My journey beyond the cancer seas.
Its been a week of backs. Including myself I have come upon at least 7folk around my local vicinity who have varying degrees of back issues arising, myself included. In a former life, an old version of me would have leapt into action as shiatsu practitioner in an effort to help the bones realign and the nerve pain melt. Much of the time in my sessions, the fix I gave others would only serve for a short while, and leave me with a sense of doubt about my skills. Ridiculous as I now reflect back. My skills were never in question, perhaps though a misguided sense of my ability to eradicate another’s pain was misplaced. As I now see it, on this side of the tracks of my life, we can only ever hold each other in those places of pain. Gently and with kindness.
Years ago I did a talk on the landscapes of the spine, and one of the most fascinating aspects I learnt of the pain body is that it is a question of genetics and learned behaviour as to how we experience our own physical pain. Each person has a very different language they use with their own pain body. Where one may feel an injury intensely, another may have little sensation. Taken as a detached subject it is interesting. Put this into the experiential totality of a fully functioning life and you have a blueprint for how a soul relates to its environment. Physical pain is rarely just about the physical, there are so many other components that dictate the timing and intensity of these injuries. Trauma and unspent emotion, stock piled in the subconscious over time will, in my experience, become physically manifest.
So, what is being manifest for me right now? I have finally had to admit to experiencing PTSD symptoms from this past year. I am having emotional and sometimes visual flashbacks to the events of the cancer diagnosis and treatments. Its is apparent my nervous system is still on overload. It makes sense of my recent crashes in coming out after my all clear. Whether I like it or not, this is the reality for me. Over the past week or two I have reluctantly cleared my life of things that were over taxing me. It has been necessary to do and poignant. And I firmly believe my body is recalibrating from having tried to keep up in various scenarios.
How many of us can relate? And how many of those that do relate, can link a part of there own particular back pain of the present, to emotional avoidance from specific events? Ouch. That is a significant thing is it not? These were the thoughts today as I sat in my friends rocking chair at her computer. Its been a very long time since I sat in a rocking chair. I recall my Gran had one, at one point in my childhood. I remember loving it, as all children do. And then the moment was gone as I grew more adulty. I remember thinking that those chairs were only for children or old people.
Am I now that old person obsessively rocking with furious glee? I guess my younger self would agree that, at 52, I am indeed ancient! Thus I am entitled to find my way back to the rocking chair. Here is the thing though. That trip down memory lane shifted something. It reminded me of being joyfully in my body at a young age. And that I have a blueprint for that, as much as I do for childhood trauma. It reminded me that sometimes rocking on the spot, with or without the rocking chair, is the best medicine to calm an overwrought nervous system.
Oh, and I am definitely getting my own rocking chair. Who knew, my back feels so much better after that small moment in rocking chair land. I can see my gran tapping her finger to her nose to keep this a secret. Sorry gran, this is just too good to keep to myself. I know you’ll forgive me.
Lets all have a rocking chair revolution.
And may our backs be strong and flexible again.