It is that open ended question with an open ended answer. The pain may have started with an injury to the area or maybe you woke up to find yourself in pain. " I have no idea what caused this to hurt so here. It just started one day!" But with no injury, how does one explain the pain or the intensity of the pain.
The pain has now become chronic. The question is what are the sustaining factors that help maintain the pain? We forget that with pain we alter our movement patterns. We begin to protect the area from pain but limiting how much weight we let a sore limb bear or restrict normal range of motion. The pain may come as inflammation which is redness and heat. It may be experienced as coldness or restricted circulation. We may also hold our breath in anticipation of probable pain. To make things more painful, life throws more stressful situations to your daily life.
Are you beginning to understand the complexity of the question: "What causes my pain"?
Since the election, the level of stress at times is palpable. Not everyone is stressed nor depressed.
The level of communications has been tainted by the number of falsehoods that have been both written and spoken.
Trust is a very tenuous thing that needs to be tended like a garden.
Pent-up stress becomes a stiff neck or a sore low back. Stress is a necessary life force, but left unchecked it causes illness.
Finding balance in your day to day life is an inner practice that takes time to create. Watch how you use your breath. Notice how often you hold your breath. When stress arises in its many forms: depression, anxiety, worry, fear or even anger; focus on slowing your breath and deepening it as well.
Don't just sit there! Get up and bring movement into your day. You don't need to spend hours lifting weights, just go for a walk. Rethink what is necessary for your well-being!
On your mark get, ready Go!
Did you catch the news today? Other than murder and mayhem, did feel any different? Were your life problems any different? Did the need to practice patience arise for you today? Was everything about the same for you today as yesterday?
When you rolled over in bed this morning were you confronted with the same old aches and pains? Did you remember that today was a new day even though everything seemed the same? Although you say, nothing much has changed, you are a day older and a day wiser. Appreciation of life is a cultivated skill.
We can't force change but we can grow towards it. The simple approach of one step at a time does really work. The Universe is full of unknown possibilities, why not bring those unknowns into action for you. If one person says to you that this pain is something that you will have to get used to, then fight it!
As a teacher, I imagine that part of my role is being present for my students. Sometimes it is being aware of their emotional state as well as their physical state. The student new to a yoga practice may come in with expectations of stretching the body strongly only to find poor breathing needs to be their focus.
The hyper vigilant student needs greater breath awareness and a slower paced class. They will be the ones who are 3 or 4 movements ahead of everyone else. Instructions may bring the need to justify how that student is doing. Humor may help ease the anxious heart. Students with breathing problems come in all different manners. The perfectionist is perfectly comfortable holding their throughout the practice. Becoming aware of how the mind works around different tasks as a teacher is very important.
The complexity of mouth breathing, chest breathing and engaging abdominals muscle and pelvic floor can be so confusing to just about everybody. Weight lifting and the gym workout use a different breathing pattern. Pilates uses a different breath pattern as well. Then there is the 20 or so different pranayama practices in yoga. Here is where holding the space for the student comes into play.
Yoga is about finding balance and calm. the new student can be anything but balanced or calm. Now the fun begins!
Overdrive can become a constant companion. The imagined need of the mind is to complete goals. Who sets these goals?Is it part of our nature to be driven to the goal line? How do these patterns become set in our lives? As each day goes by do more goals begin to arise in ones mind? The message that I hear through mass media is that I need to budget goals of time, health ,wealth, career and even family life. You will notice that the key word might be budget.
Just writing a list begins to make my heart race. Women are dying of heart attacks almost at the same rate as men. Should we admire the person who accomplishes so many goals in one's lifetime? Should we push our children into overdrive? It is the illusion of the computing world that all moves smoothly through time into completion. The future is now. But all of my time has been spent in timely goals that I barely complete. I again am breathless.
The need to complete goals is part of life? I get up out of bed in the morning. Is my movement simply repetition of the day before? Yoga asks you to question what is the true you. Are you really happy in overdrive? What happens when you slow down long enough to simply listen to your breath? There are times when I sit in meditation listening to my breath that I want to get up and run away from the very process which is supposed to help me.
There it is again! Overdrive in my inner space has intruded into my mind. There are things that need to be done and stopping isn't one of them. Who do i blame? Is there blame for this state of mind?
As time flies by,I don't know how one day could merge into the next. Spending time keeping up with daily life, is basically the same. The distracted mind keeps life in a fog. Pain of the body or pain of the heart can also contribute to subtle darkness that engulfs some of us.
Having had to figure out how to deal with my own chronic pain from my injury as a pedestrian. I want the individuals that I work with to know that they are their own source of recovery. The most important organ of change is the mind/brain. The first thought is the intention to heal. The second thought need not be how quickly will I heal but that I am capable to bring the change that I need to heal. Pain can create anger, depression, sadness,and the lack of will. If you are given the comment that this is how you will be, don't allow them to define you or your situation. Age slows your recovery but it does not stop it.
You can usually find someone having a harder time than you. Some of these people may never let the difficulty of their life stop them. If you narrow your definition of yourself, you may lower your ability to bring positive change to your situation. Notice how often you hold your breath throughout the day. Notice how you chose to punish yourself for not attaining full success. Intention comes with focus and also a dream. Come inside and dream the healing that you need. Dreams can take time to come to fulfillment. some of us just have to keep looking for that elusive current to pull us into a pain free existance.
Have you ever experienced that feeling of being turned inside out? Have you ever experienced an overly emotional event that tied your stomach in knots? Did you ever have someone scare you so much that you couldn't move or even speak? As you were driving somewhere, did you have someone pull out in front of you suddenly? When that stressful event passed, how did you feel?
I work better when under a deadline, might be the self comment to stress. The physical response however is a nagging ache in one shoulder. The constant negative comments about your work may be the headache or stiff neck that never seems to go away. Sitting at your desk deeply drawn into the computer screen may find you leaning forward. You always have a sore low back or very tight hips. You may have heard that the harder you workout at the gym, the more benefits for your health. Now you have more aches and your muscles look about the same. What gives!
We are all emotional beings. When under chronic stress, our bodies don't necessarily adapt in positive ways. As our breath becomes shallow our upper body may become tense. Long term tension becomes normal and it is no longer viewed as abnormal. The mind starts asking why am I sore all over! Enter the physical disconnect from mental or emotional distress. You now have trouble sleeping and so the cycle of being turned inside out begins.
We have been living in the era of take this pill to fix that problem. Addiction to stuff has been a large problem since forever. Can you heal me is hidden everywhere? The if only you do this, don't eat that or join this group you will be better! Stop! Close your eyes and just breathe! Listen to your breath! Find someone who will listen to you! Understand that if someone tells you that they can't help you, it doesn't mean there is no help out there for you!
Life is about networking with your universe! If a man is an island, loneliness becomes painful and possibly a death sentence. Reach and touch through eye contact, a smile or kind words to those around you. Simple things can help someone who has been tuned inside out find they way back to a more centered self.
For some of us, change is a nasty word. There are those who change with every other breath because what they desire hasn't happened. And then there are some of us who change when nothing else appears to be working. Yet in my lifetime, the changes in some arenas of life have been without measure. Just think, we can now carry our phones around with us. Not only that, our phone can take our picture or even a video.
We have young people today that don't know anything but a hand held device. Change is instanteous. If that screen doesn't open fast enough we become upset! However these changes come with consequences. What is your attention span these days? How long can you wait before your blood begins to boil? Do you skim through data, or do you read book or complete a whole magazine?
This type of change brings the expectation of even more change. But how do we process change? Is it gleeful abandon or with greater fear or maybe even anger?
The other change we all experience is that of aging. When you are young, change just doesn't happen soon enough. Today lasts forever. Minutes drag on as if they are hours. With each year completed, our view of time changes. The energy of change really isn't stable. For some, the need for stability causes their views to resist change. We are living in such a time. The change started at the ending of World War II.
What change will we mirror in our daily life? How will our life look in 10 years, compared to 10 years ago? What change will you embrace around your aging process?
The joy and trauma of the world of computing! Opening the door to no where! Who needs buttons anyway!
As I sit here at my key board, my posture and not just the words I write needs to be part of my awareness. The computer in its many forms has become part of many peoples daily life. We use it in business, as a phone, as our music source, as entertainment, and even as a learning device. These devices ask us to sit for longer time periods with fixed attention on a screen. The slow decent into bad posture and chronically tight muscles begins.
We even allow our toddlers to use these devices. So at even earlier ages the compromise of posture begins. The next time you are sitting at a stop light and there are pedestrians check out those individuals looking at their smart phones as they walk. Our young people may be resilient now but how will this bad posture affect them into their thirties and up?
So do you slouch? If so what will you do to counter this posture? are you thinking? Talk to me about it.
When pain becomes a daily part of your life, getting it to stop can be such a challenge. When it hurts at point A and the pain travels to another area, all you want is it being gone. Sometimes, the source of the discomfort is not where the pain is felt. Finding out that the other side doesn't feel discomfort, however it may not do anything.
What do I mean by that statement. The side that hurts may be the side that does the work for both sides of the body. There may be less strength or even less range of motion in the side that doesn't hurt. What a thought. The hip pain that stays around may come overwork. If it is a muscle group in spasm, it may need to work a tiny bit harder to enable those muscles to relax.
Yes, it can be hit or miss to figure it out, but it can be done. Holding your breath becomes inflammation and not the release that you hope for. Pain is there to get you to start listening differently. Life is about being present.