“It takes courage to endure the sharp pains of self-discovery. Rather than choose to take the dull pain of unconsciousness that would last the rest of our lives.” Marianne Williamson
“Sometimes in the waves of change, we find our true direction”
I was a dancer that is all I ever wanted to be since I was four years old. I danced everywhere and lived in my tutu. I went off to New York University School of the Arts and there I deepened my love of movement. At the age of 19 I started to get searing pain in my feet and yet I would dance through the pain.
One day I couldn’t move. I could hardly walk and I knew I was in serious trouble. I found a top orthopedic surgeon in New York and he told me I had osteoarthritis and the only thing he could suggest was to stop dancing. He got me wearing ugly orthopedic shoes and I received injections in my toes for pain but ultimately I stopped dancing.
Who was I and where was I expected to do now? What was my why, for my life? What was I doing getting a dance degree when I couldn’t dance? So I left college not sure of who I was anymore.
Pain is the gift. The gift to get our attention that something is off in our life. What is so damn important that we need pain to kick us in the face so we can feel it? But that is it in a nut shell. We need the kick in the face, the pain in the back, the headaches, the grief, and the heart break, the constant nagging pain in our body or our teeth or somewhere for us to get the Call. To begin to listen to the call from our bodies or our lives.
You call the doctor or the dentist and you need to see them right away because you are in pain. Or someone is referred to me and they need to see me right now and figure out why they are hurting in their bodies. The pain puts the urgency in your life. THE I HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF IT RIGHT NOW, FEELING! You can’t turn your back on pain.
Because otherwise you wouldn’t call. Am I right? You wouldn’t call me, or the doctor, dentist, the chiropractor, or the therapist, whomever you think is there to help you.
Pain is what gets you moving and dealing and once you see it as the gift that it is, then the lesson can begin to wash over you. I mean that when I say wash over you because that how it transforms you and your life. The understanding that it is there for a reason. Getting your attention is the first purpose of pain. The second purpose is to allow it to transform you. You can’t make it happen or wish it to happen. You must allow it to happen.
The allowing part is the hardest for humans. We work so hard to control all the outcomes and all the ways we think it should go. We can’t. We need to point ourselves in the right direction and then take our hands off the wheel and trust in the process that we are going through. We must focus on what is taking us to a better feeling place. That is the place we are reaching for, the better feeling. Sometimes we need to feel bad and realize we don’t want to feel that way. We need the contrast in our life to say “I don’t want that bad feeling, I would rather a better feeling.”
First life throws you a pebble, and if you don’t get that it throws you a brick, if you don’t get that it hits you with a boulder and finally if you don’t get that you hit a brick wall.
I’m not sure where I heard that, somehow I feel Oprah said it.
The other part of this is once you notice the pain and have made the call to change it and you are doing something about it, the pain begins to disappear.
The body is always talking to us and pleading with us to listen.
I’m going to address women now because as women we are givers, and yet we are often very stingy with ourselves. I hear this day in and day out, how there isn’t enough time and how we don’t know how to help ourselves. I think we do know but deny ourselves out of self-loathing. We deny ourselves the very thing that would make us whole. If we gave ourselves that we would have no more excuses and ultimately be happy.
Let’s think about that for a minute, is that why it’s so hard to get what we want because that is the very thing we are afraid of?
That means we are also afraid of the loss of the old us. What we think in our brain is the old definition of us: that we hold everything we want at arm’s length just to keep ourselves in the place that feels comfortable and safe. Afraid that if we stretch, and believe me it is a stretch,
and have some discomfort, we wouldn’t be able to handle it. I have days where I give and give and have very little left over for myself. I am so disappointed with myself on those days. I am disappointed because I didn’t go for a walk, or sit outside and enjoy the birds, or sit with a cup of tea, take a bath, or call a friend. On those days I eat food I don’t want to eat, drink too much wine, and don’t nurture myself. I am too TIRED to nurture myself. Continue this year in and year out, now the healer is compromised, the mother is compromised, the father is compromised, the worker, the student, the grandparent and on and on.
I think what it is we really really want, but cannot let ourselves have is Peace.
I feel it is peace in our soul. Peace from all the hectic craziness that surrounds us. Unconditional love and understanding, as if we are our own best friend. We are, and yet we forget ourselves. We leave US out of the party. We deny ourselves the very thing we really want from our best friend: compassion and connection.
When my daughter was born my son was having a difficult time adjusting and so I had a conversation with the director of his pre-school. Her suggestion was to spend 30 minutes a day in SPECIAL TIME. It would be only he and I and I would have to do anything my son wanted for 30 minutes. We could go for a walk, play, read anything. At 30 minutes the special time was over and then we could do again tomorrow. I would have to explain to my daughter how it was our special time and she would have to wait. Of course it wasn’t hard for her she was two months old. This simple technique worked so well, my son quickly got over his anger because he had my attention, he felt important.
What if we gave ourselves special time? 30 minutes of our undivided attention. So what will you do with your 30 minutes? I want you to keep it small: a cup of tea and looking over your joys for the day, sitting or walking in nature, writing a note to a friend, writing a love note to yourself, putting music on and making yourself move in some way, especially if you don’t want to, stretches that make your body feel good, gardening, painting, writing.
It is in these smaller moments that we feel our hearts and can begin to see our pain and begin to get out of our way and give to others. In moments we can find peace. That is above all else what I think we are looking for.
” How are the waves of change opening new directions for you?”