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Practice in Everything

When all our gatherings were cancelled for the pandemic, it felt like a rug was yanked out from under me, like my generator was unplugged. I tried to practice sets on my own — I started a journal. But it was difficult and I couldn’t describe why for a long time. I now think I’ve figured it out.

I’m not part of FLK to find inner peace. I receive that regularly through my Christian faith. I’m not here to learn how to “let go”. I learned years ago that I cannot do it on my own, but I can through my Christian faith. I’m not here to learn “to not worry”. That learning has come to me through the Christian scriptures.

I AM here to maintain my body health. I needed help with that when I joined 18 years ago. I needed help with that all through the last 18 years, and I still need that help. What kept me attending the many many sessions was energy. Not my own, but that which was generated each session by the leaders and by the participants. It joined with and boosted my small bit of energy, lifted it up, helped it to grow and strengthen within me. I think I learned how to share that in my classes. I certainly received so much from those I was leading. It kept me going, kept me interested in learning and sharing. It gave me the ability to maintain my health.

I started to realize my malaise about practicing was actually about how I used that energy from other people, when a friend from Alberta was visiting and asked to do sets with me while she was visiting family nearby. We practiced on my lawn for an hour several days in a row and then she went home. Then I struggled with practicing on my own again. I couldn’t find the energy within me. I couldn’t self-generate it. I couldn’t find it through my computer screen on Zoom.

The directors’ words have been helpful though. Because I found the malaise frustrating, the reminder to “let go” actually pushed my “let go” button and I dropped the frustration.

I was then able to realize how much I actually was practicing his teachings each and every day in every move I made.

When I turn, I move my body without twisting and contorting. I’m thoughtful about it. When I lift things, I use my danyu — legs and posture, etc. I’m thoughtful about it. Because I’m short, I slide down on almost every chair I sit in, so I’m thoughtful about sitting tall and expanding my spine using the danyu. When I go for walks, I consciously think “heel to toe” and “be tall”.

When I am thoughtful about how I move, I avoid the pain in my lower back, the pain in my knees, the pain in my hips from my trochanter, and the pain in my ankle from ankle splints. I am so blessed and grateful to have learned to apply so much of what I have learned! Applying his teachings is my self-practice.

I have let go of the frustration of not practicing sets and of not receiving the regeneration of the class energy.

Now I’m applying what I’ve learned to recovery from a proximal humerus break from a fall in April. I think that may become another story….

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