trust the process

I have been carrying some heavy stuff.

Literally, carrying it like a ton of horrendously heavy bricks, in my lower back.

I kept thinking that I was unusually calm about my move. Yeah, I was crying here and there when I’d say goodbye to friends or think too much about being far away from my family but, in general, I felt cool as a cucumber.  Until exactly one week before my flight when every single emotion I was feeling moved right into my lower back and made itself at home. Classic. The plane ride was somewhat brutal; if not for my adrenaline and some Tylenol PM, I’m sure I would have had to lie down in the aisle and cry.  I did come close to having a full cavity search at the Frankfurt airport because I forgot to take off my CVS one-use heating pad before I went through security. Needless to say, I arrived in India unable to get up from sitting down without limping and groaning.

I have been carrying Change. And all of the unknown that comes along with it.

My new friend Diane empathized and made me an appointment for an Ayurvedic massage.  It was time to begin making things right between my mind and my body and, as it turns out, there is an Ayurvedic center just a walk down the beach away from my house.

Never one to turn away from massage, I went for it.

And…I wore a loincloth.

No discreet removal of the clothes and tucking away under a blanket with a soft knock on the door to see if I’m ready.

Papadhi directed me to undress, tied a loincloth on me and escorted me to a wooden table. All without saying a word.

If I hadn’t been so scantily clad, I might have bolted from the room then and there but as I climbed up on that hard wooden table and Papadhi prayed over the oil she just heated and touched one drop to the center of my forehead, I knew I was right where I was meant to be.

I closed my eyes and let the treatment that millions before me have received, over thousands of years, unfold.

After the hot oil rub and pounding of my scalp that left me looking like Sai Baba, Papadhi vigorously massaged the oil into each of my limbs, into my belly, my back and neck and then led me to the corner of the room…

I sat down on a little stool inside a steaming box, Papadhi closed the hatch, leaving only my head sticking out and I promptly began to freak out. My calm, Ayurveda bliss disappeared.  My mind was whirling: how can I hold myself up like this? how long will I be in here? what if sweat drips into my eye? how long will I be in here? how long will I be…and then Papadhi left the room.

I was stuck. Alone. Naked. In a hot box.

what if I have to get out and I can’t get out? what if 10 guys come through that door? what if she never comes back?

I closed my eyes (solution to sweat not dripping in), I relaxed my shoulders (solution to holding my head up) and I took a deep breath (solution to everything else). And then another breath.

I breathed some more and reminded myself to trust the process.  (Millions of people, over thousands of years, wouldn’t think this was transformative if they were having anxiety attacks every time they had a treatment…)

When Papadhi let me out I almost fainted. I was buck naked except for my loincloth, with a giant afro, sweating like a beast and unable to see, but I felt just right.  Papadhi rubbed all of my stress to the surface and then gave me space to sweat out my fear of the unknown.

I walked home on the beach smiling, feeling lighter; waves crashing, wind blowing, kids playing cricket in the sand.


10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. liza sue
    Aug 07, 2013 @ 10:04:31

    I love you sister! I am glad you in touch with your needs, your body, and your spirit…remember-“the more you trust in love, the more fearless and free your actions will be.”


  2. Brooks Duvall
    Aug 07, 2013 @ 10:52:20

    Fantastic post Sue! The journey is just beginning, and what an awe inspiring trip this will be. We’re thrilled that you are there!!! Very much looking forward to following as will everyone. Big ups to you – As they say, it’s better to travel!


  3. Giovanny Blanco
    Aug 07, 2013 @ 12:11:22

    Keep moving. Keep growing. Keep sharing.


  4. Bruce Bellm
    Aug 07, 2013 @ 16:08:25

    Well, I am not quite dead yet and enjoying your writing. Your dad visited today and we had a good time as always. Two old guys growing old on our own terms and planning new adventures. In the meantime I will enjoy following yours. Thanks.



  5. Molly
    Aug 07, 2013 @ 21:13:56

    What a mental picture!,, I could feel your panic and relief! Looking forward being able to share in your adventures Susannah. You are so brave!


  6. Shellie Hexter
    Aug 08, 2013 @ 16:23:49

    Growth is always part humore, part terror, and part acting like everythings o.k. until it actually is o.k. Ca’t wait to hear more, darling girl! Love, Shellie


  7. Shellie Hexter
    Aug 08, 2013 @ 16:25:14

    Growth is always part humor, part terror, and part acting like everythings o.k. until it actually is o.k. Can’t wait to hear more, darling girl! Love, Shellie


  8. Leslie Pendleton
    Aug 09, 2013 @ 12:07:55

    As Will gets settled in Cuba, and we settle Lydia’s Argentine brother into college in Maine, and pack Lydia up for school in NY I am right there with you in that box. It is all so exiting if we only let ourselves sweat and breathe. Love reading about your adventures.


  9. Kelly B
    Aug 22, 2013 @ 20:06:38

    This is great – not just for your amazing experience of renewal, but for the thought of you in a loincloth. So powerful, yet so hilarious.


  10. Teri Allen
    Sep 02, 2013 @ 18:46:31

    Wow, It seems like you have discovered a deep secret. Keep breathing! I am so happy I found where you are writing! Know you are kept in heart. Teri Allen


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