a thorn in the foot

rose thorns by Xosema
rose thorns by Xosema

I went to the hill and I got it.
I sat on a knoll and I sought it.
And if I would get it I would leave it.
Since I did not get it, I took it with me.
~ Scots Gaelic Riddle
(The Celtic Spirit)

As I sat down very gingerly on the chair for my breakfast this morning, I opened my Caitlín Matthews book of daily meditations for the turning of the year. As I started to read I began to smile over the synchronicity I found there in her words as she elaborated on the riddle above. A thorn in the foot, an irritation. A thorn in the foot that hurts when one walks on it. Pains in my back and my legs when I sit.

There is no surefire way to avoid irritations, no magic formula that will ease them out of our way. They arrive without warning to plague us, and we have to get on and deal with them. Some of the tiresomeness can be alleviated, however, if we see many of our irritations are reminders of neglected areas of our life. … The universe has its own way of getting our attention and making us attend to what is important.
~ Caitlín Matthews
(The Celtic Spirit)

Well, this bout of sciatica has certainly got my attention!!! Yesterday I wound up puttering around the house catching up on little chores and the constant movement kept the pain at bay. But when I sat down for lunch the pain returned and so for the afternoon I reclined and listened to three more Adyashanti CDs, which nourished me spiritually.

No magic formula, but an idea occurred to me while lying there to help me deal with this “irritation.” I dug my old exercise ball out of the closet and Tim pumped it up with air for me. We tested having me sit on it for a few minutes. No pain. He moved my laptop down here to the coffee table and this set up seems like it might just work!

This has been a painful reminder to me to pay more attention to how long I sit in front of the computer screen. I tend to have these marathon days where I visit a lot of blogs and catch up responding to comments on mine. On top of that, as the day wears on, as it did Saturday, my posture gets more and more sloppy and as a result the nerve gets irritated. If I’m honest with myself, most of these flare-ups occur after I’ve sat too long and incorrectly, usually during a long trip in the car…

Do you have a figurative thorn in your foot? What do you do to deal with it?

14 thoughts on “a thorn in the foot”

  1. Barbara,

    Making a “pain” work of you is a growth experience. Going through it, exploring your options, finding another way, is recovering in action.

    Still sending healing to you if you so chose to have it!

    Have a great day!

  2. Barbara, so sorry that you are feeling pain~~but that your spiritual process is helping you through it. The Presence Process that I have been going through for the last ten weeks (by Michael Brown) talks about how deep emotional imprinting/charges can result in all sorts of pain. The goal is to be present with the pain and suffering instead of trying to push it away. I have been amazed to discover the subtle and not-so-subtle ways I push away pain. It seems all about–as Adyashanti might say–being present to whatever arises. Wishing us all deep integration…

    1. Thank you for the sympathy and encouragement, Kathy! I had to laugh a few times while listening to your Adyashanti CDs. Earlier in the day I had ordered the book, “Healing Back Pain Naturally,” before lying down for a rest. At one point Adyashanti asked a rhetorical question: And what do people who are addicted to thoughts do when they feel anxious? They head for a bookstore! I nearly fell off the couch laughing, pain and all!

      Now that I’ve received and had a chance to read the book I am developing a new relationship with pain and my body-mind-spirit healing system. Being present helps so much…

  3. While I don’t have sciatica, I have certainly had my bouts with back pain and can understand where you are coming from. The pain causes you to be more aware of what you can push your body to do and what you can’t. I’ve learned to be better to my back and not keep going when I know I shouldn’t (and have capascin patches on hand for the days I go a little to far!) Hoping your current bout is over soon!

    1. Thank you for your sympathy and well wishes, Karen! This bout has indeed made me painfully aware of how far I can push and when to stop and rest. The book I read, “Healing Back Pain Naturally,” has opened my eyes to the various factors contributing to the “problem” of back pain. I feel a blog post will be written soon about it. Here’s to healthy spines, yours and mine!

  4. I think we all push ourselves to spend far too much time on the computer reading blogs, leaving comments answering comments. Perhaps a good idea would be to set an alarm to go off every hour on the hour. Hear the alarm get up and walk around the room and at least do a couple of minutes of stretches.
    I hope you’re feeling better!

    1. Thank you, Rosie! I am feeling better! Your advice is wise and sound. We got a great deal on a used ball chair for sitting here, and I am setting an alarm downstairs every 30 minutes to get up and do as you suggest, plus walk down and up the stairs to reset the alarm. May work up to an hour as things progress, but even now I find I still have to go lie down for a longer rest in the afternoon.

  5. Hi Barbara,
    I hope you start to feel better soon, there is nothing worse than pain, just trying to get rid of it is also a constant worry.

    1. Thank you, magsx2! I’ve missed watching your videos and should be returning to visit your blog soon. Pain is no stranger to me, having suffered from migraines all of my life until recently – and I have to say, this sciatica pain, while difficult to bear, is minor compared to some of the migraines I used to have!!! Everything is relative…

  6. I hope you have recovered by now. Having had my own bouts of (with?) sciatica, I know how awful the pain can be. Usually too much sitting brings it on for me, too.

    I’m going to look for that book. I have one or two Caitlin Matthews books, and have enjoyed them very much.

    1. I’m getting there, Robin, thank you! So you know well the perils of sitting…

      It’s funny, “The Celtic Spirit” is the only Caitlín Matthews book I have, but I was planning to get another one soon as I love the way she writes…

  7. Very sorry to hear of your sciatica attack. Thanks for sharing the (at least partial) solution you came up with to allow yourself to sit down.
    We all have to watch how long we crouch over a computer – it’s the bane of the age (and age too, I suspect).

    1. Thank you, Paul, for the sympathy! I now have a ball chair (a frame that holds the ball in position at the height of a standard chair). For sure, the bane of the age AND age!!

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