Archive for December 10th, 2017

Avoiding This May Hurt You

If you feel pain or discomfort, it’s natural to want to get rid of it as quickly as possible. You could cover it over with pain-killers, or distract yourself by focusing on something else, or try to ignore it altogether. However, this avoidant approach may end up hurting you even more. Here’s why:

Your body is a phenomenally intelligent system. Pain and discomfort are signals. They are trying to tell you something. They are giving you critical information on the current state of health and well-being in your body. They are also clues to more subtle guidance, such as the fact that you are doing things that are taking you away from your authentic path.

I have a story about that from my own life. Many years ago, I had stepped away from the training/coaching/writing work that I’ve done most of my life. I just needed a break. I got a job as a sales manager for a music distribution company. The job itself was fine. I actually liked most of what I was doing, but deep down inside, I knew that it wasn’t “What I am here to do.”

Less than a year into the job, I had a sudden onset of unbearable pain behind my left shoulder. The pain was excruciating and I couldn’t relieve it by moving or stretching. The only other pain I ever had like that was from appendicitis. If any of you have had that, you’ll know it’s like a knife in your gut. When you get that pain, there’s no doubt that you’re going to the hospital–right now. It’s a pain you can’t ignore.

My back/shoulder pain was excruciating like that, except that there was no obvious cause. It was clearly muscle-nerve related, but no massage, acupuncture, chiropractic, stretching, or painkillers could touch it. It got to the point where I couldn’t find a comfortable sitting or lying position. I didn’t really sleep for seven weeks. At the end of seven weeks, I had an insight: I had to leave my job and get back to my life’s work, mind-body training and writing. When I got that insight and made that decision, the pain began to release.

The purpose of pain or discomfort is to give you a message. That message could be the need for medical treatment. It could be signaling your need to make a behavioral change, like eating better, exercising more, or doing something to reduce stress, like meditating. It could be giving you information about how you are managing your work or your relationships. It could be telling you that you need to take an honest look at your choices, so that you come into alignment with your authentic path.

Listen to the wisdom in your body. It’s an amazing resource of inner guidance.

Enjoy your practice,


Kevin Schoeninger

P.S. The Holistic Fitness Training Program gives you step-by-step guidance to care for your body and access your inner body awareness.

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