Monday, January 30, 2006

Monday, Jan. 30: Mind and Body, Pain and Out of the Pain

Want to feel better? If your body is stiff and uncomfortable, that’s hard, isn’t it? And if your mind is full of trouble and woe, it’s hard then, too. So what to do?

Well, you won’t be surprised if I recommend coming into the present, getting in touch with nature and availing ourselves of the Feldenkrais work, and the Byron Katie work. What do these two systems have in common?

They both are about the learning being from within, and that learning is going to be the source of our freedoms. If you are pissed at your father, you don’t “let go,” you don’t do “affirmations,” you write down the accusations and then learn from the four questions. If you have a sore back, you don’t get it fixed with massage or hot bath, though both of course are sweet and nice, but you learn to use yourself in easier and sweeter ways, so that not only will your back improve, but so will your tennis game and your walking and your sleep and your sex life.

Both can lead to a better sense of humor, because both show us not only our habits, but give us a way out of the addiction to our habits.

This is a good way of looking at most of our unhappiness, as an addiction to bad habit. And even if the habit is one of using our body so that we are very painful, there is usually a mental habit as well of saying, over and over, like a mantra: I’m never going to get better. Or: woe is I, this is lasting so long, when is it ever going to go away?
Sensing the real pain in the present, and beginning to do Feldenkrais work will begin to ease and change us. And to write down the story/thoughts/beliefs about the pain and do the Byron Katie work on those thoughts will also begin to set us free.

Life is a trap if we are addicted to painful thoughts and ways of moving, but within that trap we are presented with a marvelous opportunity, an opportunity to learn how to use our mind and hearts and bodies in sweeter, kind, more fun and pleasurable ways.

Off we go. Breathing, sensing, being present. And if our emotions start to feel bad: find the thought, write it down, and do the Byron Katie work. Our pain is a signal: time to wake up and do something different, more intelligent and kinder to ourselves.

Hmm. That’s good.


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