Taiji day 292: merry Christmas

Sometime between presents and champagne at ten, and eggs Benedict at noon, I did five golden coins. Sometime between the eggs Benedict (who knew hollandaise was so easy to make?) and the Hobbit: an unexpected journey, I did eight pieces of silk, and the form.

But finding time to sit and write on Christmas? Not happening. Never to close to that moment at all. So this entry is backdated, of course, to fill in the blank and note the failure.

One interesting bit of work cycled back to me, though. Years ago now, I taught my dad a Western Mystery Tradition exercise that I learned from John Michael Greer — that of lying on the floor and gradually tensing and releasing muscles in a controlled way in order to relieve tension and break down the body’s essential rigidity. Both mom and dad have noted the stiffness in my left hip and leg, and both have made suggestions about relieving it. But dad’s tactic was to teach Greer’s exercise back to me, all these years later. Here I am lying on he floor, learning a magical exercise from my dad that I taught to him to help with his bad back. Sometimes we have to circle back to the basics.

The relaxation exercise has revealed that something is out of alignment in my lower back. That misalignment is translating up to my neck, and out to my hips and down into my left leg, and even into my shoulder blades as the rest of my musculature tries to accommodate the misalignment. And here is why systems thinking is so important. Without coming back to this basic exercise periodically, perhaps daily, one has no idea if one is hurting because of localized pain or systemic pain. It’s now clear that I’m feeling localized but low-grade pain, but it’s the result of systemic misalignment. I have an appointment Thursday with Mom’s chiropractor

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