Timing is a key ingredient to virtually everything in life.
Bakers know that there is a precise moment when a souffle must be taken out of the oven. Sailors know that wind directions change seasonally, so they must time their routes accordingly to make the most headway. Farmers know that they must plant their crops at the right time in order to get the best yield.
Life feels effortless when your timing is right-on. But when your timing is off, things get a lot more challenging.
When it comes to your body and any physical symptoms that you are experiencing, timing is especially important. How you address your symptoms, what you focus on and what actions you take, have a significant impact on your life-direction and well being.
There are three critical elements to timing when it comes to your body:
1. There is a time to Discover.
2. There is a time to Transform
3. There is a time to Awaken
This post addresses the first element, the time to Discover, which forms the foundation for all further growth and change (including the ability to Transform and Awaken).
A time to Discover
What does it mean to discover? It means that you find something out. You learn something. A part of you that has been withheld from your awareness, is revealed to you. You become more connected, more tuned-in and congruent with what’s really going on inside you.
When should you seek to discover?
When you are experiencing symptoms, in other words when you are in pain, stressed out, overwhelmed, or frustrated there is always the potential to discover something. Why are you really in pain? What are you doing or not doing that is contributing? What is the frustration that you are feeling really all about? What underlying emotions aren’t being expressed?
Symptoms are one of your body’s loudest ways of giving you feedback. When you have symptoms, instead of just trying to get rid of them, what would happen if you sought to discover what that feedback is all about instead?
How do you Discover?
It’s natural to want to make what’s uncomfortable disappear by treating, reducing, inhibiting or anesthetizing the part of your body that’s bothering you. Of course there are some cases where the pain is so great that a pain-killer feels like a godsend. But most people look for ways to get rid of all pain immediately, even if it is mild, or they simply choose to ignore it instead of paying attention to the messages within it. Numbing out or ignoring are both ineffective approaches in the long run, and if you choose that route you can rest assured that life will present another opportunity (typically in a more “in-your-face” way) for you to discover something down the line. So why not just start discovering something right now?
How do you begin to Discover the messages with your symptoms?
One way to start is by looking at the language you use when you talk about, touch (or even think about) your body and it’s symptoms. Your language is a reflection of your consciousness state and awareness level, and language has the power to create as well. So part of discovering is bringing your language patterns into conscious awareness.
Try this exercise. Think about a symptom you’ve been experiencing in your body and ask yourself what the following words or phrases mean to you in the context of that symptom (For example, “better” might currently mean to you that the symptom is no longer “holding you back” from doing what you want to.):
3. Let go of
4. Freedom from
5. Freedom of
Someone who is suffering a great deal, or who has limited awareness of their body typically defines these words something like this:
- Better means the symptom goes away.
- Worse means it hurts more.
- Let go of means to get rid of it.
- Freedom from means it no longer rules my life.
- Freedom of means I am not limited by the symptom anymore.
When someone is suffering, they’re suffering because they haven’t been able to really connect to the part or parts of their body that they’re blaming for their suffering. Their body’s symptoms seem to be the problem/s holding them back. In their consciousness, freedom will only come once the symptom or painful part is gone.
When you Discover however, you begin to actually “feel” what’s going within your body and to realize that growth and transformation can only happen by searching within yourself.
I find it interesting that Google recently started an employee program rooted in mindfulness called, “Search Inside Yourself.” Even they realize that no amount of Googling for answers “out there” can replace connecting within for answers.
Once you’ve learned the skills to connect to your symptoms and feel what’s really going on inside, your definitions of the previous words might look more like this:
- Better is just a feeling or experience that someone likes more than another feeling or experience.
- Worse is just a feeling or experience that someone doesn’t like as much as another feeling or experience.
- Let go of means to “unhook” from physiologically. To no longer have the anchor, the emotional charge, or the belief or story that something outside oneself is ruling the show.
- Freedom from means no longer blaming something or someone as the “cause” of one’s experience or circumstances.
- Freedom of means knowing that one can choose how they experience the world and what things mean to them. Knowing that they are free to choose what they’re going to focus on, how they’ll behave — how they’ll “show up” from moment to moment.
Discovering what your symptoms are about isn’t hard. With a little practice and the right mindset you can very quickly learn how to change your situation and discover a whole lot about your life-path in the process.
When it comes to timing, the key is recognizing that if you are in pain, if something is nawing at you or if you’re feeling chronically stressed out – you’ve got some discovering to do.
Working harder, pushing through, trying to anesthetize yourself from your pain, trying to let go of it or to get freedom from it won’t work.
What does work? How do you discover? What is the actual process? What are the steps?
There are a lot of ways, and an incredibly powerful one that takes language, touch, breath, movement, energy and focused attention into consideration is called Somato Respiratory Integration.
You can find out more about it and even sign up to take a class to experience it at The Well Being Center here.