About four years into my pain condition, I was having blood drawn. As soon as I saw the needle, I noticed that my mind was somewhere else, leaving my body alone to deal with it. At that moment, I realized that this was a dominant pattern in my life; I automatically moved my awareness up and away whenever I sensed potential emotional or physical pain.
During my second Myofascial Release course, the instructor said that you can feel when someone “left their body”. This seemed a bit out there to me, but then I noticed that sometimes when I was working with someone in the course- his/her body would suddenly feel less animated and more dense. On a few occasions the person told me that at that time they had shut off the emotions or physical sensations they were experiencing at the time.
So as the needle was inserted, I made a conscious decision to stay present. I felt the pain and sent loving energy to my body. And in some subtle way, the whole experience was different.
Over the healing years, I got better at staying present, feeling my pain and loving myself through it. It became clear that, for me, staying present was a crucial part of healing.