Body and Spirit

By: Loolwa Khazzoom, Founder, Dancing with Pain

January 20th, 2008 • Mind-Body MedicinePrint Print

Days after the Passover retreat, crumpled in bed from pain, I spoke on the phone with my friend Jessica, who was about to go rollerblading with her boyfriend. “Fuck it,” I declared out loud, hanging up the phone. “I’m going to go rollerblading too. Maybe not today, but I will get there. I will.”

Fuming under the covers, frustrated by what my life had become, and still fresh with the possibility that an alternative was out there, I kicked off the blankets and bolted out of bed with a vengeance. Dusting off my iPod, I strapped on a knee and ankle brace to help stave off the pain that inevitably would come with motion, and headed off to the sea.

Something happened along the way: I danced.

It was a flashback to life before the car crash, before the slew of physical injuries and emotional traumas I’d accumulated over the years. Maybe it was the music. Maybe it was the fresh recognition of possibility beyond reality. Maybe it was both.

Once at the beach, I dodged the smokers, pulled out my journal, and began furiously writing about my experience in the desert. When I couldn’t write any more, I closed the book, walked to the water’s edge, and let out a deep, long yell from my gut – releasing anger, pain, and suffering, and expressing the joy of new possibility.

Somehow, the yell morphed into me running down the beach – running! Once upon a time I’d jogged 12 miles a day down those same shores, but it had been almost fifteen years since then. Certainly over the previous two years, I hadn’t jogged at all; I’d barely been able to walk three blocks without excruciating pain forcing me to stop.

So there I was running from one side of the beach segment to the other — full of surprise and gratitude, crying and praying my heart out – when the run transformed into a dance. Not just any old dance, but the furious leaping-twirling-stomping dance of days gone by, when my body reflected the manifestation of my spirit.

Where’d it all come from?

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