Natalie interviews personal development gurus and inspiring people from all over the globe on her super popular online show!
Join The Inspiration Community
& Receive a FREE copy of
MANIFESTING WITH THE MASTERS
An inspiring 5-part video series featuring 5 of the world’s top Law of Attraction gurus!
You'll also periodically receive emails with inspirationals message, videos, interesting offers and cool freebies.
Sarah Anne Shockley - How to Cope With Chronic Pain
Jeremiah Burgess - Help Build a Sustainable School
Regina Lon - The Power of Sacred Geometry
Tristan Truscott - How to Heal With Qigong
Yvonne Tally - How to Break Up With Busy
Michelle Fondin - How to Use Chakra Healing
Julie Simon -How to Overcome Emotional Eating
Meriflor Toneatto - How to Change Your Relationship With Money
Kristine Carlson - How to Move Through Grief
Dawson Church - The Secret Behind Epigenetics
Jonathan Robinson - How to Listen During Conflict
Sara Wiseman - How to Connect to the Universe
Marilyn Suttle - How to Enhance Your Creativity
Brad and Kasey Wallis - How to Master Your Higher Consciousness
JJ Virgin - How to Become a Warrior Mom
Herb Freed - How to Recognize Your Soulmate
Dawn Harris - How to Heal Your Emotional Wounds
Corrine Zupko - From Anxiety to Love
Martin Rutte - Heaven on Earth
Sandra Mendelson - We Walk Beside You
Kelly McGrath Martinsen - A Year of Inspired Living
Richard Gordon - The Secret Nature of Matter
Geneen Roth - This Messy Magnificent Life
Carl Studna - The Evolution of Loving
Arielle Ford - Discovering the Light Within
Derek Rydall - The Abundance Project
Charles Langley - Unforeseen Forces: Healing Secrets of a Lost Navajo Tribe
Sidney Reeves - Surviving Against the Odds (Part Two)
Sidney Reeves - Surviving Against the Odds (Part One)
Troy Amdahl & Dave Braun - Finding Balance in an Unbalanced World
Joe Nunziata - How to Stop Chasing and Start Living
Spring Washam - How to Move Through Grief
Chef Lance Roll - Bone broth: Healing Magic Elixir
Natalie Ledwell - 2017 Special Christmas Edition
Doug Noll - How to Turn Anger into Peace in 90 Seconds
The Better Brain Solution - Dr. Steven Masley
Mind Gourmet is Food for Thought - Nina Kaiser
Becoming Supernatural - Dr. Joe Dispenza
The Power of Qigong - Master Teresa Yeung
Connecting With Your Sexual Soulmate - Susan Bratton
What Is The Meaning Of Life? - Gregg Braden
The Power Of Music - Craig Young
How To Trust Your Intuition - Terri Christine
How To Live With No Regrets - Christine Hassler
How To Deal With Grief - Robert Clancy
The Power of Eight - Lynne McTaggart
The Great Mother Bible - Mare Cromewell
The 4 Sacred Gifts - Anita Sanchez
How To Land A Book Deal - Zhena Muzyka
5 Steps To Becoming Your Own Health Hero - Dr. Nanda Parthi
Overcoming Your Difficult Family - Dr. Eric Maisel
Love is The Power - Robert O. Williams
How To Be a Champion of Change - Frankie Picasso
Akashic Knowing - Lisa Barnett
Beyond Food - Tomas Reyes
Patricia Gachagan - Born Together
Dr Shawne Duperon - Project Forgive
Michel Pascal - Meditation For Daily Stress
Jennie Lee - How To Use Yoga Therapy For Healing
Wendie Colter - How to Use Medical Intuition For Healing
Live Your Happy - Maria Felipe
How to Discover Your Sacred Wealth Code - Prema Lee Gurreri
Morry Zelcovitch - What is Brainwave Entrainment?
Keith Mitchell - Yoga and Mindfulness as Tools for Healing
Cedric Bertelli - TIPI: The French Antidote To Fear
The Worry Free Mind - Carol Kershaw, EdD & Bill Wade, PhD
Spirituality For Men - Mike Marschhausen
Digene Farrar - Healing From Trauma and Abuse
Maria Flores Letelier - How To Ask For What You Want
Acharya Shunya - How To Heal and Lose Weight With Ayurveda
Jayne Gardner - What is Divine Intelligence?
Holly Parker - If We’re Together, Why Do I Feel So Alone?
Deirdre Hade & William Arntz - Can Science and Spirituality Co-exist?
Natalia Levey - How To Master Your Food Cravings
Jill Lublin - The Gift of Kindness
Dr. Peta Stapleton & Kate Helder- How To Get Rid Of Anxiety Using EFT
Dawa Tarchin Phillips - How To Use Mindfulness To Erase Negative Habits
Neel Raman - How to Awaken the Leader in You
Eva and Olga Karpman
Ken Stone - How to Experience Your Divine Within
Pete Bissonette - Breakfast Tea & Bourbon
Sandra Biskind - How to Upgrade Your Frequency
Lisa Loving Dalton - Falling For The Stars
Dr. John McGrail - What is Synthesis Effect?
Bob Doyle - Does the LOA Really Work?
Teresa St. Frances - How to Communicate With Your Teenager
James Van Praagh - The Power Of Love
Emma Mildon - The Search Of Your Soul
Sherianna Boyle - Mantras Made Easy
Rico Racosky - Just 2 Choices
Ann Barham - Past Life Regression: The Truth Demystified
Pat Duckworth - Discover Your Greatest Purpose At Any Stage Of Your Life
Cynthia James - How To Make Time For Yourself Without Being Selfish
Elisabeth Dale - How To Buy A Bra That Fits
Craig Babic - How To Pay Off Student Debt In A Holistic Way
Koby Ben - Modern Day Millionaire
Dr. Marilyn Joyce - How To Live Your Life To The Fullest
Mridu Parikh - How To Organize Your Life
Robert Clancy - How To Live And Lead With Kindness
Keryl Pesce - The Secret To Happiness
Laura Lane - Hope And Happiness For Cancer Kids
Kevin Hancock - How To Find Spiritual Fulfillment
Tom O'Bryan - Is Gluten Bad For You?
Mare Cromwell - 1000 Goddesses Gathering
Melita Ray - How To Remain Positive During Chaos
Vasavi Kumar - How To Transition Through Big Life Changes
Dr. Sharon Livingston - How To Survive A Friendship Breakup
Naomi Katz - How To Prevent Teenage Depression
Courtney Amundson - Does Pain Serve A Purpose?
Yol Swan - Are You An Indigo?
Alicia Diaz - How To Dissolve Emotional Blocks
Lynne Cockrum-Murphy - How To Leave Suffering Behind
Dr. Toni Luisa Rivera - How To Listen To Your Body's Wisdom
Valerie Sheppard - 4 Steps To Finding Happiness
Bruce Cryer - How To Keep Your Inspiration Alive
Arjuna Ardagh - Can Men Be Spiritual And Masculine?
Marilyn Suttle - How To Turn A Difficult Customer Into A Raving Fan
RC Henningsen - The REAL Secret To Manifesting Dreams
Zen DeBrucke - How To Tap Into Your Inner Guidance System
SARK - 6 Powerful Habits To Experience More Love
Dr. Edwige Bingue - Guide To Spiritual Awakening
Barry Goldstein - Can Music Heal?
Christine Hassler - How To Overcome Dissapointment In Life
Tony Wilson - How To Not Lose Your Hope
Jonathan Robinson - 5 Components Of True Happiness
Natalie Ledwell - The Reason Why You Can't Manifest Successfully
Carol Tuttle - 4 Types Of Energy Profiling You Need To Know
Tom Bird - Write/Right From God
Warren Davies - The Unbreakable Farmer
Aleya Dao - 7 Steps To Connect With Your Inner Self
Jack Canfield - How To Quite Drinking In 30 Days
Marni Battista - The Do's And Dont's Of Online Dating
Dr Lise Janelle - Your Mission In Life Revealed!
Megan Duma - How To Manifest A Dream Birth
Vicki Sandler - How To Raise Your Vibration In 90 Seconds
Lisa Nichols - The Secret To Abundance
Terri Levine - Discover Your Talents In 5 Steps
Scott Coady - How To Become A Modern Day Leader
JJ Virgin - How to Lose Weight And Feel Great
Arielle Ford - How To Make Your Mate Your Soulmate
Jasmina Agrillo Scherr
Michaela Haas PhD
Dr. Michelle Nielsen
Teresa de Grosbois
Ariyana, a Star Child
Dr. Galen Loven
How to use meditation at work - Alka Dhillon
Dr. Bill Dorfman
Dr. Paul Drouin
Judy van Niekerk
Brandy Faith Weld
Dr. Jo Anne White
Wake Up! TV:
A new talk show with a conscious twist
Dr Joe Rubino
Renee Mollan Masters
Dr Joe Dispenza
V. Lynn Hawkins
Dr Amelia Kemp
Julie Renee Doering
How to turn any adversity into opportunities
Sunny Dawn Johnston - Angels
Raven Blair Davis
Terri and Robert LIVE
Patricia Cori - The Emissary
Shonte Taylor LIVE
Jonathon Robinson - Find Happiness Now
Importance of Education in Women's Lives
Suzanne McQueen - Decoding the Woman's Cycle
How to use the Law of Attraction - Live
Aileen McCabe - Inner Peace Diet
Jim Alvino LIVE
Sheevaun Moran LIVE
Panache Desai LIVE
Nicholas Steele - Unbreakable
The Power of Body Language
David Howitt - Heed Your Call
The Inspiration Show: Ha, I Laugh In The Face Of Cancer
Jewels Johnson - LOA Event
Tracey Trottenberg - Own, Honor, Unleash
Orna and Matthew Walters - Love on Purpose Revolution
Anne Perry - Business Heroine
Dr. Jenny Ellis- 5 Women 5 Transformations Part 2
Dr. Jenny Ellis- 5 Women 5 Transformations
Dianne Collins - Do You QuantumThink?
Dr. Elsbeth Meuth and Freddy Zental Weaver - Creating Lasting Fulfillment
How To Cash In On Your Dreams - Noah Solomon
Dr Michael Cotton
Dr Cynthia Thaik Your Vibrant Heart
Overcoming Challenges - Katrina Starzhynskaya
Mark Bowness - Join A New Year's Revolution
Marci Shimoff - Your Year of Miracles
Janice Davies - Say YES to a Positive Attitude
Successful Kids Revolution - Julie Kleinhans
What is your What? - Steve Olsher
Karen Russo - Grow yourself AND your wealth
Red carpet premier of 'Stickability'
Special End of The Year Show!
Gary Malkin - Wisdom of the World
Krystalya Marie - Holistic approach to cold and flu
Laura Rubinstein - Feminine Essence
Sujata Vadlamudy - Attitude Orange
Sarah Blaine - Dance with the Devil
Gina Hussar - 30 Seconds To Peace
Glynda-Lee Hoffmann - The Genesis Code
Lynn Rose - Life-Changing Legacy
David Eby - Finding Happiness
Susan Guddat - Manifesting Mamas
Vrunda Dave - Savvy Business for Women
Raymond Aaron - Create Wealth Doing What You Love
LAUNCH! your success with Scott Duffy
Christopher Tims - Dreams Fulfilled
A Passionate Healthy Life
Tap into the power of YOU!
Inner Hottie Sexy Body
Marry Your Passion
Living the High Life without the Champagne
Trees of Transformation
Against All Odds Part 2
Transform Your Health
Dare To Dream
Against All Odds
The Gift of Infidelity
Dr Katherine T Kelly
Ronna Prince - Sacred Journey of the Heart
The Secret to Puppy Love
How to use hypnotherapy to overcome bad habits
Senior Cinema Circle
Business The New Way
Malcolm Allen BBB Conference
Your Life Now
5 Steps To Align With Your Purpose
Tonya Hofmann - Speaking for Success
Nothing Short Of Joy
The Happiness Factor
Conversations For Your Soul
Esther Nicholson - Soul Recovery
Soloman Speaks - The Reconnection
Maximize Mind Movies Matrix
Dr. Joe Dispenza explains the Law of Attraction in a scientific way
Joanna Ashley - Healing4Bodies
Be Part of Scientific History
Edie Weinstein - Befriending your shadow
LOA expert, Christy Whitman revealshHow to use the 7 universal laws
Moving Through Grief
Bringing Women Together Worldwide
Never In Your Wildest Dreams
Healing With The Masters
Mark Porteous - Personal Transformation
Mind Over Medicine
The WE Paradigm
Modern Day Mastery
Is The LOA Working Against You?
Super Saturday Spirit Sale
Crystal Ki Healing
Keidi Keating - The Light Project
Sara Lahey - Love-N-Aid
Amy Scott Grant KidCentered.com
7 Step Formula To Effectively Apply The Law Of Attraction
The Real Mind Movies Story
Adoley Odunton Wellness Revolution
Eric Brown - Mindful Moon
Sonia Ricotti - Unsinkable
Inspiration from Kenya
Magnetic Charisma Cris Van Cleemput
Genetic Energetics Larry Michel
Roberts Rules Made Simple
Science of Stillness
Heal Your Health Kerry Douglas
Julian Kalmar 10 Million Clicks for Peace
Vasavi Kumar Keepin' It Real
Brave Heart Women Resonate
Welcome to your life
Melanie Nicolas Wealth Tips for Kids
Special Christmas Show
What's Really happening Dec 21st
Kacper and Josh Silent Furnace
Passion vs Purpose
Special 'Gratitude Week' Edition: Gratitude Journals
Don't Worry About What Other people Think
Dogs are Gifts from God
Brain Change Therapy
Orrin Husdon Inspiring Kids Through Chess
101 Powerful Affirmations
The Science of Affirmations
Global Health Summit
Jonny Andrews The Kindle Revolution
An Empowered Woman
Corey Glazier U Without Borders
Dr Huesan Tran - The Meridian of God
Dr Huesan Tran - Pebbles in the Pond
Soul Contracts Danielle MacKinnon
Seriously! The Movie
Inspiring Stories Sam Riggio
Gabrielle Knowing your Archetypes
Conscious Wealth Marguerita Vorobioff
Discover your Passion Janet Bray Attwood
FEEL The Book - Michelle Bersell
Survivor Gillian Larson
5 Secret Tips to Being Extraordinary
6 Habits to A Long, Happy Life
Dawson Church EFT Explained
Kindness The Movie
Jinny Throup - Inspirational Stories
The Power of Masterminds
Shanda Sumpter - Heart Core Woman
Never Wake Up On the Wrong Side of the Bed Again
Stacey Canfield Soul Sitter
The Benefits of Hypnosis
Nikkea Devida Getting Unstuck
Tristan and Sabrina
Marcia Tabram Phillips
Inspiring Women Michelle Patterson
Larry Crane Where Has The Happiness Gone?
How to use the Law of Emergence to activate your own calling
The Storm Before The Calm
Passion Peeps - Jill Lublin
Passion Peeps - Shawn Shewchuk
Inspirational Stories - Jim Oliver
Passion Peeps - DC Cordova
Finding Joe The Movie
Passion Peeps - Gabriel Nossovitch
Neale Donald Walsch and Karin Volo
Passion Peeps - Dr. Ray Blanchard
Don Jose Ruiz
Passion Peeps - Ted McGrath
Brendon Burchard - The Charge
Cracking The Man Code
Sharon Babineau Maddie's Story
Passion Peeps - Lisa Kalmin
Passion Peeps - Joe Vitale
Parenting without Power Struggles - Susan Stiffleman
Inspirational Success Stories - Mark Romero
Passion Peeps - Mat Boggs
Don Jose Ruiz - 5th Agreement
Passion Peeps - Scott Coady
Power of Intention
Passion Peeps - Barnet Bain
Your Special Visualization Mind Movie
The Yin and Yang of Life
Passion Peeps - Mary Morrissey
Inspirational Success Stories - Dr.Bob Uslander
Passion Peeps - Dwayne Klassen
2012 - What will happen?
Passion Peeps - Esperanza Universal
Inspirational Kids - Xanthe and Quinn
Passion Peeps - Lanny and Deena Morton
Passion Peeps - Jen Bailey
Inspirational Success Stories - Glen Ledwell
Inspirational Success Stories - Vanessa Hamilton
Passion Peeps - Cory Glazier
How to overcome fear and defeat it for good
Passion Peeps - Renee Airya
This or Something Better
Passion Peeps - Jim Bunch
The Four Agreements
Passion Peeps - Mari Smith
Inspirational Kids - Julia Weber
Passion Peeps - Loral Langmeier
How to Create an Abundant Vibration
Passion Peeps - Mercedes Maidana
A Mind Movie for Your Pets!
Dealing with Negative People
Passion Peeps - Gay and Katie Hendricks
What is your New Years Resolution?
Passion Peeps - Chris Attwood
Health Tips part 2
Passion Peeps - Tiamo
Win the Race of Life
Passion Peeps - Christine Arylo
Health Tips part 1
Passion Peeps - John Assaraf
Stickability Nik Halik
Passion Peeps - Bob Proctor
Discover the Gift
How Do I Know I'm Making The Right Decision?
Passion Peeps - Eldridge DuFauchard
Passion Peeps - Karin Volo
Passion Peeps - Drew Canole
Q & A
Passion Peeps - Bob Doyle
Never, Ever Give Up
Spirit Junkie Book Review
Passion Peeps - Amy Ahlers
Answer to 7 Secrets Questions
You Don't Need to Know How
Big Fat Lies Book Review
Passion Peeps - Gabrielle Bernstein
Dressing for Success part 2
Passion Peeps - Max Simon
Dressing for Success part 1
What is the Reticular Activating System?
Passion Peeps - Zhena Mukyka
Implementing Your Daily Routine
Will Smith on the Law of Attraction
Your Daily Success Routine
Passion Peeps - Peggy McColl
Mike Dooley Wisdom
Passion Peeps - Mark Black
Your Perception is Your Reality
The Power of Thought
Passion Peeps - Marcia Wieder
Eliminating a Limiting Belief?
Passion Peeps - Paul Hoffman
What is a Limiting Belief?
Martin Cooper Takeaways
Passion Peeps - Greg S Reid
Passion Peeps - Sean Stephenson
Identifying your Passion
What are your Core Values?
Passion Peeps - Marci Shimoff
Q & A from Europe
Are You in Your Happy Place? pt 2
Are You in Your Happy Place
Passion Peeps - Gary Vaynerchuk
Creating a Mind Movie in minutes
Welcome to the Inspiration Show
NL: Hi everyone. My name is Natalie Ledwell and this is the Inspiration Show. Today on the show, my special guest is going to be talking about an uncomfortable subject but something that’s very important. We’re going to be talking about pain and about her new book, The Pain Companion. So before I introduce my special guest, I just want to remind you that after the show is over don’t forget to click the link below this video so you can download the free ebook version of my bestselling book Never In Your Wildest Dreams. So let me please introduce my special guest today, Sarah Anne Shockley. Hi Sarah. How are you?
SS: Hi. Good morning Natalie. It’s good to be here. Thank you so much.
NL: It seems a little bit of appropriate name, Shockley, when were talking about pain and a very shocking subject today. And I know that we’ll be talking more about the book and some of the information you have in there. But before we do that, why don’t we start with your story and how you got to write such a pivotal book that’s going to help a lot of people.
SS: Alright. I’ll be happy to do that. So in the fall of 2007, I was contracted to something called Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. It’s a collapse between the clavicles, the collarbones, and the first ribs. So that space in there, through that space has to move the large scaling muscle from the neck, large nerve ganglia, big artery and veins. So there’s a lot going on in there already and mine was a structural collapse. It’s not like a disease, it’s something that happens and for me, it was computer use, over prolonged length of time using too small of a keyboard and I’m almost 6 feet tall. So the top of my body was crunching without me realizing it and finally it just collapsed. And what happens is all of those things that are operating perfectly fine normally that are trying to fit through this little space gets squished. And that creates a great deal of pain, nerve pain, and it also affects the ability to use the arms and the hands, to turn the neck and a lot of pain, a lot of physical debilitation. So pretty much overnight, life stopped.
NL: Wow. So you’re still in pain now?
SS: Yes, I am still dealing with pain, still living with pain. Pretty much 24 hours a day but my ability to be with it has improved immensely and the pain levels have gone down quite a bit.
NL: Right. And I’m sure that this is what the book is addressing. So you’ve been in chronic pain since 2007.
SS: Yeah. It’s a long journey. And I know there’s a lot of viewers out there that are in pain now and listeners that are dealing with this. So what the book is about is what the medical community isn’t addressing and probably can’t really address and that is what happens to someone when they’re in pain over time. What happens to your life? What happens to your relationships? How do you feel about yourself? And the kinds of things, you know, when you’ve been with pain for a while it feels like an unwelcome roommate that just moved in. Somebody you never asked for is there and they won’t leave and they’re with you when you wake up, they’re with you when you eat, they’re with you when you shower, they’re with you when you’re at work, they’re with you in every one of your relationships and you don’t want them there. So certainly there are things that we try to work with medically to alleviate that and when that’s not working and pain is still sticking around, what do you do? How do you live with it?
NL: Yeah. Because I’m thinking your option is either medication, but who really wants to, you know, use medication the whole time. Although it is a necessity for a lot of people. So what are some of the other alternatives?
SS: Well, what we do is, well the first thing that I look at is, when we’re living with pain there’s a lot of other things going on around it or with it and that is, when I talked about, it’s like an invader, somebody moving in. It’s not just that you’ve got a physical pain in your knee or your neck hurts. It begins to take over your whole body. You feel like you’re living in pain. So your life becomes permeated by that experience. So what’s happening is there’s a lot of sadness and loss, a lot of grief, a lot of shame, and guilt, comes with living with pain. These are things that a lot of people don’t realize occur for those of us that are in pain. Because we just don’t think about it, we think about it as a medical condition and somebody is dealing with physical pain. But there’s a lot of other things that come with it. And a sense of powerlessness, helplessness, hopelessness, loss of a sense of future. So what happens over time is the person in pain begins to feel like they are losing themselves. And that is also painful. So I talk a lot about how to, first of all, recognize those things that are happening. You know when we are in pain we are focused on the physical aspect of the pain that’s so loud and insistent in a sense and we’re trying to deal with that and we don’t always recognize everything else that’s going on at the same time. So that’s when we can slide in to this feeling of depression and hopelessness and not even realize that we’re going there. So the first part of my book is about first of all, acknowledging that and recognizing it and working with the emotional aspects of living with physical pain and mitigating those. So I have lots of ideas, I call them antidotes. You know, how do you re-engage with life, how do you re-engage with yourself even though you’re still in pain. And then the other aspect that I talk about is changing our relationship to pain. I feel that when we treat pain only as an enemy, which certainly feels like it is, and we get in to that battle with pain. You know, here’s pain, and the first thing we’re going to do is kill it. That’s our solution, we medicate it as you mentioned. Or we have to put up with it. But, you know, we only have those 2 choices, that’s about it. So what’s all that room in the middle? There must be something else that we can do. And for me, what I discovered over time is that, it has become for me much more healing to try to create a relationship with pain, a more positive relationship with pain to begin to perceive that not so much as the enemy or the invader but it’s a messenger. It’s the part of me that’s asking for help. It’s the voice of the part of me that’s hurting saying “Hello, I need a different kind of attention here”. and when we just get in to the battle aspect and we just try to get rid of it and kill it, you know our pain medications are called pain killers, we’re almost putting the cart ahead of the horse, we’re trying to get to the end of the road first before we’ve taken the journey. And I think that’s part of what’s keeping pain in place for a lot of people. Because we’re not, I think it’s more healing, to kind of back off that battle line doesn’t mean you can’t take medications, it doesn’t mean you give up. I don’t mean that. But while we’re doing that, that’s not the only answer, that’s not the complete answer. But how can we be with pain differently? In other words, communicate with it. What are you asking for pain? Why are you here?
NL: Well, that’s the thing, and it’s a great reframe or great shift in focus that you’ve just been describing here. Because I can only imagine that if you’re constantly in pain and I know what it’s like, like this is keeping you in a lower vibration, now we talk a lot about Law of Attraction here and the frequency that we give out in to the field. And so then it’s like a snowball or domino effect where everything is bad because you just can’t get out of this pain. But what you are doing is saying, “Well, let’s have a proactive look at this and see this as a messenger”. Like if this is happening for me, and then I must be learning something, what is that? That really ripples out in to all other parts of your life as well.
SS: Absolutely, and I think in our culture we’re very pain averse. We think were supposed to never have pain. It’s not supposed to happen on the human journey. Somehow it’s kind of like aging or death or loss, we don’t want it to happen right? Let’s not have that. But we’re going to meet those things in life so far in the human journey. Maybe sometime those things will change but right now, you are on the path of the human journey. We’re going to meet some pain, emotional pain, physical pain at some point. So it’s how we meet it. And it’s how we perceive it. Is it the enemy approaching us or is is the messenger? Is it something to fight or is it something to work with? And if we could think of it as part of ourselves, the hurt part of ourselves speaking to us, that part of ourselves maybe hasn’t had enough attention and is asking for attention. And then turn toward it instead of away from it. And see what we can learn from it and also what’s it asking for. So I found that pain tends to ask rather than for the battle it’s asking for softness, it’s asking for to be acknowledge. You know, a lot of time in our culture, we’re not supposed to talk about it, it’s never supposed to be there. We certainly, there’s a lot of guilt and shame around having pain. And also in the way of the community, it’s not okay. If you’re in pain, there’s something wrong. You haven’t acknowledge something or you haven’t seen something or it must be past (inaudible). and it could be all those things but that attitude makes the person in pain wrong for being there. So let’s back away from that and just say, this is an experience. This is on my path, it shown up. Doesn’t mean I’m wrong, doesn’t mean I’ve made a mistake, it means I’m human. So how am I going to be with this differently? And can I find out what pain is asking for? And I found that the way we are with pain reflects the way we are with ourselves. Or often when we are with our younger self too. Do we want it to shut up and not bother us or are we willing to listen and say what are you bringing me, what are you asking for? Do I need to slow down, do I need to be kinder to myself is often part of it. Do I need to learn how to be compassionate towards myself and towards others. All of those are things that pain bring to us. Not in a way we particularly enjoy but there it is, you know.
NL: And you know, and the thing is to be able to look at it that way is a choice. So, and I am mentioning over a good 10 years, that you’ve been in chronic pain. That your pain teaches you or is telling you different messages all the time.
SS: Absolutely. It’s deep and it’s messages to me in a sense. I mean, at first of course pain is saying stop, take a look here! But when we just try to turn the messenger off, it’s like the smoke alarm, you know, fire alarm goes off and you just blast it with a hammer. Stop that. I mean, okay, it’s annoying, we don’t want to hear it, we don’t want to be with it but it’s got something that it’s saying, it’s pointing at something. And it’s how we respond and so the first message is to stop. Or at least take a breather, slow down. Which a lot of us don’t do. We’re taught in our culture to keep going, to muscle your way through. To put it aside, don’t think about it, don’t ever stop, go for your goals, be strong, be resourceful, you know, wow, and then we do that with pain. We do that with the hurting part of ourselves. Nope, got to keep going, can’t feel that. And we do that with both emotional pain and physical pain. So certainly the first one is step back, slow down, there’s something to listen to here and then you tune in to what is that. And I found there was levels and levels of things to find out about myself, find out about pain. And I’m still on the journey, I’m still learning, I’m still moving through it. Maybe this is part of it for me too, talking about it. Being an advocate for people in pain so it brings its own strange unexpected gifts as well.
NL: Because you do advocate in the book that people tell their pain story. Why do you do that?
SS: Well, because of the habit we have of hiding pain. We’re ashamed of it. That means we did something wrong so we hide it and we are not in a culture that says, Hey, tell me what’s happening for you. And you say, I don’t feel so good. “Oh I hope you feel better”. That we are not taught how to be with it. We’re scared of it, a lot of us. A lot of our response to people in pain is that we want them to get better quickly, we try to help them get better. We think that’s what we’re supposed to do. But again, we’re kind of trying to jump over the journey there. And I think it can make actually, paradoxically, the journey can move faster when we are actually with the pain rather than trying to jump forward over it. So one of the things that I found worked for me really well and I’ve spent, talked with a lot of people that have used this effectively is to express the pain. And I don’t mean have a pity party and I don’t mean, well you might have to wail on your own. But to find somebody to tell your story to that will listen, than can hold the space for you, that will not try to fix you or change you. I think one of the first steps in healing that’s so important is to allow the person, whether their it’s emotional or physical pain, to be in the pain they are in first. Just let them be in it. Let them feel it, let them have it, in a sense. Sounds, you know, “Woah, we can’t do that, it’ll never leave.” But that actually seems like the first, it’s very similar to grief. We don’t let people have their grief. We say, hurry up, move on, get back to work, don’t think about it, don’t talk about uncle Sam with that person (inaudible), uncle Arnold, whoever it is. Yeah, that was a Freudian slip, uncle Sam, let’s not think about that. (laughter). You know, then the person can’t get through it if they don’t think about it, don’t go there. So it’s very similar found with physical pain. So to find a way, to find somebody who is able to hear and listen and to ask them, set it up ahead of time say, “Please don’t try to help me this time. Please don’t try to give me advice or fix me or hurry me along. Just can you listen, can you just let me have my emotions here and let me tell you how awful it’s been.” And to tell them not just the physical parts but what is it felt like to you as a person to be somebody who’s in pain and how is it affected your relationships, how is it affected you as a parent or as a spouse or as a friend or as a worker, what do you feel like about yourself? What do you see in the future? Can you see the future? And all of these stuff, it’s hard to do, it’s not an easy path to be on but this begins to move towards healing because we can relax around it. It allows the person in pain to not be the problem. The one who’s wrong. It’s a landscape I’m walking through, can you be with me in it for a little bit and help me walk through it.
NL: Help me vent. (inaudible).
SS: That thing is important, it can be really healing.
NL: Well, because my next question was going to be if I have a friend that’s in pain, how can I be a good friend to them and you’ve just answered my question.
SS: Yes, absolutely.
NL: So what’s the main message of your book? What would you like people to take away from reading the Pain Companion?
SS: I think, there’s 2 main messages, actually. One is that you’re not alone in your pain. You don’t have to stay alone in it. That even though, yes, it’s a very private experience living with pain, you don’t have to completely isolate and pull yourself away. There are ways to re-engage with life, there are ways to find how to even have joy and well-being in the midst of pain. Pain doesn’t have to end for your life to continue. So you’re walking with pain. That’s a really big message. And that there are many many people on this road together. Millions of people walking this road. So to understand that the feelings that come up are common to so many people in pain that you’re not the only that has them. And the other main message is to begin to see if we can encourage people to create a relationship with pain that’s more positive, that’s more as an ally, and even strangely a friend. Something that’s trying to guide and help and heal. It’s the messenger of your healing. So if we can change that relationship that also is really really helpful in terms of bringing pain levels down and creating a faster road to over all healing.
NL: Yeah, perfect. So Sarah, thank you for sharing this message and writing this book and getting the message out there. I think it’s very important. So people want to connect with you or get their hands on the book, where can we send them to do that?
SS: Well, they can find me at thepaincompanion.com, my website. And I have a blog there and they can find information about the book and lots of resources there. And then the book is out everywhere. So they can go to their, certainly encourage them to go to their local independent book seller. It’s also online, of course it’s on Amazon and Barnes and Noble and all that major book sellers. But everyone can order it so you can find it anywhere at any book seller.
NL: Wonderful. So thanks again, Sarah. And guys if you’re watching this show I encourage you to get the word out help us share this message, you can do that by clicking the Facebook and the Twitter share buttons on this page. Don’t forget to click on either the banner to the side or the link underneath here to go through to Sarah’s website so you can connect with her and get your hands on the book. And after all that is done, click the link below that so that you can download the free ebook version of my bestselling book Never In Your Wildest Dreams. So until next time, remember to live large, choose courageously, and love without limits. We’ll see you soon.