Mind-Body Health

Healing the Source of Emotional Pain, Part II


In yesterday's post we explored the roots of emotional pain and several practices for healing this pain. Today we will look at another body-centered approach that can help when you feel stuck in repetitive patterns of thinking, feeling, and acting.

Tune into Your Body

The word emotion comes from the Latin term emovere, which means “to set in motion.” As the etymology implies, emotions are energy or physical sensations associated with thoughts in our mind. They move through our body, and if we are paying attention, they will give us valuable clues that will guide us towards emotional freedom. In the words of Martha Graham, “The body never lies . . . it says what words cannot.” The body knows how to tremble with fear, convulse with anger, or cry in grief. Most of us are trained from childhood to ignore or push down these unsettling emotions, but resistance only intensifies our pain. If we can begin to practice welcoming our feelings all of our feelings we will find that they stop screaming louder to be heard and will instead impart their wisdom and then evaporate into the nothingness from which they came.

Take a moment now and tune into your body. See if there is an area that is calling for your attention – an aching in your back, acidity in your stomach, a pressure in your temples. Bring your full attention into the area and breathe easily.

Now in your imagination, ask your body what it is trying to tell you. What do you need to release that you are holding on to? What do you need to embrace that you are resisting? If your body reveals a need to you, see if you can commit to taking at least one step in the direction of fulfilling that need. Then check in again with your body and see if, as a result of being heard, it is willing to give you some relief.

No matter what has happened in your life up until now, you are capable of making new choices that can improve your situation moving forward. You are inextricably connected to the infinite field of pure potentiality, and therefore you have an innate ability to respond in creative ways that will allow for something new to emerge and for healing to unfold.

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