I struggle to love my body.
Lately it has been especially hard to be present in my body because of all the pain and panic. It’s much easier to live in my head and stay engaged on a thought level. Someone suggested to me the other day that I might try finding ways to experience something different besides pain, to discover co-existing possibilities for pleasure. And hope for moving pain that gets stuck in my being.
After mulling this over and observing my body the last few days, I’ve noticed a couple of patterns that I have when I’m feeling a lot of pain and/or anxiety:
1. TENSE EVERYTHING
I often find the experience of pain and anxiety to be really overwhelming, especially when it reaches a certain level. I stop breathing deeply. My body feels stiff and rigid, coiled up with this buzzing chaotic energy. It is QUITE unpleasant.
2. Realize I’m tensing everything and then try to get EVERYTHING OUT AT ONCE
When this motivation hits me, I often try to massage my shoulders and neck, stretch, do jumping jacks, move around, etc… But I do it with GUSTO and PIZZAZ. But like, not in a good way. When I’m experiencing a great amount of pain/anxiety, my body is incredibly sensitive, and I often end up causing more pain by trying to work out ALL THE TENSION AT ONCE.
So yesterday I decided that every time I become aware that I’m in a lot of pain or feeling really anxious, I’m going to gently massage my hands (like that webbing in between my fingers). And if I’m still tense, I’ll gently massage the back of my head. Then my feet.
And my intention is to do it lovingly. Gently.
I’ve been doing that today, and I can already feel the love in my body. The love from myself to myself. I still have a lot of pain, and have been anxious off and on today. But alongside these familiar feelings, I’m finding something lovely and warm. It brings a smile to my face, and I feel my energy moving a little more freely.
Also, this has been a way to connect with my body that doesn’t feel overwhelming. It’s simple and calming.
I feel better for being kinder to myself today.