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.
With this episode I want to get into results. Last week's episode on responsibility shared my insights about being someone who is results oriented. From the time that I was quite young, as a teenager, I was a great athlete. I was an elite lightweight rower. It was natural that I focused on my results in order to improve. To measure what was working and not working. To orient where there's a gap and where there's a possible change that can be made to make myself better, and faster, and just get better results.
So then as I moved into the yoga world and built my business, I utilized the same concepts generally towards building my business, helping my clients get out of pain and carry on. Now what was interesting is when I moved into training teachers, I hit a couple of roadblocks. And this was a process that I then had to recognize that my results-oriented perspective, while it was effective, was not being applied in the most effective way. And it took me a bit of stop and start, stop and start, stop and start to really understand what was going on.
And then over the past decade I’ve been able to refine it and I now can utilize that characteristic of mine in a really, really, really effective way. The bottom line I can say is that I'm someone who's so focused on results, and I really want my clients to get well because I know what's possible. I know what's possible when someone feels good. And while I know that pain is a normal physiological process, that it doesn't have to be a normal way of life.
I know that anything can change, that a label is merely a label, a condition is merely a condition. And how conditions are expressed by any two people is different and unique. There's just so much more that we don't even know that's possible and people can get trapped into the concept of what is possible when they read about a condition and what kind of box you're in. And I'm not someone who thinks like that quite frankly.
I see a condition as merely a starting point. And then how someone expresses that condition is where we really get to work. And so that's why being focused on results then lets me know, all right, where do we need to orient? How do we need to shift? And then what are we measuring to tell what is working and not working?
So to emphasize, conditions can provide limitations. Osteoarthritis can provide the limitation if there's degeneration in the bone. There can be a limitation in terms of fatigue and other symptoms related to chemotherapy. When you've had surgery and you've had organs taken out there can be limitations related to that. And each person expresses the condition differently. So to say that this is across the board what is going to happen for somebody I think is very, very limiting. And in truth we have no idea what is possible for someone.
So when I'm focusing on results this is very real world. There's no Pollyanna at all and there's an opening of possibility. Change can happen, tissue can change. We have a very, very plastic response system that no matter how old you are things can shift, and they do.
So with this episode I want to dig in a little bit more about now how I'm working with results. And interestingly enough my results are better than they've ever been because I now focus in on what I can control and, drum roll, it's me. The only thing I can control in the relationship with a client is me. And with my trainees, it's me. And it comes back to me. Same thing as a mom, same thing as a wife, same thing in any relationship. The only person that I can control is me and how I show up and what I can measure about myself.
Ultimately when it comes to my clients and trainees what they do with the material is totally and completely up to them. Now some people might hear that and they might say, “Wow, that's kind of resigned don't you think?” And there are health professionals and other yoga teachers and therapists out there who are resigned for sure. That's like, “Well, I can't change anything for them, they're the one who has to do the work.” But that is a very different vibe to anything is possible. And my job in showing up, is to teach my client where to focus and what to focus on.
So I'm very, very deliberate in supporting the client and growing their awareness. And to show them that where attention goes awareness grows and energy flows. So I'm very deliberate and very specific. And I’m measuring their results, and then I'm noticing how I'm doing in the teaching of it. But that's a nuanced, perhaps subtle, distinction between me doing something that I used to do that was different. Which I can't really even explain anymore because it's been so long. What I do know is that there's just so much difference in distinction between how I work now and what I used to do.
So let's dig into this a bit. Now I have to say one thing before I get into the real digging in. And that is the kind of person who's interested in this approach, that wants to be responsible for their results and wants to learn about their body and how their body works is someone who's oriented toward improving human potential. And not from the perspective that there's something wrong, not at all. But that they are interested in sort of pushing the limits of what they're capable of. They see injury and illness as opportunities.
Now I will say that there are people out there who don't even know this way of thinking. There are people out there who inside of themselves they basically know that there is more for them in life. They know they're holding themselves back but they don't necessarily know that injury and illness could be an opportunity. Because so many people don't speak of it that way. If you get hurt it's terrible, if you get sick it's terrible, and all the things that occur from that. There is a segment, a small subset of the population that actually sees it in a very different way and that's what I'm speaking to.
And the reason I share this in the context of this podcast is there's probably going to be people who are going to have this episode referred to them as saying, “Hey, have you considered your condition, your illness, your injury from this perspective?” And they'll say inside of them, “Oh, this is what I was looking for.” Because they inherently know that something is possible but it's not generally thought about this way in the way we deal with medicine typically. Typically. There are certainly professionals out there who do, but it's not what's mainstream currently. It's getting there but it's not there currently.
Okay, so let's dig into this. One of my trainees this morning actually asked me after listening to my podcast episode on recovering healing, “Like how do you actually move a client in that direction?” And the first thing I said to her was we don't move anybody. And this idea that a person needs to get in their sort of bones and their blood that their illness and injury is an opportunity, and that there is an inclination towards human potential and revealing that human potential.
And then from that place that when we work with someone's body what we're helping them do is become aware. And become aware of how their parts are moving and the relationships of those parts. And so often, I mean all human beings compensate, and so often when we can reduce compensation patterns with someone with persistent pain their pain starts to drop.
And along with that they gain a better awareness of how their parts move relative to the other. So how their leg bone moves in their pelvis, how their arm bone moves in their shoulder socket. Are they moving their pelvis in a way that they shouldn't or don't need to? Are they getting their neck or their jaw in a movement? Or are they gripping or holding their breath in a way that they don't need to?
So can they refine their movement in a way that is more aligned with how the joints are designed so that they don't have as much tension inside their system or inappropriate tension inside of their system. That they have more efficient and effective movement, right?
So this is this retraining process that enables relief to be present. Because as they reduce those compensation patterns relief often arises. And then they get to refine that consistently, and consistently, and consistently. And what you'll find is that as someone improves their mechanical abilities they gain in mobility, they gain in range of motion, they gain in stability, and they gain in strength.
And then what arises is them saying, “Oh, I want to do something.” Or an opportunity comes their way. So they might be out at the lake and someone offers them to go into the boat, or go water skiing, or wake boarding and they might not have done that for a long period of time. Even just sitting in a boat and bouncing on waves or on water, they might not have been able to do that before because of their back pain and now it's like, “Oh, that would be fun.” And so off they go into the boat and then they realize that they've got enough of a bandwidth to be able to do it.
They might do it for too long but they realize what the yellow lights are, they realize the whispers of the experience. And so if they happen to be out in the water for too long or if they get up on their water skis or on the wake board and they're there for a little too long it's not game over for them.
It's more like oh look, that was the end of my bandwidth. I know what I can do to resolve my situation here. When I get back to the place or get back to my room, I can then take care of myself. Improve my mechanical patterns, reduce those compensation patterns again, down regulate the nervous system again, help the recovery process. So that their tissue can then adapt to that activity.
So that then when they might be offered it again, or they want to go do it again, they can go into it with that much more wisdom and that much more clarity. Because they were able to take the results that came from that, and learn from them, respond to them. As opposed to freak out and react to them because they didn't have an understanding about how their body moved, or how their body responded, and what that meant for them.
When someone gets to this place, when they are gaining a better understanding of their body parts in space and what they're oriented towards, where they're focusing on. Understanding that where attention goes energy flows and awareness grows. When they get all of that they're gaining a new self-concept of who they are.
Many of my clients and my trainees who come to see me are analytical. They know how to process data in their brains, and they're very good at chewing through that data. They're also intuitive. So they're perceptive in a way where information comes in. And they don't necessarily know where it comes from, but they just know when something is right.
And where they've needed the help is this part of really understanding the symptoms of their body, and how their body is moving, and what that means in relationship to their pain. And when they can take that on and really play with that, grow their understanding of it, that's where that change takes place. That's their responsibility. That's their results of where they can focus. And I get to teach them how to do that.
There's a really cool bridge that happens in between my focus on my results, and my teaching them where to focus their attention and on which results to focus attention on. And this bridge is between body and then in the mind. I'm someone who starts most conversations in my yoga practice at the body. People typically come in with an issue on the physical plane that they want to resolve.
Very commonly there's also a mental and emotional issue that is either related to the physical issue or is adjunct that they might make mention of. But they say that it's not where they want to focus on yet. So we then focus initially around their physical issues. What starts to happen is as their results improve, as their issue sensations start to go down, and as they recognize that they've got a great internal locus of control, that they themselves can control what's going on, there is a trust and a feeling of safety and belief in themselves. That their overarching beliefs start to change.
Now remember that a belief is thoughts that keep being thought over, and over, and over, and over again. So then their belief starts to change, because they now realize they have control over what's going on within their body. Like they can perceive the results and they can do something to make a shift. That changes their belief that something is possible.
And then when they have that opening to something being possible, their thoughts start to change. Their thoughts begin to change, then how they emotionally are experiencing the situation starts to change. And when that happens their actions and the results continue to shift.
Now, I jumped over, briefly, the emotional part. What often happens is that for the clients of mine who have a mental and emotional health piece of this, either it's in relationship to the physical scenario, or its adjunct to it, is they often see a change in that as well. And it corresponds to this shift of possibility. There's a shift of possibility of what's going on in their body and it's like their system knows that more is possible.
And then you start to see them making shifts and changes and recognizing the yellow lights and the whispers toward when they have big pushes in their emotional or mental health. And they then learn how to not buffer against them, but instead make changes that support them in a really positive way. What's very cool about this process is all I've done in a really simple way is I've oriented their awareness to teach them where to focus and what to focus on. And to show them that where attention goes awareness grows and energy flows.
So I'm being very, very specific around the skill that I'm teaching, so that they know what results to pay attention to and then what to do with those results. But I'm simply teaching them. I'm not invested in them doing that, but I'm teaching them how to do it. So then the folks that do it, they make tremendous gains. Tremendous gains.
And then sometimes there can be a refinement that's needed, because old ways of being, old habits of thinking can get into there. But when they can get really good at all this paying attention, they actually start to see when those old ways of thinking come in.
I liken it to a beehive. And I was watching this with my daughter the other day where there was the beehives and a wasp was trying to get in. And I didn't know this, but wasps will like decapitate honeybees. And then the wasps will take it back to the wasp nest. And then the other wasps will come and destroy the beehive. So I didn't realize that wasps are predators. But anyway, now I know that. But the idea is that it's like our old thoughts can kind of come in like wasps and start to, not wreak havoc, but basically wreak havoc.
But when we are clear enough about where our attention goes energy flows and awareness grows, we can utilize that to be like, “Hey, wait a second, that thought doesn't actually work anymore. That one doesn't actually correspond to my current state.” It kind of pushes it away very, very gently and lovingly of saying, this one's doesn't need to be here anymore. Because I recognize internally that I've got the ability to control the scenario. I've got the ability to make a change. I can have a safe and trusted space for my brain in my body to operate. And it becomes really, really interesting.
So then as a professional, after that teaching loop happens, then as a professional I become a trusted adviser because the client has that control. The client has taken that responsibility, the client knows what they need. I say to my trainees often that my job is to work myself out of a job. My job is to teach my clientele how to listen closely so that they can feel the ebb and flow of their symptoms. They can feel the ebb and flow of the environmental factors that contribute to them. And then they know what to do to make the shift.
And then as they do that, they then grow. And then they start to listen more, and more, and more for the dimmer, and dimmer, and dimmer yellow lights. So that they are operating in less red light or screaming zone and more and more in this whisper, quieter space. They gain a greater inner peace inside, which becomes more integral and aligned to who they are. And the process just continues to grow.
So you can see that that's where the evolution happens. You can see where the human potential and the revealing of that human potential really starts to shine. All from the starting of teaching a client of where and how to orient their thought and their focus, what to pay attention to, and how to notice and act on their yellow lights to support themselves in getting better and better and better.
If this is interesting to you, if it has struck a chord and you are a health professional and are interested in training in this regard, you’ll want to join me at the Therapeutic Yoga Intensive. We have one specifically for health professionals this month. And you can read more at www.therapeuticyogaintensive.com.
I also have three month private one to one series. Where I work with my client in a one-to-one way eight sessions over three months. With the whole intention to really dig into what are the yellow lights and the whispers that are truly contributing to the issue at play. And then helping a client understand and act on them so that they can reduce their symptoms. They can refine their movement patterns and get back to the life they really want to live.
You can email us at [email protected]
for more details. Enjoy. Have a great day exploring.