This week I have been practising mindfulness and using some ‘externalising tools’ to manage with my knees (and their apparent revolt!). The breathing and awareness techniques that are part of the mindfulness are helpful to a point and while I am doing it; it is almost a mini-meditation. I think it helps centre me back into my body, when my thoughts and anxiety about my future could easily become overwhelming.
This is okay up to a point and there is a side of me that wants to be totally Zen and accept what is happening as all part of a bigger plan. But then, there is another side that is more cynical and needs to whine and gnash my teeth at the world. This side is where the externalisation technique comes in handy for me and I have given my knees each a personality and named (externalised) them. From now on they are to be known as “Waldorf” and “Statler”; these were the 2 gentlemen from the Muppets who heckled from the balcony.
Now when my knees are painful I can imagine Waldorf and Statler ‘booing’ and complaining. This has a dual affect for me; 1) it gives me a little smile as they are my favourite characters from the show and 2) I can separate or externalise the pain from myself. This gives me the ability to insert humour into my day and distract me momentarily from the pain I am feeling.
Of course some days Waldorf and Statler are only mumbling discontent from the balcony and then on other days they are raucously heckling my life. Tomorrow I might try starting the day by ‘listening’ to them when they are just becoming discontent and not wait until are actively throwing rotten tomatoes at me and booing.