What’s Important: Rule Out The Big Things #yourturnchallenge
Audre Lorde, in the Cancer Journals, writes that: “When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.”
Right now, I’m thinking about health. Good health. The kind of good health that allows us to enjoy time in nature with family and friends, free to hike, camp, ski, soak in hot springs, backpack, rock climb, jump, dance.
This morning I took my son to the doctor to get his stitches taken out. While I was there, the doctor took a look at my knees. And then I got my first EKG.
You see, just before we got in the car to drive to the mountains for my birthday, I tripped over a sandbag in the driveway. I caught my balance, but one lace on my snow boot caught the hook on the other snow boot and I catapulted across the concrete to land with a thud. Inside I could hear my husband and son brushing their teeth, and my neighbor taking a shower. No one was rushing over to rescue me. Nothing seemed broken as I managed to roll over. I hurt everywhere and my jaw felt like it was in left field.
I thought I was yelling for help but realized it was like in a bad dream–nothing was really coming out. So I tried harder. I felt stupid and whiny and futile. Why couldn’t I just get up? But it was taking all of my efforts just to call for help.
My family finally heard me and came out. My husband suggested we cancel the trip: he was coming down with something and our son had spent the morning at the doctor’s getting stitched up for an ill-advised hurtling experiment at USC the day before.
But it was my birthday trip, and I wasn’t going to let this “trip” spoil that one, so we got in the car and drove off.
It wasn’t much of a ski trip. My husband spent the weekend sick, my son had stitches on his elbow, and I’d skinned up on my chin, my knees, and my palms, and I had a big bruise on my cheek. I was afraid someone would think I was a victim of domestic violence, but it actually felt worse that it looked.
I spent the first day on the couch, having figured out that I could barely ascend or descend the stairs without pain but as I could stand around in the kitchen, cook, and drink wine just fine, the second day I was determined to ski. Snapping my ski into my boot almost convinced me not too, but the moment we got off the lift, I realized I couldn’t use my left leg to control my ski, and knew I had to just get down the mountain and back to the car. So I did. (Read about my birthday dinner on Wine Predator).
A few days after our return, I had a strange pain in my chest; my chiropractor thought it might be related to the way the fall had knocked my body out of alignment, and worked on loosening up my muscles and adjusting me.
Last night the same pain woke me from a dream where I was involved with a revolution fueled in part by Pepperidge Farm cookies. When I went back to sleep, I returned to the dream where a massage therapist and I figured out the problem was the cookies.
Which brings me to today and the doctor’s. I told him the chiropractor’s response to my pain, and he said two things worthy of repeating:
1. Practitioners respond to an issue via how they see the world.
What this means is that the chiropractor sees the injury from one perspective and sees the solution from that perspective. The doctor from another.
It is up to us to remember to investigate various perspectives before settling on the solution, especially if that solution is exclusive. If we surround ourselves with people who all see the world the same way, we will only know about one way of solving the problem.
2. Rule out the big things first.
When you’re troubleshooting, or when you’re revising a piece of writing, or giving someone feedback, rule out the big things first. Don’t worry about spelling, punctuation or grammar before you have your argument. Focus on where you’re going before you worry about the details.
The upshot is, I will be undertaking many tests as soon as they are approved.
In the meantime, tomorrow, my husband goes in for a Mohs treatment to remove a basal cell cancer from his nose and cheek. It should be a routine, minor procedure. He’s already survived this type of procedure once when they removed his bottom lip.
And the man has more lives than a cat, at least as evidenced by his survival of a C-2 or hangman’s break which is 95% of the time fatal; the 5% who live do so in wheelchairs except for a very small percentage who have fused necks. Not only did he survive, but he recovered completely with a fusion, and he snowboarded the following season.
To your health!
Now, what’s important to you?
Detail of a silk applique thangka by Leslie Rinchen-Wongmo. His Holiness the Dalai Lama gave his blessings to Leslie’s work and encouraged her to make images that speak to the spiritual aspirations of people across religions and cultures. Her Weekly Wake-ups like this one provide a thread of inspiration to set your week on the path to awakening.