Living with chronic pain at any level is a extremely difficult thing. I know from experience.
There were years when I forgot what it's like to live life without that familiar discomfort.
Though yoga therapy and meditation has CHANGED it, it wasn't always clear what I was doing and if it was helping.
I was just trying to exist.
I slammed into a tree skiing years ago and though I continue to suffer from whiplash effects to this day, I was fortunate to walk out of the hospital. The interesting thing is that ever since I can remember, I had so much emotional pain. I can see how some of this even factored into the circumstances of the accident.
Then I did the thing that I thought was best at the time, which was to say, "I'm fine." Though I had a mindfulness practice, I was using intense yoga and a "go-go-go" mentality to prove to myself that I was fine.
In so many ways I wasn't fine, and my body began to whisper that to me...then it talked...then shouted...and finally once it started screaming, I paid attention.
I had no choice, my upper back, neck and shoulder pain that had been my "limiting factor" became debilitating and was running my life. I wanted to die. I would curl in a ball after work and wail out for help, wondering if I would even be able to participate in the world.
It took this tipping point to bring everything I had on board - my mind, emotions, all my money, life force - everything. I surrounded myself with doctors, body workers and therapists of all kind. Like a round table of experts, and I was the one with the final say.
I was tempted to succumb to my diagnosis. I was confused and lost in the system, trying to get imaging without being able to afford it, and getting rejected so many ways. I was already exhausted. I didn't see how anyone is supposed to take control and navigate the system in that condition.
What happened when I made it a commitment to "get to the bottom of the pain" is that now I was listening to what it had to tell me.
There was a psychosocial component and stress equaled huge flare-ups.
On this journey, I uncovered deep resistance within myself, fears of all kinds, anxiety, and even past hurts. This all felt painful too and there were many moments, where in the safety of an epsom salt bath, I practiced breathing and entering INTO the dark night of the soul.
Slowly but surely I was able to change my relationship to pain, which opened up so much relief and potential for feeling good.
It's still something I work with everyday. What emerged was an overwhelming compassionate understanding for the suffering of everyone, and a knowing that I have a roadmap to offer others in pain.
I don't promise that you will become instantly better and I would never claim that it's easy. It's taken me a long time and a lot of dedication to not giving up.
I'm no longer just existing - but thriving.
There are certain things that I did and continue to do - and the pain has never been the same.
I am transformed and new and all of that, and if you want it, I can show you how to get there.