Surrendering to Stillness

Mom is really upset with me the first few days after the accident, and I feel terribly guilty to be dependent on her for my every need, especially after all this time with my bum foot. Although I’m not excited to be bedridden in her tiny apartment, I know that full acceptance is my best refuge and will expedite my healing. I’m going to be okay, so I must embrace this and think positively. I must accept with trust if I am to understand why this has come into my reality.

I lie flat in my neck brace, staring at the ceiling, studying the plaster. I’m not going anywhere. Not returning emails, writing blog posts, completing shopping lists, or meeting anyone. I can’t even watch a movie, unless it’s projected on the ceiling. For the first time in, well, as long as I can remember, I just have to lie here and be.

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In surrender, my mind feels more at ease; immobility has never been comfortable for me. On the upside: My foot will have more time to heal, and I don’t have to go back and face Rainui or the boatyard yet. In the downtime I research bone healing, holding my smartphone up over my face. I learn about the benefits of nettle tea and that, contrary to common belief, dark leafy greens do more than milk and dairy products to build bone. Nothing in my horizontal Internet research points to needing meat, so I stay with the decision I’d made after meeting the black boar in the forest, to cut out all meat and dairy products and eat a plant-based diet (aside from the occasional fish).

While I’m healing, I cut out all caffeine, refined sugar, alcohol, and processed foods, too. Mom is slightly shocked by my new diet for “the girl that lived on cheese and ice cream” but she graciously accommodates my picky requests while I devour audioblogs. At my three-week checkup, my doctor is impressed by the rate of my healing and loosens my leash a little.

Shortly after, my favorite high school English teacher comes to visit, and she calls again a week later. Would I like to house-sit her friend’s mansion in the pine trees for the next two months? Hell yes! Ironically, the beautiful home overlooks the beach where the accident occurred. Mom helps me get settled in and plans to stop by often, knowing it’s a great healing environment, with its big windows, ocean views, back patio, and even a sauna. I can walk around for short periods, but otherwise must stay on my back, wear my neck brace, and relax.

Friends come to visit, and one gives me a pair of prism glasses that make it possible for me to lie flat but see horizontally. I can now read blogs and watch movies.

I devour a stack of suggested blogs. Each one offers important messages, links spiritual ideas, and provides insight into how to push past the blocks that keep me from becoming the person I want to be. My neck break doesn’t seem like an accident anymore. When I made that list way back on the passage to Kiribati, I never expected to be here, but ask and you shall receive: Conversations with God, Power vs. Force, Mutant Message Down Under, Autobiography of a Yogi, Journey of Souls, The Sculptor in the Sky, and the Tao Te Ching all provide new tools, perspectives, and wisdom.

When I’m tired of reading, I throw on one documentary after another, and learn volumes about animal husbandry in America the horrifyingly inhumane living conditions and undignified slaughter the animals are subjected to, the appalling life of slavery of a modern dairy cow, the incredibly costly environmental effects of animal agriculture. I’m shocked to learn that raising animals for meat and dairy is a significant source of the greenhouse gases that are causing climate change. And that clearing land for pasture is directly linked to deforestation, habitat loss, and a large majority of land-based species extinction. Or that it takes hundreds of gallons of water to produce the meat in a single hamburger!

I don’t understand why these issues aren’t better known, until I think about all the money involved. It becomes clearer why plant-based diets aren’t being promoted as solutions to heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis, cancer prevention, digestive issues, and more despite plenty of research clearly pointing to their effectiveness. I watch stories of people winning triathalons, weight-lifting competitions, and a variety of endurance sports all on a diet of strictly plants this myth we’ve been sold about needing meat for protein just isn’t true.

As I gain more mobility, I spend more time outside. I drink tea with my feet in the dirt, or lie on my yoga mat and meditate under the sky. It’s a miracle I get to heal and expand my mind in such a peaceful, therapeutic setting.

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