My dad used to tell this joke every time he would go on a new health kick. He would begin a diet of some sort, clearly miserable and hungry, telling everyone in earshot, “I don’t know if I’m going to live any longer by doing this, but it’s going to feel like it.” Acutely aware of his suffering, he would be “healthy,” albeit starving.

Most of us are unaware of our body except when it is in pain. Because of this phenomenon, we essentially define our aliveness through the vehicle of pain. We eat when we are hungry, and hungry is uncomfortable, painful. See where I’m going? Or is hungry painful? Hmm…

We drink when we are thirsty. Is thirst uncomfortable? Does it have to be?

In this sense, it seems we need pain to know we are here. We have a healthy fear of pain and, paradoxically, an equally unhealthy desire for it.

Our relationship with pain is all we are ever fundamentally managing.

For the most part, we do not plan our days to enjoy and nourish ourselves nearly as often as we are merely using food to medicate hunger pangs, headaches, or the other types of natural sensations we deem as hunger pain.

Because of our relationship with pain, I think we actually have arrived at the notion that we must feel pain to make progress. “No pain, no gain” so the saying goes.

Because of our relationship with pain, I think we actually have arrived at the notion that we must feel pain to make progress. “No pain, no gain” so the saying goes.

The agendas of “experts” across the board pronouncing we must work harder and be smarter (suffering is implied in all of this) to achieve a life of mental, physical and material abundance, continues the insanity.

We’ve all watched the workout shows. If a trainer is not screaming at you and you’re not vomiting you are not doing it right. If we are not starving or depriving ourselves from sweets, we can’t look great or feel good about ourselves.

It’s as if we’ve accepted the idea that healthy lives must first have pain and suffering. From expert advice, we’ve developed unhealthy lifestyle’s that not only produce pain, but cure it—the pain addict in all of us is born.

We live in a world that seeks to understand pain, but not nearly as much as it does to continue the cycles and promote the addiction to pain.

Our foods now resemble chemical cocktails and medications. The sugar and stimulants within our foods act as medications to sustain the amped-up lifestyles of pain, stress and extreme living.

Can we really feel abundant starving, suffering with joint aches and pains, mangled feet, surgeries and injections from our healthy lifestyle? Is this abundance?

Can we feel abundant sleep-deprived and working 80-hour work weeks?

Can we find true abundance from inventing enough medications to at least meet the needs of the problems we create from our lifestyle of “abundance?”

I would like to end with some good news on this fine January day.

Pain is the manifestation of your denial of your abundance.

Your physical, material and spiritual abundance is linked with your authentic voice and purpose. Pain is a gift that means your system is working as much as it means something is wrong.  

Pain is a gift of evolutionary longevity. When we fall down and injure ourselves, pain says rest, seek aid—your were out of balance and synchrony and you fell down. Realign.

When our lives are out of balance and we are in pain, to get up and push through the pain promotes unconscious behavior because it denies the process of natural healing that says you are out of balance, there is a problem.

When we create more pain, or deny the pain we are in, even from expert advice is another act of denial. This begins the pain snowball. More pain, more coping skills and medication to cope with pain, which leads to the extreme edge instead of realignment back to purpose, peace and bliss.

Your body is effortlessly speaking to you every moments of its needs, when to eat, when to drink. If you did not have some awareness of its needs, you would swiftly parish.

All abundance you seek is linked with your ability to understand your pain, not your ability to deny it or medicate it.

What you will learn when you listen, is that your body is not just telling you when to eat and drink, it’s telling you EVERYTHING.

None of the messages should feel painful. Pain is the blockage(denial) of the information you need.

To understand our body, we must let it whisper to us again. We learn to hear messages instead of feel pain—it’s that simple. It will take practice because of our conditioning.

It should be noted that all pain is to be medicated or checked by professionals if that is what you are feeling is appropriate. There are medications in my cabinets and I use them!!  I will also be the first one in the ER if there is blood.

We live in a benevolent universe that provides every form of support. Consciousness is a process. The messages will unearth themselves in time and practice.

Your assignment this week is to simply observe the pains of the body and write them down. You can start with hunger. What does hunger feel like? What feeling propels you to act and eat? Same for thirst. Let me know what you discover!!

Namaste, Dana