Pain is a Call to Action

How do you cope with pain (whether it’s physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, in your personal life, your professional life, or all of the above)?
Often times it can feel like doing anything can be a challenge, especially when pain is intense and/or chronic. And yet, action is exactly what’s needed.


  • Make a list of things you can do which helps you overcome the overwhelmings of pain
  • Write them down (on paper, in a document, in your calendar, or the notes of your phone)


  • Look at your list at least once a day, especially soon after you wake up
  • Take action; especially on those which come with ease

Some of what I’m experiencing plus a few thoughts:

Surgery #7 on my left knee was successful, but several months later new issues cropped up: “irritable scar tissue” around the knee and a Baker’s cyst in the back of the knee developed. That was a year ago, and three months ago the pain and difficulties multiplied.

Yet I’m now in a “diagnostic dilemma” as a good friend puts it. My doctor, who I trust implicitly, has exhausted what his expertise and tools can offer at this point.

Now, I’m moving forward with an extra emphasis on two things:

1. Redoubling my efforts to take positive action on navigating the pain; that is, do those things which help from a whole-person approach (because pain is a whole-person experience); and,

2. Research and test new hopeful therapies.

I’ve made a go-to list of over 20 things I find helpful when pain is overwhelming. Going to the ocean is one of them.

What’s on your list? Use the Get In Touch form below to send me yours.

Secondly, this quote captures where I’m headed in terms of other treatments:

“The longer you have pain, the better your spinal cord gets at producing danger messages to the brain, even if there is no danger in the tissue.” – Dr. Lorimer Moseley

My journey which includes those seven surgeries began about 45 years ago, so perhaps it’s fair to say this quote applies to yours truly.

Acupuncture, myofascial release, light therapy, even tai chi are on the menu.

I look forward to your thoughts.

My best to you,


Some of My Action Items

Especially when pain is overwhelming, here’s part of my go-to list of things to do, some of which take practice:

  • Walk (or find some way to keep moving; I practice “walking out of the pain” mostly to remind my brain it’s okay to move; there are multiple benefits to this)
  • Practice positive self talk
  • Find a quite place and time to focus on breathing
  • Talk with an understanding friend
  • Listen to, care for someone in need
  • Meditate
  • Journal to give a voice to the experience
  • Journal to express hopes, fears, make a list of all “what ifs” (both fear-based and positive ones)
  • Pray
  • Ponder one brief affirmation or scripture
  • Practice being thankful, even for the pain and the scars; watch my 1-Min. Video on this
  • Draft and revise my action plan
  • Act on the specifics of my plan
  • Eat well
  • Get enough sleep
  • Watch good, funny comedians (like Jim Gaffigan)
  • Watch peaceful videos, like over Bermuda
What would you add? Use the form below to share what’s on your list (which I will keep in confidence).


Conference 21
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