It's 5:03 p.m. and you have just left work with high hopes of scooting into traffic before the usual dinnertime craziness strikes...but, unfortunately, it's forming ahead of you.
One block up and there you are...stuck in a traffic jam.
We ALL know what this is like.
The frustration of being frozen in place when every cell in our body wants to move. But we are constrained by the circumstances of the moment. We are wedged in on every side. Our annoyance and irritation are growing because we are stuck. There is no motion or movement and it's making everything worse. : (
You have just read my metaphor describing what happens in our body when a pain occurs and we choose to contract.
Here are some examples of what "contract"ion looks like:
"Oh no, what's happening to me now?"
"I hate when this happens. I thought I was over this."
"I have to fix this...where is the aspirin?"
" This is __________'s fault for talking to me like that."
and your body records the frustration with increased stress and tension.
All of these thoughts tend to make us contract...from anxiety or distress. They either express our exasperation, our attempt to "fix" something or our tendency to find someone else to take the blame...in effect, causing the "traffic jam" in our body to Intensify and the pain to worsen.
And by choosing the route of contraction we miss the traffic "signal" of our body (the pain) which is there to help us navigate our way through the impasse. We fail to recognize...to hear the body's message and honor it...and that message is..."Something is STUCK and we need to help it move."
AND HOW DO WE ACCOMPLISH THIS?
We accomplish this by sitting quietly and observing the pain...experiencing how it is expressing itself.
We watch it softly...non- judgmentally...for however long it is present and we patiently track its movement, paying close attention to what it feels like.
Over time, with our acceptance and patience, in my experience the pain WILL move and change its expression several times and...eventually... it will release its hold on the body.
This journey of release is the path energy takes when it is allowed to move. When it is kept hostage by contraction (just like when we are caught in the unyielding traffic jam), it grows more intense and more upsetting and, yes, more painful.
The ancient Hopi tribe was very aware of the powerful effect of moving energy and used this principle in its healing rituals. Unfortunately, in contemporary life, we often choose outside sources to help us when the body itself is its OWN healing agent if we but listen to its message and get out of our own way.
By allowing our energy to disengage from the point of pain and move of its own volition we can honor the exquisite wisdom of our body when it is stuck in its own traffic jam and begin the beautiful journey of release.
image from science roll.com.