I want to talk again about my body and TMS. Related to an earlier post found here (I really wanted to be able to that). TMS is just what Dr Sarno has kept as the name for this catch-all phenomenon of our brain diverting unwanted emotion into our body and is usually experienced as pain.
About a month ago I started applying this theory and method I read about in Dr Sarno’s book, Healing Back Pain. I had done one yoga class without modifying. No pain. I have done the exact same thing in all my classes since then and: no pain. The only truly, structural wonky place I think I have (I say I think because I don’t trust any of my physical ailments anymore) is in my knees. But I don’t coddle them like I used to. And when there’s a pose or an action where I decide to push them and it feels iffy there has been no consequence. Here’s the new stuff that has happened in there: MY BACK IS GETTING STRONGER. My HEART is opening even more as well as my shoulders and chest. Which is all kind of the same thing. No more is it about what I can’t do because I’ll hurt myself or bring on pain. Now I just look for fatigue or, get this, I don’t want to. Because now yoga can only be for vitality, for fun/joy. For working my strong body. For moving energy. But not for preventing pain, which was a “have-to”. I saw my relationship with yoga change pretty quickly. I left for Kauai soon after my commitment to this new way of life. I did yoga (mainly stretching) like, once. I also would have BIG preparation for being on a plane and sitting in that seat for 5-6 hours. I would have been anticipating all the pain that comes with it. I had mild discomfort. Which is a world away from what it was before.
Very shortly after I wrote that first post, a month ago, I went running. I did competitive running; I would run 5K road races in middle school and high school. I gave up running maybe 13 years ago. I “had” to because it hurt so much. There was so much literature out there that confirmed it. I took it; hook, line, and sinker. That running is too high-contact. Women aren’t built for it. Too much pounding. Only with these shoes or barefoot shoes. And if you read that post you would know that I was running full tilt on an endless supply of rage. And potential energy that had been restricted in my body for so long. I was not in pain when I ran. I felt the pressure of running, the pounding on joints but that was it. As I got warmed up that all went away. And I didn’t run delicately, or stretch, or go slow. I ran hard. It felt awesome. I also realized I don’t like running that much. As a sport or hobby. I seem to like to use it when I want to use my strong body and move energy. Its also really convenient where I live. I’m not liking getting in my car. I don’t like venturing far from my village. I can’t prove this theory yet but I seem to have stopped doing some things that I thought I had to stop doing that I realize I also don’t like doing. Like lifting things. I HATE LIFTING THINGS! MOVING BOXES! I hate Warrior One (used to, hating it less now), I hate plank (again, less now that I’m getting my seemingly weaker parts working), I don’t really like running.
As for this old pain body that I’ve been leaving behind; I still have a few trouble spots. I have to stay on top of them. They are nothing like they used to be. Like this sciatic nerve on my left side going from butt cheek to left calf. My brain likes this spot. As well as my neck and low back. I have not yet conquered my neck, BUT I WILL. My low back is not so much pain but stiff and creaky-cracky. And my feet and calves are very different. I don’t really think about my feet much now. And they were always the first thing to be worked on in body work, always. And my calves used to be a big pain spot and now they seem to radiate energy. I’m focusing on them now and its like wave of energy coming off. My neck seems to be my main information center, it requires a lot of attention because so much is registering there. I rarely experience pain there its more like it would become tense and always for a reason. God, is this boring? I had trouble writing this one, thinking its trivial.
I’m not sure I can explain how much possibility has opened up in my mind and my life. Waaaaay past just my body, and that in its self has been huge. Its just leads to that question: What else is possible? As well as my newly enhanced belief in mind over matter. The next logical step is looking at my food restrictions. Yes, I can hear all of you saying, ‘No shit, Emily’. Fuck you. I started to experiment in Kauai with….CHOCOLATE. I have been lamenting my separation from chocolate ever since it happened. Whenever that was, a few years ago, I had a half a bar of dark chocolate sometime in the afternoon and my heart didn’t stop racing for hours, terrible time falling asleep that night. And chocolate was almost always paired with sugar. Another no-no. I was very moderate in my experimenting. I found a 40% chocolate, sugar free (sweetened with stevia and erythritol) and loved it and I was fine. And I had smoothies. Let me tell you; these are all things I had had to stop eating for the last three years or so because of my blood sugar. Even just fruit sugar would blow out my neck and I’d be a mess not to mention couldn’t sleep. So I see it like this: The me three years ago, or a year ago even, couldn’t receive this message. The step I was on: the hyper-awareness, the restriction, the discipline also lead to healing, awareness and a new-found sense of nurturing. Also, using my voice. Just being what I was: a fragile, no dairy, no egg, no gluten, no sugar, no caffeine-eating, not helping ANYBODY MOVE, yogi woman. I had to be that! Now I can start making some different choices because my MIND and my BODY and spirit are ready.
I have had two voice lessons so far. I had a moment in my first lesson, just a half second, where I had to choke back a big cry because I felt such joy and gratitude. (I choked it back because that does not need to be what happens in my first voice lesson with this nice young lady who just met me. Can you see it? “I’m just so overwhelmed by joy and my own humanity right now, you know?”) To be doing something that brings me such joy and to have finally arrived at doing it! I’m seeing that my mind/ego can go to incredible and complicated lengths to disrupt peace and joy.