massageA recent massage had me meditatively reflecting on pain.  See, I have a LOT of knots in my shoulders.  In fact, my masseuse said I gave her a full day’s work in just an hour.  😮  When she worked the knots out, I was in tremendous pain.  In fact, I am surprised that I was able to suppress my burning desire to yell out AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

I think the only thing stopping me was knowing how much better I would feel after the massage.  Instinctively, I tensed in response the pain.  That made it worse.  The more I fought it, the more pain I was in.

So, I relaxed.  It was completely counter-intuitive.  I simply let out the breath I was holding, and allowed myself to embrace the pain.  And then a weird thing happened.

The pain went away.

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This made no sense to me.  But since it worked, I practiced releasing my breath and relaxing, every time I caught myself bracing against it.  And, it worked every time.  I leaned in to the pain to find my way out of it.

And that got me thinking.  In life we have a lot of pain.  And in business, there is the pain of too much work, the pain of too little work, the frustration of hard work not paying off, to name a few.  And then there is money, relationships, and life in general.  😮  But here’s the thing.  We naturally tense against pain. We don’t want to feel it, we want to make it stop as soon as possible.   We struggle to fix the cause of the pain with a bandaid solution to work around it – ANYthing but feel the pain.

Ironically, it is when we lean in to that pain that the pain becomes less severe.  Rather than fretting about debt and how the bills will be paid, lean in to why the debt is there in the first place.  And if you really lean in, you stop blaming others and you find the true root cause, forgive it, and then move into a meaningful solution.  Lost your mojo in your business, or worked up to a milestone and now feel lost?  Take a moment to reflect on what’s happening before you jump into the fix.  Within pain lives so much creative abundance, it would be a shame to gloss over it.

In my shoulder pain lived worry, too much sitting, the convergence of forces driving me to inertia.  (I don’t know quite what that means either, but it was in my head, so why not write it…)  By accepting the pain, I got release, and then I found my creativity open and ready to flow.

Pain doesn’t feel good.  But if you allow yourself to feel it, rather than fight it, you just might have your next creative growth spurt.

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