• Eimear Stassin

Presencing Power of Pain

Updated: Jul 16, 2019



I hurt my back the other day. Unloading the dishwasher, rather mundanely.


Whatever way I twisted, in a nano-second, a pain shot up my back to unscrupulously take my breath away from me. In one grand gasp. Like a bolt of lightening, it brought me INstantly into that moment.


This morning I realised something new about this pain. What an invitation this pain is. As much as I'd rather it wasn't there or would just leave me alone already. The pain is truely inviting me IN~to myself, to dance with it in a way that's incredibly intense and presencing.


What's worse right now, your pain, or not making room for your pain? - Jeff Foster

Each activity calls me to move with a sloth like slowness as I breath deeply and notice. With each micro-movement, I become aware of what this feels like in my body.

Where there's shooting pain, I try a different micro-movement, breathing, breathing all the time.

Where the pain is dull or there's no pain, I move through it to get to a sitting and then standing position.

Breathing, breathing and noticing.


A bowing of my head a certain way brings another strike of lightening that zaps me once again into this instant alertness.


PAY ATTENTION, pain says.

I'm annoyed and angry with myself. On my knees at times. Disappointed with the timing of this pain and with the ripples this pain has on my family and work.

Yet all I can do is notice these feelings and emotions. To acknowledge and bow my head to them. To slow my pace down again and again, moving very deliberately with every task. With every deliberate step.

I imagine myself being swan like and graceful as I write this, yet in reality I'm paddling very awkwardly and clunkily under the water as I navigate my way with this uninvited guest in this unexpected presencing pain pause.


Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond. - The Guest House, Jalaluddin Rumi

*************************************************************************************** I've improvised this morning. With this standing desk. In order to write this post and do some computer work.


I didn't have to jump through any hoops and loops to request this, I just set it up myself, to the right height, so I can work comfortably and move freely when I need to.

My body, being my ergonomic expert, knows what comfortable feels like. My body knows when I need to move or be still.

When I'm present and listen to my inner expert, she will communicate with me through these cocktails of raw, tender sensations.


I've angled my improvised standing desk to look out to my garden so I can take inspiration from the cooling summer breeze as the birds and bugs flit fast-ly to and fro. From the songs and sounds of nature intermingled with the hum of a car or the clanging of construction work in the distance.


Choosing my perspective to help this experience be a more pleasant one.


This is not passivity, or giving up; this is kindness, the willingness to oxygenate the hurt place, to treat the body with such tenderness that even its pains are sacred, worthy of curious attention. - Jeff Foster

Walking is good. I'm off for a walk.


What's present for you in this moment?


Photo: My ironing board standing desk impro


#perspective #slowdownandbepresent #presencingpain #personalleadership


PS: I've been to the doctor and had an amazing session with a Cranial Sacral Therapist. I'll keep you posted.

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