Oh life and the gentle reminders she gives us to stay healthy! My focus on centering myself in the last five years has mainly been from going on long runs. Although I see the value in meditation I have not mastered the practice of sitting still! (Does any mother?) Running provides me with a repetitive motion where as my body becomes busier my mind seems to become more still.
One day I went out on a long run. There had been much on my plate that week. I couldn’t find a different plate OR a bigger plate! I needed my meditative run, where my mind clears and opens to new perspectives. I purposefully left my ipod and my phone at home. No interruptions, no running partners. This was ME time.
I started out with a slow stride until I could feel my body warm up and relax into the movement. When I could feel the tension start to ease I started thinking about some challenges I was facing. Around this same time I felt a small pebble in my shoe but it did not warrant taking the time to stop and remove.
I continued on my journey: through the park, over the bridge, and into the beautiful Rattlesnake wilderness. My mind was settled into the familiar routine of problem solving, yet nothing seemed to present itself as a viable solution to a situation I was facing. Meanwhile the pebble started becoming annoying, but yet not enough to break the stride and discard.
So, the thinking and running and running and thinking continued. Up the creek, past the horses, enjoying the solitude and stride, but angry internally that my run wasn’t providing me with the usual problem solving skills it gifts me.
Meanwhile, the pebble in my shoe started screaming at me.It had embedded into my heel and was not happy to play any part in my zen run. I, however, only had the five miles back to the van, and darn it! I wanted to solve my creative block before I got there!
The five miles back was quite the reminder of how stubborn I am. I did not stop. I continued against my own instincts and made it back to the maxi taxi. As I removed my shoe I had my “aha” moment. The little pebble; this tiny stone; had created a huge, painful welt on my heel.
It was then that I realized the significance.
- I had ignored the pebble because I thought it was small. I had ignored my feelings of being compassionate to myself because I didn’t feel it was solution oriented.
- The pebble was present the whole time even before it became painful. I sometimes search too deep for solutions when the answer simply could be to be more kind to myself. Our life doesn’t always have to be dictated by solving problems, and when we let go of that misconception sometimes the solution will just appear.
How many of you have a pebble in your shoe? Don’t let it become bigger than it is. Acknowledge it, remove it and learn from your own compassion and wisdom.