Fall has fallen onto Colorado. It's increasingly become one of my favorite seasons as I've continued to live out life on Earth during this changing time. That being said, It definitely does not mean that the season does not pose its own challenges as each season does. Quite the contrary occurs in fact. For the past six years of my life I've spent my time either changing and evolving as a musician and songwriter, but also doing the same as a massage therapist. How I came into both vocations is a subject for another article, but for this occasion I'd like to speak about my journey with the lower back. For whatever reason, I've always had a tight lower back. From an early age it's been something that has been part of my life. It's followed me in my sports career early on in high school as I navigated different endurance sports. It's followed me to Japan when I went to live there to teach English and it is with me now. It's a teacher, although I haven't always regarded it as such. In the past it was an ailment, a weakness. Slowly however, I'm learning to see the blessing that this "ailment" has provided me with. Autumn just happens to be the time when my lower back reminds me that it's still there and what it has done for me.
As summer leaves my home valley, the Earth dries up as it prepares to head into winter. The new abundance of veggies in the grocery store now grow hard, but reveal soft insides when baked. Warm soups become a new norm and pumpkin is on everybody's mind as Halloween peaks its head just around the bend. Perhaps many are having weird sleep cycles during this time as well. It's the period when scary movies populate evening programing and we often do indulge. This year in particular everything seems to coincide with Mercury in retrograde as well. Is it a coincidence the planet will go direct on election day for the USA? Yet, I digress. What does the lower back have to do with any of this?
I'm in the spa and a well respected therapist is helping me with my back. It's the tail end of 2019 or really just about a year ago and about the same time as when I'm writing this for you now. He uses Chinese acupressure to pinpoint certain points and my pain is somewhat lessened. I'm continually in astonishment with the tools that different modalities can provide. He goes on to explain to me how lower back pain is often connected with "unfulfilled desires". This has been true for me up to this point. Yet, let's unpack the meaning of this realization.
Diving deeper and in contemplation I later stumble upon the inner dialogue surrounding the above conclusion or the beginnings of it anyway. I do believe I am just hitting the tip of the iceberg and so I will continue to contemplate this. Desires are only unfulfilled if you deem that they must be accomplished in the first place. The lower root chakras deal with foundation, stability or in layman's terms your own ability to "feel okay within yourself" in that moment. When we're all on a couch watching a scary movie we want everything to turn out "okay" for the characters. Comparatively, when each of us are navigating life, our own inner-self wants to know that we're on the right path and making the correct choices. Frequently in this world we have gritted teeth and self judgement as we stay just out of reach of the illusory ghost that haunts us. We imagine the scenarios that could play out in the future. What will happen when we step through the next door? Are we at the place where we want to be? Will we be ready? Squirrels frantically gather nuts for winter ahead. The storm of winter is quickly approaching!
If you have a tight lower back then watch a scary movie. From experience I think you will find your back actually feels somewhat better afterward. Perhaps a better alternative is to fall backward against a wall. By doing this you're tricking your body to be in fear, but then it turns out okay as the wall catches your fall. Stubbornness often associates itself with tightness in the lower back and hips. Where are you not allowing yourself to flow? Are you being too hard on your life? It's a reminder to respect your journey. Be gentle. You've navigated 100% of your toughest days successfully. I too am contemplating the psychosomatic trail of how pain is connected to our own stories. This month I encourage you to do the same.