Thursday, April 14, 2011

Aches and pains: They do serve a purpose

"Bringing awareness to your body, to its unique reactions and processes, and to its symptoms and strengths, sets you up for growthful insights. For where you founder--precisely where your system begins to break down--provides a valuable clue to what needs to change in your life. Working from the perspective of this process of discovery permits you to approach a health crisis with curiosity instead of fear, and with optimism instead of disappointment. Sickness and health become a major way you learn from life. Although dysfunction and disease point to what you need to work on, they also hold the seeds of your unfoldment. From this point of view, illness is an opportunity for growth and transformation, while "recovery" is only a return to an obsolete status quo. Authentic healing will often involve radical changes in how you live. Old habits and attitudes that supported the development of disease will fall away, to be replaced by new ones that go with a new way of being in the world." (Radical Healing, Rudolph Ballentine, M.D. pg. 5)

Do you look at every health challenge as a way to transform your life? Do you see it as a wonderful opportunity to get in touch with your body?

I'll admit that I often don't do this. Lately I have been working by the side of my husband day in and day out trying to get my yoga studio in order. The last two weeks I have started to hurt. . . a lot. I suffer from Fibromyalgia, but lately more often than I am able to live a comfortable life with little to no pain most days. But I sure have been hurting the last two weeks.

Instead of listening to my body, and trying to figure out what in my life is causing this sudden flare up I have seen the aches and pains as a hinderance to my life. I mostly feel like I don't have time for this right now. My body needs to just deal on it's own. I have been pushing and pushing so much. With each new day I get a little more sore and a little more run down. But I just feel like I don't have time to stop.

So I was reading (I guess I haven't cut everything out of my life) Radical Healing the other day (yes I read random texts on healing in my spare time) and I came across the quote above. Huh. Then I had a friend ask for advice with her chronic problem. As I was telling her that it was a blessing for her to have this problem so that she could slow down and remember to take care of her own needs I realized that I wasn't taking my own advice.

Our bodies are truly remarkable things. They are capable of so much. But in our busy lives we often take them for granted. We push and push and push. Then when our bodies speak up, "Hey, remember me? You haven't had more than three glasses of water in 3 days. I'm thirsty!" we get annoyed. How dare our bodies get in our way. We have things to do. We do not have time for these sicknesses.

Rather than taking this attitude, our lives would be so much fuller if we were to actually tune in enough to care for our bodies when minor problems arise (and better yet, take care of them before anything arises). Our bodies would reward us by doing more, clueing us in on problems sooner, and by helping us live healthy and pain free every day.

Slow down enough to listen to your body. I'm going to try to do better. Though I still have plenty of work to do I'm going to start listening. My first step will be to address my sleepiness. Early bedtimes tonight and tomorrow. Then I'll reflect more on my food choices and make eating better meals a priority. Lastly exercise. Though I've been painting walls and working every day, I need to do something that makes me feel good instead of sore.

Those are my steps. What are you going to do? For more wonderful ideas on caring for your body look at Medicinal Marzipan. She had an amazing post this week on taking a vacation for our bodies.

Image source.