“The only way we can change the way we feel is by becoming aware of our inner experience and learning to befriend what is going inside ourselves.”
Bessel A. van der Kolk

In 2004, I was working out at a gym and tore the trapezius, rhomboid, and latissimus dorsi muscles on my left side after lifting weights.

In 2022, I still regularly experience that pain.

I’ve sought all forms of treatment over the years — from physical therapy to yoga to muscle activation therapy to reiki to craniosacral therapy to chiropractic care to biomat therapy to meditation to cupping therapy to acupuncture to neural reset therapy to tapping. But nothing seemed to work with lasting results. The pain would always return.

And then recently, while reading The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel A. van der Kolk, I began to examine the relationship I have with my body.

See the Beauty: Stuck

Thinking back to all the similar musculoskeletal injuries I’ve experienced in my life — broken bones, torn hamstrings, sprained ankles, torn calves, etc. — the pain always ceased after proper care and treatment. So what was different about this injury? Why does it never fully leave my body? And why does it seemingly come and go as it pleases — with or without physical exertion?

In his book, van der Kolk shared how people who are in states of heartbreak and gut-wrench protect themselves by shutting down the emotional awareness. They “cut off relationships to their bodies [and] may not feel what’s happening in their bodies. They may not register what goes on with them.”

And that got me thinking: what if I’ve been trying to relieve physical pain that was actually emotional pain at its core?

More than that, what’s my present relationship with my body? And how connected am I to my own emotions? Are they welcome or have I shut them down? And who was I in 2004? Was was happening to me at that time or what was I still carrying into that moment from the past?

Most importantly, how can I get my heart, mind, body and brain unstuck today? How do I find release, movement, freedom?

How can I feel relaxed, safe, and full of goodness?

. . .


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