Healing Journey Monday: As tension goes energy flows



No it’s not my kitchen but they’re both CLEAN

The last week or so has been a strange time – one of those spells when life has a different rhythm and things are changing subtly but I can’t quite see what it all means. So my thoughts are rambling. I wrote a couple of posts on the Sassy blog about my absorption with the Olympics the last couple of weeks. That’s part of the story. But another part has been cleaning in prep for an out-of-town guest who arrives next week. And the final, probably biggest piece, has been some significant opening in the unwinding head saga.

The cleaning project started out to be cosmetic although the kitchen had gotten pretty far out of hand. Then the pantry turned out to have been invaded by mice and suddenly I was launched on a massive clearing and cleaning and then decided to reorganize as long as I had to throw out so much. Suddenly cleaning the kitchen became about a 15 hour project this last week.

Part of what launched this energetic enterprise was that the muscles in my head unwound enough that suddenly I had more energy though I didn’t realize at the time why I felt so peppy. I was so involved with the Olympics and the cleaning and keeping up with my class schedule that the new normal slipped by me almost unnoticed. Then one day I realized that I’d slept normal hours (for me – I’m a night owl from birth so my normal looks weird to most other people…) and that I was getting up and accomplishing hours of hard work without collapsing. First time in years that I haven’t had a relapse from that much effort.

I realized a long time ago that the twisting and tightness in my muscles plays a big role in the fatigue issues I’ve experienced for years. When I first moved from no energy at all to having a higher level energy (although very low by most standards) on a sustained basis my major muscles had all pretty much been restored to health. Then I felt a growing awareness that the amount of tension in my head alone has been taking vast amounts of energy.

I’m not sure if most people realize that those tense necks and tight shoulders and stiff hips that are so rampant these days eat up a lot of energy. It takes a lot of energy to hold all those patterns and twists and knots and it also takes more energy to do everything when your body has to get around all of that.

My attention stayed so focused through all of this on the Olympics that I almost failed to notice the extraordinary changes taking place. In between races and dives, etc. the kitchen project moved along. As the week progressed I couldn’t decide whether I felt more triumphant at the shining gleaming reorganized kitchen or the realization that I had so much more energy and that I had gotten enough sleep many nights in a row.

Somehow the lightness I feel when I look at the kitchen which now looks so great and so much easier to cook in–but which felt like a great overwhelming burden hanging over me for months before–seems to be related to the greater lightness I feel in my head and in my being. But right now I’m just spinning in the midst of it all and trying to fathom that no one will be jumping, diving, running or tossing for a medal for a long time…

12 thoughts on “Healing Journey Monday: As tension goes energy flows

  1. Leigh, I was envying your new found energy and your productivity when I realized that while our kitchen could certainly use a deep cleaning, our gardens are beginning to look the way my other always hoped they would. I have been spending hours and hours happily digging out weeds, clearing away the natural debris of an untended space and mulching and deadheading with pure joy. For years this has been a drag but suddenly I have finding much grounding and fulfillment in it. Sometimes I do this in silence, others I have my nanpod plugged into and am listening to music or a talk show (carefully chosen) or my spiritual podcasts I have downloaded. I am amazed at how many hours I can do this without collapsing and how well I sleep after months and months of insomnia. Of course, the physical work of it is tiring, but I think you have hit the nail on the head about muscles unwinding. For most of his life, my husband Richard has suffered from tinnitus. After years of yoga and meditation, other physical, mental and spiritual challenges have been resolved, but not the tinnitus. He finally began to realize that that illness was most probably related to carrying stress in his neck and jaw and began to focus on setting his intention on addressing that. Over time, when that was his intention, the tinnitus began to ease and now comes and goes, while it has been a constant for 50 years, You are onto something here, dear Leigh! BTW, I am anxious to meet your house guest. I know this is a dream come true for you to have her as your house guest and to share her with the friends you have been talking to her about for all of these years. Hooray!

    • So nice to hear that you’re enjoying the gardening. I have to say I enjoy neither gardening nor cleaning but I like the end results of both… Yes, I’m pleased Gay is coming again — this is about the fifth time since I moved here and I have a notion it may be the last, at least the last time she comes to teach. Gonna be fun! And re Richard — I’m not surprised to hear that his tinnitus improved with releasing tension in jaw as I’ve had many similar experiences — including that I seem to be losing occasional tinnitus since I released most of the muscles in my jaw.

  2. I love that you are de-cluttering (even if it was mouse induced!). It seems to me like your energy has been wound up like a ball of yarn and it is just stretching back out into a lovely more free frame of being. How wonderful!!

  3. It’s tough tiring work holding all that tension in. 😉

    But the strangest thing is how oblivious you can be to the fact you are doing it. Sometimes not holding feels somehow unnatural, which I take as sign of the negative lessons we learn in this culture.


    • Oh, yes, when all this was at its worst I was almost totally numb to it. I’ve watched a lot of highly tense people start a meditation or some kind of relaxation technique and gasp and tighten up as soon as they felt themselves let go a little bit. And actually I think it’s another negative lesson of this culture — don’t feel the feelings/be numb. I’m writing about it in the hope that someone who needs to hear it may find their way to these posts but when I look at the main crowd reading my blog I think I’m preaching to the choir…

  4. It’s funny how awakenings come upon us. I have felt like this a slow moving year, but in reality we’re going through many changes in our family. My little dog Ginger’s illness made for a very intense patch of time from her illness to vacation to now moving to a new home. There is something about what you wrote about accumulating tension in our neck and shoulders that spoke to me today. I’m a bit tight thinking about all the work involved in moving. So, I’m going to see what I can do to be more aware of my body in these next couple of weeks and take some time to de-stress my neck and shoulders during this time. As always, thanks Leigh for your wise and inspiring blogs! I’m so glad that I had a chance to meet you on our journey through Kentucky. Our afternoon in Midway was one of our favorite unexpected discoveries in the trip!

    • Oh, I’m so glad you all enjoyed Midway. It makes it feel different somehow to read your blog having met you — I like it! I don’t envy you a big move — if you can manage to keep the tension out I’ll be in awe.

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