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What is your biggest 'Teacher'?

We all have our ‘weak spots’ and for me this is migraines. Over the last couple of years, I’ve begun to use simple mindfulness techniques to help me stay present and more importantly get less caught up in the story of my pain when its happening. As a consequence I have been able to take some of the distress out of my experience. Of course not all of the suffering has gone; the pain and discomfort is still very real but by learning to direct my thoughts towards self compassion and try to sit with the pain in my body, (rather than desperately fixating on the narrative and emotional rollercoaster of “why is this happening to me, when will it end, I don’t want to feel like this" etc), I have freed myself from a great deal of added emotional suffering.

We all have our story . . . are you mindful of what yours is?

The one thing I began to notice as well is that when my migraine has gone, the sense of relief at being well and the appreciation for how it feels to be healthy (without pain in the body) is so profound that I find myself experiencing enormous joy at simply feeling well! We live in a world where we only want the highs, the good, the positive, but I wonder if we really know or value what that feels like without experiencing the other end of the spectrum. Personally I find it very interesting to reflect that without the regular and debilitating contrast of pain (in whatever guise than comes), I would not have had such an appreciation for my own well being and

the sheer pleasure and luxury of feeling well. As a result I not only feel happier now, but I value my body so much more each day, and consider what physical and emotional food I give it with more awareness.

As many great spiritual teachers have said time and time again, our suffering and our pain are our greatest teacher.

I hope one day we can cultivate more of a natural appreciation, gratitude and joy for what we have moment to moment, especially the amazing luxury of good health. Perhaps when we start to do this we will spend less time working with the contrasts and more time in balance and harmony.

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