Last weekend many of us witnessed the power that nature has. By now we’ve seen videos of the sheer power of the wind and rain as well as the damage and devastation. It’s interesting to hear stories from practice members of how the storm seemed to be quite selective when moving through different areas. Stories of neighbours checking on neighbours, lending extension cords and electricity to one another, it’s lovely to hear of kindness in action.
We were without power at home for about a day and a half. And even though I knew that the power was out, I found myself behaving as if the power was still on. Several times I had to go to the basement and every time, I flipped the light switch. It became comical. I was also able to see where our “weaknesses” are in terms of energy consumption and dependance.
Life without electricity can be challenging because most of us are used to having it and we take it for granted. What surprised me was how habitual my thinking and doing around the house depends on electricity; All the things you can’t do suddenly and all the things you have to do, like carrying a flashlight around with you wherever you go.
Just like a storm can knock out the power and suddenly wake us up out of our routine ways of doing and thinking, symptoms can do the same for us. In fact, symptoms are the body’s way of waking us up to the fact that our routines are not working anymore.
It’s when we suddenly or gradually don’t feel like ourselves anymore that we start paying attention. Our routines are interrupted by messages from the body.
At this point, we have a couple of options. We can listen to the symptoms and get curious or we can shut the symptoms down.
We are constantly being sold this idea of shutting the symptoms down. It’s so integrated into our collective psyche that we sometimes don’t even notice it.
You can’t really make symptoms go away. You can numb yourself to them. But just like you can’t un-see the effects of the storm either while looking out the window or while trying to turn the light switch on when there’s no power, symptoms are there to tell us something important. They’re there to tell us to snap out of your routine doing and thinking and to take a closer look at what’s really going on with your body and your life.
Only then can we see where our “weaknesses” are and where and how are we using our own energy.