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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Kidney stones and Labor Day

I’m celebrating Labor Day by taking a break from “Joy of Sox”, sitting on the banks of the Charles River and jotting down some blog notes (OK, so I’m not totally taking the day off). And I’m realizing that I haven’t had much of a rest from “Joy” for quite a while. In fact, I think that’s what my kidneys were trying to tell me. Here’s what I mean.

Since my July blog posting that described a mid-Summer flurry of events, not much has happened with the film. A lot of loose ends were calling out to be tied up, and many wheels were spinning, but nothing tangible developed. For example, I’m still trying to get all the dating data from the “Sox Appeal” TV folks so that I can draw up a graph to show correlations between crowd coherence and dating success. But they’re taking their own sweet time (they’re mired in post-production hassles) and I haven’t heard anything yet. Joel isn’t having any luck sealing the deal with MLB, who had promised a rights contact but hasn’t delivered. Financing wasn’t materializing and, to top it off, we’d finally gotten the bugs out of the RNG setup, but couldn’t finagle one last press pass to Fenway. And Joel was enjoying his visit to Germany so much that he was considering getting a long-term visa – Hamburg is not a good location from which to collaborate on a documentary film set in Boston.

So with that sense of wheels spinning as the backdrop, I woke up at 3am a couple of weeks ago with a new, for me, pain in my back. It went away with a hot pack, so I didn’t (let myself) think too much of it, until it returned a couple of nights later. This time it didn’t disappear until I went to the ER and got some IV pain meds and a CAT scan. The diagnosis really wasn’t a surprise – a kidney stone 2/3 of the way through the ureters. The timing was a surprise, as in “Moi?!”. I don’t usually get sick, so I had to ask – being a good holistic physician – what was going on here, what was my body trying to tell me? I had plenty of time to reflect, as I languished in a Percocet-induced fog that kept me out of work for a few days. And what I came up with (in consultation with one of my more medically intuitive colleagues) was pretty interesting.

What I noticed was that after a couple of bouts of moaning and groaning with pain, my mind was actually clearer than usual and I literally felt more connected to my body (more “grounded”, as we say in the energy medicine business). As my intuitive friend Reva pointed out, I’ve been spending an inordinate amount of time in my head – planning phone calls, setting up meetings, wondering how to finagle some financing. As a result, the internal cacophony that had built up recently was starting to feel normal. And I never really let myself get into the flow of summer – in fact, I had literally dried out to the point where a calcium oxalate crystal precipitated into my kidney.

In other words, I had been trying to make the movie happen by will power rather than by intention and attraction. I wasn’t “in the zone” any more, because I hadn’t been cultivating my own energy to attract positive events into my life. I had been burning out by pushing against the flow, disconnecting from my inner wisdom, which, if I had bothered to listen, was telling me to take a break. One thing I clearly had to do was drink more (I tend to run very dry, rarely drinking extra fluids between meals). That urine stream was one flow that was easy to establish. The other kind of flow – energy, life rhythm - would take more attention. So I talked it over with Joel, who was also getting some inner guidance to step back from his hectic movie making for a while. And we decided to let movie things lie fallow for a month or two, to give us a chance to recover our own inner balance before we started to look outward again for things to do. In other words, we had to let the movie come to us, rather than go out there and wrestle it to the ground.

Ironically, two hours after our conversation, I got a phone call from a former colleague who invited me to join him at an upcoming Red Sox Foundation luncheon. A good chance to rub elbows with the team higher-ups, he said. I had to chuckle – this was exactly what I had been “trying” to set up for months, yet it only came about once I stopped trying to make it happen. It’s yet another paradox about the power of surrender, the wisdom of going with the flow. And I’m certainly curious to see how things come out – the movie, and the stone!


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The Joy of Sox: Weird Science and the Power of Intention is produced by 2 Cousins Productions and Pinch Hit Productions. © 2006 The Joy of Sox Movie LLC. For more information, contact info@thejoyofsoxmovie.com.

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