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Help. torn. Send bully love or hate?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by OnTheRoad, Jan 14, 2017.

  1. OnTheRoad

    OnTheRoad Peer Supporter

    I am struggling between sending the bully in my brain that's causing pain messages of love, hate, or calm, firm, dismissal. Some people seem to be able to just see it as a bully and talk back to it...that hasn't worked for me yet. Love sometimes softens the pain. Calm, firm dismissal has worked at times. I feel a struggle between intention (which I can literally feel physically...my core engages when I intend and I can do way more than I thought I could...but my legs and hips remain stiff and somewhat numb) and love, when my belly and chest softens and I can let go more.

    I have felt this struggle between love and courage from the beginning of this journey, and that what I need to do is find the right balance of both. When I engage my core I feel strength physically, mentally and emotionally. I feel focused. When I soften my belly I feel love and softness in my body as well as emotionally.

    I spent so much time "sucking it up" early in this journey, tightening every muscle in my core a la Gokhale Method, that it has taken a lot of time just to let those muscles relax. But now I don't even know how much to engage them any more. I do have a spondylolisthesis, which has always made it harder to feel core engaging on the left side. Could this be part of the problem? I'm thinking no, because TMS is psychological. I also spent years as a ballet dancer "holding my stomach in"; then w/IBS had to let go of my core muscles completely, any tension there could bring on spasms. It is crystal clear to me that this is all a psychological/spiritual journey and I am grateful for all the lessons/openings.

    Does anyone have any wisdom for me about how to engage core and keep belly soft? Is it a matter of say engaging the core on the inhale, and letting it go on the exhale? I've been experimenting with that, too. The thing is, my breathing has also been shaky for a long time, especially the exhale. I suppose it just takes time and today I need to let go of impatience. (if I don't, "I'm a patient"). I suppose it will all work itself out. Yes, more acceptance and trust needed!

    I feel like all the "rules" I learned about "correct" posture and how to use your body my whole life: in ballet, modern dance, and fitness routines; from physiotherapists and doctors; even from taiji, are now up for grabs and omg I just got an inkling: I have to trust my body that it knows what to do!

    Your thoughts? Interested to hear from others about this part of it...
    Bodhigirl likes this.
  2. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi OnTheRoad,

    I am not that versed on the muscular aspects of your experience, but I will respond to the basic question:

    Send bully love or hate?

    I suggest you experiment. The ability to assert yourself, by being firm and in control is important. This isn't so much hate, as it is firmness, boundaries, individuation. Empathy, and love are also needed. I get that you get the importance of both of these aspects.

    When I teach self-compassion, these are the two stances I teach to work with the inner voices or conditions. They are best experimented with in the moment. With practice you will learn more about how to respond to each situation. And if you're "wrong" in your choice, you can feel that, and you change course immediately. You may not feel it with respect to immediate symptom response, but you will feel the guidance in your body, about how to be with yourself. You will know whether you are acting out old patterns, or are making space for something new and fresh. The fact that you are experimenting, and feeling these aspects is beneficial, and I think you'll become more adept. Becoming more adept also means you are more able to attune to your true experience, which is very helpful for TMS.

    Andy B

  3. OnTheRoad

    OnTheRoad Peer Supporter

    Thank you, Andy B. True, I have found that the feeling of courage, being firm, is key...as well as the heart. Sometimes the feeling of firmness intrudes on the heart softness...I guess it is a matter of finding the right balance. I find I am automatically experimenting, in my body, with all this as I write. Appreciate your wisdom.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  4. Bodhigirl

    Bodhigirl Well known member

    My bully has many parts and some respond differently than others. We are fluid, biological beings.
    Today I wonder if I should stop my workout because my angry/sad/anxious hip is complaining, tell it to be quiet, ask it to speak, keep exercising gently or give in and go to bed with the dogs.
    All are good alternatives really.
    After checking in here I will opt for some gentle Pilates floor work and see what evolves. What I have learned here is that I cannot really HURT myself the way I feared I could. My POP was tension hollering, not really injury.
    What a relief.
  5. Ines

    Ines Well known member

    Send the bully compassion for sure.
    I'm not 100% sure about your question on soft belly and engaging the core. Why do you have to have your core engaged all the time? Do you just mean when you are exercising?
    I have a dance background too. Have you ever heard of breathing through your back? In ballet I learned that you keep your core tight and when you inhale you fill up your lungs in your back. You can try it. You can feel them filling in your rear ribs. Maybe that's a way you can engage your core and fully inhale. I'm not sure. Maybe you can test it out?
  6. OnTheRoad

    OnTheRoad Peer Supporter

    Thanks for this, Ines. I have found during this journey that engaging my core gives me courage. You're right, it shouldn't be engaged all the time...

    When I did ballet we learned to "hold our stomach in" and breathe in the ribs, to the side especially (how else to breathe when wearing a tutu with boned ribs?). Good reminder, thank you, about breathing in the back, I have been experimenting with that. I was probably over thinking when I wrote this post, every day I move on a bit from previous thoughts...blessings for your journey, and namaste.
    Ines likes this.
  7. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    On the road to recovery do what works!

    The one lesson I learned from TMS is be flexible in my approach to solving problems, in my relationships, and in other aspects of my life.

    If love and compassion work for you, do that. If love and compassion do not work sometimes, stop insisting that it must work and be flexible to switch to courage or whatever works for the moment.

    Ultimately, this TMS journey to recovery can make us much more resourceful in an empowered and fulfilling life. So take an confident, relaxed, and flexible approach to TMS and you will see better and faster results.
  8. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Well put!

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