Remember to Soften Around Pain

Lanikai Beach in East Oahu is known as one of the most beautiful beaches not just in Hawaii, but in the world. Our eldest daughter had a friend visiting Oahu just before we went, and she told her to make sure we visited that beach specifically. We headed over there after our forest bathing on […]

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Lanikai Beach in East Oahu is known as one of the most beautiful beaches not just in Hawaii, but in the world. Our eldest daughter had a friend visiting Oahu just before we went, and she told her to make sure we visited that beach specifically. We headed over there after our forest bathing on Judd Trail. I was looking forward to getting in the water to help relieve the itching from my mosquito bites.

When we arrived we saw the beautiful mile-long beach with incredibly soft sand and two small islands offshore known as “the Mokes”, but the beach was also packed. Maybe not Waikiki packed, but for Angus and me it felt like it was wall-to-wall people. Our daughters didn’t seem to mind and set about their Instagram and Tik Tok documentation. Angus and I escaped the people on the beach by going snorkeling and retreated to the shore to read our books when we got tired. We wondered if all of the beaches were going to be as busy, but at this point, we hadn’t discovered the North Shore.

The next day we headed up to the North Shore and had lunch at Kono’s in Haleiwa. We ate our bowls at a picnic table under a tree in the parking lot as it started to sprinkle with rain. Angus is very familiar with using trees as cover to protect from the rain after his years of living in London. We once got caught in an unexpected downpour on Primrose Hill in North London without raincoats or umbrellas and he introduced me to the protection of foliage. It sounds obvious now, but at the time I wouldn’t have thought to wait out the worst of the rain by standing under a tree.

Haleiwa is a historic surf town that is the cultural hub of the North Shore. We loved the laid-back feeling of it. After lunch, we spent some time snorkeling at Sharks cove which like Lanikai beach was very busy even in the rain. But we hadn’t quite had our beach fill for the day so before we headed back to where we were staying we stopped off at Papa’iloa Beach where parts of the TV show Lost was filmed. I remember being gripped by that show when it first came out, but very disappointed with the ending.

This was Angus and my kind of beach. The only other people there were two fishermen standing on the beach chatting with their rods planted in the sand. There were some flat rocks on the beach with tide pools so we were able to watch crabs scurrying about. We also had our first turtle sighting. We saw its shape in the waves and watched it swimming. It felt so magical catching glimpses of it swimming by.

While walking on the rocks, I stepped on a jagged edge and bruised and very slightly cut my foot. What was interesting to me was that it hadn’t been painful to walk on the rocks previously, but after hurting my foot, it felt painful even to my uninjured foot. I realized because of the brief shock of pain the muscles in both my feet were now tense and that made what was previously comfortable uncomfortable. Noticing this was enough for me to relax the muscles and walk more comfortably back along the beach.

This made me think about how I can tense up on the emotional level too. When emotional pain arises, rather than relaxing around it, I can contract and dig into it. This amplifies the experience. When I am able to soften around my experience, even when it is intense, there is greater ease in being with my upset. I am better able to be okay in my pain. When I am open, it doesn’t matter what my thoughts and feelings are. Letting them be without resistance gives me an easier time with my human experience. Noticing this is enough to get better at relaxing and staying open. There is nothing more to do. Seeing is what matters.

Enjoy the photos of Hawaii, and I hope this is a helpful reminder for you to relax into your humanness so you can enjoy the wonderful feelings and have an easier time with the more challenging ones. Mahalo!

If you would like to listen to the Rewilding Love Podcast, it comes out in serial format. Start with Episode 1 for context. Click here to listen. And, if you would like to dive deeper into the understanding I share along with additional support please check out the Rewilding Community.

Rohini Ross is co-founder of “The Rewilders.” Listen to her podcast, with her partner Angus Ross, Rewilding Love. They believe too many good relationships fall apart because couples give up thinking their relationship problems can’t be solved. In this season of the Rewilding Love Podcast, Rohini and Angus help a couple on the brink of divorce due to conflict. Angus and Rohini also co-facilitate a private couples’ intensives retreat program that rewilds relationships back to their natural state of love. Rohini is also the author of the ebook Marriage, and she and Angus are co-founders of The 29-Day Rewilding Experience and The Rewilding Community. You can follow Rohini on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. To learn more about her work and subscribe to her blog visit: TheRewilders.org.

This post was originally published here on therewilders.org.

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