Awareness and perception are the keys to how we experience our world. However, when the intensity of the moment catches me off guard, my first reaction is to fight the perceived threat to my existence. When I do this I often sabotage the things that help me the most. This part of the human process we inherited from our caveman ancestors. Fight or flight….this we had to do to survive. Fear does that to us. It causes us to retreat, retract and strike out in order to maintain our current level of being…even when it is painful. The stress that keeps us ill is stored in our muscles and according to my therapist, “our memories show up in our muscles”. When we don’t recognize this, our worn out and inviable belief systems rule our existence. Our bodies finally break down and create illness because of the things we can’t or won’t acknowledge. (See Christian Northrup M.D. on Adrenal Fatigue for an explanation of this process and ways to heal: http://www.drnorthrup.com/adrenal-exhaustion/)
My own journey of “just trying to make it through it” brought me to a place of do-or-die. When you are facing the devastation of addiction, you have the advantage of the usually quite visible wreckage of your past as evidence. For others it can be much more subtle. It shows up in unfulfilled dreams, destructive relationships, constant and chronic illnesses, phobias, etc. Whatever keeps us “stuck” comes from the “memory in the muscles”. They are things that cause me to stay small because some belief system stemming from an event, a skewed belief system, or statement in my past, rides dominion on my brain. The moment I consider veering off the safe road, my muscles freeze up, my brain shuts down, and I try to avoid whatever pain I perceive is waiting for me. Every time I let fear be my guiding force, my choices are removed.
Being active in the addiction community helping others is a blessing and a curse at times. I have witnessed so many die needlessly, even sober for many years. So many settle for so much less than what is available to them. We all have the ability to affect monumental changes in our lives but only if we start looking for ways to continue to grow and evolve. For each of us it is a personal journey, but one that is always a breath of willingness away.
Every morning I look at what things are good in my life. I set the timer on my phone for 5-15 minutes, get still and center myself and focus on how having those things make me feel. This practice opens my heart and relaxes my muscles...and relaxed muscles allow peace into my heart. Meditation, writing, exercise, and gardening…are all things that heal my spirit. My health has improved immensely due to constant attention to my own wellbeing through a variety of techniques and good nutrition. I do not accept illness as a permanent diagnosis…only as a new opportunity for discovery. If something doesn’t feel right I explore it, write about it and address it as quickly as possible whether it be mental or physical.
Exercise that self-love “muscle” and consider what is keeping you from having the life you want. Then give your thoughts to ways to move forward and to move out from anywhere you are currently stuck. Write it down so you can see the evidence of your willingness to move into positive change for your wellbeing.
What small step can you take toward claiming your happiness today?