What do rock climbing and relieving pelvic pain have in common? (Don’t worry; I’m not suggesting that you go climbing to relieve your pain!)
But climbing, especially outdoors, has taught me some really important things that I want to share with you because they will not only help you relieve your pain, but also help tremendously with getting through the intense anxiety that can sometimes come along with it.
Living in Boulder, Colorado in my late 20s, I naturally had to try my hand at rock climbing. I mean the place is named Boulder after all. I was never really a risk taking, super athletic type of person, but living among all those amazing rocks…..well you just can’t help but want to climb them.
I’ll admit my first experiences with climbing were pretty scary! Let’s just say that when you’re half way up the face of a rock on the side of a mountain, holding on with all your strength, and you can’t see any way to get to where you want to go, panic can easily set in!
What I learned quickly though, and with the help of some excellent coaching, is that in those moments of panic, if I could relax enough to find one tiny move, and when I say tiny, I mean moving one hand or foot even just a couple inches – suddenly a whole range of options could open up that I couldn’t see seconds before.
It’s miraculous really that such a tiny shift can open up so much possibility.
The key is that you’ve got to make a move – any move that is within your reach.
If you decide that one tiny move is insignificant or not enough, you won’t do anything and nothing will change. You’ll stay stuck exactly where you are.
So how do lessons learned while rock climbing apply to relieving pelvic pain?
When you feel like you’re half way up the side of a mountain, hanging on with all your strength with no visible path in sight (which is a common experience when you’re suffering with pain that no one to date has been able to help you relieve) if you can just make one tiny move in any direction, a whole new world of possibility can open up before you.
And that leaves you with a whole new set of choices that you weren’t aware existed a moment ago.
One tiny move.
No matter how bleak things look one tiny shift can change everything drastically.
So when you’re feeling panic, fear, worry, or despair about your symptoms or anything else – look for one small thing you can do to shift your perspective.
Whether that’s breathing into your low belly, writing down your lizard’s thoughts, reaching out for some support, feeling your emotions, reading something uplifting, or taking a nap – pick something simple that is within your reach. You don’t have to go from anxiety and despair into hope and possibility all at once. You just need one small shift to have access to a whole new set of choices.
One Tiny Move
One simple and effective thing I like to do when I’m feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or anxious about anything is to take a minute to connect to LOVE.
Feeling love not only biochemically changes our bodies (releasing the good feeling hormones and chemicals and inhibiting the production of the stress producing ones) it physiologically relieves much of the stress and tension that create pain – setting us up to be able to access different ways of thinking, different choices about how to respond to our situation, and different emotions. And, the good news is that you don’t have to wait for someone else to give you love….you can access it all on your own any time you want.
Find a comfortable place to sit and breathe gently into your low belly.
Set aside anything that you’re worrying about or trying to figure out right now. Imagine putting those thoughts into a big shimmery bubble floating somewhere nearby. You don’t have to figure anything out right now. In fact, from where you are you most likely won’t be able figure anything out.
You need to shift your perspective first.
Once you’ve set aside your thoughts (just for now), imagine that there is a valve over your heart that is covered with dust. Blow the dust off the valve, or in some other way clear it off. As you do, a beautiful, warm, golden white light begins to flow through the valve and into your heart. It fills your entire chest, and then slowly expands until it is filling your whole body.
Allow the light to continue expanding and filling your body until it overflows out of your hands and feet and into the area all around you creating a bubble of golden white light. Imagine that love is filling every cell of your body, bringing each cell exactly what it needs right now. If you like, you can imagine sending love to others or to anything in your life that could use some.
Know that all is well. You are loved and safe and everything is working out in the best possible way for you right now – even if you can’t see how.
Now, from this place notice your perspective. Has anything changed? Move into the rest of your day from this new position, and be curious about the options you may see that you couldn’t see before.
Tiny moves, tiny shifts in perspective throughout your life on a regular basis are the difference between staying stuck where you are, and seeing the path unfold to where you want to go.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that those small things you can do won’t make a difference. They ARE the difference. They will lead you down your unique path to pelvic pain relief.