As a coach, I “live it to give it.” That means that I use the same exercises and tools I use to help my clients. Sometimes I work with other coaches because it helps having someone else who can see through the stories I tell myself as well as keeps my “left brain” from interfering in messages from my body. The rest of the time, I self-coach so that it’s a part of my daily routine.
Frequently throughout the day, I will check in with my body to keep my mind-body connection flowing and strong. It’s like exercising muscles…”use it or lose it.” (Though, once a connection is made it’s too delicious to ever even want to lose it.) While every day brings new insights, one “Climb Into Body” session in particular was too mind-blowing not to share.
For some background, the past 20 years or so I have suffered from chronic back pain. On my 30th birthday, I threw my back out for the first time and then consistently continued to throw it out about once a quarter for the few years after. Between chiropractic visits, therapy exercises and core strengthening, I have been able to keep the daily pain to manageable and increased the time between herniated discs to once every couple of years. It also meant changing certain activities and awareness of ‘protecting’ my back, which has been a whisper in my mind even when I sleep.
When I first started setting a timer three times a day to “Climb Into My Body,”* it was hit or miss on whether I’d get any messages. As I learned to connect with the physical sensations (vs concepts), metaphors and messages started getting stronger. Some messages from my body are simple, others deep and profound.
Last week, when my afternoon timer went off, I had coincidentally just finished up a meditation. I had participated in Oprah Winfrey & Deepak Chopra’s “21 Day Meditation Challenge” – Day 21 was “Extraordinary Me” and focused on Joy being our greatest desire. As I pondered this question, I heard my phone beep and thought “Perfect timing!”
What is my mind thinking right now?
Answer: “What is my greatest joy?”
What emotions/feelings are running through me?
Answer: Curiosity, Calm, Wonder (are those emotions? if not, they should be!)
What sensations are in my body right now? Do a scan:
As I scanned my body and noticed various sensations starting from my feet, up my legs, into my torso and chest, down my arms, up my neck and into my head…I started to feel my heartbeat pumping blood in various parts of my body. This was a new sensation for me as usually I can feel it in my chest and yet this time, I could feel it in my head and my arms and my legs.
Again, I pretty much always have pain in my low back that goes from mild annoyance to straight out spasm (and the latter less so since starting Life Coach training). I noted the pain yet stayed focused on my heartbeat.
Suddenly my whole back started to tingle (almost ticklish) and then felt a rolling wave of icy coolness…almost like chills rolling across my whole spine into my neck and down my shoulders. It came in pulsing waves of cooling from the inside out. I didn’t dare disturb my back to check if it felt cool to the touch, but I did allow my left hand to move to my thigh and it was cold to the touch. Keep in mind, the room I was in was hot and humid (no AC, and about 78 degrees outside).
As I embraced this sensation, I went through the exercise and noted three descriptors of the sensation: Permeating, Fluid, Soft
I named it Cool Tingle. “I am Cool Tingle.”
I asked myself as Cool Tingle: “What is my purpose?”
Answer: “To sooth and calm you.”
I asked: “How am I hear to help Jennifer?”
Answer: “To take away your pain. To comfort you and to flow.”
I asked: “What is the wisdom I want to impart?”
Answer: “Chill out. Don’t worry. I got this. You are self-healing.”
I sat fascinated with this sensation for what felt like a long time. I thanked it, and it then subsided.
Folks – ALL my back pain was gone. I can’t describe how light my body felt, how much energy I had and my urge to move and dance and turn and twist in ways I haven’t dared to in over 8 years.
Reading and studying about the healing benefits of reconnecting with your body is one thing. To feel and witness the power of it is nothing short of miraculous. God/Higher Power has given each of us an incredible gift in the form of ourselves and the unique gifts we offer to the world. Tapping into that and releasing parts of ourselves that have been stifled, stuffed down, disconnected from is a path I hope you all have the courage to journey through.
*The Climb-Into-Body tool is reprinted with permission from Martha Beck, Inc. Copyright, Martha Beck, www.marthabeck.com