Understanding Releases and Relief on Your Spiritual Journey
Simply put, relief is when the pain is numbed, masked, or sent back into remission. Release is when part or all of an issue leaves your body and energy. Clearly, the better of the two is obvious, but most people don't know what releasing an issue is like. We live in a world where people have become masters of self-delusion, numbing, and denial. As such, most people don't know how to release a mental issue, much less a body issue. Which brings us to the topic of today, and one which I hope to leave you a little more emboldened to find the roots of all your pains and to realize deeper peace in your heart, mind, spirit, AND body.
Phantom Physical Pains and Spiritual Awakening
Many of these pains are revealed because we were too numb to feel ourselves. Other aspects of physical pain are kind of like channels that are two narrow for all the current rushing through us in a spiritual awakening. We're being stretched and transformed in an amazingly powerful way. It's surprising just how painful that can be. Additionally, old emotional pains and especially traumas take up root in the body, and the physical memories of any abuse received or often caused by us to others also is remembered and held onto in the muscle memory of our bodies. In so many ways, our physical body has become a warzone of dis-ease. Is it any wonder that some human beings end up breaking down?
Honing Your Focus on PainEspecially at the early stages of a spiritual awakening, it can be difficult to focus on anything. Sometimes you have to just let things ride for awhile to get your bearings on all the emotional, mental, physical, and energetic stimuli that are arising. But generally, it is important to be engaged as much as you can, and if you've never really paid attention to your body, this will be a very unsettling time for you. All kinds of stories in the language of the body--which is often pain--come bursting into your awareness. You may feel incapacitated.
But don't let the mind's overwhelm take you by storm. Too often people allow themselves to shut down by this feeling of overwhelm. As I said, this stage of spiritual healing is best engaged with after you've become comfortable working with your mental and emotional issues. It's too easy to keep regenerating the pain in your body with old mental patterns that do not serve you.
For instance, you feel exhausted by your life. You say over and over about how tiring everything is. You feel like you can't handle anything. In turn, your body replays this message. "Well, she said we're tired. So I guess we're tired." That means you physically feel tired and thus create a nasty of repeating loop. Your body feels tired, and now you're justified in what you say. You probably have found ways to over-exert yourself, sleep deprive yourself, under-nourish yourself, or other things to further self-sabotage and justify this whole story. But if you've worked with this story and realized that perhaps this is about not feeling good about yourself and a self-worth issue, you can then go deeper into fatigue in the body. You can start to focus on what this type of discomfort is telling you and see what the body wants to show you to come into better physical alignment, which usually means you become healthier.
Working Through Waves of DiscomfortOne of the hallmarks of spiritual shifts is that when a wave of energy subsides, things settle down. The pain you were trying to figure out seems to vanish. The immature spiritual person figures that the issue is gone. But it's just gone back into remission because the energy is no longer driving it up into your consciousness. If you are in awakening, don't worry. It'll get driven up again. If you're not, you need to be more focused and dedicated to finding it. Remember that many people spend a great deal of their lives holding onto an innumerable number of issues. We've become pros at hiding our own crap, and most of us won't have an awakening to land us face down in our own shit. It's one of those gifts that those of us who have awakened don't fully appreciate at first.
So when another wave of awakened energy comes up, you can go even more deeply into the physical pain or discomfort you are working on. Oftentimes, the waves are also a gift because they give space to catch our breathe and integrate what we have discovered and how we have spiritually grown. Then another wave comes through, and we have a little bit more awareness and self-confidence to drop deeper into the dark places where we need to go. Most importantly, remember that the discomfort is temporary, and as an issue unfolds and releases, some of these physical pains will simply dissolve.
5 Tips for Pinpointing Physical PainAs I said, having the space to be with physical pain is a challenge, and it is one of the most important skill-sets any of you can develop on the spiritual path. This isn't sitting with back pain for three hours of meditation. That rarely has much meaning, and that is usually the ego inflicting an idea on your body and trying to achieve something. Healing physical pain on the spiritual path is really understanding where the pain is in your body and what it is trying to tell you. This is done without any attempts to change the pain. You simply allow it and allow things to unfold. With that said, here are some tips for pinpointing the true source of a physical pain:
- Sit still. Moving and doing lots of things keeps the body too agitated for us to discern much. Oftentimes, it makes physical pain worse, and other parts of your body are stressed more because they are compensating for the deeper source of pain.
- Take your time. Patience is key. Remember that a lot of this pain has probably been with you for years. A half hour of meditation is unlikely to resolve a physical issue overnight even if you've had big mental and emotional break-thrus about what it is about.
- Work through outer layers. Don't be fooled by the initial or loudest source of pain in your body. Your body is interconnected. The initial pain or the seemingly worst may simply be the place that has compensated the most for some other pain or lack of physical alignment. Use this first pain as the beginning of the thread to follower deeper.
- Relax into the pain. This is soooo important, and it can be soooo hard. It is counter-intuitive to relax into physical pain, but it's important so that you don't create tension onto of the pain that is coming up. The relaxation helps you to further see how this pain is interacting in your body and go deeper.
- Bring touch to the deepest layer you have found. This may not always be the deepest layer of the pain, but adding touch can be a nice way to focus your attention. Once you are here, breathe and let go. Breathe and let go. Remember step number two. This can take some time.
The Arising of Physical EnlightenmentIn a healing process like this, we begin to really appreciate this house we live in our whole lives, and we start to come into deeper appreciation of its wisdom. Once you've pinpointed an issue, it may take some time for the issue to unwind itself. It is the body, and the body lives in the world of duality. Some issues may dissolve immediately. Some may not and may require you to make changes to how you are interacting with your body in your daily life to further the healing. But mainly, I encourage you to sit with the pain, and let it reveal itself. Fully allow yourself to feel it, and see what happens. What does your body say? Now that you're here, a new level of listening is needed. You can't run from this pain. You don't need to. It will address itself. That is the power of the body's natural healing abilities.
The Profundity of Physical ReleasesThe easiest way out of physical pain is the way through it. Feeling that pain and acknowledging it are so critical. Then, something releases. Sometimes, it will be a memory stuck in your body of a past pain or personal transgression. Sometimes, it's simply how out of alignment your body became from being stooped over a computer, and now it's telling you to focus on ergonomics. Sometimes, it's how you physically hid your heart--stooped shoulders and a concave chest--and that led to all kinds of back pain. Whatever you discover, the conscious changes you are most likely going to make after a discovery will be physical ones. They will require physical action because that's how the body behaves. It does not care about emotions and thoughts; it wants a little intentional action.
And a little intentional action goes a long way. Unless something is really out of whack (you've been living on corn chips and ice cream your whole life and need to radically change your diet, for instance), physical changes don't necessarily need to be huge. Conversely, when there's a physical release, the ease and openness we feel in our bodies is unmistakable. It was one of the most pronounced releases we can feel on the spiritual path.
An Easeful, Flexible BodyA body at peace and free of pain is full of ease and flexibility. You can have issues release so deeply that parts of your body immediately regain a renewed flexibility. It simply depends on the type of issue and what was being held in that part of the body. As I said, generally speaking, you don't want to expect big changes like that for the body overnight. This is especially true for chronic pain caused by an issue you've carried with you most of your life. But sometimes, it does clear this quickly, and that is a true gift. If you've felt this kind of physical release, you know what I'm talking about.
The great thing about physical releases from the body (or any part of us) is that we are done with that issue or that part of the issue. We don't have to deal with it again. But as we come into greater health and integrity, other parts of our body that aren't in integrity have new light shined upon them. In a spiritual awakening, it may seem like the release lasts extremely briefly before the next issue is hit. The raging flood of awakening does not like to wait around it seems.
But each time you release a physical issue, the body becomes more at ease and more open. This creates a very relaxed space from which to interact with the world, and that can have amazing impacts on how we interact with others, how we touch others, how we receive touch, and how we touch ourselves. It impacts our food choices, our sleeping habits, and pretty much any other physical part of our spiritual journeys. To be sure, a peaceful, pain-free body makes this lifetime an absolute joy to live, and it's why this part of the spiritual healing that we do--which can be quite challenging--offers us some of the greatest rewards we can ever experience as a human body.