As you graduate from one level of your care to another, resolve what no longer works, and start really opening up to the health you deserve, sometimes pain, problems, conditions, stressors, or aspects of yourself seem like they’ve been around so long that they have seemed like a part of you. It may sometimes seem that the challenges have defined you. The good news is that they don’t anymore. There’s a pause and a peacefulness, that you’ve been looking for all along.
When you are healthy enough to let go and discharge all of your bound-up pain, stress, and subluxation, it’s like removing a splinter from your finger. Your focus was on the pain, on the splinter, and on doing whatever it took to remove it from your finger once and for all. When the splinter has been removed, there’s a space that hasn’t been there before, a “gap” where the splinter, the focus, and the effort once was. There’s a sense of space, peace, and pause. It’s an “emptiness” that’s not really empty.
What does that mean? The distractions are now gone. You can “zoom out” from the narrow focus of the splinter and begin to see your finger again, possibly with new eyes. You likely wouldn’t even have put all this energy into your finger if there hadn’t been a splinter in the first place. You might not have appreciated everything for which you use that finger! You probably wouldn’t feel this grateful to have a working finger! You see, your challenges can actually help “wake you up” to gratitude and appreciation for your body, emotions, mind, relationships, and ability to do things you normally would take for granted. Wounds can become gifts, and you can keep on giving those gifts.
From this perspective, you begin to shift focus from “doing and changing”, which is vital at certain Stages of Healing and in certain Seasons of life, to “being and appreciation”. You “zoom out” your perspective from the space where the splinter once was, to an appreciation of your finger, to an appreciation of how your finger is connected to your hand, to an appreciation of all of your fingers. You expand your appreciation to your whole hand, your arm, how your arm and mind are connected, how your fingers express the actions of your thoughts, and how your mind and body are really one. As this shift happens, it can go pretty far. You may begin to even notice space between your thoughts as your brain slows down from “fight/flight” into “being”. Your “human” brain finally relaxes, and there’s space for your “heart” brain to silently enter the conversation.
When the problem, condition, stressor, or aspect of yourself that you’ve been focused on healing for so long is resolved, who remains?
I used to be afraid of Stage 8. I defined myself by my intelligence and my ability to contribute, to do. I really thought that if I couldn’t do things to take care of other people, if I couldn’t directly help someone, that I didn’t really exist! It seems crazy now, but that’s what I used to believe! So one day, as I was exercising at home, carrying 70 pounds of weights, I slipped and tumbled down a stairwell. My brain was concussed. It was like the thoughts were literally knocked out of my head. I observed this complete mental silence, with no thoughts, no plans, and no inner monologue, and I just started laughing. For the next few weeks, I was unable to practice. My body felt like gravity was three times as strong. I was slow, sluggish, and tired. I was emotionally volatile and simply could not focus my mind. Basically, my worst fear had come true. I could not think and could not help people.
At any previous Stage of Healing, this would have been Hell on Earth. I would have been suffering, despairing, polarized, blaming, and all that good stuff. Yes, there were moments like that, and they were really just fleeting moments. At this Stage, I literally laughed at the perfect timing for me to literally get “knocked out of my head”, to “zoom out” my perspective, to see that I am more than what I know and what I do. I am a SOUL! I am a human BEING! There is far more to me than my thinking mind. I was and am the observer of my thoughts, my feelings, my plans, my emotions, my body. I was and am the space between those experiences, the space within those experiences, and that which includes those experiences. Basically, my concussion allowed an “acute onset Stage 7 to 8 experience”, where I was whole enough to discharge who I had been, like a splinter being ejected from the body, and to experience the “bigger picture” of who I really am.
With this experience, I was so grateful to be alive! I could have easily died in that fall, and I was ALIVE! How wonderful! I felt so grateful. I was so grateful for my team at the office. Without them, the practice could have easily shut down without me. It kept running! How wonderful! I felt grateful.
I was so grateful for my wife telling me to STAY HOME. She supported me and cared about me as a person, not as a project to be fixed or completed, as a PERSON! How wonderful! I felt grateful.
The more whole you become, the less you need major catastrophic injuries, breakdowns, and challenges to “Wake up” to these experiences. Gratitude and appreciation become more “normal” as your baseline way of engaging in the world. It’s experiencing and expressing gratitude “just because”. The more attached you are to your old limitations, the more life MUST drop kick you to move through. That just reveals where earlier Stages of Healing get to be addressed in your health adventure, so you can even be grateful for that! Your body is smart. This is the junction where your spinal nerve system and your brain start engaging with a different kind of brain, the heart brain. So take some time to enjoy the space… the adventure is really just beginning!
That you have chosen to partner with Intrinsic Care on your healing adventure is a source of tremendous gratitude and thankfulness. It will be tremendously exciting to see what adventures await you as you graduate to Beyond Wellness Care, where you and I can explore this next Season and the ones that follow together.