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Between A Rock And A Hard Place

Updated: Oct 21, 2019


I'm sure that you’ve all heard the phrase, “you are between a rock and hard place.” Most people take it to mean there are two paths or two options and neither one of them is soft nor easy. In fact, the options can be jagged, sharp, hard and dusty. Both options could provide a path that is cramped and narrow. Uphill. Treacherous.


I certainly have felt the cramped feeling of having two rocks on either side of me and I know most of you hippies have felt it too! One rock could be “continued pain” and the other rock could be “unknown outcome.” A third rock, if you are so lucky (not), could even be “long recovery”. These rocks are rolling down the hill towards our hips and it is incredibly frustrating. With all of our might, we strong arm those rocks away, until a decision has to be made. But sometimes those rocks keep building momentum and we lose our ability to stay calm, cool and collected.


For me most times, the challenge is sitting quietly between those rocks and just being. Having the mental fortitude to keep pushing those rocks away has been the struggle. Sometimes, there are even rocks of pain thrown in for good measure. My light bulb flashed as I literally sat between two rocks with a calm breath last weekend.


I realized that I have tools that have helped me. One tool that I use routinely is breathing. Okay, Hopeful Hippy, really? Don’t you always have to breathe? Well, yes, of course! But the role of soothing breath work can calm the frazzled nerves and help you refocus your anxious mind and, through this, can help in your recovery. I breathe every day. In fact, I wake up, promptly put a lavender scented eye pillow on and do my breathing to get ready for my day! Sometimes, I can be literally between a rock and a hard place and I can most times find that breathe to just “be”.


Another tool is finding your community – your support group. I felt honored to have received an email yesterday from a patient who was struggling between the rocks of “anxiety” and “post op recovery”. One of those tools that you can use to help clear your path and give you some room between the rocks is reaching out for support! Find the positivity out there. There are many patient successes out there and they are splattered all over the virtual pages of this blog! The messages from patients is that there is hope – it is not all doom and gloom.


For me, writing also helps me feel more comfortable sitting between that rock and a hard place even when my hips are cranky. Find your creative outlet wherever you are on this journey. It can be art, music, journaling – whatever it is, embrace it! Own it! It can be help you find your slice of calm.


Other things that can help soften those rocks is good nutrition. I’m currently on the 5th day of a 7-day Ayurverdic cleanse guided by an Ayurvedic practitioner, Melissa Singh. I knew nothing about it prior to a few weeks ago, but essentially it is the concept of using food as medicine. I feel good! My hips are still talking to me, but the nutrition is giving me the strength to talk back. I still have those rocks on either side of me, but eating healthy is helping me find that comfort sitting between them.


So, I guess, my message to you is find those things that can give you strength. Strength to make the hard decisions. Strength to honor your body. Strength to have continued hope. And strength to find your voice while sitting between the rocks!


https://www.uclahealth.org/marc/mindful-meditations

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