Spiritually Preparing for Surgery
As a child, the Olympic gymnastic darling, Nadia Comaneci, inspired me to walk the ledge of our front porch, imagining that I too could spin with grace. My dreams
were short-lived--I slipped and fell off the porch, landing squarely on a brick and dislocating my left elbow.
I vividly remember being carried on a pillow into the hospital. As a frightened four-year-old, I didn't understand why I had to stay the night in the hospital and
why the nurses refused to give me water. I would be having surgery soon, they quietly explained, and it was not a good idea to eat or drink.
Connecting with Body Wisdom
Body wisdom is divine in nature because it holds no attachments or preconceived notions about what is "normal" in the body. The body seeks
to maintain the highest level of functioning, whatever that may be. You can remove many parts of the body--your arm, your kidney, your breast--and the body will
adapt to create a new level of functioning. So your body wisdom defines "normal" as a state of stability and function. Wholeness means your body is
serving you well, no matter how many body parts you have. Let go of society's attachment to counting fingers and toes. A normal body experience includes loss,
regeneration, adaptation, and growth.
So your body wisdom seeks to maintain ideal functioning and your body needs you to support these efforts. When the heart and mind are in alignment,
you can easily achieve wholeness.
Connect with your inner body minister by closing your eyes and breathing deeply. Move your attention to your heart center, asking that your body
wisdom communicate with you about any current concerns in your body. Be still, letting any images, feelings, words, or ideas flow through you. If the message isn't
clear, ask that your body wisdom connect with you through your dreams. When you go to sleep, set the intention that you are open and aware, ready to connect with
your body wisdom.
Later when the cast was removed, we discovered that the bones had set incorrectly, giving my elbow a strange wide appearance. But my odd-looking elbow served me well
in life--until I began martial arts this past year.
Chops, parries, and flips finally did my elbow in. Friends asked if I injured my arm while tossing a big burly tough guy. Alas, I must confess--I dislocated my elbow
again while flipping a feather-light older woman.
But the real journey hasn't been about how I was injured. Instead, the experience has created an urgent need to connect more deeply with Spirit for guidance on
preparing for surgery, and using my spiritual energy to heal the body and mind afterward.
The prospect of lying unconscious on the operating table while doctors open and alter your body can be frightening. Surgery represents a loss of control. Under
general anesthesia, your conscious mind is unaware, unable to direct the needed actions, unable to give consent. Anesthesia is a synthetic form of total surrender to the moment,
allowing what needs to occur without the resistance of fear and pain.
In spiritually preparing for surgery, I found that I needed to connect with the part of me that would be awake and aware during surgery--my body wisdom. By aligning
my conscious mind with my organic wisdom, I could become an active participant during surgery and the healing process.
The body is an amazing organic vehicle that mainly functions without your conscious input. Your heart pumps, your lungs breathe, and your stomach digests
independently of your control. Your body wisdom is like the minister of health and well-being in your body. When the body is injured, your body wisdom mobilizes all internal forces
to return your system to stasis and optimal functioning.
When you can align your conscious mind with your body wisdom, you step on board in this concentrated effort to heal the body. To surrender to the greater wisdom of
the body to heal itself, you take on the role of the lover--you praise the power and strength of your amazing body to adapt to physical change; you honor the healing ability of the
body, recognizing strides both big and small toward optimum functioning; and you hold sacred space within your body, giving it time and energy to do this important work of healing.
In short, you allow the pain of surgery to become a transformative spiritual experience where you reconnect with you inner organic wisdom. You become one with your body, united in
your quest for optimum peaceful living. It's an opportunity to create heaven on Earth in your body.
Before surgery, I used my meditation techniques in a new way. Rather than clearing my heart to connect with divine guidance, instead I sought wisdom from my body. I
found my body wisdom to be incredibly pragmatic. My body knew that the elbow bone would not pop back into the joint and that the head of the bone would need to be removed. My body
was perfectly fine with this new arrangement and was ready to move forward in supporting optimum functioning.
I felt weepy and scared, but my body assured me that all would be well and together we could handle anything. My body wisdom asked me to let go of my fear and
instead use my energy to support the mobilization toward healing. Entertaining awful scenarios would not serve me, my body told me, and I needed to use my powerful intentions to
surrender, allowing my body to heal itself.
To prepare for general anesthesia, I was guided to choose my ideal vacation spot--a place where I felt freedom, joy, and love--that my mind could go to during
surgery. I chose my inner sanctuary, a peaceful place in my heart that I retreat to during meditation. I set my intention on the morning of the surgery that my mind would seek
refuge in this ideal vacation spot.
The surgery went well, and I have continued to connect with my body wisdom to guide my efforts in supporting healing. During the first few days after surgery, I
couldn't find a comfortable position to rest my arm. I asked my body wisdom to show me the best position, and I experienced blessed relief. My body wisdom instructed me to rest,
letting everything else go. After awakening from my many cat naps, I've praised the strength I've felt returning to my arm, and I've sensed a glow of accomplishment emanating from
my body wisdom. I've finally stopped my mind ruminations to notice the gift of this amazing body.
In reconnecting with this vital body wisdom, I've gained a sense of peace that I haven't known before. I feel grounded in this powerful physical and spiritual
vessel. The prospect of surgery seemed like a dark cloud, but it made me search deeper within myself to find my inner strength. In the process, I've discovered that I'm not alone
on this journey. I found the presence of God dwelling in my own body.
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