Last week I attended a workshop for mindfulness that left me feeling hopeful, excited, ready. I returned the next week to attend the second and final session.
Breathing meditation, walking meditation, loving kindness meditation, and finally a body scan, an exercise similar to systematic relaxation. We began the exercise by relaxing each toe (so strange to actually focus on relaxing each toe!!), and moved up the body slowly, focusing our energy from our heart center and third eye onto each of our body parts, respectively. As a beginner I found myself surprised to feel a physical sensation in my body, to feel it melt, slowly but surely. My legs tingled and we continued.
Then something strange happened. We moved through the hips and began working up the back, and I suddenly felt this fuzzy ball of discomfort settle in my heart, under my ribs. “Breathe,” I told myself, letting the attachment to the pain go by in my mind. We continued, up the spine and through the organs. “relax your stomach,” she would say, “feel that it is warm and heavy with love.”
I wanted to badly to listen to her, to continue with my progress, to let my body melt in this wonderful tingling heaven my legs had found themselves in. But my chest screamed. The ball of pain sharpened, and as we moved our attention to the shoulders, neck, and face, it moved up as well. It jumped. I felt it literally jump from my chest right into my throat, and pushed, pushed so hard I thought unwanted to cry, to scream, to stop, something. I closed my eyes to let it be, to watch my breath, to regain my distance, but the pain remained, and intensified. The back of my neck grew sore, and I actually had to physically stop and break my posture to hold my head in my hands for a moment. I felt beat, rundown, lightheaded and unable to breathe, wanted to give up and run out of the room to go cry in a bathroom stall like a youngen. I explained this to my teacher, she simply replied that the pain was there for a reason, that it sounded like emotion I haven’t allowed out, possibly grief, and that it is there for a reason.
She asked me what it was. She reminded me our time was created and given to us for this purpose, that it was our opportunity to explore and share. I couldn’t even talk! I smiled sheepishly at her, that was it, through the soreness of my throat. Days later, it is still painful, as if I was harboring the beginnings of strep throat. I am well, my body is healthy, but my throat is tight and constricted with a weight that falls into my chest. It is interesting to read my past entry, to find that I was already feeling the pain, faintly.
I am grateful for the experience, grateful for the increased awareness that my body is manifesting an internal emotion disruption, clearly I am not at peace. What can I do? In all honesty I know there are subjects I have dwelled in before that are so strong they swallow me whole, and my head barely floats above the surface for a time. Those, I do not want to revisit, yet the emotion I feel from my blocked throat is the same as that which I feel while reliving those memories. I suppose I need to figure out a new way to release, to let go, to shed. I have been trying, for months, to heal myself.
This is unbelievable, it’s such a humbling experience to know that my actual emotions are creating such a pain that pushes me into avoidance. My desire is to be rid of that pain, I want to breathe easy again, not feel as if I need to scream or cry, as I have, and it hasn’t subsided.
To be continued, in the name of healing, growth, and peace of mind.
I keep an open mind for signs and indications to my pain.