Pain and the art of mindfulness

I have said before in my classes how mindfulness is much easier when we are going through easy times. Sitting there and breathing with your eyes closed may have the obstacle of a busy mind, but this obstacle is not the same as a stressed out body.

Guess who is dealing with some pain?

My cat got pretty sick about a week ago. At the same time, my partner left for a business trip. I was super worried that something would happen to him while Mike was gone, so I stayed with this sad cat on my lap for days. I slept upright. I slept frozen in position. I watched movies at 2 in the morning.

He got better. I got worse.

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My back, used to flexibility, movement and care, did not like this frozen position. It seized, then spasmed. I dealt with it and subbed my classes, figuring it would go away.

Five days later, I have been massaged, foam rolled, acupunctured, herbed, iced, heated, and the pain lingers. It is there all the time. It frustrates me and I fluctuate between surrender and frustration. I have lost the ability to use my body for anything but walking, at least for now. It was hard to sit long enough to write this.

There must be a lesson in this. I have slowed down but I have to become okay with being slower. I have to learn how to breathe and love the parts of myself that are inflamed and annoyed. The parts that need a healing voice rather than a voice of judgement.

This is hard work.

Anytime I have been in pain, it always helps me to be a better teacher once I am back on the horse, so to speak. It helps me not to rush my students and to meet them where they are. It helps me to listen to them as I try to listen to the messages my body gives me, even when that message is “ow.”

Meditation is not just for the good times. If you are in pain (emotional or physical) this meditation I recorded this month will resonate. I want you all to know you aren’t alone, whether you are struggling or thriving. Your body will shift and change through your life, through each year, through each second. I am using this time to remember not to take my health for granted.

If you give this meditation a shot, please do let me know what you think.

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