I took and part of that had to do with the large part of my mind that held a space of calm and quiet instead of going into freak-out mode, anticipating all the worst case outcomes that could happen. What stories do you tell yourself about accidents or other things you have defined as bad? Does the sense of catastrophe overtake you? Can you make a different choice?

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13 thoughts on “Catastrophe — writing a different story

  1. Oh my goodness! YES, WE CAN make different choices! :-)

    This has been a consistent lesson, message and experience in my life and those around me . . . well . . . always…but one that I’ve become acutely aware of in the past several months.

    Last week, I lead a contemplation circle at my Spiritual Center on the same topic! (And Yes, had my own “Ah ha Moment” through personal experience with pain/injury unfolding much differently by choosing to change my response to it and the story around it!)

    From someone who continues to remind others of our Oneness, I’m not sure why it is that these expressions of synchronicity continue to amaze and surprise me!

    Perhaps the gift in THIS NOW; is the recognition of what is unfolding before me. As I allow myself to change the stories, how empowering this experience we call life IS!

    I so enjoy your writings! Thank you once more, for sharing!

    Blessings –
    Jacqui

  2. Im so sorry that you have hurt yourself- get well soon. Looking at the situation from a spiritual perspective- if it were me i would be looking at this as a meaningful event and not just a random accident and seeing how i can heal what it is that keeps me falling down.

    Asking yourself in meditation where all this is coming from , looking at the injuries as signs of the area at issue- ankles for self support, knees surrender, face – how you face the world may be clues as to the deeper issue. Repeated injuries are messages from a deeper place- and taking note might just stop them happening again. I hope that helps.

    • Over the years I’ve used both Louise Hay’s and Serge King’s lists of body parts and issues and it is helpful. In this case, Hanna, while doing bodypatterning, stayed open and received information that a stuck pattern in my leg needed to move and I already knew that where I hit my third eye area related to patterns moving out there too. Thanks for the suggestions.

  3. Get well soon yogaleigh. My partner also had two bad falls in as many weeks because he had already weekened his ankle in the first fall. Following a number of xrays it was determined that he had damaged the ligaments in his ankle and foot as well as sprained it. Prognosis – it will take 10-12 weeks to heal ! Well, that was six weeks ago however, after doing daily reiki healing on the area he is no longer limping and rarely feels any pain now. We firmly believe that the Reiki halved the healing time. My partner used to go into catastrophe mode but he doesnt any more. I have never gone into castastrophe mode, don’t know why, its just the way I am ! Good luck and carry on with the Reiki. Namaste.

    • Already well — thanks for the thought. Lucky you to be one of those folks who’s always managed to stay centered — I’ve known a few but it seems like we have a ways to go before that’s the norm instead of the exception…

  4. I do a similar dialogue with my body when I hurt myself. Usually, I acknowledge that there’s been hurt and then reset the image in my mind to healed. It’s subconscious now, and hard to explain.

    • That’s a great practice — I’ve never gotten it to work all that well but I can imagine that if I continue this new set of practices and thoughts maybe I’ll move to the place where resetting the image actually does something for me… I do understand, though, that what you practice more and more because an automatic (subconscious) thing instead of something you have to think through.

  5. This is an awesome story Leigh. So very informative. I don’t have the experience with body work that you have, although I am participating in energy healing. What this post made me think about, though, is the word “practice.” I remember when a yoga teacher pointed out that it was called a yoga practice, because that is what you were doing on the mat…practicing. And though she didn’t say it, a yogi is practicing for the time when the yoga skills will be needed in real life.

    Your story is a perfect example of how all of your practice has paid off for you. Thank you so much for sharing…and congratulations, again! This achievement is far more significant than your one year anniversary of blogging.

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