ahimsa – non-violence

Yogic philosophy includes Yamas (disciplines) and Niyamas (observances). Ahimsa is the Yama of non-violence. Each day, we commit small acts of violence, usually without being conscious of our doing so, and often without considering that our thoughts, words or actions can be construed as violent.
To begin a conscious awareness of personal non-violence, I start with myself. How do I treat myself? What types of movies or shows do I watch? What books or magazines do I read? What do I choose to put into my consciousness? How do I speak? Loudly and violently? Or with a peaceful, calm voice? Do I eat food that is healthful, non-processed, or do I harm my body with artificial non-foods?
Part of my practice of Ahimsa for my self includes managing the spondylolisthesis and fibromylagia that impacts every minute of every day of my life. I need to treat my body with kindness, with love, with care. When I fail to do so, I am in huge amounts of pain and distress. I haven’t been taking care of my body the last couple of weeks. There has been so much to do at work (everyone is severely overtasked). I’ve been working very long hours, not taking breaks, sitting for hours and hours without moving. The stress has been building up as more and more work is added to my overflowing plate. I have negative bandwidth – and I have an ever-growing list of work to do. My body is paying the price and it’s a very high one.
According to the International Labour Association:
Chronic workplace stress has been linked to cardiovascular disease, muscoloskeletal and psychological disorders, workplace injuries, ulcers and in severe cases, suicide.
The long hours and the stress have turned my body into an ocean of pain. My left hip feels as though a hundred sharp knives have been jabbed into it; sitting still is incredibly painful and each shift to get comfortable stabs one of those knives further into the hip. My left leg keeps going numb. When I get up from my chair after a couple of hours of focused work, I have to stand very slowly, very carefully, wincing as the knives stab, startling when the bones shift and crack. I move gently and carefully to begin walking.
I must refocus and practice Ahimsa for my body, and better manage the spondylolisthesis and fibromyalgia. A few years ago, I was working long hours on a major project and overused my right hand. The result: I now have a 3% permanent disability in my shoulder that impairs some movement and is painful at times. Permanently. It won’t ever get better.
I don’t want to commit further violence to my body. I don’t want any further pain or mobility restrictions. My long-term health is more important than any work that will be forgotten or changed five years from now. I have to get up at least once every hour or so and not sit for extended stretches of time. I must practice Ahimsa for my self. Non-violence begins with me.
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4 Responses to ahimsa – non-violence

  1. Thot says:

    this may turn into a longer comment than you want to read…but as i read your blog i was overwhelmed by the complexity of it…not that it shouldnt be, but I kept thinking…oh my its not something that requires that much analysis….your effort to philosophize your health has me thinking about MY approach to times when i hurt or dont feel well…or when my friends have those same dilemmas…It started me thinking of an Iranian friend who had pain in his lower back for TWO YEARS…he went to every doctor in SLC…he did physical therapy…he did mind control..he was ready to go under the knife when I mentioned to him that it sounded a lot like a football injury I once had…but which I cured in about 3 weeks…then I went on to tell him how…he just didnt hear me…about SIX months later and thousands and thousands of dollars later he said to me…I am hurting so bad… again I said…well I think I can tell you what you COULD do to help allievate the pain…when I told him..he just LAUGHED…oh no way he said…I would NEVER DO THAT>..ok…but if you decide to I will drive you there and wait for the 15 minutes it will take…again he laughed…the next day he was hurting so badly that he couldnt think straight…so I said…GET IN MY CAR…he did..I drove to the office of a gentleman I had visited maybe twenty times since high school…I helped my friend out of the car..and into the office…honestly  it was like he was a hundred year old cripple his legs ached..his lower back shot "knives" (I wonder what reminded me of this)….he nearly screamed just to sit down….twenty minutes later he WALKED OUT…got in my car and two days later we went again…by the third visit…he was feeling GREAT… in fact so great he went to work out at the gym..and "pulled some muscles in the shoulder area… YEP you guessed it…he went to a physical therapist…then a doctor who wanted to operate on his back to keep his fingers from going numb…I said hey have you been to see my friend down south…oh no he said…I am going to do the physical therapy for this…I said well its not going to help your numb hand…he LAUGHED
    About three months later he couldnt even pick up a chess piece with that hand…so I said…COME ON!!! Get in my car…and again I took him to see my friend…three visits..and guess what?…funny thing happened on the way to the war…yep…the hand is not numb any more..his back is fine…he is sleeping again…. total cost for all his treaments by those many who want to "help him"…thousands and thousands….total cost for the six visits to my friend… 120 bills… I talked to him yesterday and he offered me a car to sell for a few thousand cheaper than his normal price…he said…I owe you ten times that much..would have cost me 70 thousand had I gone under the knife without insurance…but you saved me that and MORE… 
    as  manufacturer I had a man named alex who tried to keep a falling box from hitting the floor…as it hit his leg I heard a pop…I thot he broke his leg…but no he was fine…until the next morning when he could not get out of bed…the pain in his leg was so bad that he couldnt stand up straight or walk or even move it… he came to work and it took him nearly 20 minutes to just get in the front door to my office…Icant work he told me…my leg is burning…I handed him 15 dollars in cash…and said…here is my friends address…go give him cash…or if you spend this on gas a check visit will be 20 bucks… oh not a chance he said..I dont believe in that stuff….ok I said…give me back my money and stay in pain…as I got up to go back to work..he said..ok Ill take the 15 and go…he left…two hours later he returned…he SKIPPED Up the sidewalk…came in and said…WOW..I would never have believed it…he said I am lucky to have caught it on the first day…and that I shouldnt have to go back ..but IF I do he said it should show up in just two days…well alex didnt have to go back..he worked steadily for the next six months without any pain whatsoever…  for 15 dollars he was back to himself…walking running his shift and producing three times what the other shifts produced…the best 15 dollars I ever spent…
    when I hear of your symptoms…I want to say..hey…heres 15 dollars..now this guy cant cure cancer…he cant make the blind see or the deaf hear..but he can make some pain go away..he cant cure shingles…he doesnt profess to do anything but just alievate pain in hips and legs and necks and arms and torsos…he doesnt do the insurance bit…he doesnt put you on a scheduled recovery routine…he just says..if in a few days it is not feeling better come see me again…I have never had to go back to visit him more than four times for any  problem… not to say I always feel great…but for the most part I do ok…and I just eat moderately, never worry about processed foods…or natural or organic…(tho I sell that stuff by the truckload)… I dont eat a lot of sugar, dont worry much about a very violent birthday cake…or a totally glutonous dinner out….I just try to do the balanced approach to infections (like when I had pnemonia…or when I caught a antibiotic resistant staff infection during my friend Alvin\’s 4 month stay in the hospital. (he had MD and got pnemonia with a weak diaphram which eventually did him in)…  I like to eat apples…fruit and grains of all kind…an occasional bit of fish or chicken… I like milk in small quantities…cheese hardly ever…yogurt and frozen fruit jams…soups and salads…and diet drinks…carbonated and NOT… I like a hamburger from time to time…to remind me of what it was to be a kid…I just LOVED hamburgers when i was little… but mostly I dont formulize it…unless its a waffle recipe…(is there anything better than a belgian waffle?)…. anyway…I wish you lived nearer..I would slip you 25 bucks…15 for a visit to my friend..and 10 to buy you some sinfully rich dessert after a nice soup (cream of brocoli maybe)…and ceasar salad with your favorite dressing…and a copy of some interesting magazine..(for me it would be discover or national geographic)…  I would make no promises..but I would just about bet that after a few visits your hip would not hurt you day after day…and that if by chance you were to measure your pleasure with life ….after reading some interesting article and savoring a fabulous assalt on your taste buds…that the it would go off the chart…
    anyway…I do hope you discover the magic…if not…email ole thotman at his hotmail box…and I will give you the address of where you can go to spend the 15 bucks..

  2. Lynn says:

    I hope you go see Thotman\’s friend, Dear Sister.  Or find one of your own.  Life tends to force us in some ways to be voilent with our bodies even when we work hard not to do so…we have to work and sometimes that work forces us to punish ourselves in ways we know better than to practice.  I hope you will be better for rising and walking during the day…knowing you are in such pain is hurtful to me, even more so because this seems to be the same thing Mike is undergoing now.  Even his chiropractor visits don\’t seem to be helping-I\’ll be checking into your diagnosis more fully and asking the C. if perhaps this could also be Mike\’s problem.  Definitely I will spend more time watching that he does no more violence to his body than his work puts on him as well.
    I\’m thinking of you, Dear Rose, and hoping that soon your new decision to be more mindful of your body\’s dis-ease will improve.
    Love to you.

  3. Lynn says:

    You are FAR too generous and kind with me, Dear Stream Sister.  Thank you so much for the love in your comment and every sweet thing you said.  You mean a great deal to me, Rose.
    Much love to you, in all it\’s energies

  4. Lynn says:

    Ticks *are* unbelievably nasty critters.  Some of them are greenish and perfectly round and disgusting…those are the ones I always found on my dog when I was a kid…then there\’s the nasty black ones like I found on La…*shudder* 
    Kentucky…Land of Ticks and Fiddler Spiders.  Urgh.  And we go barefoot everywhere! 
    Love to you.

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