Hearing the signs that our body is telling us.
Believing that mind, body and spirit are intertwined is one thing in theory, but living that belief is another.
We want the signs from above, that prove we are connected to a higher source, to be grand and miraculous - that’s how they appear in many of the good spiritual books we’ve read after all. We feel short-changed when we realise that more often than not the signs we are looking for have been there all along, and even worse is that they are usually incredibly ordinary and mundane. What happened to the rainbows and cosmic fireworks?
The greatest tool we have been given to interpret our connection between the universe and ourselves is our body. It’s a miraculous machine in itself, with trillions of mechanisms and processes all working together each and every second simply to keep us alive. And, beyond simple survival, it transmits and receives messages from the outside in, and from the inside out. It’s pretty damn awesome when you think about it.
When we experience physical symptoms, therefore, it can often be the body telling us of some form of imbalance or blockage in both the physical body, or as Chinese medicine would perceive it - a blockage in the bio-electric body.
Without getting too cosmic love vibey, we are essentially an energy body, made up of energy systems. This understanding pre-dates modern medicine by millennia too, and so you could say it has been well tested.
Often physical and emotional symptoms express blockages in the energy systems, and the physical or emotional discomfort is a wonderful way for our higher selves to alert us as to potential challenges. It’s a gentle reminder to pay more attention to something that may be out of balance.
To see illness, disease or suffering in this loving way is strange to the Western world where we focus on sickness and blame, guilt and shame rather than loving-kindness and awareness. Modern medicine is all about sickness and cure, whereas Eastern medicine is focused on health and prevention.
Just the last few days I have developed a sore and swollen left wrist, just around the place where I wear a watch. I didn’t injure it in any way, it just started out a bit sore and then worsened and began to swell. My initial tendency was to physically treat it - heat and cold, and then perhaps use anti-inflammatory tablets when necessary. But, after a day or so, I then began to look at it from a holistic point of view. I embraced the pain, and started to focus on what gift it was trying to share with me. What insight was it providing me that I might not be aware of?
When I shifted to this perspective then all the guilt, shame or blame disappears and I become more at one with my whole body, mind, energy system.
My gut feeling at the moment is that this particular sensation is related to a realisation that I had the other day about writing and creativity and about daring to be honest and more vulnerable in my work and how I represent myself. I am awkward on social media, struggling to share myself online in the way others so freely do, and while I understand everybody expresses themselves individually, I also know that there are times that I hide and avoid taking responsibility for putting myself out there, and then blame and curse the rest of the world and all forms of social media for my lack of community and support. Oh dear.
I feel that this is the cause of my current discomfort and so while I will continue to treat it with heat packs and then ice, still rub the anti-inflammatory gel on to it, I will also be gentle and kind to myself while I learn to adapt to a form of self-expression that doesn’t come naturally to me.