I recently had a massage followed by therapeutic stretching, and the specialist working on me, who is also a good friend, remarked that I was extremely tight in my shoulders and chest area. He told me to sit up on the massage table, and when I did we both noticed my shoulders were pointing towards one other, and my chest was caved in. This caused me to sit in a slouched, rather sad looking position – something I never do unless I catch myself doing it ‘off guard.’ In my everyday life I make a conscious effort to walk upright with my chin lifted and my chest proud. Yoga has been a very good teacher to me. Namaste. But sitting there as a ‘patient,’ I realized I had checked in the confident and tall me that I usually present to the outside world at the door. I sat there as the vulnerable, ‘unedited’ me, the one who doesn’t have to put on a good example, or let’s admit it, sometimes a show on for anybody. My therapist looked at me and asked point-blank, ‘what are you shielding away from?’ I was taken slightly by surprise I admit, and of course I retorted with, ‘ohhhh, I’m not shielding from anything, I’m just tired.’ Thank God this man is persistent and clever enough, because he didn’t buy that answer for a minute. Instead he plain affirmed, ‘you’re afraid to let someone in again because you’ve been hurt, and you’re trying to protect your heart by caving your chest in.” Darn it, you had to go there, didn’t you? Are you are channeling Louise Hay or something, I thought? Yes, yes, I know, I know. I will work on that. I’ll meditate on it. Tomorrow.
Bottom Line: Try to pay attention to every detail of your posture today, and how your body is feeling. If your hip feels out of whack, or you’re cracking when you sit down in a chair, or you’re getting a sharp pain in your lower back, pay attention. Scan your body. Breathe in that discomfort, and breathe it out. Then go home and meditate on it. Get to the bottom of your pain and misalignment, and try to heal it. Dig deep and get to the root of the discomfort, and give thanks that your body can communicate with you in such a succinct, compassionate manner. Our posture, and all those tiny cracks in our joints, tell us everything we need to know about what we need to heal and work on. Trust me. Now chin up and get to work!
* Louise Hay is an internationally acclaimed author and practitioner of integrative wellness, specializing in mind-body healing and spiritual awareness. She believes we have the ability to restore ourselves to good health by making the connection between our mental and physical states. Hay contends that every particular area in our body that is ailed by pain or chronic illness represents a part of our psyche that we need to address and heal. Her book Heal Your Body addresses the ‘the mental causes of physical illness.’ Louise Hay’s acclaimed book You Can Heal Your Life sold over 50 million copies worldwide and was on the New York Times best-selling list for 13 consecutive weeks.