Although several of my postings in the past few months—or more—have alluded to or directly addressed the decline of my arthritic hips, I have not wanted to focus solely on the situation. Now, however, extreme physical pain and the need to bolster my mental outlook and emotional fatigue dominate every move and thought of every day. Ironically, I have decided that the way to make it through the next month—or more—until surgery is to write one very short entry about this each day. I regard such a practice as akin to a 40-day kundalini kriya or mantra: With the commitment to the act comes a paradoxical release from the motive behind it. Thus, it is my hope that by succinctly, frankly expressing whatever arises within, I will move through this trial with new wisdom and resilience.

I am, however, reminded of a core tenet of writing a blog: No more than 15-20 percent of any post should be about the writer. With Everything Elsa, that has never been an issue: The site is intended to be a means to share tips, techniques, and full practices for physical and spiritual care; thus, the “me-ness” of any entry typically only serves as an introductory example of how that post’s practice originated or how it may be used to help in specific circumstances. 

And yet, this temporary venture into a decidedly self-centric mode does not necessarily exclude its connection to the general human experience. I think of TV shows, or movies, or books, or radio discussions wherein someone relays a personal challenge or tragedy or epiphany: In hearing or reading their words, I may recognize a correlation to my own experiences. A spark flickers, and I shine that burgeoning light upon whatever personal task I may be wrangling with. 

Such is my hope and intention during the upcoming weeks leading to surgery: As I record the emotional and physical fluctuations of this bewildering time, perhaps you will dedicate yourself equally to your own current challenge. Maybe my one word, thought, or self-care technique on any given day will be the switch you need to delve into or reframe a troubling thought; or, the way in which I tackle—or succumb—to physical strain may reignite your own resilience.. or give you permission to surrender in that moment. 

So, in a sense, this is an experiment—one that is designed to reveal, yet also to reach out, resonate, and elevate. In committing to this likely uncomfortable daily practice, I aim to demonstrate the power of sharing fear, frustration, pain, and the blessings strewn throughout it all. With the expression of these states comes the moving-beyond; with the commitment to self comes the ability to connect with others. In the name of that discipline, it begins…

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