Sparkle and Shine
Healing with Compassion
Written by Joan Bender
I've been feeling tension in my jaw the past couple of days. As I become aware, I relax my jaw muscles and breathe. I go about doing my work, and a little while later, I notice I'm clenching my jaw again. I relax my muscles and breathe. I notice now that I also have tension in my shoulders. Then, I feel a shooting pain in my ankle. I've been calling it an "anniversary ache," because it is around the anniversary of the time of its original injury, and it flairs up every year at this time. As I stop to hold my ankle, and send it some love, I realize that I'm holding tension in my leg too, and wonder, is my tension the source of the pain or a response to it? I notice that when I feel annoyed with this ankle pain, it seems to feed the pain response, and make it worse, but when I hold it, and feel compassion for myself and my injury, my body relaxes and pain eases. It may not ease completely, or it may just go away temporarily, and come back later looking for some more love.
Finding compassion isn't always easy. From what I hear from other women, they have a much easier time finding compassion for others than for themselves. So how does one find compassion? I can tell you what works for me. First, I quiet my mind. I do this by telling my mind it is time to be quiet for a few minutes. Then I turn my attention to my heart and breath. With each breath in and out, I imagine my heart space moving out further away from me. I imagine it is like a wave rippling out to the shore, and then going back into the ocean. Each time it goes out to the shore, it goes a little further. As I imagine this, I imagine sending this ripple of love and compassion to my aching body part, or to another person that I might be sending compassion to. If any thoughts pop into my head, I thank them for coming, and then let them go. If it is a really important thought, I ask it to return later, and believe it or not, it does. If it is a critical thought, I imagine it melting and transforming into the wave of love that is rippling outward.
By now, you are probably wondering how this could possibly work. Stress, tension, pain, and critical thoughts are all lower energy vibrations. Love, happiness, and compassion are higher energy vibrations. When we shift our energy, from a lower vibration to a higher vibration, we also shift our tension, pain and thoughts into a higher vibration. Just like with any new skill you cultivate, the more you practice, the easier and more natural it becomes. Try it. Let me know how it goes. I would love to hear from you.
I was 1 of 50 inspirational women chosen to be a monthly contributor to the new e-magazine, Luminous Wisdom: Sophia. This space is dedicated to those monthly articles. The name of my column is Sparkle & Shine. You can learn more about the publication at http://www.sibellapublications.com/