Male Announcer: You’re listening to From Pain to Possibility with Susi Hately. You will hear Susi’s best ideas on how to reduce or even eradicate your pain and learn how to listen to your body when it whispers so you don’t have to hear it scream. And now here’s your host, Susi Hately.
Welcome and welcome back. We are in the middle of a getting out of pain mini-series where I am digging into some of what I do to help my clients reduce and eradicate physical pain, and how I train my trainees who would like to have the same results as I do.
So far, we’ve been speaking about the relationship between you and you, the fine art of doing nothing, gradient of sensation, compassionate movement, and here we are into compelling reason. Now, hearing this you might be wondering why the order is what it is, particularly now that we’re well into this mini-series and only now am I talking about a compelling reason or your why for entering into this journey.
Wouldn’t I begin with that? Isn’t that one of the first questions we ask with a client? And the answer is maybe, not entirely. It’s not the full story. And here’s why. When people come to see me, their primary reason for getting out of physical persistent pain is to get out of pain. That’s clearly why they’re there. They want to feel better already and they know deep down inside that they can have this change. They’ve already had some tastes of it, because it had experiences of less or no pain, they just can’t keep it in a sustainable way.
So when I begin a session, I give people plenty of time and space to talk about whatever it is they want to talk about whether it’s their movement, their exercise programs, the history that they’ve had, their pain, their goals, their wishes, their dreams, whatever else that arises that they talk about. And I listen closely, because hearing what their goal or desired outcome is, is only part of the story set another way, their goal is their what. What do they want out of this process?
But as I listen to their story as I’ve given them the space and the time to talk, what often arises are some very amazing gems of ideas of what they really want and the essence of their why. Their compelling reason. And that is what I’m being present to.
Now, some might say that this is just semantics. And my critics might very well be right about that. But let’s say that a client’s desire is to get back skiing. That’s their goal. Is it success if they get back to skiing and they’re still riddled with pain? If they finish the ski day super sore? Most of my clients would say, no. That’s why I’m listening for more than the what. The skiing sets us off on a path for sure, but there’s more. And here’s what the more is.
People show up in my sessions because they are hopeful for a change. And whether it’s listening to this podcast, or they’ve heard from a friend or a medical professional has referred them, something has compelled them towards seeking help and they are inspired. And that inspiration, that desire, it’s what got them on the path. And that inspiration, that desire, that is the seed of transformation.
That seed is what I am listening for. We know that the process of reducing and eradicating persistent physical pain isn’t always linear. We know it’s certainly not binary. There’s not a one and done, fix it all and all is better, then we get back to the ski hill pain-free. At least that’s not the pattern that I have seen. That’s the reason why my series is three months in duration. It’s why the final module of certification is 14 months and there are five training weeks and weekly calls with me.
There is a process that we go through in the learning and then the discovery, in the transformation. Movement patterns change. Neuromuscular habits change. Breath patterns change. Insight into themselves changes. Beliefs about what is possible changes. These are fundamental changes. These are transformative changes. In many cases they’re paradigm changes of actually what is possible.
Said another way, I find that many of my clientele, many of my trainees are very driven and they’re ambitious and they’re very, very creative. I like to say, especially when I’m seeing them compensate, I like to say to them, this is very, very creative of you. You have found all sorts of adaptable ways to get the job done. Now these adaptable ways had served you. And now they probably aren’t serving you, given the physical pain that feels as a restriction.
So when they start to compensate less, they start to move better, they start to change up all of those physical relationships, those neurodynamic relationships, those neuromuscular relationships. They compensate less, and more creative energy is freed up. They’re still the same driven, ambitious, creative person, the same resilient person. And that energy can now be used in a new way.
So again, that is transformation. And that transformation, the reality I have seen for that sort of change requires more than I want to get back to skiing. Many human beings can deal with pain. They can deal with not feeling fine. And to truly change your state, it’s a full body/mind/spirit exploration. You can’t have one without the other two.
So, as I’ve mentioned, and I know I’m basically sounding repetitive here, someone might say they want to get back skiing and, of course, I note that. And I’m listening for more of that. So how do I actually do this listening? Okay, so here are some ideas. Now, these are geared more for the health professionals that I train. So if you are someone who’s not a health professional, consider asking them to yourself. You can even journal about them, perhaps.
I might start with a question like this, after hearing the story, after reading and listening to them talk about their body diagram and their history and all the things I might say, okay, so if this physical pain was resolved, what would it enable you to do? And then I let them talk. And so the goal around skiing or whatever other goal might arise, and then I’m just listening. I’m truly listening for real. And this is an incredible blend of heart and head, of listening and truly receiving.
I’m not using active listening techniques. I’m not using motivational interviewing. I’ve heard the term, but I don’t even know what motivational interviewing actually is. I’m just being present with the person. How are they responding? What are they saying? How do they say it? All of those give insight into what’s really the essence about what it is that they want.
What’s the essence underlying it? What’s their why? What’s that compelling reason? And you achieve this, you start to realize this as the health professional by simply being present and listening. I have found that this way of connecting, of interrelating with my clients sets the stage for a healing relationship where the client feels honored and that there is trust.
And interestingly, as an aside, I think it’s a big reason why my clients end up being very, very consistent with doing their programs. Time and time again I will have health professionals ask me how do I get my clients to do their exercises? And I don’t get them to do their exercises. I’m not even sure my clients really perceive that what they’re doing are exercises. They perceive them as part of the process, and their why is the fuel of that process.
And, of course, when they have this why that’s the fuel of their process, doing the program just makes sense because it will ultimately get to the what. But the why is that fuel. I have helped them uncover that. This whole program is just a program. It’s not homework, because really who ever liked homework? It’s a process that supports possibility and greatness.
It’s an opportunity for them to discover, for them to listen, to act upon what they hear. To integrate, grow, progress into greater ways of being, of functioning, and into the expansiveness of life.
Do you see why I’m teaching this midway through this mini-series, and not at the beginning? I couldn’t have had that conversation then. And I don’t even have this depth of conversation on session one with my private series clients, although now that I’m sharing this here, that very well might happen.
But the reality is it usually starts to arise later in the session. So then on session one through to session three, they start to progressively reduce their physical pain. And as they do, they’ve got a further taste of possibility. And then out of that, they share more and we start to see the things that they shared at the very beginning, those things that I was listening for on day one when I was asking them about what do you really want out of this?
And then I listened, not just for the what, but for the why, the fuel, you start to see more of this come to life as they believe more and the dreaming arises. It’s like there’s a fire that starts to be lit inside of them again.
That is the power of the compelling reason. It doesn’t just happen at session one. The seeds are shown in session one. And as each session progresses, as they’re nurtured they start to grow. They start to be nurtured and something begins to change.
Now, where can you take this next? You may have been following along exploring this notion of doing nothing, exploring compassion in your movement, exploring the gradient of sensation. You may have noticed that your system is settling more. You’re starting to get a taste and experiencing more of what is possible because now you actually feel better.
So spend time there. Spend time in that space and listen to where your dreams take you. Your body has already shown you what is possible. How do I know this? Because if your body has demonstrated that it can be more settled, that it can reduce pain, that it can have a reduced pain state, it can.
If this inspires you and you want to work with me for six days to really hone this and explore this, I’d love for you to join me in the Therapeutic Yoga Intensive happening October the 28th through till November 2nd. You can read more at learn.functionalsynergy.com/intensive. It would be such an honor to work with you. Have a great time exploring and we’ll see you next time.