Coming Full Circle — HeatherLeeFarrell

Today, I Begin again…. again.

In some ways, the small steps that I am taking in this life area might seem trifling in relation to the bigger picture of what is happening in our community and our world. Click here to read where starting again actually began. Everything we do for ourselves, community, and world matters, so here I go. I decided this focus area mattered to me and would dedicate a bit of time to doing it. We can choose what matters to us on every level and every area of our lives regardless of our circumstances. Every action and choice ends up impacting all we do and beyond.

I began by reflecting on how appreciative I am that I have regained physical capacity and can choose to devote time to this pursuit.

Just prior to early spring 2020, I had completed reinstating professional licenses, completing CEU’s and the backend logistics of restarting professionally. (I was surprised at the challenges and enormous amount of tasks after being fully removed from it for four years!) I had recently healed up from about four years of full-time recovery from a severe accidental injury I experienced. (That is another story…too. )

As the COVID-19 circumstances developed where I lived, I had restarted professionally for about three weeks. Then, like most everyone else, all of my in-person plans, and work were canceled or postponed. Now, I am in the midst of remastering and figuring out running and creating my own business.

Regardless of the hard times or challenges that I have had, what matters most is how I respond and react-not the actual circumstance. Contrasting Life events are always going to happen, good and bad, negative, and positive. I cannot avoid them. But I can avoid creating my own extra suffering while working my way through them.

Throughout my life, like most, I have had rougher and harder times-my most recent one is simply my accident recovery period. Right now with COVID-19, we are all affected, and different groups of people much more than others. Learn More Here. I am trying to do small-active-normal-for-me things yet during an exceptionally-not-normal time in everyone’s life. In addition, I committed to making gigantic shifts professionally and working very diligently to achieve them. Not only am I transformed after four years of severe injury recovery; the world is changed too.

This belief that I hold about circumstances and choices has helped me through challenging times including my recent accident. Even though I feel sad, frustrated, or other emotions, this approach works for me. Especially during extremely challenging experiences in my life where I have needed to work on very deep levels in order to move through them. (yet, another story!)

How I choose to respond has created resilience and not holding on to the past. Yet knowing my past made me who I am.

Yet through all my life experiences, I have been privileged simply through having white skin. Even though difficult times, I have had unspoken privilege. Learn more about this.

I decided to reflect and make plans to do what is meaningful to me, figure out how to be part of and support community; bringing forth more of what matters.

One outcome of my accident transformed into a benefit for me later when I began remastering my life in all areas While I was healing from my injury, I was extremely isolated and not an active part of society for about 4 years. I was been more of an observer. Life moved very slowly for me offering pause and later opportunity for reflection when I was well enough. I began to remaster many life areas based on this reflection. There’s actually a name for this: Post-Traumatic Growth.

I had always practiced, learned about, and immersed in healthcare and wellness.

At one time, I did not work full-time in healthcare, wellness, nature, and body-based awareness practices like meditation and yoga. I practiced personally and learned at night while working full-time advocating for homeless families and children in social areas and education.

In fact, I met my son Tommy that way. We found each other by chance and became a family. I did not save him, We saved each other. My son, Tommy, now has two young children. We are by definition a racially mixed family. We have experienced challenges due to that which only strengthened us as a whole. This has also helped me work at improving my awareness and investing in community-based work for change.

When we moved to NM, I integrated community-based work into what I did; but my focus was mostly on healthcare and wellness. Now, while re-creating my professional work, I am creating exactly what I want to be doing.

I am letting some things go as not everything is meant to stay.

I am reflecting on how I can come Full Circle and delve once more into integrating that into my work life. I want that work to weave itself naturally into all I do. So, it is not a separate thought, but it is simply how I want to walk in the world.

So not to digress-but with those thoughts in mind, as a pale white woman with red hair on a hot summer day, I headed out into the New Mexico mountains to get over myself in a small personal area-small compared to the bigger themes of the day; but nonetheless- on my mind. I find that ideas and decisions come more easily when I am walking, riding my bicycle, or post early morning meditation and breathwork practices.

I’ll come clean, my Mystery Focus is about physical capacity.

Hmm, how to do this?

In doing this, I'll create positive outcomes and shifts for myself that lead to bigger efforts and ripple into other areas of my life. Also, for me, I love health, wellness, and mountains. Working at my physical capacity in small steps impacts all life areas for me. I love this silly-sounding quote: Health is Wealth. To me, my health and my time are much more important than money.

Why my Mystery Focus? It began with this: I wasn’t able to eat normal foods or chew for 3.5 years. (Yes, 3.5 years of no popcorn!) When I was able to eat normally, my body had to learn to digest foods again. I had to retrain my jaw to chew. An uninteresting and VERY sore time. AND amazing as eating food had become a dream!

Rediscovering eating popcorn, sandwiches, apples was quite glorious.

Now, I finally am at a basically healthy point, have physical reserves, and able to recover after doing physical activity. When you are healing from surgeries and unwell; all of your physical capacity goes to healing. There is nothing left over to nourish you let alone create recovery from a physical effort like bicycle riding!

I am ready and willing to get out and shift my body mass to what feels good, is healthy for me, and supports me in doing the mountain activities that I love. When I regained the capacity to eat actual foods, I gained quite a bit of bodyweight-about 50 to 70 pounds in all. Granted, I was skeletal and underweight. Thus, part of that weight gain was fabulous as it brought me to a normal-for-me-weight -and then beyond! In addition, it gave me extra nourishment and extra capacity that I did not naturally have as I was still building up my reserves. Which is where I am at now: My body mass is beyond what is thriving for my body. But, it is shifting and I am loving my body while that is happening.

I am starting where I am

At first, when I became aware, I was well enough to get fully active, I hit a sort of mental block. Thus, began the important work at retraining my brain. Working on my thoughts, my mindset.

Not only did I meet barriers and thoughts that I could not do it; I met my old self-image, my fragility, and ego in those areas.

Areas that before my accident, I thrived in-being out in the mountains, wellness, and being able to thrive while working hard physically.

I had held onto this dated movie reel in my head about who I was, what I did, what I looked like; discounting the four hard years of recovery and being sedentary while healing. (Including the amazing wilderness trek that I did before fully healed that actually set me back quite a bit healing wise-but forward in so many priceless ways…which is another story…)

I will be transparent. and honest. I’ll share that I longed to be how I was before in so many ways. I had to get over that too. Now, that was not my reality, and hanging onto what was did not help-it just kept me home wallowing.

I had thoughts of not wanting to go outside especially in tight bicycle shorts and see other people. A small thought; but I came face to face with it. Along with thoughts of not being good enough, and Loss. I knew these thoughts related to other areas of my life-how could it not? I was working at making new friends, rekindling old friendships, and reconnecting with family. Also, working at becoming part of community and all that I had not been a part of for about four years while everyone else’s life kept moving. (and so quickly, it seemed to me as my life was so slow!)

But I was doing it, step by step.

Especially dedicating time to reflect on limiting relationships and thoughts whether they are with others or with yourself. It’s my own thoughts and beliefs that kept me from making shifts not others’ thoughts.

But here I was, heading out-this small step. In my bicycle form-fitting lycra. Wearing the only cycling jersey that fits me comfortably or at all with long red braids flying out the back of my helmet.

I am still helping my brain catch up to the new thoughts and ways of being I am creating.

I have to help it as our brains are sneaky. It comes up with evidence and reasons to support whatever thoughts you are thinking….and often keeps up wrapped up in the same ways. Unless we break free and create new ways. Which is harder at times; but worth it to me.

Doing small things works. It builds confidence. We celebrate small steps. These support your gigantic leaps!

So, out I went. Christopher, my spouse came along to support me in getting back on my bike. I had a good ride though it was overly challenging, mountainous, and warm…counting my way to the top of each hill after hill until eventually, I was at the long descent back to the ranger station where I began.

I will create the time to ride my bike in some way from this month onward-even if it is 20 minutes. Where I live, it is very easy to get outside and to ride bicycles in mountains. It feels overly physically hard for me now. At some point, it will simply be something that I do as part of my life, coming full circle.

I want us to know that the small things we do in our lives and the small things we do for ourselves-can have huge impacts. They build confidence and offer small celebrations for us to create resolve to tackle bigger and deeper needs, shifts, and issues-so try it.

See what happens, I’d love to hear about it! We can take our small shifts and giant leaps together…

Next Steps:

Originally published at https://heatherleefarrell.com on June 17, 2020.

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