A recent and wicked resurgence of back pain left me questioning everything I knew.

Years ago, I was T-boned in an intersection and I struggled with back pain for a long time after. Through a combination of yoga, chiropractic adjustments, deep tissue massage, and appropriate exercise I have managed to create a fairly pain free life… and it’s been extremely freeing.

So, when the pain returned in full force and my “normal” go-to modalities barely offered any lasting relief I was tempted to panic. Even taking anti-inflammatories, albeit reluctantly, couldn’t touch it.

I mean, come on, I had just released my Yoga for Pain Relief program because I know it works. So why wasn’t it working right now??

The pain grew constant with debilitating episodes that grew ever frequent. It was maddening.

The ghost of past fears began to creep in whispering in my ear, “Have I injured myself? Are some discs bulging? Is my new job to blame? Am I going to be okay? How am I going to work and work out and enjoy life? Do I need surgery? What is going on?!”

This voice of fear is one I knew all too well in my past. Now when it perks up, I immediately know what to do…Stretching missi

I quiet my mental chatter.

I breathe deeply – enough to trigger my relaxation response – so I can listen to a voice that’s deeper, wiser, and subtler.

It comes from a place rooted in Love and Curiosity… my gut instinct.

The value of trusting my gut is this: I felt, intuitively, that I was ok. That nothing was “really” physically wrong.

I sensed the pain was manifesting as a result of the recent life change I had experienced. I knew I needed to face some heavy emotions but I was struggling to fully access them on my own. I needed help.

I was energetically drawn to try something new. And for me, it worked.

Like, miraculously worked. In 3 sessions, I had zero pain.

By trusting my gut and trying something new, I opened the floodgates allowing me to access emotions that were so excruciating they had settled deep into my body and manifested as physical agony in a short period of time.

As I faced them, felt them, and then released them so, too, did I release its physical hold on my body.

I know I shouldn’t be, but I was surprised.

Once again my understanding of the impact emotional pain has on physical pain was deepened.

I share this with you today because if you read my emails you know I am devoted to self-understanding, personal growth, and freedom from fear, doubt and pain… and through my experiences I aim to help others find the same health, understanding, joy and freedom in their own lives.

Smiling missiI am reminded that we are always a work in progress – learning, growing, healing then experiencing “life” so we can learn, grow and heal again.

Staying open to this process each time around feels like a gracefully curious way to navigate life.

So, I have just one question for you to become graciously curious about:

What emotions, what fears, what doubts are you not facing that could be keeping you stuck in pain?

Isn’t it time you set yourself free – again?

 

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Here is Why It’s Never Too Late for You to Achieve Something Worthwhile

Have you ever asked yourself if it’s too late to achieve something worthwhile in life. These two most upvoted responses by Marcus and Jim respectively on Quora will help you if you still have doubts about what you can do at any stage of your career.

1. Marcus Geduld, Shakespearean director, computer programmer, teacher, writer, likes dinosaurs.

Too late for what?

If you slept through your 26th birthday, it’s too late for you to experience that. It’s too late for you to watch “LOST” in its premiere broadcast. (Though, honestly, you didn’t miss much.) It’s too late for you to fight in the Vietnam War.

It’s too late for you to go through puberty or attend nursery school. It’s too late for you to learn a second language as proficiently as a native speaker*. It’s probably too late for you to be breastfed.

It’s not too late for you to fall in love.

It’s not too late for you to have kids.

It’s not too late for you to embark on an exciting career or series of careers.

It’s not too late for you to read the complete works of Shakespeare; learn how to program computers; learn to dance; travel around the world; go to therapy; become an accomplished cook; sky dive; develop an appreciation for jazz; write a novel; get an advanced degree; save for your old age; read “In Search of Lost Time”; become a Christian, then an atheist, then a Scientologist; break a few bones; learn how to fix a toilet; develop a six-pack …

Honestly, I’m 47, and I’ll say this to you, whippersnapper: you’re a fucking kid, so get over yourself. I’m a fucking kid, too. I’m almost twice your age, and I’m just getting started! My dad is in his 80s, and he wrote two books last year.

You don’t get to use age as an excuse. Get off your ass!

Also, learn about what economists call “sunk costs.” If I give someone $100 on Monday, and he spends $50 on candy, he’ll probably regret that purchase on Tuesday. In a way, he’ll still think of himself as a guy with $100—half of which is wasted.

What he really is is a guy with $50, just as he would be if I’d handed him a fifty-dollar bill. A sunk cost from yesterday should not be part of today’s equation. What he should be thinking is this: “What should I do with my $50?”

What you are isn’t a person who has wasted 27 years. You are a person who has X number of years ahead of you. What are you going to do with them?

* What I’d intended as a throwaway comment, about the difficulty of second-language acquisition after childhood, has generated interest and disagreement. I will admit upfront I am not an expert on the matter, and was mostly informed by research I’d read about.

It claimed there’s a window of childhood, after which the brain stops being able to hear certain sounds—one’s not used by a child’s native language—which is why it’s so hard to learn to speak a second language without an accent.

Some people may master it, but not many. (How many people do you know, after 25, learned a foreign language and can speak it so well, natives have no idea they’re listening to a foreigner?) It’s also challenging to learn all the idiomatic expressions that native speakers have known since they were small children.

However, since having written this answer, I’ve learned that the Science behind this is very controversial. As I’m not an expert, let me refer you to the wikipedia article (and it’s linked resources).

“In second-language acquisition, the strongest evidence for the critical period hypothesis is in the study of accent, where most older learners do not reach a native-like level.

However, under certain conditions, native-like accent has been observed, suggesting that accent is affected by multiple factors, such as identity and motivation, rather than a critical period biological constraint (Moyer, 1999; Bongaerts et al., 1995; Young-Scholten, 2002).”

2. Jim Lawrenson, Still driving…

Unfortunately for ‘real’ people, the media is obsessed with the tiny minority who succeed early and display this very publicly.

This is then amplified by the high profile ‘subject’,  for PR purposes, to perpetuate their success.

Justin Bieber, Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, River Phoenix, Justin Timberlake, Bill Gates, Jimi Hendrix, Steve Jobs, James Dean, Richard Branson, Whitney Houston, One Direction, Amy Winehouse, Mark Zuckerburg. Need I go on.

Notice a trend in there somewhere?

You are probably being influenced, (like all of us), in how you assess your own progress, compared to these people. It can be a dangerous game to play.

It takes a tremendous amount of luck, as well as talent, to get into the right position at the right time. Not many people who make it will tell you that, often preferring to put it down to their hard work.

That is because they believe that this is the case, not because they are intentionally misleading you. I know that because, to an extent, I’ve done it.

You also may not have considered that even if you were on the list of young successes. It is very hard to follow that early success later in life. Your expectations of yourself are higher and based on that youthful virtual reality you experienced once, you can never improve on your past.

That can be a tough pill to swallow and despite all the money in the world, many struggle with that.

Look at any list of young successes from just 10 years ago and count the number who have disappeared, died or been in rehab. Lots.

Half the list of super successful people above are dead for a start off.

This is not an excuse for you to give up trying however. 

Try to think of life as a long road journey.

The journey can be as exciting or as boring as you choose to make it.

Wherever you are on the journey, there are new experiences, as long as you welcome them and seek them out. Some you can plan in advance.

Often, you need to get out of the car to experience them. Otherwise, you will see them flash past the window and feel like it is too late to stop.

  • Do something every day which contributes to your progress on the journey and always be learning and experiencing new things.
  • Don’t put off experiences which can be done today by getting out of the car, for a tomorrow which may never arrive.
  • Build a vision of where you want to get to in 1, 5 and 10 years and then think about the steps you need to complete in the next 30 days to move towards it, but don’t set deadlines that are too harsh. Do the first step on the list today.
  • Like any long journey, you will hit diversions, obstacles, traffic lights, speed bumps, closed roads and all manner of other problems. There will be crashes – you might be involved in them. Like any long road journey, if you want to get the destination enough, you won’t turn back, you will reroute. The car might break down or need repairing. Just accept it will happen now, and carry on.

Most importantly, don’t wait for all the traffic lights between your house and your destination, to turn green at the same time, before you set off.

They won’t!

Get in the car and start driving.

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How People with High IQs Think (Practical Examples)

You don’t have to be the Einstein of our generation to be successful. But in some companies and institutions, IQ has a tendency to correlate to qualities they value, hence the kind of people they seek and want to work with. IQ tests directly measure your ability to correctly identify patterns and logic problems under a time limit.

Those skills have a significant correlation to other skills that we value in a 21st century, post-industrial economy. It correlates with the ability learn complex concepts, learn to think critically, learn to identify opportunities etc.

IQ is probably overrated today. We place way to much value on IQ, and take it as being far more meaningful than it is.

These are two practical examples (from Calvin and Raffaele) of how people with high 1Qs think (from a social, intellectual, and practical point of view). How they perceive everyday interactions and situations. They originally shared these experiences on reddit.

1. Calvin Chopra, An inquisitive autodidact

I tested about 4 months back; my IQ was 150. My Myers Briggs Test Type (MBTI) is INTJ and I am 17 years old.

Socially: It is pretty screwed up. I can’t get along with kids in my school or other people around me. Also, it is an INTJ characteristic that people perceive me as arrogant; in fact I am very humble. I tend to be the silent one. I don’t talk much and sometimes I am shy.

I don’t talk to people in my age group, but instead have friends who are older than me. I also don’t believe in small talk; I don’t want people calling me unless it is extremely important and I think a real conversation is better any day.

However, When I am with like-minded people or in a place where I can discuss  ideas, I am good socially and I consider myself to be an ambivert contrary to the MBTI test. I am swift then. Also, I am good at reading people’s expressions and know what they are thinking about, but sometimes I don’t even know that they are listening to me.

I despise smartphones, any and every form of communication. I don’t use my smartphone quite a lot and I might switch to a feature phone. Also, I permanently deleted my facebook account after joining Quora. I don’t keep up with my old buddies.

Intellectually: At an early age, I discovered that I was passionate about robotics and computers. Also I am a voracious reader. I read, think and talk about subjects ranging from Neuroscience to metaphysics.

I am good at school now. I love to be intellectually engaged. I have a hard time doing dull work, but I motivate myself and do work well. As for music, I find solace in classical works of Beethoven, Chopin, Tchaikovsky and the likes.

The dark side of this intellectual prowess is that I sometimes have to deal with analysis paralysis and I tend to over-plan things. I think and worry a lot, sometimes. Other times I get lost in my imagination; when I am inactive I tend to do thought experiments and try to analyze or build things in my mind.

Creativity: My mind has an inclination towards abstraction; I would study the fundamental nature of something, make assumptions and inferences and would try to build an abstract model. I would then try to use that model. That is why I love robotics.

I love to work on abstract stuff; I would do stuff with Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning and then use these domains to develop robots. Abstraction and Application, I work on these constantly.

Practicality: I was a strong idealist earlier; now I believe that practicality and idealism should go hand in hand. With my idealistic mind, I made many mistakes. I learnt from those mistakes and take my decisions wisely now.

I analyze the situations I am in, anticipate outcomes and know what will be beneficial for me. I do not have the Dunning Kruger effect, I know what I am good at, I know what I am bad at and I know that I don’t know much.

Procrastination: If I don’t have a plan, I will procrastinate, a lot. I need to make a plan a night before. That is the only way I can be productive. I don’t really need to be motivated to do something; having a purpose is enough. The next best thing would be a plan.

Although I don’t follow a plan rigidly but I keep working on things till bed time. I constantly make day logs and edit my plan, and I have a good work ethic. I am a non-conformist and brutally rational. I do not care about what others think about me, but I do not harm them either. If my apathy harms them, then I am in a dilemma.

[Note: Whatever I am or whatever I think, I do not attribute it to my IQ. Whatever I have achieved is by devoting time and effort in order to enhance my skills.

I believe regardless whether your IQ is 100 or 140, you can achieve solely by practicing and improving your skills; a priori intelligence is just because of genes and environment. You can be anything you want.

Also, People cannot be compared; there might be millions of people intelligent than you, millions dumber than you. If you want to get ahead embrace who you are. Be unique, do something only you can and discover your real potential.]

2. Raffaele Tranquillini, 16-year old student, programmer

Sorry for my English, my native language is Italian and actually I am 16 year old, so still learning. Even if I am not 160 or more, I have taken a few reliable IQ tests in the past and obtained scores between 145 and 150 in all. I’ll try to give a detailed answer to this question.

Notice: additional factors may influence this answer. I am an INTP on MBTI personality scale and I’m left handed (I’m not sure, but this may influence)

Childhood: in short, I was a strange child. At the kindergarden I used to look always behind the computers to see how cables were connected; I learnt reading and writing when I was three, and my kindergarten nannies remember me that I was extremely lively (too lively, sincerely), very good at puzzles that were designed for elder children, and that I used to talk always about things like gizmos, mechanical systems, possible projects using windmills and things like that.

In addition, I was not extroverted and not very friendly to my mates and teachers (that I now love for accepting me for how strange I was even when, often, I was completely crazy). At the primary school, the situation was different.

I got bullied very very often both from schoolmates and teachers, that, in a school of the peripheral area of a city, hated me because I was smarter than other children.

They used to put the blame on me for everything that happened in my class, they lied to my parents about things that, for they, I did (they were serious things, so my parents didn’t believe me) because they were just envious, exactly like my classmates.

Now I don’t like children and I hate everything related to the period of primary school, because it remembers me all that bullying of teachers and classmates.

The only positive aspects is that this experience taught me not only to respect everyone and avoid bullying, but to be always as generous and correct as possible with other people in order to avoid they made the same bad experiences.

Social skills: they were quite poor, but in the time with my very analytic behaviour I learned how the “society algorithm” works, and I am in some things even more able than normal people, because I don’t do anything in a spontaneous way in social occasions, and instead I know how to simulate well an emotion or another. However, there are still many points where this “algorithm” I learned doesn’t work, and that translates in social difficulties.

Everyday life: the main difference is that I see patterns everywhere. Patterns and algorithms. In addition, I am usually really fast in thinking logically, and when I speak I usually try in my head in 1/10 of second 4-5 different sentences and choose the best one (something not the best for that situation, though).

Then often I figure out many different solutions in a very short time to a problem, including the solution that I think will be the wrong one but the one that the others will choose, and I can’t explain the right one.

Often people tell me that my solution is wrong and I am stubborn, but I know it is correct, and after hours they will notice I was right. In addition, I always talk very very fast to keep up with my thoughts.

Other aspects of social life: I often feel alone among the people. I am between them, but I feel separated by a wall that isolates me on a place that is just physically near the people around me. They don’t understand me. They misunderstand me (in a bad way).

I feel as I had some sort of veil that doesn’t let me interact with them. And nobody believes me if I try to explain that. (This is one of the the many symptoms of Asperger’s I have… But I’m almost sure it’s also the IQ)

Interests: my mind is very good in some directions and very wrak in others. For instance, I am not good at maths (high school maths is IMO boring and I don’t want to study it) except for the very small part of it involving logical thinking.

I am very good at writing, but my main, obsessive hobby is programming. I love it, and I am programmer since I was 8. I love it because it’s good to use my logic. I’ve always been very bad at sport. Especially, I have never had coordination. I love quiet places, and I need to walk alone in quiet places for some kilometers every day to relax.

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