What can I do to feel “just right”?
Do you remember the nursery rhyme, Goldilocks and the Three Bears? When Goldilocks tasted the porridge, she said, “this is too hot, this is too cold, this is just right!” Then she moved on to the furniture, “This is too hard, this is too soft, this is just right!” We make decisions based on what we like. More important to the story, she had choices. These decisions go on all day. Think of how you like your breakfast, or no breakfast? Do you like hot coffee or iced tea? What if you had no options? What I found through my own experience with chronic pain and anxiety, is I didn’t think I had any options to choose from.
We all have an underlying dialogue that directs us moment to moment. When it comes to stress and chronic pain, most of us pay little attention to the dialogue going under the surface. We are aware, like Goldilocks, when we are ruminating on what to have for dinner or what shoes feel the most comfortable. But pain and anxiety are so packed with emotions, fear and what ifs, that the sense of choice or decision is out of the question. The pain and anxiety are driving the dialogue. No choices make us feel trapped. That of course makes us more anxious, our muscles tighten further, as our breathing becomes shallow. Our thoughts can do nothing but support the narrative. We want out but what can we do?
“The Miracle In The Method Is Choice”
With the Miracle Ball Method, the miracle in the method is choice. Our bodies give us options, choices. And with some guidance, like Goldilocks, we will tell ourselves, no that’s too tight, that’s too loose, oh that feels just right. Getting on the ball allows us to have that experience. Some of us hold stiffly in positions. Others get limp and just wait for the change. And then, with a few simple directions, you can find the feeling of your body on the ball that feels just right. The support the ball provides is somewhat miraculous. As you begin to feel it out to where it feels right, you realize your breathing is improving and your body is doing a lot of the work for you. It’s not about the ball, but the feeling of how you are making choices when you are on the ball.
I use the word dialogue because most of us are unaware that we have this underlying conversation going on all the time. There is a back and forth simply put, between body and brain. If you feed it fear and worry, it responds to that. If you clench your glutes and then keep doing it all day long, your body responds to that. With the Method we begin to notice simple things again. How you feel, where’s your breathing, what muscles are you stiffening and what are your thoughts. As you simply notice when on the ball, the brain takes that information and gives you responses. And there are only two responses. Continue to go in the direction you are familiar with, fight and flight, breath holding, and excess tensions in the muscles or use some of the options your body is giving you when responding on the ball. Take that ability with you off the ball.
We are not simply relaxing, that is the result of what is happening. When on the ball we are making those simple choices that Goldilocks was making to feel “just right.”
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See Elaine’s new book: Miracle Ball Method for an Ageless Body.