I Passed the Korn Test!

Carmen by Ralph Steadman

This morning, after our 10:15 Nia class, I passed the “Korn” test!

This is a big deal for me. It is also a tangible example of how much healing I’ve been able to manifest recently.

5 or so years ago one of my favorites songs to dance to was Coming Undone by Korn. About the same  time I felt compelled to spend 6 weeks on the couch and in physical therapy – not dancing to Korn or anything else – and not teaching at all.

As this post was brewing (often a multiple day thing), I was finally able to admit to myself, out loud, something I have not been willing to whisper in the dark:

that I might have to stop dancing.

The irony of this is that I already had to a significant degree. My personal movement practices had become safe. I couldn’t remember the last time I had stayed after the 10:15 class to really dance. Little by little the pain in my hip was stealing me away from myself and fear was allowing it to happen. Yea, when I don’t dance I don’t hurt so much. I wasn’t healing either. More like a form of avoidance rather than addressing the issue.

This morning I almost didn’t stay. “Maybe I’ll wait another few days. After all, it’s not even been a week.” I turned off the stereo system and my iPod. Then I turned it all back on and danced. Really danced. I let go of the micromanaging I’ve been doing in terms of awareness and conscious movement. It was time to get out of my head and trust my body again. I wasn’t disappointed.

Without reservation and without pain, I slipped through Korn’s staccato piece with the equally staccato choreography I had developed for it. Then I did it again. Not wanting to push my “luck” or offend the gift horse, I packed up and went home after the second tango.

Almost 10 hours later and still no repercussions.

This past Friday was my first test. Teaching 2 classes (9 am and 6 pm) with an hour to an hour and a half drive each way. I wasn’t exhausted when I got home. Later, during the night, I didn’t wake to an inability to turn over without catching my breath from SI joint pain and a “locked” hip.

After experiencing the joys (not to mention the pain and effort) of physical therapy for every joint in my body except my wrists over the years, I’ve turned to exploring a place of no pain instead. Pushing through the pain only resulted in a loss of self-trust and the ball-and-chain of dread as I moved closer to losing my dream.

I don’t want to hurt anymore.

Not everything has to hurt.

Not everything has to be hard to be worthy.

Today I define success as ‘doing less’. I’ve never felt quite as successful as I do right now.

It wasn’t magic. It was a week of cultivating “laziness”, gentleness with myself and getting out of my own way.

For the next post.

(Photo: Painting “Carmen” by Ralph Steadman)

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