“The past,' he thought, 'is linked with the present by an unbroken chain of events flowing one out of another.' And it seemed to him that he had just seen both ends of that chain; that when he touched one end the other quivered.”
― Anton Chekhov, The Witch and Other Stories
I'm not a fan of ghost stories, so I haven't read this piece from Chekhov, but it feels like the perfect quote to go with my thoughts today. It's Spiritual Journey Thursday, the first Thursday of the month, and we are reflecting on my OLW for the year--connection. If you'd like to read more thoughts on this word, follow the links below when you have a few minutes to absorb and reflect.
Yes, I know it's Tuesday! But I am headed to the mountains with my daughters and grandson for some delicious family connections and I'm not exactly sure what kind of internet connection will be available. I figured it might be wise to get this posted before I leave.
One of the things I am exploring on this topic of connection is the link (or lack thereof) between my mind and my body. It goes without saying in my vocabulary that mind is more than just the mental faculties, but also includes the deeper connection to the heart. And we're also crossing another connection with this thought--my yoga practice and my writing. I'm shaking the ends of a bunch of chains here.
First let me explain a little pain science to you. We tend to think pain is a message a muscle (or other body tissue) sends to the brain. Research shows, however, that pain is a signal the brain sends to a tissue in the body, telling that muscle or tissue to protect itself. So we stub our toe, it hurts, we walk crooked for a few days, it heals, and the pain stops. However when we're talking about chronic pain, something that has been there for more than three months, there may or may not be a corresponding injury in the tissues. The brain considers many other factors when it is deciding to send the body that pain signal--things like memories, emotions, expectations, beliefs, and environment. See Jenni Rawlings blog for a fuller explanation and links to other websites on pain science. My PT son has been trying to explain this to me for years, but I hadn't managed to wrap my brain around it until recently.
I began yoga because of chronic pain in my back. It has always been a spiritual practice for me, as well as physical. As I begin to examine those places of chronic pain in my body, I am asking the Holy Spirit to show me what is causing that pain signal. And often it's not structural damage in my body, but some unhealed, unacknowledged, unrealized memory, emotion, or belief about myself that must be brought to the light of God's presence and held there for His healing word.
So, I'm re-educating my body through conscious slow movement that integrates what I know in my spirit is true and what I feel in my tissues.
Paul's letter to the Colossians says this: that they may be encouraged in heart, knit together in love, and filled with the full riches of complete understanding, so that they may know the mystery of God, namely Christ,
I do realize I am taking this slightly out of context. But the truth is I want this connection of heart, mind, and body. I want to know the mystery of God in my physical tissues, this earthly temple of His spirit, and I don't think God has a problem with that.
So today, I'm wishing you amazing connections!
Leave your link below if you have connecting thoughts on your blog.