Zen and the Art of Recovery

Martin's got Zen

Martin's got Zen

Since my neck injury became intolerable in the middle of last week, I have been slowly developing ways to cope with the pain and get a few necessary things done while recuperating.

It has become a sort of Zen process.  I take a task, and that is the only task I have to do.  This blog is the only thing I have to write.  That dish is the only one I have to wash.  There is nothing but that dish, this water, that faucet.  Stand erect.  Maintain good posture.  Breathe.

Even when it’s combing the tangles out of my hair for the umpteenth time after having tried to soak the kinks out of my back and neck with very hot water.  The comb.  The tangle.  The motion is slow and fluid.  Though I’ll admit the thought of chopping about a foot off my hair has occurred to me during the process.  I put it out of my mind–focus on the task before me.  Hair.  Tangles.  Comb.  Posture.  Breathe.

It does seem to be working–to make the process of receovery easier–to take the focus off the ever-expanding to-do list and to put it on one task, one thing I can do right now.

Being a chronic multi-tasker and task-switcher, I can see how a division of attention has diverted my awareness away from myself in the execution of those tasks–let my posture go to hell and my spine slip out of whack.

I am, of course, hoping to feel completely better soon, but I’ve also noticed that a focus on feeling better causes me to go overboard on projects the moment I start to get my motion back and come out of the nearly-constant headaches.  And then they come back.

So, slowly, slowly, with a focus on the task, I breathe and stand erect and make the motion of recovery as seamless as possible.

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