Mind-Body-Spirit connections: spirit and mind

As I continue this series about the mind-body-spirit connection, my hope is that you will be able to open your awareness to your own body and spirit connections.  I think for most people this is a foreign concept and requires an entirely new way of thinking.  For me this new perspective took time to form and began first by recognizing the evidence that already existed in my own experiences.

spirit connection - when sex hurts there is hopeMind and body are aspects of ourselves that are easy to identify.  We all think and process things in our minds, and we all have physical bodies.  However, the idea that we are also spiritual beings can be harder to grasp.  By growing up in a Christian home and progressing in my own faith journey I have always known that I have a soul or spirit.  But knowing in my mind that I am spirit and experiencing and connecting with this spiritual aspect of myself are two very different things.  Your background is likely different from mine and you may still be unsure about the concept of spirit.  As I share some of my personal experiences, perhaps you can evaluate your own moments to identify if a spirit connection has surfaced in the past.

Possibly the simplest and most common example of a spirit-mind connection is that of your conscience.  Have you ever felt an inner pull towards or away from something?  Aside from the stereotypical “angel on your shoulder” telling you not to do something you know to be wrong, this inner voice can also prompt you to take positive actions.  I have had many experiences where an unexpected thought will enter my mind to do or say something that I normally wouldn’t.

Several months ago I was reading another blogger share about her own health struggles and how insurance wouldn’t pay for certain things.  I didn’t know this woman personally and had only once communicated with her via email, but I had the idea to offer to pay for one of her physical therapy sessions.  When I let my mind focus on this idea, I felt a wave of emotion.  This emotional response has often been a sign of a spiritual connection for me.  I have learned that when I get a flood of emotions with no obvious trigger, I should stop and take notice because my spirit is trying to get my attention.  (Sound familiar?  Last month I described how my body can communicate with my mind through an increase of pain with no physical trigger.)

One of my favorite examples of a spirit connection goes back to the day I received the vision for this website.  You can read the full story on my previous post, How hope began in the darkness, but here is an excerpt.

“…I realized everything had changed.  The day before I couldn’t stop the tears from falling.  I was so distraught, devastated, hopeless.  And in a single day (a single moment, really) everything was different.  I was still sad and discouraged, but I had peace.  I didn’t know yet whether my marriage would end or be saved, but I did know that no matter what I was going to be okay.  I had hope.”

I experienced a peace that day which couldn’t be explained by anything my mind could understand.  In my mind I saw the difficulty of the circumstances which led only to despair, yet it was peace and hope that dominated my outlook. The Bible describes this in Philippians 4:7, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  I had a peace in my spirit which spread throughout my entire being and allowed me to walk confidently through the most difficult season of my life.

What about you?  Have you experienced something that your mind couldn’t understand but you knew deep down that it was real and true?  I believe I have missed out on a lot over my life because I was too stuck in my mind to recognize the spirit connections flowing within me and around me.  Luckily that time has passed and I am just now learning how to be open to experiences that are beyond my mind’s understanding.  I want to experience this life to the fullest and I believe that includes a free-flowing mind-body-spirit connection.  I also believe it is the way toward complete healing of my pelvic pain–and yours too!

Mind-Body-Spirit connections: body and mind

Last month I wrote about the mind-body connection. How our thoughts and emotions can have a very real physical impact and how our bodies communicate with us through physical ailments such as chronic pelvic pain. Fortunately our bodies can also communicate with our minds in more subtle ways. However, most of us don’t actually take the time or know how to listen. This has certainly been true for most of my life and, honestly, is still true for me most days. Taking time to be still without any distractions is a direct contradiction to the culture around us. Yet there is a treasure waiting for us when we do, and we don’t have to look any further than within ourselves.

mind-body - when sex hurts there is hopeAs I progress down my own healing journey I am slowly learning how to listen to my body. Continue reading

Mind-Body-Spirit connections: mind and body

I shared last month that the more recent years in my healing journey have been about exploring the mind-body-spirit connections.  The first of these connections that I started to recognize in myself is that of mind and body.  This started first by acknowledging that my body is not just a machine with my mind at the controls.  My body is a separate part of me.  It works in connection with my mind (and spirit), but it can respond to thoughts in a myriad of ways. It can also communicate quite directly to my consciousness, if I will only listen to it.

mind-body - when sex hurts there is hopeThis is not to say that addressing the “mechanics” of my body is not an important aspect of healing. I have specific physical injuries that need physical treatment.  The hypertonic muscles of my pelvic floor required physical therapy to heal.  Just as the atrophied and enflamed tissues of my vestibule required hormone treatment to recover.  For some people, these physical treatments are enough to bring them back to good health.  But for me, my physical pains are connected to more than just their physical triggers.  I have been going to physical therapy for seven years now and, while I acknowledge there are more “mechanical” aspects to healing from chronic pain, I believe full healing will only come when I address the broken connections between my mind, body and spirit. Continue reading

Mind-Body-Spirit connections: a preview

mind-body-spirit - when sex hurts there is hopeAs I walk through my healing journey I have found that I never stop learning and discovering. In recent years, much of my learning has been around the idea of a mind-body-spirit connection.  I am learning that I am mind, body, and spirit (or soul) and each is distinct yet entirely one at the same time.  All three aspects of myself can connect and communicate uniquely with each other.

This concept has been more than a little difficult to understand as I am a very logical, mind-based individual.  But, as I am opening up to these ideas I find that I am healing on new levels.  Continue reading

Feminine characteristics

feminine characteristic - when sex hurts there is hopeI recently had the opportunity to attend a yoga for pelvic health retreat which was absolutely amazing!  (They have another one planned for October near Boston…you should check it out!)  The women I met there made such an impact on me that I want to introduce all of them to you.  Maybe I will eventually be able to convince them to share their own unique stories on this blog.  In the meantime I would like to introduce them through the most impactful feminine characteristic they embodied during my time with them. Continue reading

May is Pelvic Pain Awareness Month!

Did you know that May is Pelvic Pain Awareness Month?  I didn’t know either until I saw the International Pelvic Pain Society‘s post on social media.  Despite how busy we all are, let’s take a moment this month to help spread awareness about this very real suffering.  I would like to challenge you to do this in your own way.  Perhaps that is a simple re-tweet of the International Pelvic Pain Society’s awareness message (@IntPelvicPain) or sharing the image below on Facebook.  Or, maybe it is sitting down with a new friend and sharing your own story.  You may be surprised to find out who else is struggling with pelvic pain.  Whatever you choose, I would love to hear about it!  Please post a comment to share (and you can use an alias if you prefer to remain anonymous).  And as you spread awareness, be sure the message is clear that when sex hurts there is hope!

pelvic pain awareness - when sex hurts there is hope

The joy of letting go

For the past few years I have celebrated New Year’s Eve by deciding on a theme word or phrase for the next year.  Aside from that first year of new beginnings which was more of a prayer after such a difficult 2013, I have felt God direct me to what word He has for me.  2015 was a year of gratitude—learning about a state of being rather than doing. And 2016 was a year of transformation—a word that sounded exciting until I realized how difficult the process of transformation is.  So when I felt God giving me the impression that 2017 should be a year of joy I was pretty ecstatic.  How can you go wrong with joy?

joy - when sex hurts there is hopeThe definition of joy is “the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires…a state of happiness.”*  That sounds great, right?  We could all use a little more joy in our lives.  But what I’m learning is that a little more joy begins with a little less of everything else.  In order to possess what you desire, you have to first let go of what you don’t desire. Continue reading