When you change your relationship with pain, your pain changes too
Kjersti Ane Østvik
My change story
For many years I struggled with debilitating pelvic pain which influenced everything in my life. I also experienced other chronic pain conditions like headaches, neck pain and back pain from an early age. I thought I was someone who just had to put up with a lot of pain as one condition seemed to be continually exchanged by another throughout most of my life. I thought that was the way I was designed. Thankfully I didn't give up, and by learning what pain is and how our mind works, I have a very different experience of pain and symptoms now. Pain still shows up, it's part of the human experience, but I'm not gripped by it the way I used to be. I know that persistent pain and symptoms can mean a number of things, regardless of there being a physical injury present or not. Pain and symptoms are our bodies way of communicating with us, and they can mean there is something to take care of or look at, or they can mean our brains are playing the same tune over and over because it's what it has become used to do. Pain can become a habit. Our brains are great at looking after us, but sometimes they overprotect us. The protection can also be about something else in our lives that is out of balance. It is exciting and empowering to learn more about pain and be curious about what our brains are trying to communicate, instead of being afraid and try to push it away.
I still have a diagnosis and physical limitations, but my relationship with pain has gradually shifted from one based on fear and stress, to one based on curiosity and possibility. By understanding pain and physical symptoms in new ways you can change your experience. You can read more in my article Thoughts on physical pain in my blog, listen to podcast episode 176 (button below marked podcast #1) on the podcast Changeable which I did with Dr. Amy Johnson where we explore pain and physical symptoms, or take a look at a course about chronic pain that I have made with Dr. Amy Johnson (button below), send me a message or reach out for a session to explore what is possible for you. I have also been a guest on Our Imperfect life podcast, button below marked podcast #2, where we talk about pain, physical symptoms and anxiety. Understanding what pain is and how our mind works make life easier to navigate. The first 30 minute session is always free to explore if we want to work together.
Me in 2016
Remember that change may be possible even if your mind tells you a different story. Mine did too. It's what minds do.
Your mind is a storyteller by nature. It brings fluctuations of energy and story together with the sensory information you're taking in, resulting in quite a display. It's a brought-to-life, real-as-can-be experience. It's virtual reality that doesn't seem virtual.
Dr. Amy Johnson (Just A Thought)
Me in 2017
I have personal experience with:
Persistent physical pain and other chronic physical symptoms
What are you struggling with in your life?
To walk the path of healing with someone who has been where you are now,
who has struggled the way you do now,
is profoundly different than walking the path with someone who has only read or heard about the kind of struggles you find yourself in.
I would love to walk alongside you on your path!
Me in 2020
Every feeling in our body is energy in some form moving through. If we leave it alone, that is what it will do. If we think it is something important or try to get rid of it or fix it, it will stay longer. When we understand something fundamental about how all human beings work, a natural shift has the space to happen.
It was while attending Dr. Amy Johnson's six-week course, The Little School of Big Change, that I began to see on a deeper level how we all work as human beings and how we are not what our thinking minds tell us we are.
I understand how it feels to be caught in a loop of pain and stress. I also know what it feels like to see life with fresh eyes, not fearing the emotions showing up and understanding physical pain in a different way. Life is not about not feeling certain feelings, but about feeling everything that wants to show up, without so much fear or resistance. When we resist what is, we get ourselves into trouble.
This understanding can change the relationship with yourself, with pain, with stress and with the people you love. Imagine not blaming others for how you feel? Or stop trying to change your circumstances to feel better. Your feelings are only and always generated from inside of you, no exceptions.