Yet another crisi-tunity: injury as opportunity

Posted by Jeanne Barrett on April 7, 2017 in Uncategorized

There is no rushing recovery from injury. The entire integrated system of self takes the time needed to repair, renew and relearn. This is not a “parts” repair but an entire self opportunity to do life differently. We are, after all, integrated systems of complexity.

As I recover, renew and relearn from injury (severe sprain to my dominant hand/wrist/arm), the following inquiries seem essential

Q.How can I do what I would like to do within limits of pain and safety?

As is natural after an injury, attention focuses on further protection of the injured and painful area. Although I am in no way suggesting ignoring or minimizing pain, a broader  attention to the entire self can be a constructive tool. As I attempt to use my hand to write, teach a lesson, open a door, brush my teeth, I can adjust attention to include how I am contracting in my thinking, how I am disconnecting from the ground, how I am no longer seeing or hearing the evidence of Spring. Once I widen and expand attention, solutions in co-ordination occur to me. I know more clearly what is safe to attempt and what isn’t, and how to problem solve in either case.

I can see pain as a friendly signal of current limits, not an alarm meriting contraction and panic.  I can respond to the friendly signal  with constructive solutions instead of freezing into an overall mode of protection that typically hurts more, not less.

Q. Can I allow a new way of doing nearly everything?

Injury to a dominant hand brings so many activities, so much identity, under scrutiny. This is also where opportunity lies, the crisis that brings new learning (crisi-tunity).  I welcome the time, the uncertainty, the potential unfamiliarity of allowing a new response.  This seems to me to be the heart of the Alexander Technique: a means of dynamically refusing to interfere so that uncertainty is the reliable rule, and response to uncertainty a creatively shifting response.

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