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Creating Our Own Limitations

I noticed something about limitations today and how our perceptions actually help to form our limitations.  Recently, I’ve been having some physical difficulty with my neck, and it made me re-assess my history of difficulties I’ve had there.  I won’t go into the details, but the bottom line is that I can easily end up with a headache and zapped energy after certain types of exercise (biking, basketball, swimming) which place my head in a position where there is a strong backward curve in my neck.  I’ve noticed how I avoid all of those things, and have lately started to limit thoughts of certain types of travel (trekking and backpacking).  It’s the self-limiting aspect that bothers me.  It’s legitimate to avoid things which bring on pain, but rather than resign to that, I think it’s important to look at how much of that limitation is mental and how much is physical.

I am reminded of my dear cat Hookie who died a year and a half ago.  A year or two prior to that, it was discovered that she had a malignant cancer tumor in one of her rear legs and I opted to have that leg amputated.  When she returned home after the procedure, I think she wasn’t fully aware of what had happened and I clearly recall her jumping up to my bed which was maybe 2 1/2 feet off the ground, and she did so without difficulty.  Within a couple of days, she wasn’t even trying to jump up to the bed, let alone jumping up to the couch which was nearly a foot lower than the bed.  In my opinion, she had come to see her disability and imparted to that disability a certain limitation in her capacities.  I think I’ve been doing that lately.  Instead of asking myself what changes I need to make in my life to be able to play basketball or swim laps again, I simply avoid those things.

It’s time for me to do more yoga, stretch more deeply and more regularly, improve my posture all throughout my day and night including while at the computer, while driving and even while sleeping.  I also think that strengthening exercises would help as well if they are geared towards improving posture.  So at the moment, I’m seeing my limitations, but am also seeing how my mind has capitulated to those limitations, and how it’s time to change that.


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