Health and healing are like life – filled with mystery and complexity and change. It makes the whole question of analyzing symptoms, getting diagnoses, of fixing and curing things quite complicated.
Richard Bach wrote, in his remarkable book Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah “Every problem has a gift for you in its hands.” I add to that “and every illness and symptom has a lesson.”
So when we look at our health, what do we see? A bunch of random symptoms and complaints, sent by a random and perhaps not very kind Universe to bug us and make our lives more difficult?
Or perhaps a quirky constellation of opportunities to learn and grow and transform. Halfway through writing this blog, I bent over to pick something up and strained my back. Life imitating art? Physician heal thyself? What does it mean???
I see so many clients who struggle with their health issues, who wrangle with the questions “why this” or “why me” or “what does it mean?” I confess, when a difficult symptom presents itself, I can very quickly become focused on searching for it’s meaning. But is the meaning really what is significant, or is it really just about – as one of my earliest teachers told me – what we do with it.
Do we take it as an opportunity to look at how we have been caring for ourselves; how much stress we are under, how we are eating and resting and moving and thinking? Do we take the time to listen to our bodies and hear what our deepest needs are? The concept for my guided imagery meditation mp3 Pain and Healing came out of a workshop I taught many years ago. In it, we used guided imagery meditation to explore deeply listening to our bodies and to ask them these questions: what do you need from me, what do you have to teach me and what do I need from you? What can I do to sustain and heal my body, and what does my body offer me as wisdom and support?
When I gave myself the quiet space to ask, I heard how much I have been pushing myself of late, how little I have been supporting my body and how much I have been expecting of it. And no, my back did not instantly feel better! But I felt a sense of peace with the process, and I suddenly understood some of the choices I had been making. By not giving my body the rest and attention it needed during a stressful time, it needed to make me take that time. Understanding that, I was able to slow down, cancel a few clients, get a massage and focus on sending love, appreciation and gratitude to my remarkable body and it’s amazing wisdom. And also an apology for needing a ‘kick in the butt’ to get it!
It still hurts sometimes, it’s still healing. I am committed to letting it take all the time it needs, regardless of my busy agenda, trusting it’s ability to heal. It seems the least I can do…
I invite you to explore pain and healing through this lens, from a place of deep listening and respect and trust. Our relationships with our bodies are a two way street, a give and take, and this kind of work gives you the opportunity to forge a new kind of connection with your body through guided imagery meditation.
I love the writings of Richard Bach, from his early classic Jonathan Livingston Seagull to Illusions -one of my all time favorite books- his profound wisdom always touches me. The full quote from Illusions is “Every problem has a gift for you in its hands, we seek problems because we need their gifts.” What gifts do you need that your magnificent body is offering you? And how can you graciously and gracefully accept them?