Go Jump in a Lake…Carefully

They say timing is everything, but it never feels like the right time when an injury happens. Last week, I mentioned that I hurt my ankle while jumping in shallow water in a lake in Michigan. Over two weeks passed and my ankle was still hurting pretty badly. I had the sinking feeling that perhaps the impact fractured a bone. With the Big Sky Retreat just one week away, dread began to wash over me. This is probably the worst possible time for me to be incapacitated. Not only will my responsibilities at the retreat have me running all over the place, but I have a hiking trip planned in Yellowstone when the retreat finishes. A medical boot or crutches would not be welcome additions to my Montana experience.

Suddenly the message “slow down” got even louder. I immediately cut back any extraneous physical activities or outings and practiced the famous R.I.C.E. (Rest. Ice. Compression. Elevate.)  Thankfully, I scheduled very few appointments and no workshops in August because of my vacation and busy fall schedule. What I discovered this week was how much I enjoyed not doing so much! I stayed in bed longer. I read a book. I also accomplished quite a few things that had been on my “to do” list a long time that didn’t require me to stand up. That felt great. Hmm. What if this ankle injury was actually perfectly timed?

On Wednesday, I went to a walk-in clinic to get my ankle checked out. After an examination and three X-rays, the doctor determined it was not broken, just very angry. He told me to keep doing what I’ve been doing and take ibuprofen if needed. I’m happy to report that my ankle is feeling much better, but I’m still going to take it easy and continue wearing the ankle brace I bought at CVS. As for the Big Sky Retreat and Yellowstone, I trust I will be able to do what I need to do and will have the wisdom to not do what I can’t do. For now, I am grateful for this blessing in disguise that has given me time to rest. 

A Course in Miracles defines a miracle as a shift in perception from fear to love. It truly is a miracle that I was able to do that around this situation with my ankle. If you are struggling with a situation that feels like anything but a miracle, please consider reaching out for assistance. I would be honored to help you shift your perception from fear to love around any challenge that is weighing you down with a series of Life Coaching sessions or a private Family Constellations session. Both can be done from anywhere in the world by telephone or computer. Please look around my website or send me an email for more information or to schedule a session. 

Until next time, before you go jump in a lake, make sure it’s deep enough or you might just experience a blessing in disguise like I did. 

Your passage through time and space is not at random.

You cannot but be in the right place at the right time.

A  Course in Miracles – WB-42.2.

Are You a Tree Hugger?

Are you a tree hugger? I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m one. Not only do I care very much about the environment, but I have also been known to literally hug a tree or two in my time. When I lived in Fort Lauderdale, I became very fond of a particular palm tree that stood where I ended my beach walk. After a brisk hour-long walk along the beach, her fronds provided welcome shade as I performed Donna Eden’s Daily 5-Minute Energy Routine. Afterward, I would often sit with my back against her trunk just enjoying the shade, the sea breeze, and the beautiful turquoise waves rolling in. As I sat there, I imagined tapping into her strength and flexibility. She must have plenty of both to remain standing during numerous tropical storms and hurricanes. I always felt better after spending some time with my friend, and yes, once in a while I hugged her goodbye. 

Last Saturday, I gave myself the gift of attending a nature retreat at Unity of Houston led by my friend and colleague, Rev. Karen Tudor. During one of the exercises, Karen instructed us to walk the property and find a tree that we felt drawn to. Confirming that we are two of a kind, she invited us to sit with our back against its trunk and imagine connecting with the entire tree from its roots buried deep in the ground to its highest branches reaching for the sky. Once we felt deeply connected, she suggested we ask the tree if it had a message for us.

I found a tall pine tree near the bookstore that reminded me of the palm tree in Fort Lauderdale. First, I sat next to her and studied the patterns in her bark, noticing magnificent swirls that appeared only at the bottom of her trunk. Since I was wearing very light-colored khaki shorts, I decided not to sit in the dirt that surrounded her with my back against her. Instead, I removed my shoes and socks, laid in the grass in the shadow of her thin trunk, and gently placed my bare feet on her.

It felt wonderful and grounding to lay in the grass connecting the soles of my feet with her bark. I looked up at her swaying branches outlined against the bright blue sky as puffy white clouds rolled by. I noticed dozens of pine cones still clinging to her branches, not quite ready to let go. They reminded me of my mother and the Christmas wreaths she used to make with pine cones. Feeling very content and connected to the tree and my mother, I asked if she had a message for me. Specifically, I wondered if there was a message regarding my right ankle which I injured while jumping in shallow water in Michigan’s Torch Lake. The message was short, simple, and clear. “Slow down.” 

That message resonated with me deeply. I’m usually hurrying across that campus to get somewhere or I’m talking with people not paying much attention to the beauty around me. Karen invited us to explore the campus in silence during each of our outings so we could be fully present. We had plenty of time to really look at the flowers, fountains, and trees that grace those sacred grounds. I ran my hands along the leaves of bushes feeling their softness. I watched bees buzzing around flower beds and squirrels climbing and leaping through tree branches. I spent time at each of the fountains, mesmerized by glistening water droplets as they shot into the air, hovered briefly catching the sunlight before being pulled back down by gravity. The whole day was magical and very restorative.

Not surprisingly, my injured ankle and the message from the tree were perfectly timed. With the Big Sky Retreat just two weeks away and all the details and emails calling for my attention, I needed that reminder. It will all get done and done more efficiently and effectively now that I have slowed down and taken time to recharge. I know the same is true for you.

This week I encourage you to be a tree hugger. Perhaps there is a park or tree that you pass by every day that is calling you. If you live in Houston, come take a leisurely stroll through the Unity campus and experience the wonder that lives there. If you can, leave your phone at home or in your bag and just be present with nature in whatever way feels right to you. I promise your busy life will be waiting for you when you return, but it will seem much more manageable when you give yourself this gift. Who knows? There might be a message waiting for you in your tree-mail.

If I can be of assistance in helping you slow down, please send me an email or visit my website. I offer a variety of Life Coaching packages to suit your needs and budget. Now is a great time to invest in yourself. The only way to experience something different is to do something different.

Until next time, happy tree-hugging!

Let me be still and listen to the truth.

Lesson 106 from A Course in Miracles