Pain is often the most under talked about, taboo, and resisted feeling that we all experience, hate and avoid. Most of our natural reaction is to fight, avoid and run away from experiencing it. This goes for both physical, emotional and mental pain. They are usually all related.
Our emotions origin is in the mind. Created by some type of input that we allow in and then followed by different states of being. The idea of “I’m Happy” precedes the actual state of being happy. This goes for all feelings, such as unhappy, depressed, stressed, joyous, grateful, inspired. There is some type of input coming from outside or from within influencing mental activity. This drives our state of being or attitude that can last minutes/hours/days. It is often repeated and fueled by mental affirmation. The emotion can manifest within the physical and create physical pain. This is a good thing though, because we know that feelings are energy and are not necessarily you or come from you. This is very good because energy is always changing.
During a time of darkness, whether be out of the blue or during life changes, we have a choice in taking a more spiritual approach to coping. This approach will help create emotional balance and introduce feelings like peace and contentment. It teaches us how to live with darkness, since darkness is a part of life that we can not avoid. It encourages us to accept and love all aspects of ourselves. It promotes self love and acceptance as well as unconditional love for others. It reduces judgment of ourselves and others. It creates stability, softness and a deep inner peace.
We want to reduce mental activity, so we can grow an awareness of what we allow in and reduce emotional response. We want to have power over how we feel and choose what input we allow in to influence how we feel. We want to stand firm and connected in our being.
If you are going through darkness and want to take a spiritual approach to healing/soothing, here are some great tools that I found helpful when going through deep pain.
- Read Pema Chodron – The Places That Scare You, A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times. This book is written by an American Buddhist nun and one of the foremost students of Chogyam Trungpa, the renowned Tibetan mediation master. She provides tools to deal with the difficulties that life throws our way. This book shows us how to awaken our basic goodness and connect with others, to accept ourselves and others.
- Listen to healing music like Trevor Hall – You Can’t Rush Your Healing. This is a beautiful heartfelt deep song that will resonate during a time of darkness. Listen to it over and over, as much as you need.
- Ground down!!! Learn my grounding mediation available here or youtube a grounding mediation. During moments of overwhelming emotion or stress, stop, and do this meditation on your own. There was a point in my life I did this literally every 5 min. This helps to stay present during pain vs running, avoiding and distracting ourselves. This soothes the mind that wants to run. This builds a connection with the earth, it provides stability and strength within darkness.
- Stop drinking Coffee and Alcohol. Substances enhance the current state of being. During darkness they will enhance emotions and activity in the mind. During this time we want to sooth the mind and get into our body.
- Let emotion pass. If emotion arises, let it out. Cry. For 8 months I cried every single day, in the beginning I cried 80% of my day. It’s ok, walk away if you need to while at work. Go into a bathroom or take a break. I cried at my desk for months.
- Be kind to yourself. Rest, take baths, read and do light hobbies like coloring, drawing, music, writing, walking and yoga. During times of extreme emotion, I would cry and go for walks. Walking was a great way to move and also do something with my time (which seemed to stop and last forever). I don’t suggest travel or introducing anything new or extremely different like moving houses. We want to settle into the darkness, which travel can often bring us out of. You can introduce light activities that are new to you like yoga or music.
- Prioritize your health. Now is a great time to be mindful of what types of foods you are fueling your body with. Choose foods that nourish your body vs feed the emotion of want. Introduce a whole foods diet.
- Consider an alternative to talk therapy by seeing a healer, shaman or acupuncturist. Read this post for more information on what a healer is and this for what a shaman is, both very similar. Contact me if you would like recommendations on who to see. You can do a healing over the phone or in person.
- Allow healing to take place. Surrender to the darkness. Gabby Bernstein says that “When you think you’ve surrendered, surrender more.” Give yourself time to feel this way. It is ok for periods of darkness to last, mine lasted about 8 months of extreme pain, physically and mentally. Each day slowly gets better as you build a relationship with your pain. My darkness was preceded with years of avoidance. This time is when we learn how to surrender to grace.