A couple of able-bodied people recently expressed confusion about how I can go on and on about Dancing with Pain® method and yet still live with chronic pain and disability. I think that people who are totally able-bodied see health in a very black-and-white way:
You are either healthy or sick. A body part either works or doesn’t, and if it doesn’t, you go to the doctor to get it fixed. It either gets fixed or remains broken.
But I see health as a complex world full of gradations, permutations, colors, and possibilities. I see it as an ever-evolving state of being – transforming from one moment to the next, on the micro or macro level. What is today a mountain may tomorrow be a valley, if the water drips precisely and persistently enough.
I may not be able to run six miles at the moment, but I already envision myself doing so. As far as I’m concerned, my body is just playing catch-up to my brain, heart, and spirit. Quite simply, matter moves more slowly than light. Bones change more slowly than thoughts. Muscle transforms more gradually than intentions.
Over the past five years, I have had one experience after another where, through physical dance, I could go from limping to leaping in the span of half an hour or an hour. As such, I have come to firmly believe that my reality in this moment is simply my reality in this moment, nothing more.
Numerous factors contribute to what my reality will be in the next moment: How am I moving? Who am I with? What am I eating? What am I thinking? What am I wearing? What energy am I tapped into? Everything matters.
The question is, at any given moment, is there anything I can shift to maximize the love, light, healing, and positivity that I am engaging, absorbing, and emitting? In my experience, healing is an ever-evolving game of mix-and-match, a dynamic process of filling up my life, heart, and soul with that which nurtures and nourishes me.
So maybe when I meet you at a restaurant, I won’t shake your hand, so as to avoid ending up in pain. If I were not regularly dancing with my pain, however, on the physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental levels, I might not even be at that restaurant with you. I might not be laughing with my head thrown back, sharing my most recent mischief. I might be bedridden, alone, and in despair.
And maybe when I dance today, it’s on the floor, and my moves are nothing to write home about. But if I keep writhing around on that floor in an unceremonious fashion, you bet your sweet patooties that it won’t be long before I’m dancing in a chair, then on my feet, then leaping in the air.
Leaping in the air today doesn’t mean I won’t be back on the floor tomorrow. Maybe in between today and tomorrow, I will encounter someone whose energy sends a shock wave through my system and puts me into a setback. But if I’m on the floor tomorrow, I’ll dance from there until I’m back on my feet again, no matter how long it takes.
The bottom line is this: Wherever we are in our health, we dance from that place – physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally. We fill up the space of our wellness, or if we have no wellness at all, anywhere, then we imagine having it. If we have trouble imagining it, then we invite the Universe to provide us with that image.
Dancing with Pain® is the process of constantly throwing out the net of our imagination and intention, actively seeking and incorporating that which can help us. It is, in its essence, the dynamic process of being vibrantly alive — making like a river that shape-shifts from one moment to the next.