For me, though, noticing the non-toothache has been quite literal. I've been suffering with some significant dental pain for the past few weeks. What first began as a preventative crown replacement has turned into a second crown replacement (the first one had a notch in it that left the underlying tooth very aggravated). And note that a crown isn’t a single crown as they involve temporary ones as well. So within the past month I’ve basically had three with the final one pending. All of this mouth jarring has left my teeth and nerve endings feeling pretty raw with throbbing pain shooting into the whole right side of my mouth and jaw for the past 2 weeks. Gratefully the pain cycles are finally becoming less and less as the irritation and inflammation subsides but there are still moments through the day when I just want to cry.
I feel pretty fortunate, though, as I'm using this toothache as a real practice. (I’m also feeling fortunate that I have available dental care - millions in this world don’t.) I switched from telling myself that the pain is “MASSIVE!!” to labeling it an unpleasant with varying degrees of unpleasantness. In my sitting meditation I've been able to notice the quiet moments of calm and ease in my mouth, feeling the space between the pulses, and noticing how the relief transfers into the rest of my body. When the river of pulsating begins, I become observant of the sensations, noticing how they ebb and flow inconsistently with intermittent bouts of searing pain. There's a radiation down into the lower teeth centered directly under this one crown tooth. Breathing and not gripping to the pain, calm and ease eventually reappear. Ahh, deep gratitude.
Noticing the things that are going right, noticing the painless moments, is a wonderful way to approach and experience the day. It provides a lot of appreciation for the simple that we might take for granted, that have always been there but have been lost behind the scenes.
For this Try It On Tuesday, shine a light on the ease-filled moments and see what you discover. How does your day and perception of life change? I’d love to hear your non-toothache stories so please share.
Mindfulness & Stress Management Coach
Eden Energy Medicine Certified Practitioner
8 limbs Holistic Health, LLC