The Evolution of My Healing. The Art of Slowing Down
Time has a strange way of revealing things to you
That’s been something I’ve recently returned to again and again, and there’s something humbling in recognizing how little we know about our own good. Or, how little we know what’s truly right for us.
About two months ago I pulled a neck muscle during a pole dancing class I take regularly. When it happened I was scared that the worst had finally come, that I would actually die. After three days of the most excruciating sustained pain I’ve ever experienced, I finally decided that I needed to get an acupuncture appointment in urgently. I had already waited three days, hoping that the pain would disappear but then, when on the third day I was still feeling it,
I decided I needed help.
When I came in, broken from the sadness that I might die, (a bit dramatic… but I was in deep emotional and physical pain!) I was faced with a different reality to what I had walking into the office. Truthfully, I wasn’t sure if I’d come out with a good answer. I was so used to things not working out, that I had resigned myself to bad things happening, always. Deep down I knew that was a narrative that I had constructed from trauma, but it was rarely disproved in my opinion and therefore (in my mind) I was allowed to feel that way. This is all to say, I wasn’t doing well. I was low. I was alone. I was fragile.
Lisa, who was my usual acupuncturist, wasn’t in—but Alex was. He came into my room already up to date on how I was doing (I had explained it to Meera almost teary-eyed on the phone, feeling so desperate and so in pain) and I already felt relief. When Alex told me he would help as much as he could, I believed him, and as soon as he put in the needles— acutely and vertically along my neck—I knew something had begun to shift. I passed out almost immediately, seeing stars so deep. It was like one of deepest meditations I’ve ever been in, something in my constitution, and in my psyche had been unlocked.
After the needles came out Alex and I had a very sincere conversation about overworking.
Overworking Shadows All Aspects of Life
It’s something that I suffer from… a lot. Potentially why (and ironically during a session of doing the thing I love the most) I pulled my neck in the first place. My body was clearly under emotional duress. I am the type who doesn’t understand how stressed they are until they collapse. I’d always assumed that it was a Capricorn trait… but now I think it’s also about worthiness… on a deeper level. I wasn’t sure if I believed I deserved to not work or to slow down. I asked Alex how he would interpret this moment as an outsider looking in. As in, what did he think was the lesson here? His message was clear:
I think it’s telling you to slow down.
It wasn’t what I was ready to hear. In fact, I rejected it. I could still pole dance, right? I could still live my life, right? I still needed to write… I mean I’m a writer, I can’t not write, right? It’s like my body short-circuited as soon as I was offered that information. I couldn’t fathom a pace that would mean I couldn’t work or exercise strenuously. When I asked for how long, Alex replied: “About six weeks.” I felt insane. Six weeks! It felt like an eternity. Slowly, as time began to reveal itself, I realized I had no choice.
It’s still such a process to sit and be still, to be slow.
At this point, it’s been just over six weeks. I survived. I learned how to slow down, to stop working and to take it all in. To revel at all the hard work of my last few years and to really embrace that rest is as important to success as working. We think we get further, but actually we burn out faster.
The funniest thing is I learned how vital it is to slow down, and am surprised I never knew how to do so in the past. It makes me sad that I had the tools, but never learned how to prioritize myself. Coming to acupuncture really taught me I owed it to myself to get better, and that a lot of real wellness is knowing how to listen to your body. Another thing it taught me was it’s important to learn how to ask for help, and to try and see how even bad situations can be abundant in knowledge and experience.
About The Author
This guest post was authored by Fariha Róisín, a talented writer based here in Brooklyn. We are indebted to Fariha for sharing this experience. We are humbled to be in service to such a brave, strong & beautiful human and it is with great gratitude we are able to share Fariha’s writings with our community.
Fariha Róisín has written for Al Jazeera, The Guardian, Vice, Fusion, Village Voice and many others and additionally has previously written a self-care column on The Hairpin. Fariha also just released a book of poetry How to Cure A Ghost, will soon have another book published and currently has an astrology column for them. We encourage you to discover more:
Visit Fariha’s Website.
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Learn More About Fariha on Passerbuys.
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