During yesterday's massage treatment at Sollievo Massage and Bodywork, I let out a huge sigh. My therapist asked me if I was doing okay. I replied, "I know I can't force anything. That's counterproductive." I could hear his smile as I shared this. I went on to say that I just want to feel peace in my body but I know there are still layers of violence that need healing. "Yes," he replied as he continued the work, and he went on to say, "It's a marathon Mary. Be patient. Give yourself time." I could hear and feel the compassion in his voice as he used the analogy I used as I shared my reframing of managing energy to that of training for the marathon of my life.
At the end of the session I said, "Maybe all we get is moments of peace." He suggested that the moments of peace get strung together into what seem like longer and longer moments of peace.
I am deeply grateful for the healing that has happened in my life. I am blessed that I have finally found my way to a mind/body therapist that works with me to support my strength training and running and with whom I can finally heal the pain from my past. I feel more optimistic about my healing journey than ever before. And how amazing that I am building strength, confidence and jumping for joy at the Aquatics Therapy program at Spaulding Rehab.
But it does take patience!
And what is patience?
Just like in running a marathon, you don't look at the miles left to run, you look at the miles you have already run, I took an inventory during this morning's meditation noting where healing has already happened. The chronic pain in my IT band and right knee, along with the sense of heaviness in my right leg is resolved. With proper pacing, I have more endurance and have worked out a schedule to get household chores done with help in the relay from my husband. I have more energy flowing through me and have an overall sense of vibrancy and appreciation for my life. I feel contentment regardless of what may or may not be happening in my life. The brain fog of trauma and post polio is gone. I experience clarity, am more in touch with my Spirit and my power and strength and a sense of peace and acceptance in my heart. I know where my body still needs healing and it's okay. I create the optimal healing environment for myself.
When talking about patience, the words equanimity and stillness come to my mind. Nothing can be forced or agitated through impatience:
There was a moment last week at Walden Pond when I bent down to tie my shoe. I moved in a new way and felt as though nothing had ever happened to me. I felt free and natural in my body. I asked my husband out loud, "Do you think it's possible that I can live and be and move in ways that I am healed and feel as though nothing ever happened to me?"
Well of course it's possible. I experienced it in that moment. Just as there are moments of peace in my body to string together, there are moments of feeling free and unencumbered by my past in my body. Experiencing those moments is winning the Olympic Gold in the marathon of my life. I am patient as I continue to heal step by step, mile by mile knowing that the finish line has come into view.
"Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility" is now available on Amazon.
"Wait, I have one more goal," Mary McManus told her personal trainer in February of 2008 shortly after coming out of her toe up leg brace. "I want to run the Boston Marathon for Spaulding Rehab Hospital." Mary traded in her polio shoes for running shoes and embarked on the journey of a lifetime. Mary McManus was at the height of her career as a VA social worker when she was told by her team at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital’s International Rehab Center for Polio in December of 2006 that she needed to quit her job if she had any hope of preventing the progression of post polio syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease. In “Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility” Mary takes you on her seven year healing odyssey as a survivor of paralytic polio and trauma from her diagnosis, to taking a leap of faith to leave her award winning career at the VA to heal her life and follow her passion as a poet and writer. You’ll experience her trials, tribulations and triumphs as she trains for and crosses the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon and discovers the opportunity for healing in the wake of new trauma: the suicide of her nephew in 2011, and the aftermath of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. This is Mary's journey of coming home to her human form free from the influences of the ghastly ghostly invaders who had invaded her sacred earthly home. Her memoir includes journals and blog posts from her seven year healing odyssey. This is her journey of transformation and her message of healing, hope and possibility.
I donate 50% of royalty payments through on line sales to The One Fund to help Boston Marathon survivors and their families. Copies are also available at Brookline Marathon Sports. $5 of each book sold at Marathon Sports is donated to The One Fund.