“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”

Home 2The above quote by Jim Rohn – a personal development teacher is simple and easy enough to understand but how many of us actually live by it? As a McTimoney Chiropractor of 25 years’ service I personally have abused my body and even taken it for granted sometimes making huge demands upon it and not always thanking it for supporting me.

Last year I spent 9 months sorting my torn meniscus out [see blog of Oct 2014] – I thought that I had learnt my lesson well in learning to “let go” and “just be” but it seems not. Since early April this year I have been suffering with a sprained left ankle and plantar fasciitis on my right foot – I have never been known to do things by half!! These last few months I have struggled driving, using stairs, and even walking around my chiropractic bench. I have had sleepless nights due to the pain, many tears of frustration and despair and those endless:

“Why me moments?”

In my darkest hours I have had answers that I really didn’t want like:

“Well why not you? Are you anyone Special? Try listening to what your feet are saying!”

Or maybe I was just hallucinating/imagining all those answers?

I do believe that my feet pains haven’t just “happened” – I’ve had a close family bereavement having to say “Goodbye” to my uncle who was like a second father, and who I’m indebted to as he paid for my Chiropractic education – just realised that I wouldn’t even be writing this if it wasn’t for him! My Uncle Anil who passed away at the age of 65 really lived in the moment, took great care of his body, mind and spiritual being. He was hugely respected, admired and loved. We all miss him dearly and wonder how we will ever get over this loss. I don’t think we will – we will adapt around it. 5 weeks after his funeral my brother, Sanjay aged 49 had a second heart attack which he survived and he is doing well. Then a very good friend of mine passed away in a similar way to that of my uncle and for good measure I was betrayed by someone that I totally trusted. Please don’t see me as “victim” as I’m not and I’ve always seen myself as a “survivor” albeit a “shocked survivor” in the last few months.

So you must be wondering what have my foot pains got to do with any of this? Its mechanical pain right? Wishful thinking on my part too but as someone who believes:

“Everything generally happens for a reason”

I knew that I needed to reflect and meditate on the reasons why they were not improving significantly despite “doing all the so called right things.” More about my “structural foot” recovery in my next blog.

So a few weeks ago in the early hours of one morning two profound answers came to me like a bolt of lightning and it’s only after truly and wholeheartedly recognising and accepting these messages that I started turning a corner in making a recovery in my feet. They were:

“Stop digging your heels in” and “Let go, accept and move forward.”

Very personal and direct messages which had me laughing and smiling for days.

From February of this year I have been hell bent on “living life in the fast lane” by burying myself in my gym training, my work, my Nepal charity trip, my weekend trips to my family in The Midlands, my personal relationships and social life – absolutely no time scheduled for “quiet time”. Some days I have been exhausted beyond belief with two constant thoughts running in my head:

“What if my brother is taken away from us? Can life be so cruel and unfair?”

“What if I haven’t accomplished everything in my life that I set out to do?”

After all I was really experiencing first hand:

“Life is short and then you die.”

In an attempt not to “feel” my fears or even show my vulnerability to anyone I have a great knack for “literally leaving my body” – by this I mean I am able to detach myself from my thoughts, my fears and anything perceived as “negative” – it’s a great escape strategy so as not to have to deal with reality. Some would call it “denial” – I see it as “self-preservation”. My friend Mark, affectionately known as “The Colour Man” who has taught me all my colour work would say I am an expert in this and it’s my “natural place” to be especially in times of stress. In these situations I can still function and go about my day to day activity and generally no one on the outside would know what I’m doing.

However, reality eventually catches up with all of us and it can come in many guises –mine was pain. I was in so much denial about my grief, the feelings around my brother’s heart attack and the betrayal that only with the passage of time and understanding I knew that the pain in my feet wasn’t totally “structural”.  It was partly here to keep me “grounded” and in my body so that I face the reality of my feelings and the reality of my life. No amount of “leaving my body” allows me to permanently escape. I am on Earth for numerous reasons and whilst on Earth I do need to do as Jim Rohn states:

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”