Dis-ease is a physical sensation that originates from the gut, an unpleasant vibration, a tension, almost twisting, butterfly wings fluttering, the emotion that resonates is shame. A dull, low-level nausea coincides with the sensation and increases or decreases with intensity in relation to the thoughts that I have come to call the shoulds, the spoasdas, and the coulds; the voices from past experiences, from others, from within, that distort the softer more subtle ones of truth, intuition, the gut, the self.
When I feel the sensations, when I hear the doubting the challenging voices, I know I have entered into the territory of pre-conditioned thinking, feeling, and responding. The sensations and the thoughts can become helpful however when I use them like the key on a map. They are messengers, telling me I’ve veered off course, away from the destination I seek. For example, when I seek peace, contentment, and calm through an activity of stillness like reading a book or taking a nap and instead find myself distracted by the shoulds, the sposdas, or the coulds, the nudge of the dis-ease growing, expanding in my belly, I know, I have deviated from my chosen path.
It is here where my map becomes useful, when rather than spiral into thoughts of judgement, discomfort, or shame, I can stop and simply observe that I am here and take a moment to observe and understand how and why I may have lost my way. I listen for the voices of self doubt like, “I’m not supposed to be taking a nap when there’s so many things I need to do.” I take note of the underlying belief, “It’s not OK to rest” and explore if that thought is helpful or if it hinders the journey toward my destination. *Note: If I’ve found myself standing in the realm of pre-conditioned thinking, in the ditch off the side of the road, it is almost guaranteed that the thought will be both unhelpful and irrational. Then, while standing there I pause, take a breath and question the validity of the belief by identifying factual evidence to the contrary, “If people did not rest they would be exhausted and incapable of accomplishing what they need to get done.” Once the evidence has been compiled I breathe in the answers and allow the physical sensation, paired with the belief, to stretch, expand, burn, and release by moving my body, by directing the breath in a way that feels right (there’s no right or wrong, just move and breathe until the dis-ease has decreased). Then, assess your readiness to set back out toward the desired destination and resume your journey, step back out onto the path, on to the road.
We are creatures of habit. Sameness equals safety. So we must be kind to ourselves when we veer off the path again and again into the realm of pre-conditioned thinking and responding. I am learning to take each detour as an opportunity to understand my self, my map, my journey, my truth, my life. And it also helps to remember that some of the most difficult paths, the bumpiest roads, will often lead to the most beautiful destinations.