Today was my second attempt at making a presentation on Mindfulness to a group of fibromyalgia patients. It's not actually the easiest project in the world, talking with people who are in intense pain about how they could improve their relationship with suffering, especially if they've traveled far & come to sit in stiff conference room chairs on a beautiful afternoon in June. Still, it's definitely worth trying, and I'm getting better at it.
If undertaken consistently over a period of time, with good support – simple mindfulness practice can help with the chronic pain of fibromyalgia. This help is different from the assistance pain medication can offer, because it employs your own resources of body, heart, breath, and mind to work directly with your felt experience of pain, your relationship with pain, rather than focusing on eradicating the physical symptoms themselves. The cultivation of mindfulness attunes you to what is strong, sane, compassionate and wise within yourself, no matter how difficult your situation may seem. Mindfulness practice can help you grow in a sense of your own resilience in the face of pain. As you become more familiar with your own embodied sense of well-being, and as you cultivate your ability to bring that well-being to the forefront, it is as though the container of your awareness grows larger.
[True confession: no Giant Slurpee of Compassion was deployed in the making of this presentation. Still, I am a big fan of architectural-scale junk food, and the point about the container still stands.]
108 Names of Now