Pain-Your Best Friend

No matter how your pain originates you have choices to make which will determine its impact in your life. There is an old Zen saying;

“Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional”

Make Friends with PainBut how many of us opt-out of suffering? Even the TV ads, news ads, magazine ads and our coworkers expect us to suffer and they will join in with us… “misery loves company” after all. Billion dollar businesses are supported each day by our choosing to knock out our suffering with drugs. Pain is an amazing motivator causing us to write songs about a broken heart, invent a product to solve a physical pain issue (hot pads) and it will guide us in our relationships.

We experience pain in one of two ways or the two ways combined;
Physical pain– a paper cut is an example. Sudden, pain which we deal with immediately and move on without much thought or emotional attachment
Emotional pain – a broken heart, disappointment, depression and other feelings that have no physical connection and are usually mentally centered
Combo Pain – either physical pain or emotional pain can trigger the other to “join-in”- for instance that paper cut …. if you added insulting thoughts like “how clumsy I am” to the mix, this would create even more pain than the cut gave you.
No one likes pain but personally I believe pain is our friend. Without pain we would get into some serious trouble, in fact I could go so far as to say pain keeps us alive and well.

Think about it.

Physical Pain – Why don’t you pick up the cookie sheet with your bare hands? Pain stops you. Either you did it by accident before, or you learned some other way that hot things hurt, and can cause serious damage to your body.
Emotional Pain – You might be shopping at a store and notice a teller getting yelled at by a customer. Emotional pain enters your body (Eckart Tolle calls this the Pain Body) as you recall a moment you’ve been publicly criticized. Pain motivates you to back away, maybe ever go to find a security guard for help. Pain awakened you to a potential problem, and got you to stop and perhaps go get help before going to the checkout stand at this time.

Just like with people who want to communicate something with you; you can run, you can hide, you can turn and hear them and you can engage and see what they are all about. Pain is just like a person who want’s to be your friend, a friend who will always look out for your best interests and it does this by alerting you to any and all danger that appears in your personal space. Stop running away from or ignoring this pain-friend because unlike with people you really can’t hide from pain, it will just get louder and more serious until you stop and notice.

So take a moment and stop when you feel pain calling to get your attention. Try making friends with your pain by sitting and hearing what message or gift it has for you. Follow the advice your pain-friend has to offer and see how much better you feel overall!

‘till next time,
Your Personal Space Coach©

Body Talk Tips

Have you ever heard your body “talk” to you? No, I haven’t lost my mind-ha! You may not have thought of it in those terms but of course you have heard your body talk to you. Every time your stomach grumbles its signal that you are hungry that is body talk. The various symptoms we get all day long; fatigue, sniffles, sneezes etc is our body communicating to us what it needs next. You see we don’t live moment to moment in conscious connection with our body, we live moment to moment in our thoughts. Our body is left to fend for itself; the heart beats, the cells regenerate, the gut digests and our lungs breathe without any conscious direction from us at all. What a miracle our body is!!

But did you know that even though your body doesn’t’ need you to check-in  consciously to get its job done, you can and check-in with your body to get a reading on some issue your brain is trying to resolve? When you are debating between this choice and that choice, simply “check in” with how you feel physically about it. You’ll be amazed at how well this works.

For example say that you have been given two job offers and can’t decide which one will be the better choice. Your body, which uses sensory observation that the mind ignores, will let you know. Here is how it works…

  • Get quite in a room by yourself so that there are no distractions
  • Take a few deep breaths and relax – making sure all tension is gone
  • Keep this fun – like a game and you will get more accurate results
  • With your eyes closed, imagine yourself living with option #1:
    •  You have this job, you drive this direction, this is your desk, and this is the people you know, the hours you work.
    • Go through in your mind all the details as you know them to be.
    • While playing this imagination game notice what is going on in your body: is it feeling energized or is there a feeling of dread? Is a head ache forming or do you feel excitement? Do you feel light and energized by Choice #1 or tired and discouraged?
  • Next do the same imagination practice with Choice #2 – chances are one of these will feel better than the other, but if not then you need to offer yourself a Choice #3 such as take neither job or do some other line of work. Keep offering up choices till you find the one that “feel” best physically.

The Body KNOWS! The body is pure; it won’t play mental games to try to get you to be like everyone else. It accepts life exactly as it is, and it will always tell you the truth as long as you take the time to ask – listen – respond.

The more you allow your body to guide you, the easier this Body Talk will become. I have been doing this for decades, and now I can hear my “body-talk” automatically which makes decisions easier to resolve.

Let me know how this works for you.

’till next time,
Your Personal Space Coach©

Meet Your Inner Physician!

Well, it’s time to get personal. I know this blog site is called “Personal Space” but most of the tips I give you on the Tuesday Tips blog have been about your home decor. Today we will get truly personal and talk about your body. No, you don’t need to run for the hills I won’t share TMI, because after all, another component of personal space is healthy, self-respecting boundaries. That being said, I have a whole slew of Body Space trips to share with you that I have learned over the years.

Your Inner Physician

To start I want to introduce you to your very own “personal” inner physician. Did you know you have one? Some people refer to this part of our psyche as our “inner voice” and while the inner physician may speak to us in thoughts, more than likely your physician will “speak” in sensations of energy. I was first introduced to my own inner physician 20 years ago while receiving Cranio Sacral Therapy; which is a form of body work for healing pain. It turns out I had already been in communication with my inner physician, I just didn’t realize it.

For example: Have you ever had a headache? What did you do about it? How did you decided to do what you did? Was your action automatic, or did you consider different options – like take a nap, drink water, meditate, take Advil? This alert message from your body, in the form of a headache, is what is known as the Body-Mind communicating a need to you. You see, we think we take care of our bodies, but in truth it’s our bodies that take care of us! The headache is body-language for “something is out of balance and you need to remedy it now!” You can pop a pill to shut the headache up and keep going if that is your choice, but be warned, your inner physician will let you know if that was the best solution. If not the headache won’t abate and a new idea will “pop” into your head. This is your body or inner physician taking care of you, and the better we listen and respond with our best solution the healthier and happier we will be.

To keep your energy balanced and strong during the day you most likely stop and take breaks to drink, and eat, and use the bathroom. Perhaps you even stretch or take a lunch time walk. The “nudge” to do these things; the hunger feeling, the restlessness, the fatigue, all of these communications are how our inner physician “speaks” to us all day long.

“Phone Home ET!” Have you “checked-in” with your body yet today? Is there open communication between you and your inner physician? Are you having an open dialog or are you arguing with your “self” and pushing your energy and health to it’s’ limit? The one thing you can count on, is that your inner physician won’t ever give up on you. One way or another, your inner physician’s communication system will get your attention. Will it be to alert you with a headache, or will it be with a yawn for more air, or a feeling of contentment and joy because you are in tune with what your body needs?

Today’s tip: Stop and see if you can identify your inner physician and how he or she “speaks” to you throughout your day. Practice self-awareness by carrying on a “conversation” with your inner physician in your thoughts. Then notice how your inner knowing and best answers get louder in your consciousness. The more you follow your inner wisdom’s advice, the better your health and energy will be. Tune into this part of your body; get to know your inner physician, start working together as a team  and watch your energy and happiness soar!

’till next time,
Your Personal Space Coach©


Her Choice – Her Business

In my last blog “Coffee Space Invaded” I wrote about a personal space event at my local Starbucks.
Let’s look at the woman by the window again. What other options could she have chosen besides saying nothing and then leaving the building? Well, the possibilities are simply unlimited…

• She could have started a conversation with the two women. I’ve seen this often especially with the very social personality types or sales people.
• She could have stood up and moved her chair so she faced the window which would have forced the square table to be moved away.
• She could have asked the two women to sit on the other two chairs away from her.
• She could have started a coughing fit to annoy them.
• She could have directly stated that they move further back.
New Bell Starbucks (1)
The possibilities are unlimited and each one takes a different inner power to enact; boldness, confidence, self-preservation, anger, an open awareness of the room and herself in it, etc. But none of those things happened and I can only guess at what was going on for this woman. What I saw might have been a shy easily intimidated and inwardly angry woman resulting in the the no comment, and the early leaving. Or perhaps she didn’t leave early and it only seemed that way to me.

What is my point? My point is this, it’s her business. It’s her personal space and she gets to do what she wants with it, or at least what she can do to the best of her ability at the time. Only the woman by the window knows for sure how this event affected her; did it make her uncomfortable, and uneasy or was she so consumed with her own world that she didn’t give it a notice? I will never know because I didn’t ask her. I only watched this play out and then drew my own conclusions which are again my business. Perhaps there were others in the room that also watched and had their own thoughts about what took place.

Bottom line; there is no right or wrong. There is only what happened and how it affected you personally and what if anything you would like to change about your response to it if it happens again.

Being aware of events around you means you have an opportunity for a more powerful life. Being unaware means you miss out on possible opportunities to learn, grow and engage the world. No matter which you choose, it’s your right in each and every moment. It is my hope for all of us that we become more open and aware about how powerful our choices are to both ourselves and to the people we encounter in our day.
Next time we’ll look at the two women at the square table.

’till then,
Your Personal Space Coach©

Coffee Space Invaded!

I was working on a project last week at my local Starbucks when I watched a personal space scenario unfold.
Square Table Two women came to sit at the large square table which is normally in the center of the room, but instead was extra close to the window tables. Instead of sitting opposite from each other, they sat diagonal to each other. And instead of sitting in the two locations farthest from the woman next to them at a smaller round table by the window, they sat in the two seats closest to her so that the second lady when she sat down was directly facing the window woman with barely 18″ of space between them. This became obvious to her as she lowered herself into her chair saying self-consciously “Oh, I’m in your space aren’t I?” But instead of changing to the chair on the opposite side of her friend (which would have given the window lady her space back), she just scooted her chair 6″ away, then began to engage her friend in an animate conversation.

I watched as the woman at the window (who had said nothing at all) stiffened, squirmed and shifted in her chair and within 10 minutes she got up and left.

Next, another woman sat at the window table. Starbucks was packed and no other spot was open. She picked the other chair across from the one the first window lady had been in, which was right next to the “space invading” lady. They were practically shoulder to shoulder for a moment when the square table lady sensed an invasion to her space and shifted her seat away a few inches.

Even though this new lady had a better space created for herself, she only lasted in that spot long enough to notice a different spot open up. She got up quickly with here drink and moved leaving that small table open. No one sat there again until the two talkative women left.
Later I looked up from my work only to find a whole new group of people arrive to sit down at the square table, and wouldn’t you know it, they shifted the square table away from the round window tables two feet to gain greater comfort for both themselves and the pair at the window.

My Summary:
I am always amazed when I watch how people take up space and I often wonder if they are even aware of what they are doing. I wonder if that first scenario put a damper on the woman’s day and she didn’t even know why? If she had been self-empowered she could have asked the two at the square table to please shift the table over. But seldom do I witness this. Usually we just move out instead of declaring what we need to strangers. Yet both groups would have been more comfortable with the bold clarification. The two chatty ladies hardly had any privacy for their conversation sitting so close.

Well, perhaps one day we will all get it that we have a right to take up space and get our needs met and we can be bold about it while still respecting the space of those around us. We do this in two ways… first by being aware and asking for what we need and second by being aware of and courteous to the needs of others.

So, what would you have done if you were the lady by the window who had her space invaded? It’s something to think about. If you have an “eye-witness” story to share I’d love to hear it.

’till next time,
Your Personal Space Coach©