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!

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

Process of transformation

You may recall me sharing about my theme word for last year of transformation.  Looking back at the beginning of 2016 to now, I honestly can’t say I see much evidence of change.  I didn’t accomplish many of the goals I set out for and I haven’t even changed much in my habits.  From an outside view my life looks pretty similar to what it did a year ago.  Instead, the process of transformation has been taking place on the inside—in my thoughts and perspectives.  I am starting to see things in a new light, considering new ideas, and realizing that my old ways may not be best.  And isn’t that where change needs to start—in our hearts and minds?  In this world of instant gratification that we live in, we forget that real change takes time.

process of transformation - when sex hurts there is hopeI feel like last year served more as a preparation for what is to come.  It makes me think of the story of a seed.   Continue reading

The Mind-Body-Spirit Connection at a local support group

I’m excited to share that the Orange County Interstitial Cystitis (IC) Support Group is hosting a talk on Considering the Mind-Body-Spirit Connection.  The guest speaker will be Mary Ruth Velicki, MS, DPT who you may remember from my review of her book, Healing Through Chronic Pain.

Mary Ruth Velicki, MS, DPT will present concepts about the mind-body-spirit connection using information from the literature, her personal experiences, and case examples using clients with interstitial cystitis. The purpose of this talk is to introduce a holistic approach and new avenues that may be helpful for healing. The role of the nervous system will be highlighted along with concrete strategies to calm both the body and mind. Continue reading

Transformation

transformation - when sex hurts there is hopeTransformation—that is a powerful word.  It’s an exciting word, full of discovery and opportunity.  When I first felt God giving me that as my theme word for this year, I was focused on all the positive connotations.  I desire transformation, or at least what is on the other side of it.  You see, when I first heard that word I was thinking about the results of transformation, not the process of transformation.   The first inkling that there might be something other than pure positive in the idea of transformation came when I shared with my sister about my word for the year.  Without hesitation her response to me was, “that sounds scary.”  I hadn’t thought about it until then, but yes, transformation does sound a little scary.  And now that I have walked through some of the process I will tell you that it’s a lot more than scary—it is uncomfortable and downright difficult. Continue reading

How hope began in the darkness

how hope began - when sex hurts there is hopeI think it is time for me to share the story of how this blog came to be.  It’s strange, I was thinking that it felt like the right time to finally share this and I didn’t even realize what month it is until I sat down to write.  This month marks two years since the start of this blog and three years since God put the vision in my heart to create it.  Here’s my story of how hope began in the darkness.

I think I’ve mentioned before about how 2013 was a really tough year for me.  March is when the worst of it began—the beginning of the end of my marriage—and April 1st was my absolute worst day.  I had been given some pretty devastating news the night before and my heart was still reeling from the reality of it all.  I remember that I had to go to work that day due to a number of responsibilities I couldn’t postpone.  I cried as I got ready and I cried as I drove to work, but somehow I managed to hold it together to get through the day.  The next morning I was getting ready for work again and an idea came into my mind about starting a website.  It would be something that could be a resource for others like me—something that could have allowed me to find help sooner. Continue reading