There is a very common and almost guaranteed trap with pain, and that is to make it significant and part of who you are. This can be very sneaky, but let me tell you some ways to break the syndrome.
Donnielle reminded me that pain is my body yelling at me. Why does it yell? Not so much because there is something that wrong with it, which is the first conclusion most of us come to. It is more deeply the body attempting to get into communication with its occupant. It needs the healing power of attention to repair and rejuvenate in the areas of pain.
Let me repeat that. The body's way of telling you that it needs your attention is the experience of pain. It already knows what it needs to heal and transform, and a major part of that is the attention of the owner.
Now, what the body doesn't need is for you to focus on the pain itself, because we all know what happens when we focus on something: it gets bigger. This is like objecting to the fact you are being yelled at, instead of listening to what is actually being said. What the body is needing you to do is simply and only acknowledge the communication that is in the form of pain.
Here's a process to run: When there is a particular pain, respond to it by saying "Thank you." The body now knows that you got the message and it can stop yelling. The "thank you" phrase has the dual use of being a declaration of gratitude. So you are effectively telling the body, "I hear you and am grateful for your gift of communication to me." The combination of acknowledgement and gratitude is just the healing mojo the body is looking for from its owner.
What usually happens--and this has been my downfall--is we focus on the pain as if that is what we must "get rid of." That's like yelling back at the body, "Shut up! I don't want to hear anything more from you!" This does nothing to create a healing two-way communication line with the body, and will only make things worse for both you and your body.
How do you NOT focus on the pain? By acknowledging it. It is the practice of allowance. You are not resisting or avoiding it, you are simply allowing its presence--simply allowing it to be a communication from your body. This creates space between you and the pain, because it has succeeded in getting your attention, which is the purpose of it.
Now, your next job is to thank it (gratitude) and then cast your attention where there is ease and joy in the body. No matter how bad pain gets, there is always a place somewhere that doesn't hurt, or even feels really good. Yes, your knees ache, but your back feels great. That's the kind of grateful attention the body is craving, because, again, what you put your attention on gets bigger.
By allowing and thanking a painful area on the body, you can then start asking questions, such as: What is it about this I'm not getting? What is it going to take to have ease and joy in all of my body forever? What does the body need that I can provide that I'm not aware of?
Imagine that a painful area of your body is a voice talking to you. What is it saying? How does it feel? What is it asking for? Continue asking these questions and the overall questions above. Soon, you'll begin to receive awarenesses about things to do or ways to be to assist in creating joy and ease in that painful area. Maybe you'll get a sudden urge to stretch, take a walk, breathe, massage, have some sex, drink some water; or you may get a mental picture of sunshine, or standing barefoot in some grass; or maybe even eat some ice cream or go to a movie, or listen to music. These are all responses to the questions you have been asking, and these are the things for your to-do list as a considerate and responsible body owner.
To your quantum health,
Boyd Martin, President