Remembering What I Thought I Knew

Surrender. That’s what she said I needed to do.

Really, I thought. Couldn’t we do something a little more pro-active like lift some weights, run a few miles, or hold a yoga contortion until my limbs collapse and I want to puke?

Of course, I knew the answer to that, which is why I kept my mouth politely shut. If I could do any of those things, I would not have come to her in the first place. I was stuck, and I knew it. This was not a barrier I could obliterate with the force of my will or my typically determined effort. It was not something that could be forced at all. I know because I had already tried.

So there I was—lying on a contraption with enough levers and pulleys to be a set piece in the next Fifty Shades of Grey—struggling to surrender, when it hit me: I had forgotten what I knew.

You’ve been there, right? Suddenly, someone is telling you the exact things you’ve been saying, teaching, or living for years?

At least, you thought you were living it! But as Shakespeare so eloquently put it, “There’s the rub.” Because now you realize that you have lost something you had thought was too precious and ingrain to lose.

Okay, so back to me and the tiny guru with the soothing voice who was bringing my inner child to tears.

Everything she was saying was right! And not just about my locked up hip flexor. Her words of wisdom were speaking to every facet of my being.

Intent without tension. Conscious but not cautious. Get out of my own way. Surrender.

Well, knock me over with a feather. How did I forget these things? The verbiage might be a little different, but I swear these are concepts that I have not only known but have embodied.

Of course, isn’t that the point of mindfulness? While we may strive for perfect alignment—spiritually and emotionally as well as physically—it’s not as though we could achieve it twenty-four/seven.

Mindfulness is about checking in to see how we’re doing and making adjustments as we go along. The more frequently we check in, the smaller the adjustments. The more aware we are the more we see.

The act of mindfulness means not taking anything for granted: not the moment, not the task, not even something we thought we already knew.

So, it looks as though I have some work not to do, not just with my hip, but with several aspects of my life. Perhaps if I can stop strengthening the aspects that are already strong, I can give those neglected qualities, talents, muscles a chance to thrive.

Perhaps if I surrender, I will be able to let the things that need to happen, happen.

As I was leaving, I thanked her for the experience and told her how much I appreciated what she was doing for me. That was when she reminded me of one more thing that I forgot I knew: She wasn’t doing it, I was. She was just guiding me along the path.

Mahalo to Elizabeth Warren-Bell, Gyrotonic instructor, professional dancer, Pilates trainer for the past 19 years, Yoga Works certified, founder and owner of The Path in Malibu, CA

Tori Eldridge
Tori Eldridge is a Honolulu-born writer, a 5th degree black belt ninja, and a former actress, dancer, singer on Broadway, television, and film. She writes action-packed, culturally-rich thrillers and mystically intriguing suspense, empowering non-fiction, and has taught ninjutsu and empowerment across the country.
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