The Function of Pain

I observe a lot of pain in this world, internally and externally. A lot of people come to me because they want help dealing with their pain, and by “dealing,” I mean that they either want to eliminate it or create more of it. What people often overlook is the fact that pain is inevitable. We do not need to invoke or seek pain, nor do we need to run from it. It is a part of our world whether we like it or not. It exists for a VITAL reason. Pain is our body’s way of communicating a need for change, nothing more and nothing less.
Part of my job is to help people redefine their relationship to pain and learn how to respond to it as pain naturally arises.

It’s actually quite simple. The first step is to allow and acknowledge whatever you are feeling, whether it be pain, pleasure, or other. In other words, LISTEN to your body and FEEL whatever pain may be lurking beneath the normal mind chatter.
Step two is to BREATHE. Take a deep breath and feel physical space entering your body. Focus this feeling of expansion into the area of pain, and as you exhale, soften into the space created by the breath. Watch the movement of the breath and the movement of sensation as you ALLOW for it to disperse and dissolve. Notice as opposite sensations of lightness and gratitude slowly take the place of pain.
If you cannot take a full breath into the feeling, if it is too much for the breath to bare, SPEAK for your body, and ask or more space from the source of pain. In the context of massage, that means asking for less pressure. In yoga, that means backing out of a posture or even changing positions completely. In the context of life, that means asking for space from whatever it is that you need space from in that moment. This is not the same as running away from pain, it is an act of honoring the communication between body and mind. When the right equilibrium of space, breath, and sensation is found, change will occur and the feeling will disperse.
Sometimes it takes longer than you would like for the pain to completely dissolve. Other times it will go away for a while and come back. This means that there is more to hear, ask your body what is truly causing this pain. There is no need to analyze, just listen and observe. How are you moving in the world? How are you moving in relationship to everything and everyone around you? What is out of balance? What needs to change?

Much like pain, change is also inevitable. We do not have to pursue it or run from it. It can be terrifying or exhilarating, depending on your composition and perspective. Regardless, the work is the same and it has the power to liberate you.

LISTEN, FEEL, BREATHE, ALLOW, and SPEAK for what is needed.

Simple as it is, it’s not easy. Experiencing pain is, well, painful, and learning to deal with it in a healthy way can be horribly difficult. It takes practice, which is why Mahamuna and your body are here…. to provide a safe space to be present with whatever thoughts, emotions, sensations, and experiences are churning for you at this time.


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