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The Zen of Hope

The word, “Zen” is another three-letter word that can help with your progress of dealing with FAI.  The word, Zen, today infers the idea of focusing on the moment.  At one of my yoga classes before my first hip surgery, I had so much angst, worry and anxiety and something that my instructor said to the class really stuck with me.  The class was in the final stage of relaxation called Shavasana.  This is the part of class that many enjoy most because of the encouragement to focus on one breath at a time.  If you are really good at this, then all of the outside worries can disappear for the moment.  You usually leave class feeling like you just woke up from a long Saturday afternoon nap with no worries in the world.

It was during one of these times when my yoga instructor said, “If you have a thought, don't chase it, let it go.”  For me, it was not the idea of having any thought, but rather of having a negative thought that could impede my healing.  Focusing on the “what ifs” is not helpful and does not fit in with the idea of positivity. 

Certainly, the “what ifs” for me were many. What if it is worse then the doctor expects?  What if I have complications?  What if it does not work?  What if it works and I screw it up with my desire to be active? What if my family gets tired of waiting on me hand and foot?  What if it takes longer to recover than I expect?  What if it is harder than I expect? 

The “what if” that I had not considered was, ‘Wow! That was hard, but I did it.”

Those “what if” questions were not helpful as they caused me to want to micromanage the entire process.  At some point, I realized that, if I am trusting my hip health while under general anesthesia to my surgeon and a team of medical professionals that I trusted, then I needed to get rid of the “what ifs” and just focus on letting them be my guide.

I was able to come to this “zen” moment when I could look at this journey as one very long cross-country trip, but with side trips that made up the bigger trip.  I was able to see the trees through the forest.  I had that “ah ha” moment.

You may be going through this trip and are struggling for whatever reason.  Maybe it’s harder than you expected, maybe you have had some type of complication or maybe you just realized that you have 3 matching scope scars on each hip and you will never be a swimsuit model at 52. Try to find that Zen moment. Maybe your moment is that cup of coffee by the fireplace, maybe it’s a piece of chocolate or maybe it’s a snuggle with your toddler.  Focus on those moments and don’t chase the “what ifs”.   

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