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This is the first in a series of newsletters looking at how our feelings affect our lives and bodies. It is powerful knowledge that can help eliminate pain in all areas of your life. If you are struggling with something, send me an email or call.
The majority (maybe all, but who can prove it) of our physical ailments, diseases or accidents originate in our minds.
I’m a believer in the body/mind concept: The health of our minds and our bodies are inextricably connected to the transformation of our spirit.
In other words, much of what plays out in our bodies is generated by subtle thoughts that we may not even be aware of. We are all conditioned, beginning in childhood, not to pay attention to our feelings and thoughts. These thoughts, which generate feelings, play over and over in our minds until they take form.
An easy to understand example of the mind/body connection is our fight or flight response, which begins with a thought that we are in danger. This activates a hormone and our bodies respond with an increased heart rate and a quicker, more shallow breath.
Another one we are all familiar with is stress. Consistent stress creates tension in our bodies, lowers our immune system and leads to a variety of dis-eases, including heart dis-ease, headaches, etc.
I just broke my right wrist and I have never had a broken bone in my life.
Something wanted my attention!
I am right-handed ……and yes, I’m writing this with my left hand.
But the really crazy thing is that it has been a deeply spiritual, sacred experience for me, because I almost immediately realized why this happened.
Ironically, I also wanted to learn to become more proficient with my left hand, because the left side of our bodies accesses the right brain and our feminine side. Maintaining harmony between the right and the left side, the masculine and feminine, is the key to wholeness.
It happened after it had been raining for days and I wanted to rescue my water-logged plants on the back deck. I opened the french doors and stepped out in my bare feet. My foot slipped on the wet wood and the rest was a blur. That pain has to be an 11 on a scale of 1 to 10. All I could do was lay there in the rain; neither my brain nor any part of my body functioned for several minutes.
After I used my good side to get up and walk back inside to the couch, crying in frustration and pain, I had the awareness that I didn’t really understand what my daughter went through when she broke her arm years ago. Realizing how we don’t know what anyone goes through unless we’ve walked a mile in their shoes, I cried for the suffering of others.
Then I gave in to fear.
I don’t know what it was all about. Fear of aging, laying there helpless, of the unknown, the state of the world……it just spiraled out of control.
I knew I had to call someone, but the person I wanted to call was my girl-friend in another state. It didn’t make sense.
In retrospect I know that I was being guided!!
My friend was out walking on the beach with a Body, Mind, Spirit Counselor, Dale Bach http://dalebach.com/. I don’t even know why she picked up the phone, except that is how everything falls into place when it’s meant to be. My friend quickly put Dale on the phone, who went into healing mode and reminded me that I am always connected a higher source, our creator, God. She instructed me to breathe in that light connection and affirm my ability to heal.
Recognizing that truth, I became instantly calm.
In my pain, I had forgotten what I know as a teacher and counselor:
All our healing, inner and outer, take place as we connect to a higher state in which we forgive and choose love (but that is a topic for another time).
In the emergency room and after wards, while on strong pain medication, I kept having these lucid thoughts, which showed up almost like a movie……..what this “accident” meant and what I was to do with it.
I knew what was going on within me prior to the break, but I chose not to pay attention.
“When we are on automatic pilot, trying to get someplace else all the time without being attentive to where we already are, we can leave a wake of disaster behind us in terms of our own health and well-being, because we’re not listening to the body. We’re not paying attention to its messages; we’re not even in our bodies much of the time,” explains Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD.
For weeks, I had been working constantly for someone else at something I didn’t want to do. Every day, sometimes 12 hours a day. I felt exhausted and unhappy about it, but didn’t know how to extricate myself from it. Gradually, I had taken on another person’s problem.
I knew I needed to step away, but I kept talking myself out of doing the right thing. Partly, I think, I didn’t want to be thought of badly and I felt needed.
Frequently, we all feel conflicted within: We pray for answers, we know what we should do, but choose not to, because it’s difficult. I’m no different.
Breaking my wrist took care of that. Now I can’t do that particular work anymore.
I am, instead, taking responsibility for myself again. A friend of mine calls it “keeping her side of the street clean”. Sometimes helping is not in the other person’s best interest.
If you call it the universe, or God, or my own mind that engineered this situation…..it was unavoidable under the circumstances.
What this means, however, is very clear.
- We are never alone.
- We are always shown our path!
- We are never victims.
- We only have to choose to become present, notice the signs and follow the guidance.
I’m so willing to pay attention now and not continue to help manage someone else’s life.
Our purpose is to first learn to love ourselves. Self-Love is not arrogance or entitlement (that’s insecurity). Love thy neighbor AS yourself, Mark 12:31. It is only in being kind instead of critical, patient instead of harsh, loving instead of condemning to our own flawed selves that we can learn to extend that to others. When we finally learn to listen to what we are being guided to do, we can stop interfering in others’ lives. We each have our own journey.
I feel blessed, almost giddy, with my new awareness. It’s no longer just an intellectual knowing. Next time, I plan to learn without hurting myself.
If you are struggling with seeing the purpose of something in your life, send me an email or call. We don’t have to go it alone.
If someone were to ask, “what do you love most about yourself?” What comes to mind? Do you have a quick answer, or does it take some thought? Can you even come up with an answer?
It probably depends on the kind of day or week you are having. We can more easily access that self-love when we have good days, when things are flowing, relationships are calm. On difficult days– the kind that are full of struggle, too much activity and doubt– that self-love can virtually disappear or play a serious hide and seek.
When I was asked that question just the other day, I drew a blank. Nothing, I mean nothing came to mind.
What is going on, my Self admonished itself. You must know something you love about yourself. You have been working on this all your life. What a fraud you are!
I began to frantically dig around in the hidden cabinets of my mind, where this important information is stored. Nothing! Oh I found some crumpled reminders to love my body, to do loving things for myself, to take some moments each day……blah blah.
All this searching stressed me out. I had to come up with an answer, I was being held accountable.
OK, deep breath. “You’ve had a massively challenging week. You got this.” I took the comforting approach toward Self.
What I found was that when we have too much going on, that old recording starts playing again. You know the one we keep working on; those negative voices that have a never ending reservoir of our inadequacies and shameful secrets. They just sneak in, you don’t even notice them, they are so stealthy and quick. That is why it is so important to stop every so often and not let life overwhelm us. That is why we have to take some time to play, be silly…..and not take things too seriously. Because when we play, we literally shut the door to those voices, they can’t find the entrance.
Especially now during the holidays! Let’s take a deep breath together and take it easy for a minute, find a moment to fool around, have fun, be silly.
Oh yeah, and I found the cabinet. I can answer that question now.
Lots of Love and fun….Christina
Some days I wake up and want everything to be orderly and predictable. That’s unusual, because I have a spontaneous, risk-taking …