Dear Awesome Woman,
Ever get a headache?
Well, next time you do – try this : Talk to it.
Yup, that’s right – talk to it.
Now, you may be asking “how do you talk to a headache?” It’s pretty simple, but before I explain the “how”, I’d like to explain the “why”.
Every sensation that shows up in our body contains a message for us. Whether it’s an ache, or a pain or even a tingle that doesn’t hurt – it contains a message for us.
Sensations in our body are typically the physical manifestations of emotional energy. Emotions are “energy in motion.”
We often speak of feelings and emotions as the same thing, but technically they are not. Emotions are experienced in the body as physical sensations. When you turn inward and pay attention to the happenings of your body, you can feel something physical – a lightness or heaviness in your chest, a dull ache in your abdomen etc.
Let’s try it. Wiggle your toes and take a deep breath in. Turn your attention into your body.
Notice what’s going on in there. How’s your stomach feel? How’s your chest feel? Is there an expansive feeling in your lungs or a constricted feeling? How’s your jaw doing? Is it clenched or relaxed?
As you can see, these are very physical sensations. This is your body speaking to you. And this is emotional energy.
Feelings are words that we give to emotional sensations. For example, when we feel sad, there is an actual physical sensation that welled up in our body to let us know that we were feeling sad. It starts out very subtle and then comes into our awareness. But we often don’t pay attention to the physical sensation because we are busy and mostly in our minds, rationalizing things or trying to figure things out.
Our body is speaking to us all the time, but we don’t always care what it has to say. Except when we are hurting, like with a headache or backache. This is when we take notice. Those are loud sensations and they have gotten our attention because of the pain factor.
A headache is when our body has gotten loud. It wants to tell us something. Often times we silence it by taking an ibuprofin to make the pain go away. And I’m all for this because I do not like pain and find it very hard to concentrate on my daily tasks when I’m hurting.
But if we take a few moments and turn into the sensation, instead of immediately turning the sensation off with a pill, we may hear a very important message.
So, the next time you get a headache or really any ache for that matter, do this and write down your answers with a pen and paper:
1) “become” the headache, toothache or whatever pain that you are feeling – that means, saying to yourself “I am the ….” This is a right brain, imaginative exercise, not a left brain, logical exercise, so it will not “make sense” to you. Try it anyway. You have nothing to lose even if it’s silly. You can always pop the pill in a moment.
2) After you say “I am the ….” , describe yourself as the pain with three adjectives. These adjectives may not make sense because they are from the right brain, so this is ok. Just be playful with it.
3) After you say “I am the “…ache” and I am round, red and tight (for example) ” then take a deep breath and
4) Ask this question of the ache: “What is your purpose for showing up this way? What is your helpful message?”
5) Just pause and breathe. See if you get an intuitive “hit” – this message feels neutral in your body and is always kind. It is not mean and tough like the inner critic.
The message may be that you’re angry at so and so and not allowing the emotional energy to flow. It may be that you’re being too tough on yourself and you need to give yourself an “oh, honey” bead.
And then when the body’s message is heard by you, the ache just may go away. If it doesn’t then take that pill, but at least you got some very important message that your body wanted you to know.
I usually get headaches when I am thinking thoughts that are unkind to myself. Or sometimes I’ll get a headache when I am upset with someone and telling myself that I shouldn’t be feeling what I’m feeling. Most likely I’ve clenched my jaw and this tension is what’s caused the headache. When I tune into that ache and do the brief exercise above, I do get a kind message that tunes me into the way that I’ve been treating myself. I then course correct by giving myself an “oh, honey” gem or at least I’m honest with an emotion. If it’s anger or sadness, I’ll bring my attention to it and this allows it to flow (see “Let it Flow, Babe”).
So, be kind to yourself and your body by hearing its messages. It has a lot to tell you.
Wanting further relief from chronic pain? I invite you to check out my 4 session package of “On Your Way to Pain Free.”
Some exciting news!
On January 7th, I’ll be doing a Welcoming Nest Workshop at the Collage Cafe in Evanston. Here’s the link. I’ll be coaching and teaching women how to weave their own Welcoming Nest. This is a hands on workshop – I supply the materials and each woman crafts her own nest. There is space for 10 women and the sign- up can be found on Lindi’s site.
Guide Two: Get Creative, Tune In of the Mind-body Soulution is ready as a free gift. It includes three more fun practices and goes more in depth to the healing benefits of this Mind-body Soul journey.