The Injury Portal

As much as on the surface level it absolutely sucks balls, being injured is likely to be an opportunity for you to grow. Injuries create limitations on our beings that allow us to be more creative within those confines. For me it’s been a whiplash that has lasted coming up 9 months, this meant that I could not get overly excited without hurting my neck. If I got angry I had to breathe through it, and wait it out, if I got sad I had to breathe and relax into it without curling up, it has meant that I have had to cultivate an inner strength that I did not know I had.

Any athlete that has been injured knows that it is a psychological game as much as a physical one. Letting go of those previous PR’s in order to recover is tough, having to rest completely – even tougher. It is the game of wanting so badly to get out in that game, but knowing that if you do, then it will only get worse.

Here are some tools that have helped me so far along my recovery journey:

  • Meditation – How you feel isn’t a reliable indicator of your health. Behaviour and expression are much more reliable benchmarks to work from. If you can relax and observe these, then not only will you be able calm the body by calming the mind (decreasing your likely-hood of re-injury, and increasing your recovery speed), but you will be able to get an idea as to the sensible and mindful limits that your body is comfortable operating in at that moment in time, regardless of how you are ‘feeling.’
  • Sleep – This is when you are truly recovering, rebuilding those damaged tissues. Sleep regular hours. I try to sleep 10:30 – 7.30. But truly in your heart of hearts, you know how much sleep you perform best on.
  • Hydration – Most people are dehydrated, and hydrating yourself adequately is going to do more for your healing, psychological and physical health than you know. Soothe yourself with a glass of water or a cup of fruit tea, not coffee.
  • Do things that keep your spirits high. (but not those that overexert you or overexcite you. If you’re hoping to heal quickly without re-injuring yourself, then mindfulness is your friend here.)
  • Move – Mindful movement, and low intensity movement are going to stretch and challenge those damaged tissues. They will regenerate with time if you treat them well. Again, you know how much exercise you are best on in that moment. Treat yourself carefully, I’d recommend exercising on regular hours if possible to help psychologically. (best to see a specific sports therapist of your choosing for this one depending on your injury for the specific movements).

An injury is a portal for you to discover new strength in other areas of your life. Your inner strength might have needed an upgrade or a path correction. Treat your injuries like reminders to stay conscious.


-Ben

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Getting out of your own way

Often the best art comes when we get out of our own ways. When we allow the spirit to write its own passages and to be its own creator. Yet… how could this be the case?
This is the hardest thing to do and to accept. Our sense of self seems to create the things that we see in front of us, but where does it really come from? The art, the ideas, the music, the life.

From where it comes is the most truthful source. Getting in touch with this source only requires that you feel into it, and get out of your own way in doing so.

Liberating, scary, relentless, brilliant… Sounds like life to me.

As a practice or meditation, try following the flow back to its source, and see what you notice about the details of your interactions with life as you do continue to do so.


-Ben

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Listen to your body

Most of us realise by now that the body and mind are connected. They are reflections of each-others state. If the body is hunched over and the head looking up towards the horizon at all times, you’re going to feel quite ‘deflated’. If you are constantly thinking all of the time, then your body’s attitude is going to reflect this with a disconnect from the legs, and an ungrounded nervous energy.

Meditations of all kinds help us to observe these phenomena. In the thick of it, it is hard to realise one’s own dis-ease.

Through meditations we can observe the thoughts that are arising… Our spirit’s ‘Calling’ if you will. Through these realisations we can align our practices to reflect these callings in the physical world, the world of the body.
The same can be said of physical meditations. Mindful stretching and Yogic methods help us to connect with the callings of the body, in order that we can align ourselves literally to a more subtle and efficient degree.

Both meditations when practiced become extremely gratifying, and even beautiful. Healing one’s own uneasiness is often only a practice of listening, and then right action presents itself naturally.

Fear of stopping is largely what gets in the way. Stopping the thought process where often most of us spend the vast majority of our time means a death of that place. Yet it is this place that is causing us to disconnect from our natural states.
In order to get back in touch with that from which we have separated ourselves, we must listen carefully.

When one begins to listen: Patterns of thought emerge. Patterns of feeling are realised, and instinct begins to realign itself with its natural state.

If lost… Watch the mind. Listen to the spirit.
If unfeeling… Listen to the body.

Most of all trust what arises. Ones own path does not lie, and will make itself heard eventually, regardless.

What arises does so from stillness, and it is here from which we can see most clearly.


-Ben

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Fear is your friend

Most people live their lives in the avoidance of fear.

Consider the people in your life who you truly admire. These people live with an element of fear and discomfort in their lives. Yet they continue to do what they need to do while living with this fear… They don’t let fear stop them from giving their gifts. They become acquainted with fear, living in touch with it, they cultivate a relationship of mutual understanding.

Fear is the edge of you.

Fear is your closest ally, if you allow it to be.

Fear lets you know that you are growing, living, and giving fully.

If you do not feel fear while living by allowing it to be part of you, then you are becoming fear itself. Fear is always there. Your fear represents the boundaries of you.

If you feel up to the challenge of living fully…
Become intimate with your fear. Feel it. Allow it to show you where the boundaries of you are in order that you can break through them and give the gifts that you incarnate into this world, fully.  In this way, you can practice love despite your fear. Helping others to do the same will be a side effect of this.

Notice what gifts you want to give to this world, and consider why you don’t give them fully. Truly enquire as to where the root of this cause is. Feel it. If you didn’t let fear stop you, what would you want to do?

Most importantly however… Do it because of love. And do it for love. Because why do you do anything really?


Ben

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Living with an Open Heart.

The first time I felt my heart open after 5 years of it being mostly closed, and another 5 of it being most completely so, I finally understood what had been bugging me all this time (and why I closed it in the first place). This opening felt overwhelming, in the sense that with my recognition of the love that I felt in that moment, fear that I had not felt in years returned sharply.

People that have closed hearts mostly are not aware of this. They simply attempt to fill it with other means, and have mostly forgotten what it feels like to truly love. When one veers so far from the feeling of fear, and of love, it is easy to forget why I do anything in the first place. This is because in the same way that those who are numb do not feel love, they are also numb to their own feeling of fear. It has become a vague memory to them, an itching that never leaves, and echoes every action and every moment as an underlying buzz, as it had to me. In me this manifested in a trying to escape the present moment by any means necessary. I was an escape the moment ninja. I could backflip over my own insecurity towards the chocolate and ninja star my laptop on in mid air.

I understand now that one does not wait to feel. Ones simply faces their suffering and opens their heart by relaxing into it. One always loves (as one always fears), it is merely a case of recognising it in the present moment. It is a practice of opening ones heart in the present. Opening up to love also opens you up to pain, suffering. The truth is however, that you were always loving, and always in pain. You either live with this awareness and participate in the expression of this loving and fearing, or you let it love and fear you.

When you begin to practice the opening of your heart, to love and to fear (suffering), in the present moment, a path of inspiration magnetises you. This seems to be the path of right action, and if you can live in the present with an open heart, feeling your love and your fear, yet still continuing in the direction that is opening and beckoning itself to you, then you can live with full conscience and purpose.

A good read on this practice of living with an open heart would be ‘The Way of the Superior Man’ by David Deida. I’d highly recommend this to men and women. However especially to men. The same author also has other works that are more specifically directed towards women which may feel more appropriate. These can be found online also with a quick search.


-Ben

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Putting Information into Practice. Information Wounds and Remedies.

For those of us who read many books and are curious about many things. There becomes a point at which there is so much information in our heads that we do not know where to start. Sometimes we lose sight of where to go, but we have so many ways to approach it! Whatever it is!

Obviously the first and most important trick here is to understand where you are trying to get to. If you do not have a vision of place, then you are purely wandering.
Once you understand this, you are faced with a multitude of options as to how to be getting there.

The first thing that I and many others have done, logically, is to read as much around the topic as possible. For it comes logically that the more one knows about the subject, the more one will know as to how to approach it; however this is rarely the case. For what happens is that now that you believe that you know so much about the subject, there are so many entry points and things to do (all of which could possibly go wrong) that you are now paralysed as to where to begin. You have shot yourself in the foot with information, and are now immobile.

The longer you leave this information wound, the longer it festers and becomes infected. As with any infection, the first thing to do is to wash it and attempt to disinfect it. The way of doing this in regards to information is to order it. Write down the key points and principles regarding what you have learned, and compare these principles to the goals that you are trying to achieve, the place that you are trying to get to. Now in awareness the incongruence between the two you have a path.
The next thing to do is to put one step in front of the other and move towards it. This is going to take the use of your full faculties, body included. One needs to understand which steps to take in which order, and then put one foot in front of the other. This is the way of moving towards a destination without getting your feet tangled or lost along the way. Write down a step-by-step, actionable list, and apply yourself to each of the steps with true focus and application.

If the information wound becomes truly and irreversibly effective, the fastest way of becoming mobile again, so that the infection does not spread into other areas of your life is to cut of the information for good. Once you have done this, you may start over, or you may decide to begin walking again, without a map, but yet with a sense of direction purpose under your belt. No worries your foot will grow back, this is merely a hypothetical blog post. Cutting off a part of that which you are attached to is sometimes the only way to free you up, in order that something new and fresh can fill the empty vacuum.

Tend to your information wounds, stay vigilant of infection, and most of all take action towards your destination. Nobody ever got to any place merely by thinking about it.  An awareness of balance is necessary in order to stay upright.

‘Information is not knowledge.’ -Albert Einstein


-Ben

If you liked this post then do check this out also. Bless.

Photography by eberhard grossteiger