In 2015, I created my first interactive public art project, The Courage Wall. The media grabbed hold of this community chalkboard and spread it around the globe. I received hundreds of e-mails about how the project impacted people's lives. It was clear my first project was a success. In the weeks leading up to my second project, UNITY, I met with a good friend who asked, "How will you feel when your new project isn't as successful as your first one?"
Over the next day, an acute pain started to develop in my hip. As the days went on, I found myself limping down the Avenue, wondering how I was going to launch my new project in the midst of all of the pain. Just then, I remembered a website I had visited a year before, showing emotional causes of physical symptoms. I hadn't done anything to injure my hip, so I became really curious about whether my hip issue had an emotional cause behind it.
I went to an online resource that referenced Louise Hay's book, "You Can Heal Your Life." I scrolled down to read about underlying causes of hip issues. I found that pain in the hip is associated with a fear of moving forward. I asked myself the question, "Are you afraid to move forward with launching UNITY?" And the answer came back as a yes. This surprised me, because I wasn't conscious of that fear. But it had been building in my subconscious since the conversation with my friend.
I did some self coaching and addressed the fear. And I kid you not...the hip pain vanished. I was shocked. It was like my hip said, "Oh, cool. You noticed what I was trying to show you. Now I can chill out."
There have been several times since then that I've noticed some form of pain in my body. It usually comes out of nowhere and is quite acute. Thankfully I now go straight to my bookmarked web page and read what my body might be trying to tell me. I reflect on whether there is truth in there for me. Once I address the message my body is trying to send me, my pain generally subsides in a matter of minutes or hours. (Notice the emphasis on address in the prior sentence. If I just think about the issue, the pain remains. It's not until I take action that it releases its hold.)
Just this past weekend, I was anticipating having a stressful conversation with someone. Sure enough, my hip started jolting severe pain through my body with every step. Now, thankfully, I know the message it's trying to send and I was able to say, "Thank you for the message, lovely hip! Got it!" I called the person, addressed the issue, and about an hour later, after I was able to process the conversation, I was pain free.
I invite you to consider that your physical symptoms might have an underlying emotional cause. We use metaphors like "She's a pain in the neck," because that's where that kind of stress manifests. Like any raising of consciousness, we might not find what we're looking for right away. But with intense presence, boundless curiosity and mindful reflection, we can tap into the deeper wisdom our body holds and free ourselves from un-conscious suffering.
I wish you the happiest of Thanksgivings, my friends. I hope you find time to reflect on the beauty of life, in all its forms. I'm grateful to you for inspiring me to be more mindful and more present in my own life so I can share my experiences with you.