Thoughts and emotions have a direct effect on the physical experience of your body. To put it simply, what we think not only impacts how we feel but also what we feel.
According to The Completion Process, “Because of the emotional body, you are able to physically experience your own thoughts. First, your thoughts are converted into feeling impressions. Then your physical body interprets those feelings, as if translating a message, and converts those feeling states into neuropeptides and hormones. These elements cause the physical reactions in your body called “emotions.” Emotions range from fear, anger, and stress to love, compassion and happiness.”
“The feeling body is the translator between physical experience and non-physical experience. It’s what makes you able to experience thought as something “real.” If your sense of life is painful, and if the conclusions you’ve drawn about life are painful, and if memories are painful then your feeling body will continue to convey all these painful messages to our physical body.”
A clear example of this is when the opportunity to write my book appeared.
Although it is something I have always wanted to do, when the opportunity surfaced so did the unexpected anxiety ridden thoughts about change in my life and the fear of failure.
I had many fearful thoughts about what I didn’t know about navigating a new literary world and the possibility of not rising to the occasion.
During the week I sat down to write chapter three to include in the book proposal, out of nowhere I experienced a terrible pain in my left shoulder. The pain was so excruciating I could not lift my arm, lie on either side of my body or move my arm in any direction. Prior to the onset of the shoulder pain, I did not sprain my shoulder, I did not lift anything heavy, nor did I fall.
Yet, a few days following a conversation with my literary agent, the pain of a frozen shoulder emerged.
During our conversation, my literary agent told me she would need three solid chapters in the book proposal to send out to potential buyers. Of course, I was excited! However, I was equally nervous. While thinking about completing chapter three, I worried about my writing, how the book will be received, how my life will change in unanticipated ways, and if I will lose all anonymity.
Not only did my frozen shoulder represent a psychosomatic/feeling response to my internal conflict and self-imposed stress, it also represented the fear in my thoughts about imminent change making its way into my life.
Change is an intricate and vital part of life that asks you, and me, to begin again and again to reorient yourself and your thoughts about change. When change happens in your life, because you don’t know what is going to happen, you may also experience the “frozen shoulder”. However, you cannot let the “frozen shoulder” or fear of change stop you from moving forward, just as I could not and did not.
Within a few hours of a candid conversation with a close friend, of voicing out loud what lie beneath my fears, the pain in my shoulder began to dissipate. By the next morning the pain was completely gone.
The good thing about my frozen shoulder episode is, I talked with a trusted friend to quickly identify, verbalize and be with the emotional trigger of what change represented and my unhealthy mental interpretation of change.
The shoulder pain/fear served as an opportunity to see things as they really are through self-observation. Internal guidance and the mind are interwoven within us to help us understand the world outside of us and the vast world within. The idea is for the mind (thoughts) and your body to work with you not against you.
As you move along the path of growth and change an understanding develops to show that if you are aware of your thoughts and emotions, you can choose to change them. You will notice fearful thoughts become less debilitating. You may be momentarily knocked off-balance, but as you become adept at identifying what lies beneath such thoughts you can quickly return to balance.
You can learn to examine your thoughts, experience change with ease and grace, without beating yourself up or running away from what scares you. You can choose to accept what is trying to come to you or through you, even if you’re not sure what it is or where it will lead you.
And lastly, you can learn from the physical experience of your thoughts not to believe everything you think.