This email/verbal feedback comes in weekly, so I wanted to spend a bit more time talking about this.
Some background on me: most of my life, I was functioning in a highly stimulated nervous system way—basically, I had an over-reaction to small, everyday things, because my body was stuck in fight-or-flight. I had no clue about any of this, because, it was my “normal”. Normal, in my humble opinion, belongs to washing machine cycles, not people, because, we are all very different, so very few things are “normal” to all of us. So, in the rare occasion that I would feel a physical pain, my reaction would be to cover that up and take some Advil/OTC pain meds and stop feeling. In other parts of my life, it just made it really hard to focus, complete tasks, or fill in all the blanks in a form—that required slowing down and really paying attention.
I could not process the fact that this physical pain was a symptom or a sign to listen to my body, and perhaps rest, stretch to take care of myself in some way. I just wanted to bury that feeling, and keep going. (just smile and nod if any of this sounds familiar).
Fast forward to 2003 and taking myofascial release classes—which is all about (cue the drumroll…..) feeling! This really started to freak me out, that there was that much in me to feel—to learn to connect with how my body is feeling, and to know, that eventually, it could feel good, and not just scary, tight, and painful.
That continues to be a process for me, because after 28 years of my default setting being “disconnect and don’t feel”, sometimes I have to really allow myself to settle down, be quiet, and feel.
When treating new clients, I understand how scary it is to be in a state of chronic pain, take the meds that take the pain away, and then show up for something new that is actually asking you to feel. That takes courage to lay on the table and go into that uncomfortable space.
I tend to speak in analogies and writing is not my favorite forum, so bear with me on this. Is there anything in your life you did not want to acknowledge and look at? I used to fear looking at my student loan envelopes that came in the mail—I did not want to even open them, much less deal with it. But the student loan was still there, regardless if I read the content of the letter. So, I had to have a mindset shift, and learn to lean into the uncomfortableness and open the dang letter! Each time I did that, and dealt with it, it became a little less scary (and sometimes it was really good news, like lowering my interest rate!). I think learning to listen to our body can be just like this—it’s very scary at first, but as we learn to listen, our body wants to talk to us more and more! This can be a bit overwhelming as we start to feel, but that knowing, that increased body awareness is very helpful on this journey of life.
Still have questions? If this little blog did not satisfy your curiosity, please feel free to contact us. Call or come in for an “ease your worry” session that is free and you can talk to one of the therapists. Reply to this blog, or chat with us on the website (www.monarchpt.com).
We are from here, and ready to help you on your journey.