Like everyone else who saw the news on Monday afternoon, I was completely shocked at what happened at the Boston Marathon. I felt sadness for the families who lost loved ones. I also found myself feeling anxious and a bit scared. My husband was in New York City on September 11 and had to rush through the streets that were full of debris from the fallen buildings. We had friends who lost family members that day. At that time we also lived in the area of New Jersey in which the anthrax mail attack happened. I remember clearly being fearful when opening up my mailbox.
I could clearly relate to what people are going through. Though not having friends or close family there, I did feel a little removed from it or so I thought.
The night after hearing the news I had a hard time sleeping and I had a stomachache. Since that doesn’t happen too often to me anymore I thought it must’ve been something I ate.
The day after the attack I tried to resume my normal work routine, but I couldn’t figure out why I was distracted. I tried to focus on all the things that I had to get done, but it just wasn’t working.
Then I did what always works best for me, I laid down and focused on my breathing. Then the source of my distraction became evident. I was feeling uncomfortable with how I could already see a division within this country regarding this tragedy. People on social media began to relate personal political agendas to the tragedy and politicians started a blame game. This was very different than what I remember happening after 9/11 when the country seemed to come together and everyone wanted a sense of connection.
It’s clued me in to the fact that what I needed right now was to connect. It had become my pattern to disconnect when I was stressed or unhappy. I thought if I just ignored my feelings they would go away. So I made the decision to call a friend and felt much better.
I see so many people who are suffering from IBS makeup and other physical ailments do the same thing. They feel frustrated with their health and they try to wish it would just all go away. They don’t ask for help and they don’t feel comfortable moving forward to create the change that their body needs.
They don’t realize that creating a sense of connection with both their bodies and people around them can create huge shifts in their life.
I know what you’re thinking: no one understands what I’m going through.
Maybe they don’t.
That’s when you need to stretch a little further in your life and find people who do. You need to find a group of people who make you feel good and believe that you can get well. Many times I go on to online forums and information boards about IBS and find that they seem to be a place where people just post about their gripes but don’t really offer the true sense a connection to one another.
Whether it is because they don’t think they can feel better or they don’t want to make an effort, is not really important. What is important is they are missing out on the one thing that has been scientifically and psychologically proven to help people heal: connection. When you can both share your feelings around emotional or mental pain and receive love and understanding; you then feel you want to give that to someone else. This circle of connection makes your body feel a whole lot better. It is one of the keys to truly feeling better physically and mentally.
In that spirit of caring, giving and receiving I realized that I really want to create a space for people to connect and not just learn about how to end the struggle with IBS and pain alone. So in the process of creating my new website, I am also in the beginning stages of creating a membership group to give people the opportunity to connect and join each other in a safe space where they can begin their journey to better mental and physical health.
I’d like to ask for your help in this, I’d love to hear what you feel you would need and want in a group. I want to know everything: how large of a group, what kind of class offerings, and how you would like to share about your journey.
So feel free to comment and share with a friend too