Today I planned to write about how I have experienced personal growth by listening to my body and accepting my chronic illnesses. But I can’t write that because it would be a lie.
I have a wavering commitment to accepting my chronic illnesses. There are times when I am totally down with everything and will even admit to others that I have them. When I do share this information I feel like I have grown in my journey, and I feel proud of myself for being in that place. But there are other times when I feel “I am not going out like that!” and rail against what is happening to me. I go back and forth on accepting my illnesses.
How does hearing what your body is saying help you to accept what you are experiencing? What constitutes “acceptance” for you? What, in turn, comes about as a result of acceptance?
#acceptance #personalgrowth #self-growth
Topic: Introduction to Week 10
The final week of the Body Listening Project is all about how this can be a springboard for personal growth. We will explore various components:
- Monday: Perspective – Can you see your growth when you look back over your journey?
- Tuesday: Re-framing – Are you seeing your body’s experiences in another light?
- Wednesday: Resilience – Are you recovering and thriving after physical, mental, emotional, and/or social disruption?
- Thursday: Transformation – Have you experienced physical and/or emotional change through flashes of intuition, insight, or vision?
- Friday: Acceptance – What does acceptance mean to you, and how has it affected your health and life?
- Saturday: Gratitude – How has being thankful improved your sense of well-being?
If listening to your body has fueled your quest for personal growth, or if your self-development efforts have had an impact on your ability to listen to your body, come and join in the discussion this week. We are looking forward to sharing this part of our body listening journey!
My questions for you related to this topic are about how practicing mindfulness has affected your relationship with yourself and others. Has your attitude towards yourself been impacted? Have your relationships/interactions with others been impacted by your mindfulness practice? Has mindfulness increased your awareness of your input into social relationships or increased your acceptance of help from others?
From reflecting on my own experiences, I’ve realized that mindfulness, and particularly the mindful therapies I’ve been working with, have had a really positive impact on my relationships. Firstly with myself. Acceptance and compassion are two of the things that have led me to feel gentler with myself and my limitations. I think this, in turn, has affected my relationships with others in a couple of ways. It was hard for me to feel like I had anything to offer in a friendship when I was stuck at home having a hard time getting around, and constantly stressed out from the pain. I was no fun to be around at all, I thought. For a long time I didn’t work on my friendships or relationships at all. I focused solely on myself, thinking “once I kick this pain then I’ll go back to having a life and being with other people.” What this ended up doing was disconnecting myself from my social network and looking back I realize I was wasting time by putting my life on hold. I’ve been searching for more balance now, in focusing on myself and my relationships with others. I think acceptance and compassion have enabled me to feel more comfortable with myself in my relationships with others, which I think has also made me more pleasant to be around – bonus!
Another aspect of my relationships that have really improved through acceptance and compassion is asking for and accepting help from others. I hate to ask for help! I value my independence, and even though I love to help other people it feels like such a burden and imposition to ask for help from others. At the peak of my pain, I was relying on friends and family for everything – grocery shopping, cooking, laundry, and even help caring for my pets. It was really difficult for me to accept that I was in a position where I could not repay the favors being done for me, and social norms taught me that I needed to reciprocate! I think therapy really helped me deal with this, and humbled me to the fact sometimes this is what it means to be human.
#mindfulrelationships #compassion #acceptance #connection
Have any of you noticed any aspect of your relationships that has changed through mindful practices?
Topic: Managing Expectations
As I have been reflecting on the impact of mindfulness on my pain management, I’ve come to realize that one of the major changes it has provoked in me has to do with how I approach my life and treatment. Working to live in the present, to accept myself as I am, and to loosen the hold of my vision of how my body should feel and what my life should be like. This is really all about managing expectations.
I’ve notice this impact in two different ways. The first has to do with acceptance. Through mindfulness, and mindful therapy in particular, I’ve been focusing a lot on accepting my body’s limitations. I’ve come to appreciate the complicated structures that we are, and wonder at how intricate and involved even simple movements are. I have been trying not to take that for granted. This has cultivated an incredible sense of gratitude over what I can still do, and I have found that I am less frustrated about what I am limited from doing. My expectations over my movement and my body’s capabilities have completely shifted. And in turn I find myself less stressed, which eases a great deal of tension I’m facing. It’s all connected!
The second kind of effect that I’ve noticed is with positivity. At the peak of my stress and pain, I became a bit despondent. “I’ll try this new thing, but nothing has worked so I’m sure this won’t either.” That became the way I entered a new treatment. I have been working to let go of expectations and approach new therapies and exercises with an open mind. I think that I’ve actually been having better results with new things simply because I’m more open to them, and I’ve found that I am not alone. I’ve learned that mindfulness and mindful therapies can stimulate patient expectations that treatment will help, which can correlate with improved responses to treatment. (This is discussed in Day, et al., the article I mention in the topic on Coping.)
Have you found that harboring positive expectations has made an impact in your body’s response to new therapies and pain management techniques? Have you found instead that harboring any expectations at all creates a roadblock to body listening? How have your expectations around various treatments affected your perception of the outcome?
#mindfulexpectations #acceptance #gratitude #positivity
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Viewing 9 results - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)