Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Standing On My Tippy Toes ~ Divine Confidence... Toe Lessons, Day Two.

Once upon a time I could...

Dear Ones...

Toes have dreams too...

When I was young I took 15 years of ballet. I was a dance minor in college. If you read the last entry you will know that my feet are now so damaged that I will now see toe shoes only in my dreams.

It's not that I was destined to be a ballerina. I wasn't that good. I got by and I just continued because I loved it. I love that I had the determination even when I knew that I didn't really have the talent. When I was in college I minored in dance just to keep up. Tap, modern, jazz, and yes, ballet. I had one of those little jewelry boxes that when you opened the top a little ballerina popped up and danced to the music. I think fondly of that little ballerina box and wonder whatever happened to it. Another one of those things lost in childhood, like my dancing, and my perfect toes. But...

The thing that we learn, in life, is that the past was full of many things, as the future will be, and even my feet as they went through their lumps and bumps and surgeries have been great teachers. I can no longer wear toe shoes and the world didn't lose a great dancer but I remember being on point and my toes are on point about a lot of things now. I forget, they remind me.

I think the thing I miss most is yoga and I hope to be able to do it again some day. I was taking yoga regularly until I broke both feet, shattered them as the doctor said. The thing is, though they healed, albeit lopsided and cattywompus, I still could have done yoga, maybe a little wobbly but it would have been doable, but my wonderful yoga teacher worked very hard with me and it just wasn't possible. You see my left big toe will not bend at all. It is rather alarming and strangely fascinating to look at the x-rays. The bone broke so badly that the bones in my big toe look like a cross. It was excruciating for a long time and now it just won't bend. If you know yoga you know that your toes just have to bend. Any posture where you have to go up on your toes, bend your toes, or get in any position wherein you have to get up without crawling across the floor to grab something to pull yourself up, disrupting the class nevermind being incredibly embarrassed, its just not doable. I once took a yoga class with a man who had lost both legs to the knees. He had to sit in a chair for some of the postures, but by gosh he could get through the class just fine.

For awhile I could only think of how much I lost when I lost my "normal" feet. And I gained a lot of weight. I couldn't walk almost at all for the better part of two years, can no longer walk for exercise because if I go a little too far and my feet start hurting badly I can't get back. This too is frustrating. But someone gave me a treadmill and I'm starting to use it. When my feet hurt I can get off of it and walk out of my studio into my cozy room and put my feet up and tuck in with the pugs. I'm very excited about this prospect.

Here's the thing... one day I just got a grip and started thinking of all the things I could do that weren't toe related, and it was an amazingly long list. And my toes were proud of me and cheered me on. They told me that I still had pretty feet and that I could tuck flowers between them and they would take me where I needed to go. And I have gone many places, and I will go many more, and I have ten happy toes cheering me on. My toes have given me Divine Confidence even if they can't get in toe shoes anymore.


Flowery toes are very cheerful.
Even toes that can't bend can hold
flowers. I'm not sure toe shoes could
top that. Maybe some day I can do 

yoga with flowers between my toes...

The thing is, we all have dreams, not just toes. And it is easy to hold onto early dreams, or dreams before an accident of some sort that change everything we thought we knew, everything we thought was possible, everything we planned to do, but maybe, just maybe, losing one thing makes way for another. Maybe we had a bright shining thing in our lives for awhile to love and be passionate about and celebrate and be proud of. But we are none the less for shifting our focus and dreaming new dreams. This is why mindfulness is one of the most important things in my life.

 Ram Dass said "Be Here Now." And really, where else can we be? And now is full of so many rich and wonderful things. My feet carry me out into the garden to plant my heirloom roses, and through the house to do my work, and I can pick flowers and pick up pugs and cook and hug and kiss and laugh and love and dream thousands of new dreams with my funny toes. And I love them. I love them dearly. How could I not?

Right now my toes are going to take the rest of me to meditate. I make beautiful places to meditate, with flowers and candles and incense and fragrant oils, and when I meditate I am completely at peace. You can do some of the most sublime things in life with funny toes, meditation is only one of them.

Love your toes, love your life, love yourself, just as you are. You are a divine human being. You have many gifts. Don't get so stuck on one or two and think you have nothing else to offer. You have the sun, the moon, and the stars. And you will get everything you need, and go everywhere you want to go. Believe it. I do. It's true.

You can have sassy toes even if your toes don't bend....


Colleen from Tix-Comix said...

My friend just told me of a young girl who had hips so damaged by the turnout in ballet that later on every time she got pregnant she would miscarry because something about her hips had been deformed by the ballet so the babies wouldn't stay in??? It sounds a little strange to me, what do you think?

There is sitting yoga you can do even with busted feet. I hope they get better soon!

Zeta Thompson said...

Great post. I too had to give up hopes of dancing professionally after I hurt my back. I did not fit the 'mold' exactly for a corps dancer and I was not good enough to be a Prima. However I love dance still and sometimes I still try, belly dancing is fun as are other forms. But there are days when i can barely straighten and now my feet give me trouble as well. I am happy though that I can still walk and stand and while I will never be a professional dancer, I can still move and enjoy the rhythms in life.

@Colleen Very odd. I have heard of issues from girls being put up on pointe too early, never that from ballet though. But my first teacher was very careful with young students. She did not push us too far. She knew the odds of most of the class going on to a professional life in ballet were low and wanted to be sure we were not harmed physically.

Fiducia said...

oh yoga...I know how you feel not being able to do it..Never knew pressure on toes during ballet can do anything harmful! I hope you get to pamper your toes well and get back to what you dreamed of doing the fact, what your toes desired to do in ballet! All the best..

Morgan Dragonwillow said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I found it to be inspiring. My feet are thankfully quite healthy but I did have much self consciousness about them when I was younger. My feet grew quite fast and I remember having size eight in the sixth grade and size eleven by the ninth grade. They were called gun boats, fingers for toes, and all kinds of other ridiculous things.

I have grown to love my feet. I pamper them when I can. I love the flowers in the toes, it is a wonderful idea and I just have to add it to my pampering.

Sending you much love and blessings.

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