Pain is a Squeaky Wheel

As I was leading my Tuesday evening class towards Savasana I had a brilliant flash of unoriginal thought:  Pain is a spoiled brat – a squeaky wheel that rattles and drags and pokes until it has taken over. It’s the child constantly tugging at our shirt tails – distracting us and pulling us away from our authentic selves. Yep.  Pain – physical or emotional – is a brat.  It always wants to be the center of attention.

And there we are, giving pain permission to tap dance across our shoulders, pound on our lower back or punch it’s way through our digestive system. How can we say ‘no’?  After all, it’s always there – always shouting – always demanding attention.   (And I guess this is where I should clarify – I’m not talking about the pain of illness, symptoms of disease or broken limbs – anything that means a visit to our primary care physician or – God forbid – emergency room.)

Pain loves being center stage.  But I believe, within us all, there’s peace waiting in the wings. I believe that there is a place in our body that is tranquil and quiet.  Calm.  It makes no noise – it doesn’t squeak or make a show of itself like pain does.  Sadly, while we’re giving all our attention to pain, we turn our back on calm. If pain is the toddler tugging at our shirt tails then calm is the quiet child we forget exists.

We need to listen.  Not to the squeaky wheel – at least not all the time – but to the silence.

Let’s find some time this week for stillness – to find the place within that holds our ability to be centered, calm and tranquil. Let’s breathe in peace and create the clarity and balance we crave.

Everyone is different, but this is what works for me:

  • My place of calm is my solar plexus, the hollow just below my breastbone.
  • When I imagine my breath moving into that space – my heart center – perspective returns.
  • To see the breath moving more clearly I’ve given it a color (yellow).
  • As I breathe I visualize calm filling my entire body until there is no room for discomfort or anxiety.
  • Finally, I see my breath, in my mind’s eye, moving outside my body, wrapping around me like an aura, protecting me.