By Rachael Taylor
I'm halfway through Brene Brown's Braving the Wilderness and I'm loving every minute of it. Her understanding of why we do what we do is completely amazing. Every page is like she read my diary, gave it thought and then said "here are the answers to your problems, Rachael", now go live life to the fullest. Why am I talking to you about this? Because there is a specific quote about pain that encompasses everything I think and feel and it's just too good not to share.
Brene says that, "Pain is unrelenting. It will get our attention. Despite our attempts to drown it in addiction, to physically beat it out of one another, to suffocate it with success and material trappings, or to strangle it with our hate, pain will find a way to make itself known. Pain will subside only when we acknowledge it and care for it."
She also goes on to say how addressing pain with love would take a fraction of energy as trying to stuff it down or ignore it does. So why do we stay in our pain then? If it's unrelenting and choking us out why in the world would we stay in that place?
Because it's terrifying to face pain head on. It just is.
I know it took me a year and a half before I opened up to the idea of talking to my coach about what I was going through and open to changing it. And that year and a half was after 8 years of living with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and using medication to band-aid it all.
You have three brains: the cortex, the limbic system, and the brain stem. In order to want to change or face something that could be scary or different, you have to get a green light in all three brains.
The brain stem is in constant resistance of change, it tells you that it's bad, it won't help, it's scary, you're not worth the time and effort, etc. etc. (a lot of your sabotages come from here).
The cortex is the part of your brain that loves growth and transformation, it's always up for something new, something different, and can't wait to explore all that new information.
The limbic system is holding the peace between the brain stem and cortex. It's the big bag your mom put in the middle of the car so you and your sibling wouldn't hit each other during car rides.
I had to get to a point where my pain was SO loud that it's all I could think about. And that gave me the push to go and get help and it marked the beginning of my healing journey.
So how do you get all 3 brains to cooperate with you when you want to change a habit or how you view something? There are three ways you can start healing your pain today.
Start with forgiveness.
Identify where in your life you are angry (who, what, where, when, and why) and write it down. It could be people, memories, things that were done to you, said to you, said about you, rejection, betrayal, anything that caused you grief. Especially the memories that you remember like they were yesterday and you have a physical reaction to them. Write them all down and take a deep breath. Then, start going through each memory and pausing after each one to say: I forgive you. I'm sorry. I love you. Then cross out the memory and move on to the next one.
You may find that some of the tension in your body has already released, you may feel at peace, you may feel drained from all the crying. The point is, you have taken your first step towards healing your pain. By forgiving and letting go, you are purging your body free of the toxicity that anger, grudges, and fear create in your body.
Add in gentle movement with deep breathing.
Take 5 to 10 mintues every day doing any form of movement you love that gets you up and off the couch. Stretching, yoga, a walk, cooking, pilates, swimming, crunches, push-ups, anything different from your routine that will give your body that little boost of warmth it needs. Breathe in deeply through your nose and out through your mouth to further relax your muscles while you are moving.
Drink lots of water.
Water is key to continue to push the toxins out of your body and flush out your system. It not only helps you with more energy and appetite control, but it also nourishes your body in a way that nothing else does. But if you're anything like me, you forget about water. So what I do is I keep a water bottle or my tea at my desk at all times in my line of vision so I remember to drink it. Then when I get up to use the bathroom or stretch my legs, I fill my water bottle back up. I get the water I need each day and have built a really successful and consistent habit this way.
Which way are you going to first use to heal your pain? Share this post with someone who needs it and remember, today is the day you take back your life.
If you want to go deeper into your health and changing your 3 brains to green lights, schedule a free 30 minute discovery session with me today. We will explore where your health currently is, where you'd like it to be, and how I can help you get there. Click the link to schedule your session now.