Looking upon pain as a learning opportunity

February 26, 2012
Which is the true path?

Closer than last week...

If you experience pain, have a think about what it is forcing you to do. This week has been a big step forward in terms of identifying the cause of my headaches.  This is because I listened to others, tried a few different things, increased my awareness of my body and how it works and made a few right decisions.

Whilst life has been great recently as reflected in previous posts, deep down I still feel like I am carrying some weight on my shoulders. I hadn’t truly realised this until my back and neck started hurting a week ago and then one morning, everything just locked up.  It eased a little after a walk and I emailed my mentor Noel Walker (founder of OpenLeaf and author of Get the Life you Want) who was supportive as usual but also surprised I was feeling like this.  Things had been going so well and in particular the previous day, where I had carried out an exercise to enhance some of the OpenLeaf products and had communicated to him how excited I was about my part in it all. He gave me some advice which I summarised into the following points:

  1. What is it forcing you to do?
  2. What are you able to experience by going with the flow?
  3. Don’t fight it or get around it as it will just compound things
  4. Masking it won’t stop it factoring into your experiences in a different way
  5. Go with whatever makes you feel good e.g. hot shower, walk, rest
  6. What did you learn from it?
  7. What is it highlighting that you need to do?

Being so determined to get better as quickly as possible, I decided to make a list of things that the pain was forcing me to do; obvious things such as taking a smaller rucksack to work, taking notes instead of sitting at the computer, resting more, altering my thinking as to how things are in all areas of my life and so on. Before I had a chance to try any of this, the pain spread to the back of my head (the usual place I get my headaches) so I made an appointment to see the doctor who in turn suggested I see a chiropractor. Even before I went, Noel had told me that relaxation and the visualisation exercises would be more beneficial to me than the medication that the doctors had prescribed. The chiropractor agreed.

Addressing the cause

Additionally, Noel said that in order to accelerate the healing process I needed to discover and address the cause, and told me that the experience was again just highlighting something, but he also told me the trigger – and he was right.  My life over the weeks and months has so dramatically improved, and in so many areas; however, on reflection some of these areas I am trying to work around.  This is so that I can balance things and get everything that I believe needs to be done, done. What’s actually required is an alteration in what I do and it is this that is causing a lot of my stress, which I am now being forced to address, because of this latest incident.

The chiropractor explained that the muscles were causing me pain because of joint disfunction and restriction in the occipital bone at the back of my head and certain parts of my spine.  He said that this could be sorted out in 6-8 sessions and gave me some exercises and advice. It was interesting that he also mentioned the three types of stress that we put our body under, namely physical, emotional and chemical stress and it looks like I hold my stress in my head, neck and back muscles which is pulling on certain parts of my spine.

The chiropractor has asked me to make a few lifestyle changes as well as attend the sessions. He could sense that I was a determined person and because of this said the recovery would probably be quicker than someone who was not willing to do the additional exercises. He also suggested yoga, Pilates and walking which I do anyway (I just need to try and do more). So coupled with the mental exercises from Noel along with the above, I am hoping to be able to substantially accelerate things - I will let you know how it goes!

My progress this week

Everyone shows stress in different ways and some cope better than others. This week has been an eye-opener for me because although I feel like I’m coping well juggling everything; my friends and family sense that I don’t.  It’s also shown me that although I am on the right track, I just need to make a few adjustments (some of which I have already done in the last few days) which will move me closer to following my true path in life.

I’m very excited about my future – it’s like something else has clicked into place this week (just like the loud click from my neck at the chiropractor’s yesterday when he released some of the air pockets to make the joints move more freely!).

In summary, the pain in my head, neck and back this week forced me to look at things differently.  Seeing a different doctor, asking a few better questions and making the right decisions gave me the answers I needed to take me to the next level in life. What was also incredibly interesting was why I saw that doctor this time, and also that chiropractor – and there’s more.  Although an appointment was made – I couldn’t get to see him for a number of days but a cancellation arose… The explanations, timing and advice all just clicked.

What pain are you feeling today and what’s the first step you can take to make a change? Learning the hard way is one way but it can be painful.  There is another, I would strongly suggest getting a copy of the pocket guide (details below) as it’s taught me so much.

Until next week…


Freelance writer
Website: www.sandramadeira.com
Email: openleafjourney@sandramadeira.com

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One Response to Looking upon pain as a learning opportunity

  1. Joeriebell Abaa on February 29, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    Thank you for this post! I have learned a lot from this.

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