Thoughts come from people, people don’t come from thoughts.
I practice Vipassana meditation, and when I’m with fellow mediators they say they would like to experience how relaxed I appear. I tell them, that’s only an appearance. That I’m just observing my spasming back and legs that want to move. My body is completely not at rest. That’s a good thing to tell them, even if what they saw was literally true for them it isn’t true, and telling them so would be the truth one way or the other.
You have a bad back? It’s not a bad back. It’s my mind in protest.
I can perhaps relate to that in ways that may surprise you. Care to share? The bottom of my spine collapsed when I was “trying too hard to please”. The entire back went into spasm, and nobody believed me. I went through various positions of grief and delusion until I started to notice connections with frame of mind and pain along with the physical reality of structure and the advantages of less “things to do”. One day, I was limping up the road with a friend when a man ran past really fast. A woman’s voice shouted, “He’s got my purse”. My body ran! As I was running at my fastest after this guy, my mind asked my body what the hell it was doing. I had flashes of my x-rays and the fear of each foots impact on it, but I quickly realised I would probably damage myself, forcing a stop on my body. So I caught the guy! For two hours, there was no pain, but a state of euphoria instead. A successful hunt! Yes, it’s an instinct, and the purse snatcher had designated himself a predator. This is an example of how our mind locks us in stasis.
Relaxing is not something one can ever try. It is something we submit to. Yes. Any complications from catching the purse snatcher? None. The complications came later when I was back to my old self after a couple of hours. The creeping spasms returning. Having said that, the 7 months of pure pain left one night when someone I love and respect told me off! It was if he knew the poison was of my own creation. The shockwave of his anger shot down my spine like I’d been caught with my hand in the biscuit tin before dinner. Now, no pain, I’m an eyes height taller and my hands got bigger! Mind healing mind in that case. Spirit supporting spirit.
So we need body awareness to get unlocked? To get comfortable? Yes, we do.
Indeed, but with a structure of self-support that keeps my character from crashing to that pit again.
Now, this raises the next point. Distress, is it bad? The short answer is distress is only bad if it’s ignored, otherwise the mind shifting into distress is an instinct, a heightened awareness. Loud noises are distressing, and it’s good that they are. This tells us when we are in genuine danger, or could be.
It’s bad if we resist action, otherwise we’re likely having fun. Yes actually, and some people seek out that distress state for that very reason. They revel in it, but regrettably they disrespect the other phases of human function, so it can lead to burn out.
Rollercoaster = vicarious distress. The action is real, but you know it’s on rails. Yes, exactly, as is the horror movie genre. You know the danger on the screen can’t really get you and nothing is really happening, but this highlights my comment about the growth/change threshold. People stay too focused in the rest side of comfort. The story of the bad back is an example of how very bad that can be. Very often to compensate they skip the growth phase and hop directly in distress not realizing gentle growth is even an option.
Growth as in doing something new? Yes, and seeing. Action/sensation are synonymous to the human brain, and it wants any and all of that.
So what can distress do for us? Well, if the growth phase of comfort is the brown earth we stand on, distress is the range by which we know we can become ungrounded. That we risk harm either psychic or physical, but this risk is not without its reward, because it highlights or at least can highlight the realm of change that though stressful is not distress.
An example? Ok, intense running. You hit a point where you know it hurts, and if you push it too far it won’t be good for you, but by doing so you get a very clear idea of how strong your body exactly is. You learn that you are actually very strong.
Some pain is muscle tearing which will ‘repair in’ with more muscle tissue. If trended it makes the muscles stronger. Yes, so distress is not to be avoided for the sake of avoiding it. It’s to be perceived clearly and learned from.
Anxious minds make anxious decisions. Yes, exactly, and honestly if you are the type that feels you just don’t know what you want if anything of life, there is such a things as distressing rest. Do nothing, and do nothing for a long time.
Dissed rest! Exactly. If you do nothing for a long time it can make it very clear what you really want to do.
And then the bottle comes out. Oh true, do avoid the bottle, be it a bottle of pills or a bottle of intoxicant, unless for a fact you know you must use that. For the bulk of cases I would say the answer is no.
Or bottled emotion. True, avoid that bottle too.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.