Cultivate a Sense of Agency

You’re preparing for an expedition.

With Surgery Success resources, you’ll know the road ahead, and make a plan to realize your desired outcomes. There will be lots of things to do and learn and experience. Rich, world-expanding experiences that will enrich the rest of your life beyond measure, honestly. But at the center of this process is choosing to move forward, and with your own intended set of outcomes.

To illustrate what I mean, here’s a short version of my own process.

When I finally got an Xray and was told I had osteoarthritic hips (likely cause: genetics… acetabular impingement), I was gobsmacked. I spent months trying to reduce inflammation in my diet and reduce stress. When I wasn’t exploring all the most potent and subtle modalities to address my condition (and I have been working in the field of alternative medicine for more than twenty years of active exploration, practice and teaching).  I was trying lots of approaches simultaneously, and it was challenging to untangle what was helping. Some modalities you can verify immediately, but how we can detect if our cartilage is regenerating?  My hope was at least to delay the need for an operation for a few years so the technology would get better or so I wouldn’t live longer than the replacement hips. Any of that sound familiar?

Through the mind training I was doing, I was able to stop spinning my gears and designed a two-pronged approach. I would pour my efforts into actively try to save my hips. Acupuncture, Prolotherapy injections, vegan diet, intensive physical training, and more. But I would use that process to also prepare myself for the best possible outcome if I did end up needing surgery. Suddenly I had purpose and energy.  I assembled a healing team so I could stay functional enough to start training with a PT/trainer. When I eventually decided to proceed with the operation, it was an active choice, not a defeat or setback.

We can’t drive forward with the brakes on.

From that point on, I became more thoughtful about opportunities to exercise and strengthen a sense of agency, of actively choosing what was happening. Here’s an example: The evening after my surgery, it emerged that there was internal bleeding in my leg or legs and I would require a blood transfusion. By the time they had actually brought it to my room, I had stabilized, but they recommended we proceed anyway, since I had lost blood. I agreed, but I asked to pause so I could do a brief visualization while holding the blood. You could call it prayer. I saw the blood giving me strength and harboring nothing harmful. I did the same before taking anything orally.  And I felt relaxed and free of anxiety.

Cultivate and practice retaining a sense of agency. Make what’s happening be an active choice.

Lay off the news (external locus of control)

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