I was just reading the blog of Mathias, from Sweden, whom I met at a couchsurfing event in July in San Francisco while he was on his own little trip around the US and Asia. He has lots of interesting perspectives and the ability to put his perspectives into nicely worded sentences.
When things start spinning a bit too fast it is easy to forget what is important in life. Then it can be good to slow down, stop for a while. Put ourselves and our well being first. Only then is it possible to meet our friends with presence, attention and the respect they deserve.
We are never anywhere else but here. Every moment is new.
Let go of the comfortable, the memory and the image of what you know. Push your limits. Do not listen to that sensor in your head that always resists change, resists the unknown and fears the uncomfortable. Just say: Fuck it!
Here's his blog http://mandalay.se/people/
Aside from needles, the only things I can think of that I fear most are probably snakes and tarantula-like spiders (and maybe godzilla, but hey, he's a cartoon).
So, this past week, I semi-conquered my fear of needles. Kind of. Through a bit of acupuncture.
For the first acupuncture session I was sick, and after some nice cupping, the needles commenced. Suprisingly, only a few of them hurt going in. After I was turned into a human pincushion (according to my personal pincushion standards), I was able to relax and try to rest a bit with the needles just having a grand old time in me. Remarkably, I think I left with a less stuffy nose than when I entered.
The second session should have been easier than the first, of course. But, somehow I was a bit more nervous. Maybe because instead of cupping, this time I had needles in my back. I tried my best to make my mind absent, and think of nothing. It's really challenging. My mind runs and runs, so while they were going in, I just resolved to think about great and amazing experiences where I was truly encapsulated in a moment, like hiking a glacier and drinking pure water in Patagonia, or dancing in the Carnival parade, and hope that that would take my mind away from the needles going in.
After a mostly pain free going in, the hard part was then training my body to relax for the next 30 minutes or so. This time, unlike the first session, my jaw was even shaking a little bit. I guess I was pretty nervous after having been jabbed many a time and with my thoughts resting on the needles. Maybe adrenaline or fear. The worst are the ones in the belly, where I feel like it's going to go right through to the stomach because there is no muscle. Or the feet, because I can't keep them very still and have a fear of moving them around with the needles in. Although I wasn't unable to fall asleep as suggested, I did pretty good. After a few minutes post jabbage, I thought about some stuff from yoga to calm myself. Relaxed my fingers, mouth, and tongue, relaxed my arms and butt and eyelids, steadied my breathing, and after a few minutes, I was pretty calm with no chatter in my jaw. Immediately then I began to think about how the needles don't actually hurt, providing a little more confidence before I tried to clear my mind and fall asleep.
I think that controlling your body is one of the most challenging things to do. To be able to clear your mind of absolutely everything, take yourself out of the environment you are in, and calmly relax your body with controlled breathing, is not an easy task. I am impressed with those that have this ability. Even though things such as yoga and oriental medicines promise and usually do greatly improve our health directly, especially for things such as injuries, postural, and immune system problems, the fact that when used properly also help us control and regulate our minds and body thus improve our ability to remain physically and mentally calm throughout our daily routines is something that might in fact be better than anything else.
Anyways, needles are still scary.
Not the most flattering of photos (speaking for myself, at least):
Xmas Eve merriment: