by Sarah Kucera, CSOY alumnig and faculty in the CSOY 200-hour Teacher Training in Kansas City, MO
I was in need of a break and as She usually does, the Universe provided. But when the break came in the form of a fracture to my dominant wrist rather than a pause in responsibilities, I was sure she had her wires crossed. I’m a business owner, healthcare practitioner, yoga teacher and graduate student. I check a lot of things off the list with two hands. With one hand? I was slow, clumsy and quite lucky if my ill-coordinated left hand didn’t cause me to uncontrollably jam my toothbrush into my frenulum (you know, the little thingee that keeps your tongue from flopping everywhere). But as a few days went by and I was forced to slow down, I recognized this was a perfectly placed opportunity to evaluate my personal sustainability--exactly what I needed.
With injury and not option, I had to prioritize, eliminate the unnecessary and ask for help. I took a deep breath, opened my calendar for the week and started to evaluate my tasks. Being a chiropractor, the word chiro originating from the Greek word for hand, I needed to change my approach and slim down my schedule. The same was true for teaching yoga. I was sure I could maintain the same amount of classes, but demonstrating asana was out of the question. I immediately recognized this as an opportunity to hone my verbal cuing and to work with new modifications for those experiencing wrist pain while practicing. Typing with one hand might have meant my email became even more dreadful, but instead there was less stress around checking and replying to messages since it simply wasn’t physically possible. And for someone that doesn’t usually ask for help, having an injury was enough to warrant it. I found myself delegating tasks that I may have previously deemed “something I have to do myself”. This wasn’t only good practice for delegating, but I realized there were some tasks that I could hand off for good.
The lesson learned? Evaluating personal sustainability shouldn’t be a forced task but rather something we do on the regular, such as the beginning or end of a year or with the change in season. Taking inventory of how we use our energy makes us more conscious, efficient beings with time for spontaneity to engage in activities we love with people we love. My injury could have increased my stress tenfold, but using some steps to improve my energy input vs. output I felt like I could rest easy.
Attached you’ll find my guide for improving self-sustainability that can be used at any time, with or without injury. It is my hope that this will become a regular practice for you, as it will for me!