The Blessings of a Broken Foot
No matter how much I think I’m in control, no matter how much I try to control, life always has her way of reminding me who the true master is.
I was truly blessed with the experience of breaking my foot, and felt that there was no need to exhaust myself in looking hard for a deeper meaning. There was no deeper meaning. It was exactly a broken foot and that is all. I chose instead to surrender to the miracle of the body and the miracle of life, and to allow that to be the only “meaning” to exist.
I stood up after a long meditation in yoga class, and while still in a deeply peaceful state, I was not aware that my leg had fallen asleep. Upon attempting to walk with a completely numb left leg and foot, I stood up and then rolled along the side of my foot and felt the metatarsal bone crack beneath my weight. There was no pain because my foot was numb, but as feeling began to creep back in, I noticed that it was quite significant. I also noticed the way that my foot broke so gently while it was still numb so that I didn’t have to encounter any initial shocking pain – that’s how kind life is.
I hopped out of the yoga studio into my friend’s car, somewhat fascinated with what was not yet confirmed to be a broken bone. I was uncontrollably filling up with gratitude as I noticed the dance and full support of life. A beautiful kundalini yoga studio that filled my body with loving vibrations before, during, and after my bone decided to break, a dear friend to drive me back home, a numb foot that had no initial pain, a slip-on shoe, a painless right foot, a warm summer sun and cool ocean breeze. We played mantra music as we drove back home, and I wondered if there was any place open on a Saturday to X-ray my foot.
After researching local podiatrists, I realized that I would have to wait until Monday to get an X-ray. So in the meantime, I surrendered to asking for and receiving help, and to sharing the story of breaking my foot while meditating as many times as I needed to.
I allowed my neighbors to help me with groceries and bring me food, I allowed my sweet friends to give me energy healing, I allowed tears to roll down my cheeks when I stood up and tried to walk without crutches, I allowed another friend to bring me crutches. I allowed love in from all directions, realizing that it was only ever coming and going from me, but being reflected and ignited in the light of those around me. I allowed my own hands to hold my left foot and whisper I’ve got you, honey.
On Monday morning, I received the visual of my chipped bone, and was given a (very large) boot to hold the hurt in even more love and support. I limped out laughing at my new shoe, and crossed the busy intersection very slowly, wondering if anyone waiting for me had ever broken a bone while meditating.
I went to work on researching herbs that help mend broken bones, and came across comfrey leaf as a possible contender. I purchased regular comfrey leaf, as well as oils and supplements that contained comfrey leaf, and asked my dear foot what else she needed. She said ice, and vibrations from the mantra “Ra Ma Da Sa”.
I was able to care for my foot throughout the day, and was so enjoying the experience of infusing it with love and care. Three times every day, I got to lovingly rub it in comfrey leaf oil and swallow supplements. Every morning, I got to wrap it in a warm comfrey leaf poultice for a couple of hours, and then immediately soak it in an ice bath. I then got to continue icing it throughout the day as needed. Every morning and every evening, I would hold my foot and sing to it to infuse the healing vibrations from the “Ra Ma Da Sa” mantra. I could literally feel the vibrations of the mantra regrowing bone and reverberating through my entire body.
I was absolutely delighted at the miracles of my body – that my bones can heal themselves; that there is some intelligent force far greater than my surface mind can comprehend that is at play. The best part is that I don’t even have to search or understand, or search for understanding – it just exists. It is existence itself, and this is grace.
I was so delighted by the entire process that I couldn’t even hold the vibration of grief, sadness, or regret – it seemed ridiculous to believe that my foot should be any other way except wrapped up in herbs in a very large shoe. This is clearly its expression for this moment and I knew this to be true because this is what was happening. Reality is grace.
Rather than believe that I was missing out on life or experiences, I felt the complete opposite. I was drenched in life as It healed through me, and as It reflected so much beauty in everyone around me – with support far greater than I had ever noticed before. I never felt that life was treating me unfairly. I was truly blissful in this reminder that just because things don’t go as I envision only means that there is something far better in store. What a tragedy it would have been to miss all of the love and kindness that I had not yet noticed. What a tragedy it would have been to stay blind to all of the miraculous support that has always been here with me that for now was expressing itself in the form of a boot, crutches, friends, music, herbs, and oils. What a tragedy it would have been to misunderstand the miracle of the human body.
Love, kindness, and support reflected back within me, too, and I became full of life as I gazed down at my bare foot – swollen, bumpy fifth metatarsal and all.
When I returned for my two-week checkup, Dr. B was shocked that the bone had completely healed except for a tiny hairline fracture. He had to double check that it had only been two weeks since I first came limping in, sweaty, on crutches. He asked what I had done, and he was intrigued by the comfrey leaf and not so much by the love and mantras. I was prescribed another 2 weeks in my new favorite shoe so that the healing could continue.
As my foot continued to heal, I was able to add back in certain activities, and was experiencing a childlike joy at the newness of it all once again. The bliss of rediscovering the ocean after weeks apart from its salty waters alone was worth everything. As soon as I was able, I dragged my boot through the sand, threw off my clothes and rapidly hopped to the waters edge, further and further in until I could float and no pressure endangered my healing foot. I was greeted by my old salty friend as it swirled against my body, and waves gently caressed me in a great reunion. How delightful it is to rediscover love in this moment.
I was only now realizing the same joyful aliveness that I felt in the ocean had also surrounded me in other areas of life. Right now, it was greeting me as salty water, but it has also greeted me as new bone, a friend carrying my groceries, healing music, gentle touch from loved ones, a stranger holding the door. And it did not arrive only because I broke my foot, it just offered me the opportunity to see what has always been present.
I have absolutely no idea what life was doing, and I have no business knowing. All I know is that I noticed its expression in deeply beautiful ways that I had not previously allowed. It drew my awareness to the exact capacity that it had been expressing all along – the love and deep care of its true nature, the kindness of its timeless presence – despite what it looks like on the outside. All it needed was my loving awareness.
Now I can say that I know in my bones that love can heal, and that intelligent life is always asking for our attention so that we can allow it to express through us, and so that it can capture our loving awareness of its own true nature as love. I am continuing to practice treating my full self and others with the same kind of unconditional love and support that life is continuing to live through me, with two mended feet. Whether whole or perceptively broken, all is always fully held in Life itself.
--By Sage Moon contributing author Marta Leigh (https://martaleigh.com)