On Unwinding: Releasing From Your Norm

it's not who you are

I see a lot of chronic, long term pain.
I see a lot of acute pain from long term behaviors, repetitive movements, postures, lifestyle.

But I also see a lot of resistance to change.
Even changing from something that’s unhelpful.

When it comes to self care, even deeper self awareness,
I hear a lot of “I should”, but I don’t often hear “I am.”

For a long time I just couldn’t understand why someone wouldn’t do what could help.
I’ve wondered that of myself in times I couldn’t seem to get there.

Years ago a client desperately asked what she could do for her symptoms outside of seeing me
and taking meds. I suggested three simple, easily accessible things she could do for herself.
Clearly having blocked me out, she gasped, “But I just don’t know what to do.”

I hear a lot of “I need to” and “I’m sorry I didn’t” but what I understand is, “I’m afraid.”

What I once thought was laziness, apathy or disbelief that a shift could actually help,
is often none of that.

I now recognize it as overwhelm.

Daunted by the thought of what needs to be done.
Concerned by how it would affect ones daily routine, which is the structure we often depend on.
But also scared at the thought of what feeling different might mean, what it could feel like, what it could look like.

When you’re used to something being a certain way; pain, posture, headaches, fatigue, scoliosis,
romantic relationships, family traditions, anything – the possibility that it could be different,
could be positively different, can be rather uncomfortable, even overwhelming.

It’s what you know. It may be all you know. It’s familiar. It’s your story. It’s you.

The food you eat. The food your family eats. The pain you’re in. The pain you ignore. The way you work.
The way your office works. The time you have. The time you don’t have. The to-do list you have.
The way you sit. The way you walk. The shoes you wear. The limits your body has. The age you are.
The injury you had. The schedule you have. The expectations of others. The way you grew up.
The symptoms you’ve accepted.

And change is.. everything else.
Unfamiliar, uncharted and unclear territory.
Loss of control, loss of boundaries, loss of yourself as you know you.

Panic can set in before you even begin and well, we do like to avoid discomfort at all costs.
Easier, familiar is good.
Harder, what-could-it-mean, bad.

How do you work with the overwhelm?
How do you counteract the assumption that you’ll drown?
How do you make a different choice?

Take some breaths to soften the immediate response of No.

Go slow.
Do a little at a time.
Release expectation.
Make the choice to do move in a new direction. Then make it again. Then make it again.
Ask for help. Healing does not exist in solitude.

Think about what traits you need to channel to expand your capacity.
Plug into those.
Embody them.

Work gently and with intention into the change.
Lean with kindness into the unwinding.
Unfurl at your own pace.
But participate. Always participate.

Let’s rock this thing.

PS – The quote in the image has been attributed to at least 4 people
including Jean Michel Basquiat and Denis Waitley