Those of us who deal with pain on a daily basis, I believe are greatly hampered by language when it comes to incorporating well-being into our lives. I have noticed over the years that there is actually no word that describes a non-pain state, without using the word pain: PAIN-less, no pain, pain free, pain relief, etc., etc.
When we are in the throes of pain, the immediate cessation of it becomes all-absorbing, with our attention focused — stuck, really — on the experience of the pain. There is no “go to” concept we can focus on that is “not pain”, other than focusing on what doesn’t hurt, which, again, includes pain in the desire of it. It’s no wonder it is so easy to get caught up in the “pain cycle’ — the more it hurts, the more it traps your attention, which then leads to more of it.
Last week, I got into a fascinating discussion with a local Native American “medicine man”, Jake, who asked me, “How is your ‘shool’?”
After observing the blank look on my face, he continued. “Have you ever heard of the idea of ‘loosh’?” Yes, I had, actually. Loosh is the energy of suffering — the low frequency energy of pain and agony, and it is said that it’s an energy that vampirish beings feed off of to increase their own energy.
“Yes,” Jake continued. “We just turn that concept around, and what you have is a word for your sense of well-being. We like to use it to describe a spectrum, where low shool is where it is difficult to spot anywhere on your body or your life where something feels good; and then high shool, is where you feel fantastically alive and high vibe.”
I nodded, suddenly realizing he was answering this question I’d had for years.
“When there is pervasive pain, usually the first thing we do is try to get rid of it, when the healing thing to do is to acknowledge with gratitude where in your body there is no pain. We call it ‘finding your shool,” he gazed at me and I realized that although my shoulders were aching and my knees hurt, my lower back felt really good.
“Yes, concentrate on that. Give that your energy and attention, and it will expand,” he added right after my thoughts.
As Jake left the room, I was elated to have a wonderful tool with this shool thing. In Manifestation 101, we learn that what we put our attention on expands. This is the problem with pain, so we turn to external chemical means — analgesics, NSAIDs, and such nostrums, to just get our attention off of it. This is why the shool concept is so valuable. We can now rest our attention on those areas of the body that feel good, or at the very least, don’t hurt, and by turning our attention thus, those good feelings can expand.
Jake also advised that we can increase our shool where there is pain, by noticing that there is some part of that painful area that feels okay, or even feels good. He said that in order for pain to exist, there has to be its opposite present — and that’s shool.
Our sense of proprioception is greatly affected by pain. Limping is a good example. We change how we feel movement in our body by avoiding the movements that trigger pain. In the Feldenkrais Method, the practitioner slowly and gently moves the body into those areas where there has been a proprioceptive avoidance of pain, demonstrating that either there is greater range of motion than was thought, or that the proprioceptive reaction is no longer necessary — basically allowing shool to expand in the area.
This goes much deeper into what it means to hurt, to suffer, and to eventually start defining ourselves by our state of pain — changing our social behaviors, altering our physical movements, and justifying the pain by accepting it as a part of who we are in the world. This is all a result of pain fixation, and not realizing that there is shool within the pain that is the gateway to healing.
Again, back to Manifestation 101, Joe Dispenza said it well: “You have to feel whole before your healing; you would have to feel abundance before your wealth; you would have to feel awe before the mystical moment; you would have to feel love before your new relationship; and you would have to feel empowered before your success.” So, I would add you would need to feel shool before your healing.