What is there to gain from pain? Part 2
I wrote that in October 2013.
At the time, I was suffering from severe shoulder and neck pain that restricted my ability to use my right arm. The pain kept me up at night as I struggled to find a comfortable position to sleep in. Fear and anxiety crept up on me constantly as I wondered if I would ever get out of pain. Would I ever be able to drive, work in the garden, practice bodywork, put my shirt on again? Was this the beginning of being old and decrepit? Did I need surgery?
Now it is a year and half later.
I’m practicing yoga and Qi Gong. I’m working in the garden. My hope, that the pain was a gateway, has come true.
Having dedicated the previous twenty years to practicing and teaching massage therapy and ten more years studying Chinese medicine, I was devastated that acupuncture, massage, and Qi Gong were not solving my problem. So, I drug myself to a yoga class.
Yoga, like Chinese Medicine, is greatly misunderstood in the west.
Yoga means to “come together,” to “unite.” A further meaning of the word yoga is “to attain what was previously unattainable.” (from The Heart of Yoga, T.K.V. Desicachar.)
The practice of authentic yoga, involving a determined investigation of my mind, has led me away from pain and toward possibility. Bit by bit I have learned a new level of sensitivity, and the ability to compassionately respond to the signals of my body and mind. A little at a time I have changed, I have transformed and continue to heal.
I have had the good fortune of meeting great teachers during my life. My deepest gratitude to Chris Acosta of St. Petersburg Yoga for opening another gateway of healing and possibility for me.
Read part 1 here – What is there to gain from pain?