Gratefully Back

Have you ever been laid up in bed for an extended period of time? Depending on the malady and extent of the pain and suffering, the experience can vary from mildly annoying to downright miserable. Well this peaceful woman had a chance to practice what she preaches, yet again.

A few weeks ago I was innocently eating an orange when the exceptionally delicious juice decided to go down my windpipe instead of my eshophagus. (You would think that after all of these years of eating experience I would know how to avoid this from happening!)

The wisdom of my body knew that a foreign substance was in it’s windpipe and it started to cough violently to expel what was not supposed to be there. What happened next you ask?

My back went out, bad, REALLY bad. So bad that I was flat on my back like a turtle, flipped over without control. Every movement and position I tried was excruciating. I couldn’t sit or stand and lying down was barely tolerable. I was truly suffering.

On day 3 of this “experience”, I remembered my own words that I have said to many of my precious clients. “The body holds stress and unexpressed emotions. Crying is a natural way to release those emotions. Babies in their inate wisdom do it all the time” So following my own advice, I started to ball my eyes out.

I cried and sobbed allowing my voice to go up as loud as it needed to go as it expressed and released the intense pain in my body. Thoughts and images ran through my head of when I lost my dear mother to a stroke, my sister-in-law to lung cancer, and too many other losses to count.

I cried for myself, the world, and for all who suffer on a daily basis with chronic pain with little hope of getting better. When finally there were no more tears left, a familiar feeling of relief swept over my heart. My muscles were less tense and I felt a sense of calm. I had a half smile on my face as I once again realized that suffering brought me to the moment. A painful moment yes, but isn’t that what life is fully about? Happy moments, sad moments, funny moments and yes, painful moments?

If we can embrace all of our moments for what they are, we allow ourselves the richness and fullness of being truly alive. Without pain we would not know joy and the gratitude of NOT being in pain.

Today I am “gratefully back” from my journey of suffering. I am grateful for the opportunity to grow my mindful practice and to grow my compassion for others in pain. I am grateful to my husband Bill for being there to help me with gentleness and sometimes even humor when he blew dust off of my toe.

I am grateful for my friends and neighbors who checked on me almost daily reminding me that I am loved. I am grateful to be able to sit up today and type this reminder that life is a series of fleeting moments and that each one of them is meaningful regardless of how we might judge them.

If you happen to find yourself suffering one day, give yourself the gift of a good cry, be open to the gift of the moment and pat yourself on the back for allowing yourself to be fully alive, aware and “here”.

Copyright 2012/All rights reserved

Janice Borghoff is the Founder of A Peaceful Woman ~ Find Your Inner Calm and is a Certified Medical Meditation and Stress Management Consultant


“It’s never too late to be what you might have been”
~George Elliot

(George Elliot was actually a woman who used a male pen name because she wrote during the 1800’s and wanted her work to be taken seriously. Her birth name was Mary Anne Evans. What a powerful message of hope.)

“Life Shrinks or expands in proportion to ones courage~Anis Nin

“Remember to breathe and allow each moment to bring new awareness. Allow change to what you once thought was a fixed reality of darkness, to naturally evolve towards the light of possibility.” ~Janice Borghoff

Remember to Love Yourself Today

Our inner critic takes up a lot of space in our busy minds.  If we spoke to our friends as harshly as we speak to ourselves, we would likely be pretty lonely.

It’s amazing how hard we women can be on ourselves.  Always a little voice saying “I’m not good enough” or “I’m so fat, I can’t stand how I look”, or, “I’m not smart enough to get a better job”, or, any of the other endless possibilites of unkind slogans that go round and round in our heads that keep us in a cycle of unhappiness.

So how did we become so critical of ourselves?  Well, that’s multi-layed for each of us.  But what most of us have in common are the messages that our culture and society have given us.

We try to measure up to standards that other’s created and taught to us at a young age. How sad that “Loving Yourself 101” is not the first classroom experience for each child.  Instead, we learned that how we look and what grade we achieve measures our self worth. Well perhaps we won’t change the systems that are in place around us, but we can change ourselves and learn how to love ourselves every day.

You may ask;  “How do I begin to love myself unconditionally, non-judgmentally and with kindness?”

For starters, begin noticing when you are not treating yourself well.  Pay attention to those moments of self criticism and begin a practice of speaking to yourself as though you were your best friend.

What would you say to your friend when she is being hard on herself?  What would you say if she was exhausted and needed rest but kept going anyway?   Perhaps you might invite her to rest, to take care of herself and that it’s ok to take a break?

I imagine whatever you would say to your friend, you would likely be kind, patient and understanding towards her.  So the good news?   You already know how to treat someone well.  Now all you have to do is transfer that knowing and kindness to yourself, and with time, you may even become your own best friend.   : )

Janice Borghoff is a Certified Meditation and Stress Management Consultant and Founder of A Peaceful Woman ~ Find Your Inner Calm

Copyright 2012 All Rights Reserved