Surgery & Meditation

It is with much gratitude that I greet you this morning.

My wife drove me yesterday morning to the surgical center where a torn medial meniscus was removed in my right knee.

The injury happened during a run in July 2016. I waited this long to have testing done because I thought it was simply a strain. I completed a pain-free run in January to have my hopes dashed as the day went on because the pain progressed. It is a good thing that I maintain very realistic levels of hope about just about anything, that way the disappointment is minimal and thus much easier to manage.

A visit to an orthopedic surgeon and an MRI both confirmed the diagnosis. Surgery was scheduled as was time off from work. Anyone who knows me knows the latter of the two items was more difficult to schedule.

I am now one-day post-operative and the pain medication sits on my dresser untouched. Advil is hopefully becoming a close relative which will join the Lortab on the dresser. No medication at all for pain for which I am also grateful. I know my meditation practice plays a large role in the way I manage pain and discomfort.

I am grateful for the gifts which have been bestowed upon me secondary to all of my hard work.

Namaste

Advertisements

Life in Transformation

I greet you with hands clasped together in gratitude for this beautiful day.

Life is transformation. I can think of several individuals in my life who would disagree with this notion. Then again, those same individuals would disagree with just about any notion which identifies the personal responsibility with which we need to take to transform our lives.

I am coming up to the first scheduled day off since May. It’s been a long time I know. I’ll be heading back to the Adirondacks for some quiet time which will include a lot of reading, a lot of writing as I work toward completion of my book. This time will be punctuated with several sips of bourbon and some Puterkos Pizza.

Fall is upon us. The light of each day grows progressively shorter. We inch closer to the Winter Solstice. It’s that time of year when we begin to once again regain precious minutes of daylight. The calendar, at the same time, inching closer to the new arrival of Spring.

pens

I woke this morning to rays of beautiful sunshine peeking through the slats of the blinds. One of my joys is having an opportunity to wake without an alarm. Another joy are the beautiful sounds coming from the birds at the freshly filled feeder and the smell of freshly brewed coffee. It is these simple things which bring me the most joy. The joy I find in such simplicity reminds me not to take life too seriously, to not worry about the things which I cannot control and to live each day to its fullest.

“When you go out into the woods and you look at the trees, you see all these different trees and some of them are bent, and some of them are straight, and some of them are green and some of them are whatever. And you look at the tree and you allow it, you see why it is the way it is. You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way. And you don’t get emotional about it. You just allow it. You appreciate the tree. The minute you get near humans you lose all that. And you’re constantly saying “you are too this,” or “I am to this.” That judging mind comes in. And so I practice turning people into trees, which means appreciating them just the way they are.” ~Ram Dass

If you think that life is a journey to some sort of destination you could not be more wrong. I understand your thoughts right now because we have all heard the sayings on the t-shirts and bumper stickers which remind us that “life is a journey.” If we think of life as a journey then we keep going faster and faster to reach this unknown destination. Life is transformation. Life is a transformation. We are reminded of this every day while also being reminded of the opposite. We are constantly changing, evolving, and improving. Our growth has nothing to do with speed. In fact it often this need for speed, the need to reach a believed destination which causes us to stumble and make decisions which may not be in our best interest. We need to slow down and assess our direction. We need to ask ourselves what we are transforming into. Every Sunday I receive a text message that asks, “Slow down and ask what you have learned this past week?” What have I learned that can impede my transformation and which can help my transformation excel? Am I a better person today than I was yesterday? Better than last week, last month, last year?

chris

I use photography to help better understand the path on which I am on. I look at my photographs, camera in hand to see how I can see my life and its surroundings differently.

How do you see yourself? When you look at yourself, do yourself a favor and don’t blame others for the condition of your life. Your decisions are just that, your decisions. If you look to blame others, you will find the hole in which you are in become ever deepening. Accept responsibility for your actions. Ask for help from honest individuals and develop a plan that will help you achieve the goals which you have set.

Namaste

The ‘Dacks

I returned from a vacation in May and decided I would not let happen what happened last year. It was one year between vacations. I took off a day here and there to make several long weekends, but it wasn’t enough. I found myself tired, depressed and angry. Then winter arrived. Normally winter is a speed bump but this winter lasted well into March. We received a late snow of several inches and continued freezing and below freezing temperatures. Lake Erie was over 95% covered by ice that remained as deep as 36-inches. The cold temperatures and grey skies caught me by surprise and threw me into a depression which left me wishing I had started a medication.

 
Shortly after returning from vacation, I planned a four day trip to the Adirondacks. Nancy was unable to get the time off so this vacation was to be about me.
 
I arrived several hours ago. Work followed me by choice. The decision to engage in work is sometimes a difficult one. Do I review several patient charts daily which might take me 20-30 minutes or do I wait until I return and potentially have 3-4 hours of work? When I break the equation down to those, the decision becomes easier. I’ll complete the work daily.
20140804_180358
I arrived at the Lone Birch, logged into the EMR and got the work out of the way. I changed and went for a very hilly,very hot run. It is after all the Adirondacks. As I train for my first ultra, I learn the practice of walking as part of my run. This is difficult for someone who grew up in the 60’s and 70’s with a very conservative work ethic. My father used to say, “Never get caught doing nothing.” As a result, the thought of walking during a run has, in the past brought pangs of guilt. At 51 there’s no way I could handle the heat and the hills. Perhaps one of these items but certainly not both. Today, there was no guilt. I t is what it is and I am OK with that decision.
20140804_171419
I finished the run feeling not exhausted but surprisingly refreshed. Tomorrow shall be another run before a hike up Goodnow Mountain.
 
Namaste