The Heart Won’t Wait
August 31st, 1999, Ashdod, Israel
From Banker to Healer
My last day of work at the bank, and my last day of holistic reflexology class. I was getting married, moving to Canada. And was changing professions, from banker to healer.
Walking barefoot, at home, I absentmindedly turned a sharp corner and caught my little toe in the edge of a wall. Sharp, intense pain ensued. I walked with that pain for a long while after. I was so hurt, and I was so happy.
September 1st I had breakfast outside, on a restaurant patio, with friends. I felt free, free from the constraints of a job I hated, free to follow my heart to the healing arts, free to see the sunshine during the day rather than be stuck under neon lights in an office.
The toe pain slowed me down. I could only wear open sandals for a long while, and walk slowly. Slow is my natural rhythm, the Capha, the inner Sloth, and yet at the bank I had to run and close time-sensitive transactions every day, against my natural rhythm. The toe pain modulated my rhythm from the habitual rush to the natural slow on the most significant day of professional transition.
Fall 2001, Ottawa, Canada
My first ever garden
My first Ottawa summer has been enriched by my first garden ever. Married, homeowner, backyard owner, I took my cordless phone outside and made cold calls for business. Marriage is harsh, there are harsh words spoken, there is blame. I don’t do enough, I don’t bring enough money in. “What did you do all summer? You sat outside, in the garden.”
That day marked the end of slow rhythm for me, the end of relaxation. I rushed, worked endless hours on my business, website, seeing clients during the day, teaching during the evenings and weekends. Taking care of a household, a dog, tasks. I drove myself to exhaustion. Long after separation, I kept pushing myself. There was no one to yell at me for not doing enough, no one but an internalized voice that kept pushing and pushing.
I can’t slow down. I don’t remember how. I need to do, do, do.
And, as Gabor Mate says, the body says no.
This time, it’s not the toe. This time, it’s the heart. Fluttering, high resting heart rate, anxiety, feeling out of breath when picking up the pace, the message is clear: slow the fuck down. Slow down. Slow down.
April 2021, Ottawa, Canada
Following my inner rhythm
Today I’ve been up since 4:00 am, breathing, moving slowly, to follow my inner rhythm, to remember who I am, the sweet music of my heart amongst the noise of harsh inner and outer voices. I let the hips, the neck, the spine, the limbs draw soft, gentle circles, and catch glimpses of peace. I get help with my tasks: someone to clean, someone to dog-sit, someone to walk with Tilly when I work, or tired; order some food online, step away from the screen, teach Tilly to slow down when on a leash. I nap when I need to (huge breakthrough, by the way!), and take time for dog cuddles. Tasks can wait. My heart won’t.