Tonight my neck and right shoulder are feeling remarkably relaxed–and I want to tell you why!
There is a medical “reason” for the trouble I often have in this area of my body. At the same time, I’ve been aware for many years that I “store stress” in my neck and shoulder area. I now have a new understanding of what that means.
Yesterday I participated in a guided meditation with a group where we were instructed to scan our bodies head to toe, and stop where we felt pain, tightness, or tension.
I wasn’t in any pain, but neither was I surprised to find some tightness in my neck and shoulder area.
We were then asked to name the emotion present in this area. Immediately “resentment” popped into my head. How very interesting! I’d never thought of it quite that way before, but there it was. The truth.
We were then asked to release it if we wanted to–or we could put it off till tomorrow, or some later date. (What was that about? Heck yeah I want to let it go right now!!)
Next I felt a physical sensation of something–resentment I think it would be fair to say–leaving my shoulder at about 8-10 different points. It wasn’t painful, but it was clear and distinct.
What I was thinking was along these lines: Wow. Didn’t know I could do this for myself!
The way my shoulder feels right now is different, looser, than I remember it feeling in the past. Different, and good. I also noticed when I was getting ready this morning that the knot that’s sometimes visible isn’t there today.
This meditation experience reminded me of a time about 15 years ago when this same area was so troubled that I had limited mobility of my head and neck, and therefore difficulty driving. I got myself to work one morning, and eventually made my way upstairs to see a coworker who was also a massage therapist–and, as it turned out, psychic. As she worked on my shoulder, she started talking to me about my father, whom I hadn’t spoken to in years. My shoulder was telling her the truth.
I also remembered that my neck and shoulder had felt quite stiff before I went to see my energy medicine practitioner a couple of weeks ago. She cleared my chakras, and did several other things, none of which directly concerned my neck and shoulder as far as I know–but afterwards I was surprised how much better they felt.
I drew this conclusion from my meditation experience yesterday: You can release resentment from your mind and heart, but you also have to explicitly release it (or whatever other negative emotion may be plaguing you) from wherever you may have stockpiled it in your body at any point during your life. (Actually, my understanding is that we can bring cell memories in with us as well … so it’s possible we might need to release something that isn’t from this lifetime, but from a previous one.)
If you’d like to try this at home … well, please do!
After writing the steps below, I thought I’d test them myself to be sure they worked, and so I scanned myself again. This time I worked specifically on my neck. “Stubbornness” is what I got. (Hard to believe, right? But it sure does give all those biblical references to “stiff-necked people” a whole new meaning!) Again I felt an energetic release, different this time, and physical relief.
- Sit comfortably upright in a chair with your feet on the floor.
- Close your eyes.
- Spend several minutes in the awareness of inhabiting your body. Feel yourself inhabiting all of your body–head, arms, hands, torso, legs, feet, and so on.
- Taking your time, scan your body head to toe for pain, tension, or tightness. If you find multiple areas fitting this description, you can work on the first one you find, or you can rank them in order of importance.
- Return to the area you’ve decided to work on, and acquaint yourself with how it feels.
- Name the emotion that’s behind the pain, tension, or tightness you identified.
- When you’re ready, release this emotion from your body. If you like, you can visualize a destination for the energy you’re releasing. Sometimes I use a Dumpster in clearing visualizations. While I was working on my neck, I opened an imaginary crevasse, let everything I was releasing flow into it, and then closed it when I was finished.
- When the process is complete (no more negative energy to release), feel yourself inhabiting your whole body again, including the area you cleared. Notice how everything feels–perhaps more spacious or relaxed.
- When you’re ready, open your eyes.
As I mentioned, there is a physical “reason” for the pain in my neck and shoulder (scoliosis, a C-curvature in my lower back, and resulting disc issues in my neck). But what I’ve found is, in some cases anyway, that it’s possible to have a chronic condition or a chronic disease and be quite symptom-free, if you’re reasonably in balance. I think it also helps to refuse to allow yourself to be defined by any diagnosis. After all, this body I inhabit now, which I appreciate and am grateful for, can never adequately define who I am–so how could any mere medical diagnosis of it? We are far more than our bodies, and certainly far more than any dysfunction they may exhibit at any given time.
If you try this meditation, I’d love to know how it works for you–I hope you enjoy it in good health!