Friday, June 02, 2006

June 2, ch 8: Bee Sting, Bad Mood, Conscious Speaking

I started yesterday in a bad mood. I didn’t deal with it directly, by writing down the thoughts at war with reality, which is the core of the Byron Katie work, and which I’ll explain later. But at least I didn’t run away from feeling bad into busy-ness, one of the great escapes of our time. I was tempted to drive down to Marin and do a few things: didn’t go. I was tempted to rush around and get another flyer out about my work: didn’t do it. Even the temptation to go off and do more pro bono Feldenkrais with some kids as a school, I resisted. All would have undoubtedly “got my mind off of” whatever was bothering, and I decided no, I was going to stay with myself, go slow and see what kind of a day I would have.

A slow day at first, and then things began to shift. I went to a nearby park, which was getting outside. Going into Nature is always a good start. I read some instructions for an advanced Feldenkrais lesson. I thought about these movements. I got up and did the movements. They were unique and interesting and a great excuse not only to learn, but to be in the present. They were walking and crawling lessons and during the third one, I stepped on a bee.


But, no big story about poor me, no panic. I just lay down and went with the pain, sensing it as deeply as possible. No rush to get rid of it, no words in the head abut wanting it to go away. Almost the contrary, I deeply sensed the pain at the point it hurt the most and added on sensing all the rest of my body as well. And following my breathing. And noticing my connection to the earth as I lay there.

So, I was deeply focusing on the pain, and providing a background of reality sensations for the pain. It got quite intense for awhile, and I looked to see if a little more of the stinger needed to come out, which it did. Then I just lay back and deeply sensed the pain and all of me, and the damndest thing happened: the pain started to disappear. It was almost disappointing. I tried to get it to come back but it kept drifting away.

I realized that I’ve learned this about emotional pain, too. That if you find the place in your body where it “hurts” the most, and sense there deeply, and get so interested in sensing there that this is the focus of your world, radically shifts begin to happen. Usually our suffering is fueled mainly be the words about whatever we are going through, the poor me, how could he/she/they do this to me, I was so wronged, life is so tough kind of words.

But emotional pain always has a physical component, and if we sense that component deeply, the shift happens almost like the bee sting. You get really interested in it and it starts to disappear on you.

I tried this on the tiny remnants of my bad mood, which had pretty much dissipated by the attention to the present of the walking lessons and the intense attention to the bee sting, and sure enough, even the last dregs of “feeling bad” had no choice but to up and disappear.

Then, to cap off a day that remained peaceful and sweet for the remainder, Marlie and I did an exercise called Conscious Speaking, which I’ll introduce in another chapter, but the gist is to talk for five minutes each, no interrupting and total awareness of the moment in both the speaker and the listener. This brings back love, heightens love, connects intimates and/or strangers. It’s an amazing process. I’ll have to write a section on it soon. Meanwhile, sensing the pain is one of the paradoxical ways out of the pain, be it bee sting or bad mood.


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