I was recently diagnosed with floppy baby syndrome. I wish I could claim authorship of that flattering moniker, but it’s a real thing. Most people are, you know, babies when they get the news, but the universe didn’t present this information to me until the ripe age of 28. I imagine wind sprites whispering, “should we tell her yet?” “Nah, let’s wait until she’s lost all hope anyway.” Also, I stepped in dog shit this morning.
The clinical term for what I have is hypotonia, which means that my muscles are lazy AF. Turns out your tissues can have depression, too. In a normal (as in not floppy) person, a muscle’s natural response to an end range stretch is contraction. Not me, my body just melts into the contortion like you’ve drawn me a hot bubble bath. This is good for flexibility, not so good for stability. So, without this information, I spent my whole life exploiting my fluid alien body instead of strengthening it, which is what I desperately needed. And now the cartilage under my knees is wearing away and flexing my knees beyond 90 feels like evil microbes are chiseling away at my bones like sadistic sculptors. Did I mention that I’m a yoga teacher? And not an octogenarian?
When I got this news, I had just returned from a seasonal bartending gig that I only took so I could afford to dive into teaching yoga full time. Best laid plans, eh? Instead of being a mouse, I decided to be a woman. Well, not at first. At first I mistook my mouth as a nacho vacuum and cried like I was trying to fill a glass of water (you know, to wash the nachos down). Can you blame me? I had just spent thousands of dollars on training for a practice that I not only couldn’t do physically, but that is inherently bad for my body type. Not to mention the fact that I had wrapped up my whole identity in yoga.
So, after I cleaned up the take out boxes and adjusted to my new granny-like range of pain-free motion, I outlined a new plan. First I did some reframing. I thanked my body for highlighting imbalances in a glittering, honking neon marker. At least now I knew the exact type of movement I needed – and when the threat of crying in the grocery store as you try to grab something on the bottom shelf is looming, you get your ass to the gym. And since the only way to reduce pain when your knee caps turn into sandpaper is to beef up your thighs, I was handed a lifelong impetus to get to the gym, which is good for my mind. Winning.
The next shift I needed was in regard to my identity and purpose. Woof.
I bought a slew of glass and other art tools and supplies and began making things again. I’ve been an artist my whole life and have NEVER been confident enough to say that. It’s time to embrace the things I love.
I acknowledged the immense support I’ve gotten from using essential oils, and after witnessing my mom’s radical health transformation after I introduced her to a blend called panaway, I decided it was time to share what I’d learned with a wider audience. That’s when I started my other site, Embodied Oiler, where you can find a free introductory oil course.
Finally, I thought about how I’d turned the consumption of self help into an artform. I’d read book after book about nutrition, movement and mindset and I’d actually applied what I’d learned. I’d stopped taking antidepressants and healed myself naturally. I realized quite suddenly that I had value to add to the world. That’s pretty much how I birthed this blog baby.
And you know what? The warm oozy squish i felt when I stepped in that shit was perversely satisfying.
What can you reframe?
*The photo is of a glass mosaic I made with the same word that is tattooed on the back of my neck. “Timshel” is from the book East of Eden by John Steinbeck and roughly translates to “thou mayest.”