This is rather embarrassing, but two weeks ago, I hurt myself badly. While working out at home before work, I slipped and fell. I was following a workout video that promotes a full exercise routine using nothing but a floor and a wall. Then he switched it up and asked to wrap a towel around a doorknob and do some rows for the back muscles.
My towel slipped and I shot backward across the room like a watermelon seed smashed between two wet fingers. I’ve studied Judo, and I’ve taught ukeme (break fall – the art of falling without crashing), and it has even saved my life before during another disaster. For the life of me I’ll never know why I reached for the fall. Perhaps it was due to my propulsion across the room toward heavy furniture that prompted me to slow my descent. But reach back I did. I flew ass over appetite. Bang, boom, oww. I fell like a stack of library books.
I jammed my right shoulder. At first, it was just pain. But then I couldn’t raise my hand away from my leg. I work at a medical school, and “I just happened to bump into” (translates to I sought him out) the man in charge of the Physical Therapy School. He examined me and asked me to perform a few movement tests, both of which I failed remarkably. My arm was not moving. His assessment included words like “torn” and “substantial injury.” I promptly informed him I was not fond of his tone or his words, jokingly of course. He referred me to an orthopedic surgeon.
I didn’t go because the trauma was still fresh. I am sure I would been told to wait a week before any scans could be done and then doped up on muscle relaxers and anti-inflammatories. Not me.
Within a week, the trauma was reduced, and I could move my arm a little. I then realized at work one night that my right shoulder was in a different place than my left. If I moved my shoulder around, I could move it over my head (with difficulty). That’s when I determined it was jammed or dislocated. Monday, I called my chiropractor, who got me in that day.
He examined me and agreed the shoulder was indeed out of joint. Three pops and a few tugs later, and the arm could move more freely. He also corrected what the impact did to my upper back and neck.
Since Monday I have been involved in my own rehab. Stretching, strengthening, applying herbs and rubs. Massaging the shoulder the best I can with the other arm.
I’m certain the tendon is partially torn, but there’s not a lot I can do about it. I can move it, so it just needs to heal. When I move my arm, it sounds like a steam locomotive; clickity clack clickity clack. It will be a long road to full recovery, but that’s what challenges are supposed to do, make you dig deep and become stronger in the process.
Now that I’ve got that out of the way, what are we going to talk about? Well, my dear readers, I have such a topic, and this injury story is just the opener.
My shoulder, being knocked out of joint, is trying to heal. I’ll have the chiropractor put it back in place a few more times. I’ll keep working it and stretching it, and it will learn to stay in its original configuration.
See, the joint got smashed up, dislocated, and jammed. Putting it back is going to be difficult because it now wants to stay where it is, even if it prevents normal movements, such as reaching for a doorknob. I’ll have to spend an inordinate amount of time training the shoulder to operate optimally.
People complain that chiropractors only want them to come in several times per week just so they can take their money.
This is not true.
When a bone is out of location (subluxation) a chiropractor can manipulate it back into its original configuration. The problem is that the body adapts very quickly. In the spine, muscles on one side of the subluxation tend to be stretched, while those on the other side tend to be shortened. A chiropractor can move the bone, but the muscles will want to return to their injured (but incorrect) position. The chiropractor must then perform multiple adjustments to train the body to accept the original (correct) alignment again. My shoulder is no different. I must now keep the shoulder in place, train it to stay that way, and strengthen the muscles to do the work properly.
Alignment, position, configuration.
Let’s compare this to our lives.
If we believe that our lives are shit and the world is out to get us and God hates us, we live in a position of sadness, in a configuration of anger, an alignment of fear.
Our lives have adjusted to this alignment. If we try to seek happiness, our attitude will go back to its original configuration. We might find one little thing to “make” us happy. Once that condition has passed, like all events tend to do, we slide right back into a position of fear, anger, sadness.
The problem is, we seek the “feeling” of happiness. We search for outside conditions to change our feelings. Unfortunately, feeling happiness is like smelling dinner. The aroma is not the food. Seeking the odor leaves us starving.
Happiness is a condition. Happiness is an attitude. Happiness is an alignment that no outside event can jam for very long.
People tend to think that happiness is the absence of anger or sadness. This is untrue. One can be angry, justifiably, but not let that anger disrupt their alignment with happiness. Not that I quote the Bible a lot, but Jesus was occasionally angry. Jesus was impatient with his apostles. Jesus was heartbroken and he grieved. The shortest verse in the Bible is “Jesus wept.” He felt real emotions, and felt them deeply. But he was still aligned with happiness. Even the Dalai Lama is quoted as saying “Sure I get angry, yes, I am saddened. I just don’t live there.” One can be aligned with happiness, yet feel negative emotions briefly, then return to happiness.
Like a jammed shoulder or a subluxated vertebra, if our original alignment is happiness, a small bump will not throw our balance off for very long. We will naturally seek to realign ourselves with our original settings.
Happiness is not a feeling. Happiness is a condition. Happiness is the product of gratitude and joy. Did you wake up today? Be grateful. Do you have a job? Be grateful. Is the sun in the sky? Be joyous that nature keeps going on undeterred by your temporary feelings.
Happiness is a state. Feelings can come and go. They should. That’s how they are supposed to work. Happiness is a state of being, an attitude, a condition, an alignment.
Some people face the issue of being aligned with sadness and anger (or some other negative emotion or feeling) so long that they can’t realign with happiness very quickly or easily. They try to be happy about something but then go right back to being angry. They must seek the feeling of happiness constantly to try to hold on to that position. But they slip right back to anger or sadness. But again, they are only chasing feelings, not states of being. Like a vertebra, they must be adjusted toward happiness regularly to achieve a the alignment with happiness.
Others wait until “everything is in place” to begin to “feel” happy. This is like waiting until the time is right to begin eating right and exercising. The time is now, not next Monday, or the Monday after that.
If you keep waiting until the “conditions are right” to be happy, you’ll never be happy.
Some people desire others to “make” them happy. They desire, even demand that people entertain them or dote on them, or serve them, so they can “feel” happiness. But it never lasts, and they lose everyone around them who has become exhausted of being their happiness slave.
Just be happy. Express gratitude toward one thing right now. Not tomorrow. Be grateful for something. This moment.
If anyone has ever seen “The Secret” movie, the Law of Attraction states that what you express right now comes back to you later.
If you tell yourself “I screw up everything I touch” or “No one loves me” or “I hate working here” these things will continue in your life. However, if you continuously feel “I am the best at this” “I am incredible” “This job is teaching me valuable lessons” “I am happy” the universe will bounce those things back to you.
I had a teacher in massage school who became weary of me. During clinicals, I would give my best to people. They would always feel improved and leave glorious reviews. After I submitted my review to the teacher, I would say, “I’m the best there is.” I nearly always got “that Look.” Sure, I know I’m not the best there is. But if I say it, believe it, and live it, my confidence will increase, and my performance will improve. And it did. It still does.
Think about things you hate, and the universe delivers more things to hate. Think about things you are grateful for, and the universe will give you more things for which you feel grateful. Then happiness becomes your condition. You are aligned with happiness because you reside in gratitude and joy. Sure, you can be angry. Yes, you can grieve. Of course, you can be sad or disappointed. But you won’t live there.
Instead of your configuration being anger and trying to find feelings of happiness, your configuration is happiness (due to gratitude and joy), and anger cannot put you out of joint for very long.
It may take a while to rehab my shoulder. I may have to adjust how I do things while the tendon heals. But my regular configuration is a normal working shoulder in the correct place to operate efficiently. Likewise, my configuration is happiness due to gratitude. I am not upset about my shoulder. I return to gratitude. I am grateful my shoulder isn’t torn completely in multiple places. I am grateful I’m not recovering from surgery, off work without pay. I am grateful that this injury isn’t as bad as it could have been. Yet, if it had been that bad, I would deal with it. I would do what is necessary and move on. I would heal, rehab, and improve just like I am doing now, it just may have taken longer.
Ultimately, I am aligned with joy and gratitude, and therefore I exude happiness.
Love to all.
This coming Saturday, Tai Chi is canceled. Not because of my shoulder (I’ve taught two classes without raising my arm) but because of work. I must go out of town. I have no choice in the matter. I’m sorry for this inconvenience. Yet, I will not be sorry for long. This is a condition that is short lived, because I am aligned with gratitude. Get it? See you in class the following Saturday.
Joe “Weeg” Weigant is a Holistic Health Practitioner, Metaphysician, and Empowerment Coach. He combines bodywork, energy work, and coaching to relieve anxiety and depression and balance the nervous system. Weeg coaches his clients to drop the white flag of victimhood and pick up the banner of empowerment, inspiring them to stop riding in life’s trunk and take the wheel of their lives.
Weeg sells herbal products by Nature’s Sunshine, Pure Herbs Ltd. and Juice Plus. He teaches Karate and Tai Chi, Reiki Certification, as well as seminars and workshops in metaphysical and spiritual matters. Weeg is available for sessions at Tri State Holistic Wellness by appointment only.
Contact by text 812.568.5356, or Facebook Messenger to set an appointment.