The human body has been designed to resist an infinite number of changes and attacks brought about by its environment. The secret of good health lies in successful adjustment to changing stresses on the body.” ~ Harry Johnson from A-Z quotes1 1.)
The quote above offers insight that may seem more and more apparent as we get older, It leads to the question of just how we may discover those successful adjustments to make to help us move better in our world.
Fortunately, the ancient Yogis and Sages and most present day practitioners of the healing arts agree that we have the answers within us. Our dis-ease and dis-stress comes when we have lost connection to our innate “wholeness”.
As hopeful as that is to considerwhen we are in acute pain or feeling overwhelmed the feelings and mindsets that come in those time may overwhelm any hints to that way back to ease and health. In these moments we just want relief and a way out of our problems.
Often western medicine can help us with the relief and way out part of things. Medicines can relieve pain, relieve some affects stress, mood issues and anxiety, and improve so many measures of health in the body and mind. Making sure that what is going is assessed and addressed properly to keep us safe is paramount so we can skillfully move forward with addressing the deeper roots of our challenges.
Still, it is often that symptomatic solution may not not address the non-medical, lifestyles and personal roots of our difficulties. More and more medicine is receptive to incorporating ways of addressing health concerns that invite changes lifestyle and habits to go beyond disease the disease model of healthcare and into wellness.
The role our work in Yoga mediation and the healing arts begins here. From this perspective our difficulties become opportunities when we become aware, in an accepting and compassionate way, of we may participate in creating our concerns and make changes top begin to take charge of our own health.
The 3 phases of creating this healthy change through awareness are;
1.) Awareness itself. This awareness is not just knowing there is pain or distress. In skillful healing work we beomce acquainted with a way of knowing ourelves that rises above our habitual way we know ourselves. From this perch, often called witness consciousness(an easier concepts than it might seem last first) notice some new insights and relationships between ihow we are thinking or being in our bodies and the problematic symptoms we are experiencing.. From a new perspective we may notice that our emotional reactions to a situation are disproportionate to it. From we may connect this to how that agitates our body and mind, creates inner stress and/or impacts our relationships in negative ways.
In our movement work here awareness through mindful movement comes with a focus on the sensations and feeling they create in our body and reactions in our mind. This is is designed to uncover and reveal heretofore hidden, direct connection these moment habits have to the stress, pain or tension inherent in pain or other bodily symptoms. Going slower working with more attention the movement habits that we have is the first step to change.
2.) Acknowledging/allowing; The “normal” reaction to an uncomfortable or painful experience is to try to get rid of it, to make it better. Here we come to the understanding that the problem of lingering pain or stress is not in the experience. It lies our resistance to it. The danger of resistance is summed up by the common aphorism guiding wellness work: what we resist, persists.
When what we are doing is linked to our distress and truly acknowledged it is a bell that can’t be un-rung. To avoid avoid and more resistance.this phase of awareness driven change aka us to suspend judgment and or reactions to what is come into awareness and “stay with it”, even if just for a moment. Self-compassion and self-acceptance is key to this stage.
Symptoms are signs, the way the body and mind signal into consciousness that some problem exists. In the way of wellness, pain and pleasure and all the shades in between help us to know our inner world as a way to alert us to problems and support our growth into health and wellness. Resistance is often generated by fears and frustration, showing up as the continued attempts to suppress or mask pain, anesthetize emotions or in so many way to override feeling before healthful insights are made. Without making the connection between what we are doing, how we are thinking or feeling with the experience of pain or distress we may continue to repeat or struggle with our habits without exploring healthy alternatives. So we stay with it to respond in a new, perhaps more effective ways. This is when the next phase
3.) Adjustment The adjustment or changes that spring from awareness come from the belief that when we know how what we are doing impacts, us we can adjusts what we are doing to best support us in our growth toward health and authentic well-being Certainly habits are habits and this is a process of change that has ups and tons for many of us along the way. Helpers in the form of helpful friendships and relationships, ongoing books, classes and other experiences and ongoing therapy with professional practitioners can help you along the way.
The insight and compassion toward ourselves is the practice and product of the faculty of awareness. When we can look at ourselves in a healthily detached way we can notice how our mind and body work and the connection to our present challenges.
Mindfulness focused Meditation, conscious breathing and movement practices(Yoga, meditation, related Somatic Movement disciplines), and insight therapies and practices are great tools to cultivate this way of knowing ourselves in this way.
Students and clients often refer to new, gratifying “aha” moments in the process of change. These moments when deep healing insights occur the changes that result can seem to magically transform issues with which they may have been struggling for long periods of time. Patient and persistent practice allow these healthy insights and changes to integrate.
Over time the innate healing process of our bodies and minds can progressively take hold. These transformation process is taking root and the changes can “become us”
1.) Harry Johnson, From A-Z quotes. om, https://www.azquotes.com/author/22184-Harry_Johnson