The other night I was watching a webinar about wealth and business. Right now I’m super focussed on increasing my financial literacy so I can create more financial freedom in my life.
I was lounging in a pillow pile on my sofa and I adjusted my body in some kind of way that shot an incredibly painful blast through the right side of my neck and upper shoulder.
It was one of those pains that would have laid me out for days in the past. In fact, I remember getting a neck pain like that a few years ago when I was in the midst of huge transition.
I was preparing to move from one neighborhood in Philly — the backdrop of my not too distant bought of emotional insanity, apartments with heat issues and mouse infestations, and a place where I’d recently been mugged — to the art museum area, which represented a huge upgrade in my worldly quality of life.
Even though the move was exciting in some ways, I was also in deep grief and felt incredibly stressed out about the tasks that lay ahead of me.
During that time I was still in the very beginning chapter of my self care journey. I’d just finished my first year of Reiki practice and I had recently started receiving monthly bodywork sessions from other practitioners. I had a daily prayer, meditation, and community accountability practice, but those things still felt new in my life.
The afternoon that I came down with excruciating neck pain, I happened to be at my teacher Sophia’s house and I remember her crouching over me on the sofa in her front room as she massaged my neck and I cried about all of my exes who I was no longer friends with.
“Why would we agree to make these terribly painful choices with each other in this lifetime?” The words fell out of my heart through spasms of pain in my neck.
In the midst of moving stress, I was triggered with memories of grief and confusion about past romantic devastation. The pain in my neck was terrible.
I remember Sophia guiding me to breathe into my neck where the physical pain pulsated as she said, “You don’t have to make those agreements anymore. You can be done with those agreements going forward if you choose.”
The neck pain eased a bit but it stayed with me for a few days. That was a difficult move. I had to get hit with physical pain after physical pain in order to ask friends and family for help. In hindsight I see that I needed the intervention of physical pain in order to practice self-care and ask for support through the challenges of moving from one apartment to another.
Flash forward to a few years later, back to my sofa in my happy apartment watching a webinar about wealth and financial freedom: neck spasm.
First a flash of panic: my body is destroyed and I’m going to be in pain forever.
Aw, sweetheart, that’s a grandiose assessment and not a true statement about your life. Forgive and release that thought.
I paused, took a deep breath, and asked for guidance.
My intuition suggested that I look at Louise Hay’s list of body parts and their corresponding issues and affirmations, which is one of my main go tos when I experience a physical symptom these days.
The emotional issues associated with neck pain are, “Refusing to see another’s side or position. Stubbornness. Who or what is being a pain in the neck?”
Since I was learning new information to help increase my financial literacy — much of which was challenging limiting beliefs around money, worthiness, greed, and lack — this causation resonated with me. Even though I was trying to have an open mind while watching the webinar, I was also feeling skeptical and unwilling to accept new information.
The affirmation Louise Hay suggests for neck pain is, “I am peaceful with life.”
I repeated aloud and silently, “I am peaceful,” and gave my neck and shoulder a gentle, focussed Reiki session.
I actively opened my mind to the information I was learning in the webinar by saying out loud to myself, “I am willing to change. I am willing to learn. I am willing to stay present through this experience.”
The pain vanished in minutes. Minutes!!! I felt very satisfied and grateful.
In that moment it was very cool to see how the small things I practice everyday, when life is feeling easy and mundane, are able to rise to the surface of my awareness when I’m in crisis. My Reiki, meditation, affirmation, and other mindfullness practices consistently turn out to be practical tools I can use when I’m faced with physical, emotional, and mental distress.
Sure, absolutely, you or I might need other interventions for neck pain or other physical ailments besides affirmations, energy healing, and a shift in perception. If you need those things, go for it! I’m not offering medical advice or suggesting that you ignore mainstream solutions to treat your body’s issues.
What I’m suggesting though is to take a pause when physical symptoms arise to see what your inner guidance is asking you to pay attention to. A good question to ask is, “Where am I out of alignment and how can I come into alignment?”
If I do need to see a professional practitioner, take medicine, or have another medical intervention, I’m more likely to walk towards one of those options from a grounded perspective if I first pause, inquire within about my internal disturbance, and patiently offer my body and soul quiet attention first.
So, next time you have a literal pain in your neck, pause and ask yourself what is emotionally or intellectually a pain in your neck at the moment?
What are you feeling skeptical or resistant towards?
Repeat the affirmation, “I am at peace,” or, “I am at peace with life.”
Close your eyes, breathe deeply, and place your hands on the part of your neck that is screaming for attention. Just be with yourself. Listen. Be patient with your body. The pain is trying to communicate with you.
What is your neck telling you about your life in this moment?
Maybe you’ll get an insight about something that needs to shift right now. Maybe your inner guidance will insist that you call your doctor. Perhaps the pain will melt away on its own with this little bit of honoring and attention.
Big love to you,
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