What Part of You is Free?

This post was written several years ago.  I’m feeling great these days and ready to post some of the things written in darker moments…

From January 2010

I’m lying in bed and the right side of my body is frozen.  I’m right-handed.  I want to get up and the thought alone isn’t getting me there.  I remember something my doctor said, “When you wake up, pay attention to what is working.  Put all your attention on that.” 

I scan my body.   My left arm is great.   Okay, left arm, show me what you can do.  I reach to grab one of the headboard spindles, and use my left arm to roll over and hoist myself up.  My left leg is working pretty well, too.  I lean against the wall and drag myself into the bathroom.  Home run.  I may be right-handed, but my left arm rules.

A few years ago, my friend, Mary Jane, was telling me about someone she had coached.   The woman kept diving into the same story, the same limitations, and the same struggles.  Mary Jane would listen and ask questions.  At one point, in a face-to-face meeting, Mary Jane took the woman’s arm and told her to try to get away.  The woman pulled and pulled with the arm Mary Jane was holding, then, gave up.  “I’m stuck,” she said, committed to stuck-ness.

“What part of you is caught?”   Mary Jane asked.  

“Easy,” the woman responded, “my arm.”

“What part of you is free,” Mary Jane coached.

“Wow.  The rest of my body!”

“How can you use the rest of your body to free yourself?”

The woman was quickly free. 

As I fell back into bed, I wondered why mind always found limitations quickly and was blind to freedom.

One of my favorite mentors and teachers, Byron Katie, offers:

“Life is simple. Everything happens for you, not to you. Everything happens at exactly the right moment, neither too soon nor too late. You don’t have to like it… it’s just easier if you do.”

 

5 Comments

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5 responses to “What Part of You is Free?

  1. thanks for posting this.

  2. Tim Girvin

    Appreciative.

    Where your journey…takes you. You’re there.

    warmest > TIM ..

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  3. Marcus Aurelius would probably concur.

  4. Reblogged this on 3 jewels yoga and commented:
    “He who argues for his limitations gets to keep them.” ~ Richard Bach

    Wow! To be “committed to stuck-ness”…Such a powerful statement about an equally powerful position to be caught in: gripped by pain, fear, anger, self-doubt, feelings of helplessness and defeat. Constantly hearing the voice of the inner critic calling out our flaws and weaknesses. We wince and turn away–our vision now obstructed, dimmed.

    To reframe this question–to refresh our perspective and broaden the view–is to unravel what has us so tightly bound.

    This is a timely contemplation for our practice of awakening the voice of self-compassion and love. This voice speaks in gentle and reassuring tones with discernment and wisdom. We open our eyes to witness the illusions dissolve, remembering that what makes us whole and free is not always visible to the unskilled eye.

  5. Beautiful! I’ve reblogged it and will share with my meditation group, which is exploring the practice of dissolving the inner critic to give rise to the voice of self-compassion.

    When I read this I instantly thought of the Richard Bach quote: “He who argues for his limitations gets to keep them.”

    To reframe and refresh our perspective in this way sets us on the road to healing!

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