First Friday is Second Friday in December 2018: It’s free. December 14th at 7:45-9:15 am PT. Bring a pen, paper and open mind. All levels of experience are welcome. Clickhere to join (WebCall or phone if you want to speak and be heard, Broadcast if you want to listen-only and write in the chat-box).
- Online course: Divorce/Break-up/Separation IS HELL–Is It True? Sundays 11 am PT January 6-February 17, 2019 (no class 1/13) with me and Nadine Ferris France, two facilitators who have experienced divorce and now think of it as amazing. Really. $250.
- March 22-24, 2019 Sit In The Fire, a weekend of emotional release/trauma work in combination with self-inquiry, facilitated by Roxann (Byron Katie’s daughter). Watch Grace Notes for the minute we take reservations.
Last Monday, I offered my weekly facebook live at 2 pm PT on PAIN.
Although emotional pain can be right up there in the very same inquiry.
It burns and aches and hurts and stabs. We have physical symptoms. Our stomachs ache, we can’t sleep.
Even if we’re not physically suffering or injured, when we feel hurt, it seems like we are.
Five years ago, in the middle of a dance on a Saturday morning, bursting with energy and joy and so happy with the music….
….I ran across the whole dance hall wooden floor, almost leaping. I felt so excited!
I found myself suddenly, spontaneously, doing a handspring roundoff.
Now, you may think at age 52 which I was at the time, that this was pretty wild and ridiculous. But for me, cartwheels and handstands were a regular thing, probably since age 11 when I became obsessed with them.
I still seemed to fall into a cartwheel on beaches, on grass lawns, in big living rooms, and in dance halls where I knew I wouldn’t kick anyone (we hope) in the face. That is, if I wasn’t wearing a dress. Although sometimes, I still did it depending on the dress.
So there I was joyfully bounding across the dance hall floor when I went into a roundoff handspring, my old regular I performed over and over and over again at age 15.
When I landed and flung both arms in the air with the Olympic Landing gesture, I was up-side-down then right-side-up and both legs were perfectly straight….
…but something ripped or pulled in my right leg and hurt like nothing I had ever felt before–not even my broken ankle (also from gymnastics vaulting, but at age 15).
Now, if you haven’t done The Work on physical pain before, you might enjoy me doing it on the facebook live show I did earlier this week (scroll down for the video). That same injury was all flared up and really burning, for ten days straight.
I had not done The Work on it once. I was bearing it, suffering through it, and deciding “against my will” (LOL) to go to the doctor. They ordered an MRI. I felt like the pain was excruciating and nothing was comfortable: not lying down, not sitting, not standing.
And that’s not entirely what I wanted to talk about today.
What I wanted to talk about today was the way emotional pain of a relationship changing format can feel the same on a psychic level.
Tortured. Feeling angry, or sorry for ourselves. Shaking a fist at God. Or that mean, evil, nasty, thoughtless, sick person who hurt you.
Stop Hurting! Now! I am the one being hurt by YOU (picture person or pain or entity that’s causing pain)! Arrrgggghhhh! Cry!
There was actually a mix-up with the doctor’s handwriting that made the MRI order take six extra days, during which my right torn hamstring/sits bone kept burning, aching, hurting so it felt like a nail was hammered half way into the bone in my leg.
I called one of the office worker people once and felt a little choking cry in the back of my throat….”I’m in so much pain” I said. Waaaah.
That was all before I did The Work.
What struck me was the very same thing happened to me when my husband said “I don’t want to be married anymore.”
It was like I was stabbed with a knife.
Images of a devastated future. Images of being lost, lonely, single forever, the abandoned and hurt one. Images of having no money, and being a poor little piteous person. Images of never being the same again, in a bad way.
I was hurt.
Is it true?
Now. Some people will think if you ask if it’s true, it means you’re cold and heartless and you have no compassion.
Of course it’s true! I was hurt! What are you nuts? If you could feel my hamstring, you’d know what I mean!
This is where people sometimes exit The Work, or criticize the method for blaming the victim, or condoning violence or abuse or whatever causes hurt, or suggesting we’re questioning the person’s troubled condition.
But that’s not what I’ve experienced as I’ve answered this question deeply, honestly, compassionately: is it absolutely true that I am hurt?
Maybe I was hurt for a moment. Maybe I went through something that is NOT fun, and scared the s*%t out of me. Maybe I felt shocked.
But am I absolutely-for-all-time hurt in a way that makes my life impossible, or forever unhappy, or ruined? Am I sure I was “hurt” by someone else intentionally (or even accidentally)? Am I sure things should go differently than reality?
Same with my leg being injured and in pain. I noticed there were many things I could do, even though I was in pain (I thought).
You also might answer the question about whether it’s true that you’re in pain with a simple “yes”. No wrong answer.
Yes, it hurts. Absolutely.
How do you react when you believe you were hurt? You ARE hurt?
Wailing. Angry. Desperate. Depressed.
So who would you be without this thought that you are hurt?
Holy smokes. WHAT??!
I feel that injured area. I feel that broken heart. I feel the awareness I look around the room I’m in. I notice a very quiet space. Quiet sofa, quiet table, quiet wall calendar. Very peaceful.
I notice this moment without the images of what I’m anticipating will happen in the future, without imagining what it means to have this sensation I’m calling “hurt”.
I notice this moment has no hurt in it, except for a thought.
Turning the thought around: I am not hurt. In my thoughts, I am hurt. I hurt myself with my own thinking of being hurt. That other person is hurt (could be just as true–and usually is, if they’ve been hurtful). I am healed, mended, stronger, toughened, softened.
Could this be just as true or truer, that instead of being hurt I am actually OK, even if my leg may never be the same? Even if that relationship may never be the same again?
Is there something powerful, supportive, even incredible that’s come out of that relationship that caused “hurt” that’s contributed to my life?
Maybe I could spend time noticing this, instead of only noticing what’s been lost.
What could be good about pain?
It tells us to lie down, to visit the doctor, to rest, to question our thinking.
I have no idea if The Work shifted my leg pain, but the next morning after I questioned my pain, I noticed it was significantly diminished. If I wasn’t against it, or trying to ignore it, but allowing it to be as it is, I asked what it needed me to do….and I rested and lay on my stomach while running telecalls all day.
In my divorce, when I believe I was severely hurt, as I did The Work, I asked what it was the hurt needed. I rested within, instead of being so freaked out.
I gathered with girlfriends who had also been divorced (or were going through it right at the same time). I had a beautiful divorce ceremony with my mother leading where some of the most moving words were spoken, and prayers, poetry and holy gifts were given to me. When I moved, people donated furniture, dishes, napkins.
I discovered a career since I became obsessed with wanting to know the truth and was constantly doing The Work. I had time to read, meditate, and watch videos by people interested in peace and freeing themselves from being victims of reality (when my kids were with their dad).
I took classes like qigong, and did art projects, and started playing music again. I bought different kinds of clothing at Goodwill.
With my hamstring injury, I found yoga, stretching, stillness.
Who am I without my story of being hurt?
Well it seems like I’m so much more than I once was. How strange and mysterious, and weird.
I thought I was less.
It isn’t true.
“You can get clear, so others don’t have to suffer….This is a practice….Wisdom is running the show. Effortless. If I’m walking to the gas chamber, what an amazing day. Other than what I’m thinking and believing, it’s amazing. That doesn’t make it right. But am I awake to what is ultimately right. There’s something immovable–and there’s nothing you can do about it. It’s always there. It’s yours. It’s perfect. It’s divine. It’s immovable. It hurts when you argue against it.” ~ Byron Katie
P.S. When you receive this Grace Note, I’ll be deep in the woods of Breitenbush facilitating the winter retreat. If you write to me or leave a comment, I can’t wait to read it on Monday! xo