in person and online sessions

Rolling with it

by | Nov 11, 2020 | CRPS, Pain Coach, understand pain

Photo by  Samuele Errico Piccarini

Yesterday I was listening to a person who is moving onwards and now has insight into his progress. He is rolling with it.

The most powerful learnings always come from listening to the person in front of you. Mouth off, ears on.

This is something I forever practice and will continue to do so. Resisting the urge to say something. In most cases, at that point it only disrupts the speakers train of thought. I have come to love the pause. The silence. The stillness.

However, there is much work to be done. I am work in progress and always will be. The beginner’s mind is a concept I adhere to in my day to day practice.

Using this as a steer, it is something to come back to when I notice that I have drifted. The practice of being present and aware is fundamental in therapy.

Further, I like to consider: am I awake here and now?

This in mind, together there was a realisation yesterday that one of the features of his success is the increasing ability to roll with it. And by it I mean pain and other perceptions. In this particular case, pain perceptions associated with CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome).

Together with the rolling has come a clarity and an ability to see the long game; the bigger picture. Here’s an example.

Moving the hand is painful. Sometimes very. But knowing that pain is a perception and in this case (as in many), there is no harm being done in the moment. Despite how it feels. The idea that pain = damage is a story we have been told and then tell ourselves. Yet, this is one story of an infinite number of variations.

Awareness, choices and acceptance

Seeing big and being aware means that conscious decisions are made. This is the fast route to acceptance. We can accept the consequences of a choice (the pluses and minuses) when we are aware of that choice and the consequences beforehand (read here). Then we decide and accept. We know the deal. BTW, acceptance means being open to what is happening right now, allowing it to happen or be experienced.

The conscious decision is made to move the hand then, knowing that it is safe, that it may well hurt, but in the long run will improve the mobility and function. This improvement increases opportunities in the environment and widens choices. Life improves.

The value is placed on long term wellbeing with this choice. The short-term fix would be keeping still, we agreed. It would feel ‘better’, but not much would be achieved.

Now, it is worth pointing out that this is a challenge and will come easier to some than others for many reasons. One of our main roles as clinicians and therapists is to be there to support, guide and encourage.

There are many other factors at play behind the scenes. Our inner world, past experiences, hopes, dreams, expectations, the environment and much more. However, moving onwards to the point of rolling with it, even a little more, will help the transition towards better times.