Self effort and shoulder pain-or “I recieve, I give”

After about 6 months of self-neglect, I’ve found myself overweight, weary and depressed, struggling to get out of bed. I’d developed a new version of the stubborn neck and shoulder problem that had responded well to massage and acupuncture previously. Once more my joints were grinding and popping and muscles had weakened. The only thing that’s kept me going is the responsibility of growing stuff to please this crazy dream of mine and caring for my three year old grandson. But rearing a strong willed toddler can also be a thankless task at times.

This weekend I’m having a glorious retreat. I thought I would do a juice only fast, but a tasty late night snack of toast spread with herbs du provence guilt free “butter” and topped with ripe Roma tomatoes got the better of me.

But now its nearly 1pm and I haven’t even made my morning juice. I’ve been up photographing plants and blogging. Bad, bad me. I have, however just finished a great Tai Chi practice as I prepare the run sheet for the class I plan to start soon. In the process, I realized the source of my shoulder pain…drum roll…is the cursed self-effort that once hounded me to the precipice of madness and complete exhaustion. I’m not going there again.

I was practicing Tai Chi by taking a little chunk of the form that can be continuously repeated. Like the waves on the sea shore. A roll back, leading into a brush knee, is repeated till you’ve learned your lesson by quiet meditation. This continuous circular cycle of receiving and giving; inflowing and out flowing; positive to negative; yin to yang; stimulates a response in your self. I became aware of the resistance in my body, the reluctance of my sore shoulder to open and receive and the presence of hidden insecurities that make me cling to responsibility and effort.

In that revealing moment, I knew that answer. I remembered that I had forgotten God’s love.

In that moment the Sorrel and the Aquilegias seemed to sing to me and shout aloud, “See, we don’t toil or spin, we simply receive what we need for the glory of God.” My garden is so wise and I am so foolish. But remorse is unnecessary and thankfulness abundant.

As I continued with my moving meditation, I found myself affirming such things as, “I receive, I give”. Then as I relaxed into the reality of God’s provision,  “Abundance comes to me, so that I can abundantly contribute”.  My son and I discussed the Kony 2012 project last night. There is great joy in contributing and much criticism for those who dare, but I like to believe in good things for our future as well as remembering its doomed prophecy.

God’s pace is way more relaxed than we think. Listen to the rhythm of the sea, see how long it takes to grow a carrot, do some Tai Chi and get in line with the easy way of God’s shepherding. That’s my lesson for this moment. Now I’m off to get nettles for that juice.


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