Pain is sensation.

Suffering can, sometimes, be optional.

We all experience pain. It’s part of having a nervous system. It’s a universal experience for humans. (And other mammals, and possibly other species.)

What does pain really do?

It gets our attention.

Sometimes it stops us in our tracks, like moving our hand quickly away from the hot pan or the stillness that often follows a fall as we take in what just happened.

Sometimes our response might be slower, like deciding to make a doctor’s appointment to get it checked out.

We often change course because of pain. Sometimes noticing pain may save our lives.

So what if pain is not something to push away?

What if pain simply carries a message, and the message is “pay attention”?

What if you really pay attention to your pain?

What if you notice it with your full attention?

Notice where it is. What shape is feeling pain? How deep is it? What qualities does it have: dull, sharp, radiating, throbbing, solid, shifting, strange, familiar?

Paying attention changes our relationship with pain. Instead of being “other,” it’s part of our self-experience.

I like this article by a Buddhist teacher, Belonging in the Body.

In my upcoming Self-Help for Jaw Pain online course, we will explore our own upper bodies and treat ourselves with our own hands.

Checking in. How are you?

How are you all doing?

I miss you.

I usually put out a newsletter near the beginning of each season. I just haven’t been able to get going on it.

I’m at home nearly all the time. I am healthy, doing ecstatic dance and yoga classes online, eating healthy, taking really good supplements, meditating, staying on top of my physical and mental health care.

Well, at least I had hand washing down before this!

I’ve been getting caught up on chores at home: moving my bookshelf, reorganizing my books, sorting receipts for taxes, cleaning.

I have plenty to do: a stack of books to read, access to online entertainment.

But sometimes it’s hard to get motivated. I feel some sadness and some anxiety about this.

When that happens, I find some solace in silently taking in the natural world — mockingbirds and mourning doves, beautiful shades of green (my favorite color), clouds, watching it rain, walking barefoot outside when the rain stops.

I live alone and wish I’d gotten a cat or a dog and planted a garden before this sheltering in place started. I can still do those things. There’s a risk to going out, though, that wasn’t there before.

I guess we’re all learning more about viruses and immunity and public health policies than we’d ever imagined.

I care about you. I hope you are well and healthy, practicing good self-care, and that if you get the virus, it’s the mild version. Or even better, the symptomless version.

What’s it like to not go to your job?

What’s it like if you’re considered an essential worker and are still having to work?

What’s it like if your income suddenly dropped?

What’s it like if you’re on the front lines, as my RN daughter will soon be?

What’s it like to be home with kids all day, if you haven’t been?

What’s it like if you have a medical condition that’s been put on the back burner because all medical resources are focusing on treating the virus?

I feel hopeful that when this pandemic is over, we can rebuild a better society and live saner, more fulfilling lives.

Since so much of my life, especially the craniosacral therapy and the meditation practice I have, is about connecting to Source, calming yours and my nervous systems, and listening with healing intent as our systems shift in response and augment our innate healing abilities, I’m investigating and preparing to practice distance healing.

It’s a way to connect.

If you need someone to send healing energies your way, just let me know. I could use a couple more people to practice on.

Holiday time, 2019

I am loving fall this year, really paying attention to how the trees transform, with leaf color and leaf drop.

Amazing leaf I found in my yard! How do trees do this?

The longer nights invite introspection, dreaming of this transition to a new season, new year, and new decade. It is critical for our future on this planet that we really look at how we can live lives with more respect for the welfare of all, including the earth itself. It’s time for a new paradigm about power and love. The old ways are on their way out.

What are the changes that you want to see — and be — in this new decade?

Are you in?

I’ve been making a lot of soup — especially my green detox broth reverse-engineered from The Soup Peddler (text me for the recipe) and trying various mushroom soup recipes. So far, Hungarian mushroom soup wins for flavor!

Look for my winter newsletter in the next week or two.

If you are looking for holiday gift ideas, check out my Self-Care Tools and Books page for foot massage sandals, the Therapeutica Sleeping Pillow, the best shoulder tension relaxer I’ve found (Gaiam Pressure Point Roller), and more.

Holiday hours: I’ll be closing at 3 pm on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve and closed all day on Christmas and New Year’s Day.

If holiday stress has gotten to you, I recommend craniosacral therapy to help rebalance your nervous system. I’ll be open all day Dec. 26 and 27 and half a day on Dec. 31.

I’m taking time off for another 10-day silent meditation course — closing January 1-14. My online booking system has these times blocked from scheduling, so this is just a heads-up notice.

If you determine that 2020 is the time to finally address your TMJ tension and pain, I’d be honored to have you come in for the free 30-minute consultation and set up a TMJ Relief session (or 5 sessions for a discount).

I’m still designing the Yoga for the Jaw class I plan to offer in 2020, looking for a studio with props to host the first one as early as February.

I’m also prepared to meet with dental office staff to share what I do for TMJ relief and learn what they are doing.

Comments enabled and welcome

I just learned that dozens of people left comments from the Contact page of this website that I didn’t know about. Some of them went back to 2017.

Some of you contacted me by phone, and we tended to the issue. I have not heard back from everyone who left a comment, however. I am sorry if you left a comment and never heard back from me.

I have fixed the problem so that now I get an email notification if someone leaves a comment.

Moving up the learning curve…MaryAnn.