08 Dec Messages from our Bodies
As we have moved forward with our Kickstarter for All the Rage, we have received a deluge of incredible communication from people who have either been helped by Dr. Sarno and his work, or who have recently come into contact with it. As the trailer highlights the rapid success of the more famous patients, some people have expressed concern that the film might make it look too easy to heal. I assure you that it will not. One of the reasons that we have chosen to include me as a character in the film is that my journey has not been easy at all. However, it has been increasingly fruitful. It has also been communicated that people feel that the spiritual dimension of this path is also important to discuss. On this note I can also assure you that we agree. One aspect of the spiritual path is the most basic form of mindfulness meditation; paying attention to the symptoms in our body. So often when we feel a twinge of pain or a headache or stomachache coming on, we have a powerful fear response, which only increases the problem. Instead, if we can pay attention to the symptom AND our emotional state, we can often see the symptom as a message from our bodies. Recently, a friend shared the below poem with me and it is a great reminder of this simple truth. If we view our symptoms as our friend rather than an enemy, we can learn a great deal from them. Ashok Gupta has some eloquent words about this and Dr. Schecter (who studied with Dr. Sarno) discusses the connection to a recent patient of his.
Felt Sense Prayer I am the pain in your head, the knot in your stomach, the unspoken grief in your smile. I am your high blood sugar, your elevated blood pressure, your fear of challenge, your lack of trust. I am your hot flashes, your cold hands and feet, your agitation and your fatigue. I am your shortness of breath, your fragile low back, the cramp in your neck, the despair in your sigh. I am the pressure on your heart, the pain down your arm, your bloated abdomen, your constant hunger. I am where you hurt, the fear that persists, your sadness of dreams unfulfilled. I am your symptoms, the causes of your concern, the signs of imbalance, your condition of dis-ease. You tend to disown me, suppress me, ignore me, inflate me, coddle me, condemn me. I am not coming forth for myself as I am not separate from all that is you. I come to garner your attention, to enjoin your embrace so I can reveal my secrets. I have only your best interests at heart as I seek health and wholeness by simply announcing myself. You usually want me to go away immediately, to disappear, to sleek back into obscurity. You mostly are irritated or frightened and many times shocked by my arrival. From this stance you medicate in order to eradicate me. Ignoring me, not exploring me, is your preferred response. More times than not I am only the most recent notes of a long symphony, the most evident branches of roots that have been challenged for seasons. So I implore you, I am a messenger with good news, as disturbing as I can be at times. I am wanting to guide you back to those tender places in yourself, the place where you can hold yourself with compassion and honesty. If you look beyond my appearance you may find that I am a voice from your soul. Calling to you from places deep within that seek your conscious alignment. I may ask you to alter your diet, get more sleep, exercise regularly, breathe more consciously. I might encourage you to see a vaster reality and worry less about the day to day fluctuations of life. I may ask you to explore the bonds and the wounds of your relationships. I may remind you to be more generous and expansive or to attend to protecting your heart from insult. I might have you laugh more, spend more time in nature, eat when you are hungry and less when pained or bored, spend time every day, if only for a few minutes, being still. Wherever I lead you, my hope is that you will realize that success will not be measured by my eradication, but by the shift in the internal landscape from which I emerge. I am your friend, not your enemy. I have no desire to bring pain and suffering into your life. I am simply tugging at your sleeve, too long immune to gentle nudges. I desire for you to allow me to speak to you in a way that enlivens your higher instincts for self care. My charge is to energize you to listen to me with the sensitive ear and heart of a mother attending to her precious baby.