Creating A Loving Relationship With Your Painful Body
Coming Home to Our Bodies When Our Bodies Feel Anything But Relaxing, Safe and Cozy… Like a Home Should Be
Chronic health conditions carry a huge weight for so many of us. Grief, loneliness, shame, doubt, disconnection, hopelessness, depression and anger can arise in response to feeling out of control with our bodies. When we make space for them and also cultivate internal skills for being more at ease with pain, it is possible to live a more free and vibrant life – even if we are in pain.
Pain doesn’t have to mean suffering or stress.
When we use mindfulness and somatic exploration to be with all of this, it gives us the opportunity to be awake to all that we layer on top of the discomfort in our bodies – belief systems, added tension, etc. Mindfulness brings us into the present moment, free from ruminating about the past and anxiety about the future. In the present moment, there is simply sensation, not ideas about good pain or bad pain, it’s just pain. We don’t allow our minds to take us into a future story of worse case scenarios and what if’s or into the past of regrets and should haves. We leave that spiral and simply feel into what’s here and now – heat, vibration, numbness, contraction, tension, rigidity, etc.
The work I offer explores the mind-body connection. When we experience chronic pain and chronic health conditions, we often have emotions or past traumas connected to the pain in our bodies and we can be unaware of these connections and how to process them. Often, when we honor and make space for these emotions and experiences, it can give us more space and ease in our lives and bodies. I work with people to help them get in touch with their bodies and hearts in a gentle way to tap into and process stuck emotions and also offer resources and tools for being with pain and discomfort without adding extra tension and stress on top of it all.
It is very common for clients to either laugh and roll their eyes or cry out in grief when I ask them what it would be like to imagine their body as home.
When our bodies don’t cooperate with us in the ways we want them to, it is easy to create a never-ending battle with them. Hatred towards our bodies and ourselves can grow and over time and we completely detach ourselves and try everything we can to live from our heads instead of in an embodied way.
So, instead of getting really curious about the experience of becoming uncomfortable in our bodies, we wage a war on them and do everything we can to numb them, ignore them, push away pain, fix them and leave them. In my experience, we do this for very important reasons at first. We might not have the emotional resources to be with what may arise. Maybe there was trauma and we had to dissociate (energetically leave the body) in order to maintain a sense of safety. Maybe we needed help creating boundaries and because we didn’t know how or couldn’t, our bodies tried to figure out how to do that for us. When we get curious and make space to have compassion for the ways in which our bodies have tried to help us survive life’s circumstances, we begin to cultivate a new and more kind relationship. When we stop the war and begin to listen, it is incredible what can emerge.
As we create a more healthy and empathetic relationship with our bodies, we create a more easeful relationship with our feelings towards ourselves as a whole and also relate to the rest of the world with a sense of trust, connection and kindness.
The first step is setting the intention to let go of any added suffering, a commitment to stopping the war. The second is learning some tools around how to listen, in a non-judgmental way, to what is actually there. And the third is, trusting that this change is possible for you and you are worthy of it.
May we all be at ease.
May we all be happy.
May we all be safe.
May we all be healthy.