I’ve been thinking a lot about pain recently — how we experience it, why we experience it, how to use it to our advantage, and how to transmute it. There’s a whole lot I could share about this, but for now, I want to talk about starting where you are, and learning to accept and move with where you are and what you feel.
Several years ago, I worked with a woman who did a form of meditation and energy work and we were talking about my goals and what I wanted to shift, and she asked me if I could relax around the issues and give them room to breathe and be for the moment.
I had never heard anyone say this before and honestly, I had no idea what she meant or how to let anything be. I wanted to FIX and BE FIXED! Like, yesterday! I couldn’t possibly understand how relaxing and being present with what felt truly uncomfortable could actually be the best starting off point for change. Big change.
As the years have passed, I’ve grown a lot stronger at lovingly being with myself and not trying to force change or beat myself up for not feeling better or doing better, faster. I’ve learned (many times) that beating myself up and pushing too hard sometimes (ok, always) makes feeling better harder to do.
My massage and bodywork studies have been a huge piece of this, especially Ortho-Bionomy, where the premise is always to notice what the body naturally wants to do and how it wants to do it, and then move towards the path of least resistance.
Here’s the process I like to play with around physical discomfort (though it could be applied to just about anything):
1. Pause & breathe
2. Acknowledge (“I’m feeling ______.”)
3. Pause & breathe
4. Observe (“Feeling this way makes me feel ______. And that’s ok.”)
5. Inquire (“What could feel better? How would I like to feel? What would it be like to feel more ____?”)
6. Listen for answers and inspiration
Acknowledge and observe the present, and then choices begin to reveal themselves.
And sometimes, the gentle acknowledgement alone is what shaves off the first layer of what you wish to shift. (And that gentle acknowledgement is what I help facilitate through doing massage and bodywork : )
I’ll leave you with a quote from Ane Axford of www.SensitiveLeadership.com
“Sometimes the hard way is really the easy way,
and the slow way is really the quick way.
Yet such sublime surprises may remain forever unknown until one waits…and waits,
for the quick and easy way to manifest.
Actually, what could be quicker than beginning with where you are,
or easier than starting with what you’ve got?”
Your Gentle Nudge is simply to try out the 6-Step process above. Maybe for neck and shoulder ache, maybe for a cranky lower-back, maybe even for a more emotionally-related issue. Try it, and see how you feel : )
P.S. Sharing is caring–pass this on to someone who could benefit from slowing down and starting where they are.