One of the cool and interesting things I’m discovering is that there’s a difference between getting in touch with how I feel, and examining what those feelings mean. I’m really a star at grabbing on to a feeling and pretty much worrying it to the point of, well not obsession exactly, but pretty close.
I’ve (finally) figured out that slicing and dicing that feeling to ‘understand’ it amplifies it and makes it hang around longer – a classic description of stagnating Qi. What I feel about the feeling is, I now know, resistance. In terms of the medicine I practice, that stagnation and resistance is really, really bad for me. It creates interior heat, also known as inflammation. That inflammation will show up in my body, mind and – perhaps worst – spirit.
Here’s an example. I get pain in my lower back that makes it difficult to walk. The first thing I feel about that is an outraged wtf. Then I get scared. What if this doesn’t go away? Am I going to hurt when I walk forever? Then, because I know there are always many reasons why people have this problem, often emotional ones, I start trying to figure out what’s going on in my life that has caused this to happen. I start to look for help in reducing the pain. I start to constantly think about it. I’m saying an emphatic ‘no’ to the back pain.
The longer this goes on, the more agitated I get about it. I feel frustrated and freaked out. I’m an acupuncturist, for heaven sake. I help people with this all the time. Why is this happening and what can I do about it? I. Don’t. Want. This. I say ‘no’ to wonky health, over and over again.
Not once do I say ‘yes’ to being pain free.
If this scenario resonates with you, you will be feeling the same reactions I do when I’m saying no. So take a minute to clear all that out of your mind until the negative feelings subside, and then say ‘Yes, I am healthy’.
I’m willing to bet that you felt an easing of the tension, a lightness, a joy. It may have zipped by you really fast, but it was there. You’ve just given yourself a treatment to remove stagnation. Well done!
I started this particular blog about five times because I have become very aware of all the ‘nos’ that seem to have been going on in my life since forever. The nos themselves feel like blocks to enjoying life. No to the ice cream because it’s bad for me. No to the riding lessons I wanted as a child because they were too expensive. No to a business decision because it’s too risky. No to the walk because I don’t have time. Each time I add to this list I feel my stomach tighten and my muscles tense.
Never once have I thought about flipping those ‘nos’ to ‘yeses’. Yes I will eat the food that actually makes me feel good. Yes I am determined to earn the money for those riding lessons. Yes I will postpone that business decision to a time when I am clearer.
The minute I typed the first ‘yes’, the feelings of tension eased. I took a deep breath, I felt looser in my body. I just gave myself a treatment, and a darn good one.
So here’s my suggestion to you: very softly, very gently, begin to notice the times you or someone else says no to you. You’re not keeping score, you just want to be aware when it happens.
Next, very softly and very kindly, notice how you feel about that no, and pay attention to the internal dialog that gets going. Then forget about it.
Really, let it go. Pick another time when you’ve got a no operating that you’re not so attached to, and figure out how you can flip it to a yes. Think of of all the ‘yeses’ you can get from it until you find the one that let’s you breathe again.
Look at you! You gave yourself another acupuncture treatment! Feels pretty good, doesn’t it?