I don’t love that I’m writing about another injury in my weekly stories, but I can’t ignore them when they provide such powerful lessons. My ankle injury last summer reminded me of the value of slowing down. A few weeks ago I injured my shoulder when I lost my balance during a yoga pose. I’m grateful for my 15 years as a massage therapist so I know how to work on the trigger points myself and to seek help from other healers. In the meantime, I have lost some range of motion in my shoulder so I have to be very gentle when getting dressed. Do you always start with the same arm when slipping on a shirt or jacket? In the last few weeks, I have become painfully aware (pun intended) that I always put my right arm through the sleeve first and then rotate my left arm backward to find the second sleeve. Ouch!
After 50 years of repetition, I’m finding it very difficult to train myself to start with the other arm. While joking with my partner about this he very accurately remarked, “Pain is a great motivator for change.” We both laughed at the humor and universal truth of his statement. On the physical level, pain shooting through my left shoulder as I externally rotate my arm to find the shirt sleeve is a great reminder to start with the other arm! You’d think it would only take one time to learn that lesson, but moments later I do it again when putting on my jacket. It’s a great reminder that if we don’t stay conscious and aware we can slip right back into old ways of doing things, thus experiencing the pain all over again.
There’s no need to despair. Although pain is indeed a great motivator for change, there is another way. Indulge me for a moment. Think back to your school days and try to remember a teacher that you couldn’t stand. One that was overly strict, unfair, or perhaps incompetent. Do you remember anything you learned in that class or do you mostly remember how much you disliked the teacher? Now think back to a teacher you adored. One that was fun, inspiring, and creative. One who brought out the best in you. How was that experience different? Did you do well in that class? Do you remember anything you learned? Did that teacher or class have a positive impact on your life? There will be exceptions, but chances are you remember a lot more from the teacher you loved than the one you couldn’t stand. A Course in Miracles puts it this way:
There is no need to learn through pain. And gentle lessons are acquired joyously, and are remembered gladly. What gives you happiness you want to learn and not forget.
This week I encourage you to be aware of situations and circumstances that cause you pain and discomfort. You can definitely learn from them. However, I encourage you to be even more vigilant for situations and circumstances that spark joy in you. Those are the breadcrumbs that will lead you out of the forest and into a life beyond your wildest dreams!
It would be my great honor to assist you with this endeavor with a series of Life Coaching sessions or a private Family Constellations session. Please look around my website for more information about both or send me an email with any questions you may have.
Until next time, remember it’s never too late to make a different choice!