Typically, when we think of pain, whether it is physical or emotional pain, we tend to think of it as something uncomfortable, and something we want to try and avoid.
But what if I told you that your pain is actually the key to your health and happiness?
What if I said that pain can be transformed into fuel that has the power to heal your body and heal the world?
It may sound quite radical, but what if I told you that the healing power of presence is also backed by science?
In this blog post, I’ll talk about the power of presence while also delving into some scientific research on the heart and the role that the heart plays in healing pain.
I’ll also reflect on how this research has mirrored and supported the work that I do with my clients in helping them to heal their pain and their emotional trauma.
Finally, I’ll give you some tips on how you can start using the power of presence to start the process of healing pain within your mind and body today.
The HeartMath Institute is a leading research and educational organization that has been studying the heart for over 30 years.
They primarily focus on understanding the role that the heart plays in healing and consciousness.
Possibly the greatest discovery that the HeartMath Institute has made is that presence can be measured through the nervous system.
When scientists monitored a person’s nervous system, they were able to notice a change when that person was touching someone else or in close proximity to another person.
In another study, scientists measured the nervous system reaction of different people when they were shown random images on a computer screen.
What they found was that the nervous system reacted almost 5 seconds prior to an emotionally-charged image appearing on the computer screen, even before the computer chose the image at random.
It was through these findings that they were able to conclude that the heart is a field of information that can be transferred or felt by means of an electromagnetic field.
Through their research, scientists have also discovered a coherent state in the body, where all of the rhythmic and cyclical systems in our body (i.e. organs, immune, digestive, cardiovascular) start to sync up with the brain.
They call this coherent state, physiological coherence. In other words, this coherent state is what I like to call, attention.
Additionally, it has been scientifically proven, that there is an enzyme in pain that catalyzes the process of healing when we bring our attention to it.
Once the chemical reaction of pain and presence begins to occur, it allows the energy that has been bound in that pain to unfold.
As the pain unfolds however, there is something else that is needed in order to bring upon a state of presence.
To put it quite simply, attention plus love equals presence, and that’s where the heart comes into play.
Presence is essentially about being attentive through the lens of the heart.
The HeartMath Institute has identified this heightened state as, psycho-physiological presence.
Here’s a video I made:
Or if you prefer to do podcasts:
When we bring our attention to pain, it quite literally frees up our internal resources so that our bodies can work more efficiently, bringing about all different kinds of health improvements.
But you may be wondering how to actually do this. Instead of waiting for this state to develop on it’s own, you can actually “hack” your pain by choosing to consciously bring your attention to the sensations in your body.
Here are some questions that you can ask yourself to speed up the process and jump start the healing power of presence in your life.
When we start to do this, emotions will often come up, and it is important to pay close attention to how you are feeling during this process.
This is where we can begin to involve the heart with our attention, creating presence.
Presence is really about adding the heart to the equation, and being a loving witness to our pain, problems, feelings, and sensations.
When we make a conscious choice to involve the heart in this attentive state, it creates a healing hack within our bodies and we can start to feel the benefits of the power of presence.
We can activate our heart in this attentive state by conjuring up an emotion that would typically be involved with the heart (i.e. gratitude or appreciation) and breathing those emotions into your heart and into your pain.
One method for engaging the heart is to personify your pain, imagining that your pain is a hurt animal or child that you would want to hold and comfort.
You might even choose to call your pain, my dear.
By doing this, you are consciously extending your heart to your pain while also maintaining the awareness and attention of the pain, as discussed earlier.
It may seem radical, to love something that we naturally want to push away from our awareness.
However, a key to overcoming this resistance is understanding that you don’t have to say yes to your thoughts.
Your thoughts are simply the chatter in your mind, which is completely separate from your body and from your heart.
The HeartMath Institute found that the electromagnetic field of the heart is 50 times greater than that of the brain.
This is why you should draw your attention to the sensation and the feeling, and not allow yourself to get wrapped up in your thoughts.
When we do this, the energy that is bound in our tension starts to unfold, and we can begin to extract the wisdom behind the pain and open ourselves up to the intelligence of the heart.
Recently, I had a patient walk into my clinic in a state of panic, her body shaking violently.
She had just discovered that her husband was leaving her for another woman, and that he was also trying to turn her kids against her in the process.
I could tell that she had been living with an immense amount of self doubt when it came to her marriage and how she felt as a mother.
I helped her bring her attention to that self doubt, and moments later the emotion of fear unfolded and we explored that sensation.
Next, she felt anger and the urge to reclaim her power, and she identified that sensation.
As she played the role of a loving witness to her emotions, I saw her energy transform into a calm and loving resolve.
The wisdom she was able to extract from the pain in this state helped her process her husband’s betrayal and ultimately helped her in being a strong and amazing mother to her kids throughout the divorce.
Being in a crisis like this can be scary and uncomfortable, but it can also force us into a state of attention and presence if we choose to allow it.
Even a crisis or past trauma can be illuminated through the lens of the heart, since the heart has a way of transcending the classical definition of time and space.
Often people will grip or hold onto past traumas and old pain, but the heart doesn’t know the difference between the past or the future.
The heart has the power to transcend it all.
I had another client I was working with who was deeply concerned with everything going on in the world and felt that there was nothing she could do to help.
I drew her attention to the sensations in her body, and something unfolded, a part of herself that was in pain, that she had been subconsciously avoiding for a number of years.
When she was able to bring attention and presence to that part of herself, I said, that is how we heal the world.
It starts with you.
And as we develop this loving presence with ourselves, we will naturally begin to impact others around us with our own presence, contributing to the network and field of the heart.
In conclusion, imagine as if your pain was like the fuel in a rocket ship just before takeoff.
Sitting on the launch pad, the fuel is much like dead weight, heavy and stagnant.
The power of presence is much like the spark that ignites the fuel.
It is our pain, converted into fuel, that has the power to propel us to the upper limits to what’s truly possible for our bodies and our lives.
I've been supporting people through the ups and downs of their healing journeys for almost two decades now, mostly delivering BioSoul Integration from my office in Louisville, Colorado. However, it's possible to receive BioSoul Integration at a distance, as well. I've worked with 90 year olds, day old babies and everyone in between. But those who seem to be most drawn to my work tend to be those who have felt the strong calling to consciously do the work of leaning into their growth and evolution as human beings. Often these people are practitioners themselves of some sort, whether professionally or otherwise. They may be yoga teachers, meditators, acupuncturists, chiropractors, energy workers, shamanic practitioners, healers, spiritual seekers and others, and they feel called to give their gifts and share what they’ve learned with others. Discovering our soul's gifts, embodying them and then serving others with them is where true life satisfaction lies. Life will keep nudging us in that direction, anyway. BioSoul Integration can help speed up the process and smooth out the rough spots created by our innocent and unconscious resistance. Take my BioSoul Integration Quiz to get started.
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