As you, here in my community may know I have just gone through a few challenging days. I have noticed tension in my back for a couple of weeks … probably as a result of slightly overworking which I have a tendency to. After getting my spine adjusted a couple of times, I could feel a strong energy running through my back and into my head. This was at midday. By 10pm I could not get up from my sofa anymore. My neck, shoulder area and upper back have locked completely. I was in shock. How could this have happened? My mind started to go crazy… I am loosing days of work/income, what If I wont be able to go on my planned Austria trip in 2 days? Did something break in my spine? Etc etc….
Basically my mind took me on a crazy fearful ride of negative thoughts with the only solution to remove this pain/obstacle immediately.
I felt a rush of anxiety that later made space for anger, upset and a feeling of being totally pi**ed off and disempowered. The pain was extreme, I couldn't sleep and my distress and resistance grew even more.
Then, as I was lying flat in the bed, unable to move or distract myself in any way, I suddenly I remembered some important lessons that I have been blessed to receive at several occasions, especially this year. “TAKE THIS AS AN OPPORTUNITY”, a voice inside of me whispered. Hmmmm…. So as I slowed down my mind I realised that instead of fighting the sensation and the pain, what I could do is simply practice being present with it. As some of you may know, Baba Ram Dass is probably one of my most influential and inspiring teachers and I remembered his wise words. “When you find yourself in a challenging experience, may it be physical or emotional, try not to ignore it or push it away. Bring your full presence and awareness to that place and create some space around it”. That might not have been the actual words, but my interpretation of the teaching. I hope it is understandable.
If 2020 has taught us anything at all so far (WHAAAAT? Endless lessons coming in here!!!) I would say it is that it is getting harder and harder to ignore the pain and suffering of our planet and humanity. It is almost like a huge purge is taking place and we are waking up to realities that may be very uncomfortable or even horrifying. Can we just look away and ignore it all? We probably can, but we will obstruct our own development, growth and evolution as well as the one of our planet Earth. When we don’t look into the darkness, we won’t be able to see the light.
To hold space and stay present in the face of incredible darkness and suffering is not or the faint hearted and often you may find this bypassing in the “spiritual” or “New Age” community. Often it is believed in these communities that we can only talk about Love & Light … when in reality it simply is not.
PRESENCE is the greatest gift you can give yourself, any processes and the Earth and your fellow humans. How about next time a loved one, a friend, a family member shares a difficult experience with you, instead of trying to cheer them up or distract or share your own story, you simply offer your presence. Listen, look them in the eye, breathe calmly. Notice the effects this has on the other person. Through your presence their pain has space to shift, possibly shift or dissolve.
So I did the same with the incredible pain in my back. I usually am not a fan of painkillers anyway, because I believe every pain has a message for us. Trying to get our attention. So I stayed calm. I breathed and I brought my awareness to the area of tension and simply created a space around it. Somehow after several minutes it became more bearable. I could hold it. I didn’t wanna run away from it anymore. The pain was keeping me there, still. No way I could leave the house or go to work, or clean or garden. Just be still. Rest. What a relief! I was still feeling incredibly uncomfortable and couldn’t sleep through the night as I woke up in pain, but my mind had changed. I was not in resistance anymore. I moved into acceptance. And that brought an inner smile and sense of peace. AAAAAHHHH what a relief!
How about next time when you experience something challenging or painful, or hear a story about the suffering happening in the world, instead of trying to quickly flip the switch, you stay. Breathe deeply and consciously (BREATH is still the most important tool here) and have the intention to create some sense of spaciousness around the issue. Feel every aspect of the discomfort. I promise you, you will be rewarded on the other end.
The ones who are able to face the most darkness, become the biggest vessels to hold the light!
Sending you so much LOVE,