Immediately after posting the previous piece, I took to my mat again. My body was just as stiff and painful as it has been for a few days now, but the same Qi Gong exercise turned out to be the easiest it has been so far. And when I opened my eyes, the clock read a very unexpected 25 minutes. Longer and easier than yesterday. Not only that, there had even been clear, slightly extended periods of peace, in which I felt almost pain-free. Those brief interludes were sufficient for it to seem as though I was actually lying down. That’s a big deal for me because lying down is the closest I ever get to being pain-free.
During the exercise I also experimented with the what I had been told after the class on Tuesday. The teacher had prompted me to ask the question: What is the pain showing me? Instinctively the flippant, cynical part of me had twitched, like a sprinter anticipating the starting gun. I caught myself, relaxed, and remained open. She added how important it is to accept any negative emotions I may otherwise seek to reject. And then she explained that I should explore the pain with a childlike curiosity. Rather than investigate it rationally with my mind, be with it – inhabit it – and listen closely to whatever it wants me to know.
That intention made a difference. It heightened my awareness of my body, allowing me to connect more easily with it. And whilst I may not have been able to discern what the pain is showing me, I did make sufficient progress to know that I will discover something…somehow… sometime… But then again, there was something. Towards the end, when my attention was back at my head, my mind flooded with old resentments. I recalled and linked two separate incidents in which I was persuaded to do something I either didn’t want or didn’t need, by people who didn’t listen. It’s something worth noting and maybe I shall return to it, but for now I’ll leave it there.
What’s more important for me is to acknowledge the movement towards a more intuitive connection with my pain. It’s a move from the rational to the instinctive. From the mind to the body. I am 350 pages into The Ascent of Humanity by Charles Eisenstein and there is the depiction of a shift there, too. From separation to connection. A movement away from the need to control and understand, towards acceptance, splendour and wonder.
Writing this piece makes it more obvious that the shift is happening at every level. From the cellular to the cosmological, and everything in between. It’s one of letting go, inhabiting and allowing, rather than dictating and dominating. Away from thinking that we know, towards revering that we don’t know. A recognition of the beauty, purpose, and self-organising properties inherent in life which make it so much more captivating. And an appreciation that the more we open ourselves to our long-forgotten childlike curiosity, the more we will be able to hear what existence wants us to know.