Today I am writing this blog from Vancouver, where I am vacationing for four days.
Just before noon, I was trying to decide whether to go for a bike ride or a run for my daily one-hour plus exercise routine. I decided on a run since I have been biking every day lately and hadn't run for about two weeks. I wanted to keep my running muscles in shape too.
As I took the elevator down in the Tropicana Hotel where I normally stay, I quickly did some warm-up exercises. Outside I ran down Broughton all the way to Beach Avenue and then proceeded East on Beach toward the former Expo grounds, now filled with new high rise apartments.
About seven blocks on Beach Avenue, my right ankle started to ache a bit. I was wondering what the problem was since the only time I have had sore ankles was when I sprained them by stepping in a hole. My left leg muscle was recently a problem but no ankle problems.
I couldn't believe it. The ankle pain got much worse. "What is going on?" I thought. I may be 59 years old, but I am in good physical shape. Yesterday morning I tipped the scales at 155 lbs, which is pretty good given that I am 5 ft. 11 inches and this is the same weight I was at when I was in my mid-20s.
Within a minute of more running, the pain got so bad that I had to stop. I decided I would walk the same distance as I normally run in Vancouver. But the pain got so bad that I had to turn around. As I walked back westward on Beach, the pain got so bad that I was sure I couldn't walk all the way back to the Tropicana.
In fact, I was thinking of calling a Taxi. I was actually limping at this point. Again I thought, "What is going on?" Then I remembered the information in two books that I have read.
The first book was The Mindbody Prescription: Healing the Body, Healing the Pain by John E. Sarno in which he explains strong emotions generated in the unconscious mind, particularly repressed rage — which includes fear, guilt, stress, dejection, and anxiety — can stimulate the brain to manufacture physical symptoms including fibromyalgia, repetitive strain injuries, migraine headaches, hay fever, colitis, ulcers, and even acne.
Dr. Sarno states that the mind will find the weakest point in the body to create pain. Incidentally, Dr. Sarno has had a great success rate in curing thousands of patients' back problems by having the patients acknowledge and experience their repressed rage.
Some of these patients had suffered for years, even having had surgery on their backs, with no success. Yet Sarno helped them cure their chronic back pain by having them acknowledge that their repressed rage was at the root of the back pain.
Note: You can watch the 20/20 video about Dr. Sarno :
The other book I remembered was The Art of Effortless Living: Do Less, Let Go, and Discover Health, Emotional Well-Being, and Happiness by Ingrid Bacci.
A graduate of Harvard, Bacci became a college philosophy professor at twenty-seven, married a successful and wealthy man, and seemed to have it all. Bacci was a success in the traditional sense of the word until an unknown disease emerged and left her bedridden and in constant pain for almost three years.
Although she consulted many doctors, there was no answer forthcoming from the medical community about the nature of her illness. It wasn't until Bacci gave up her marriage and academic career for good that she started healing herself. Bacci realized that the secret to health, happiness, and success was to let go of trying so hard and face the fear that had ruled her life. She totally healed herself using alternative health methods.
As I walked with my extremely sore ankle, I remembered Ingrid Bacci in The Art of Effortless Living talking about experiencing severe pain one day. I believe it was in her head (I will check the book once I get backt to Edmonton). The thing I definitely recollect is Bacci saying that she decided to totally experience the pain, to a point where the pain got worse for awhile, and then exploded through the top of her head — gone forever!
This was in tune with what I learned in the EST training over 25 years ago. Whatever you resist in life will persist and whatever you fully experience will go away. But this is a topic for another blog.
This is what I decided to do with the pain in my right ankle — fully experience it. As I walked, half limping, I concentrated on the pain. It actually got worse for a while. I was definitely sure that I needed a Taxi at this point and was wondering how I was going to get around for the rest of the day.
Much to my surprise, after forcing myself to walk for about two to three minutes, the pain subsided a bit. Within another minute or two the pain was not very noticeable at all.
At this point I spotted the coolest looking newer car that I have seen in a long time. I don't like the looks of 97 percent of new cars so I wanted to see what make it was. I walked across Beach Avenue, relieved that I had a lot less pain in my ankle. The car was a Bentley coupe.
After looking at the car and deciding that this is the make I will buy when I make it as an Internet millionaire, there was magic — I realized there was absolutely no more pain in the ankle. I then tested my ankle by running merrily West on Beach Avenue, taking it the great view of English Bay. I ended up running a longer distance than I would have normally run without my ankle being any problem at all.
So today I want to thank Dr. John Sarno and Ingrid Bacci for their contribution through their respective books. Fact is, we don't thank authors enough for the valuable information that they provide for such a low price. I also want to thank Forrest Bard for having turned me on to Dr. John Sarno's books.
There is an important point I would like to make about so-called self-help books such as Sarno's and Bacci's. These books do work but only for people who are willing to apply the knowledge that they gain.
One of my favorite Buddhist proverbs comes to mind: "To know and not to do is not yet to know."