My experience with Dr. Lou, my chiropractor, led to another interesting insight. After having experienced a great deal of relief, I noticed that my shoulders were getting tense again. I was concerned because despite my efforts to correct my posture and the way I was holding my shoulders, I felt as if I were backtracking.
I spoke to Dr. Lou about it on my next visit.
After he examined me, he informed me that, in fact, my alignment had improved dramatically and the tightness in my shoulder muscles was gone as well. What I was experiencing was not a return to the earlier tension but a better capacity to pay attention to signals from my body. I was able to feel the physical sensation of tension way earlier than I had allowed myself to do in the past.
I realized that hand-in-hand with this enhanced capacity to be mindful of physical sensations, my capacity to recognize and identify my emotional sensations had improved as well. I found myself paying better attention to my own needs and feelings. In the past I was often oblivious to feelings of overload and exhaustion to the point that I would only become aware of them when I was completely exhausted or ill. Similarly, if in interactions with others, I felt hurt or angry, my feelings would often remain invisible and buried until they reached the point of bursting out (sometimes inappropriately). I realized how important it is for me to pay attention to my feelings and physical sensations to enable me to be wholly present in mind and body. And, of course, I came to understand the value of being present and mindful rather than constantly interrupting my thoughts and feelings by checking email or talking on my cell phone. In short, my experience led me to an important understanding of my need to slow down my life so I could be more present and centered.
What started out as an experience of feeling stuck and inert was actually part of a process of growing and development that left me with new insights about how to be in the world as well as a new sense of being centered and focused.
What made the positive transformation possible was:
- reframing my experience so as to see it as an opportunity rather than a threat;
- sitting in the ambiguity of being in transition without having to know or try to control the outcome;
- allowing myself to be without constantly busying myself with activities;
- paying attention to my body’s physical sensations and the messages they were giving me;
- being present physically, mentally and emotionally so I could better experience life;
- understanding the physical, mental, emotion, and spiritual connections;
- letting go and allowing time for the process to run its course so I would be ready for whatever was coming next;
- finding balance and support by seeking help from professionals and friends; and
- reflecting on the process so I could:
- recognize the connections between my mind (how I viewed what was happening),
- body (being attune to physical sensations),
- emotions (being in touch with my feelings), and
- spirit (being present and open) and understand the importance of having them be in alignment.
Hi Deb! Thank you for sharing this experience with me. It is interesting and well expressed. I felt connected to it through the own transition I am having right now, as you know I moved to Morocco and then to Costa Rica. It is much harder than I thought and I understand now much fully how great Nathaniel was in doing so. To reassure you, I am on the right way because I feel, as you experienced, more connected to myself. I guess my more or less unconcious will to move in another country was a very appropriate change in order to learn and grow. How painful, however, it is to make the step and survive. But after all, I am not going to die because of this transition. I believe God is with me, and everything has its purpose. Thank you very much again and I am glad to see you are doing great. Take care :) love François Côté
Thanks, it was great to read your story that cleverly and humanly illustrated some very important ideas.
I wonder where it will go from here!
Thank you so much for sharing your Guiding Change with me!!! I can relate so much to everythin you wrote. In fact, in the middle of reading, I made an appointment to see my chiropractor, who I haven’t gone to in months. But what I mostly appreciated was knowing it’s all right to be patient in a time of transition and not trying to rush to the next project or goal.
I returned from my six months in Japan at the end of August thinking, okay, now what? It seems like I always have a goal and when I’ve accomplished it, I think there has to be something new right around the corner. Your experience and though processes made me realize that there doesn’t always have to be something constantly going on. There can be a transition period that you can enjoy and be open to something very dynamic without forcing it. I remember speaking about this in our workshop with Kim.
I’m glad you are part of my quilt in life and I feel honored. Thank you again.