Saturday, March 19, 2016

Change and Our Bodies

"Progress is not possible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything."
-George Bernard Shaw

This year is a year my plans involved focusing more on a book I am writing about relationships than I am on my blogs. Yet I find that life happens, no matter what we are planning, and there is a bigger plan if we let ourselves follow it instead of trying to control things. As I am making room for the book I am writing, things keep happening which prevent me from doing much writing. One of the things happening is that I am and have been in the process of selling my house and buying and moving into another house. This, as you know, is a lot of work, time and energy. In addition, every time I sit down to write on my tablet where I enjoy writing, I find something isn't working right and it won't let me save or share what I have written. When you write, you want to know that you can build on what you have written, so this has been a frustrating time for me. As these things are going on I find I am having some physical aches and pains which I ordinarily don't experience. Being a chiropractic physician, I also deal with the aches and pains of my patients on a daily basis. Our bodies house who we are and are a reflection of what is going on inside of us. As change occurs in our lives, we often find that the change is shown and experienced in some way in our bodies. 

How we experience change is a very individual thing. I was speaking with a couple of friends just today and we were sharing moving residence experiences. One gentleman spoke of how being a child of a military father, he moved so many times growing up he lost count. Now as an adult, moving does not phase him. Another friend was saying how his wife is like a gypsy in that she loves to move, and even with three children, they have moved four times in the last ten years. It becomes a way of life for them. Of course, change occurs in many ways and is an inside job.  

In my work, I see this phenomenon of how we work with change daily. The more we are able to flow with what is going on in our lives and our reactions to people, things and situations, the amount of dysfunction reflected in our bodies are usually minimal. When we have resistance to what is going on in our lives and we have unconscious reactions to things and people, we often develop pains in our backs, our shoulders, our necks, our heads, and so on. These physical symptoms are actually a guide for us to find our way back to what is going on inside of us. An analogy is in the fairy tale, Hansel and Gretel. When they are walking through the woods, they decide to put down bread crumbs as a path so they can find their way back. They didn't realize that the crumbs would and could be eaten by small animals and birds, and so got lost because the path was no longer evident. 

In our bodies, the pain we feel is our path, but we have lost or misplaced our connection to what it is there to help us to understand. Part of my work is to help by being a facilitator  to locate the meaning of the pain and to regain a connection to our lost parts or memories. Part of the dilemma is that our early memories are stored throughout our bodies by our sensations and body reactions and they are a memory before words to understand or make sense of our early life experiences. So often it is hard to locate an exact memory, but we can see that our current pain, headaches, for example, show us part of what things were like for us when we were little. They become part of the quilt of our early experiences. I have a patient who gets headaches quite frequently, and some are quite intense. She knows that there are many factors which contribute to them, including hormone fluctuations, trigger foods, and also events, dreams and emotions. Locating them and making sense of them are difficult until we can see them as part of a large quilt that she is putting together again through her body experiences. Without those physical symptoms, she would lose the thread to part of her unconscious. 

So change can be difficult on many levels, and yet, through understanding the language of the body, it can be a path to understanding us on a greater level so we can live more whole, vital and healthy lives. 

Shift Your Story/Shift Your Life 

Take a minute and think about something in your life in which you might be having trouble flowing with, or find you have some resistance to. Have a tablet or sheet of paper and pen with you and just begin to write about that situation. Just write without censorship of what you are writing. What is going on? How does it make you feel? What do you want to do in response? What is your initial response, and how would you like to be able to respond? What is the story you find you're telling yourself? Is there a fear that comes up? How and where do you feel this in your body? Tune in and see how is your breath, the tension in your neck or shoulders, any pain in your head as you think about this, do you tense your feet, how is your stomach feeling, and so on. Just notice and write down the sensations and feelings.  

Now take a minute and write down: What could I do now that I couldn't do before if anything? What does this person or thing or situation remind you of? How was it for you then? Is there a correlation to then and how you are feeling now? Breathe into it and breathe into the part of the body that feels tense or however it is feeling. Just breathe. Now write down one word or one sentence that comes to you that gives you insight, part of a memory, describes a feeling, or just anything that comes up for you. Let this go. 

Read what you wrote and keep it next to your bed or desk and read it again tomorrow and see what comes up for you.