What Eckart Tolle calls a pain body, others refer to as a wounded theme of consciousness.

It is a clump of tangled negative energy brought into existence by my mind’s naive interpretation of life’s knocks and trapped within my being.

A pain body can lie dormant for long periods and be triggered awake by events.

They can give rise to powerful emotional states like road rage, sadness or fear.

This week, I uncovered the existence of one within me.

Let me set the scene:

For the last three weeks, I have toiled incredibly hard in my garden to create a beautiful space ready for the coming season.

On the final day, as I looked on with delight at all I had achieved, the neighbour’s gardeners started their chainsaws and took down the dividing hedge.

I loved that hedge. It was tall and gave the impression of a secret garden.

Its removal changed the vibe of my Shangri-La.

I felt a heavy loss despite understanding why it had to come down.

What ensued was five days of sullen, morose, depressed lack-lustre within me, which I couldn’t shake off.

I moped and couldn’t exercise, meditate or do anything I usually did.

I thought I was struggling with the grief of the hedge, which made sense to a point, yet I knew it was just a hedge.

#Frustrating. #Alarming. #Perplexing.

Five days of sitting with unpleasant, disabling feelings, waiting for them to pass.

They didn’t.

So yesterday, I decided to use some of my newly acquired skills and investigate.

I stilled myself on a chair ahead of exploring my inner workings.

I began with my physical body and looked for anything unusual.

I found a vague nausea trailing down to my gut. 


I felt about for any connected feelings and came across sadness, which surprised me.

I asked myself why I was sad, and the answer appeared immediately:

“Because it’s all for nothing!”

That statement shocked me.

It reminded me of my youth.

Growing up, my mum had little money, and we made do with a lot.

My clothes were often ill-fitting and out of fashion. If ever I received a cool piece of clothing, I grew, or it wore out.

Things I loved broke or got lost, never to be replaced.

Friends moved, and good experiences had endings.

I think my young brain noted loss woven throughout my world, and in an attempt to prepare for the inevitable disappointment, formed the mantra that “it’s all for nothing” because a multitude of life’s thieves will take it away.

Voila! A pain body is born.

It sits dormant, awaiting a same vibration energy to awaken and feed it.

My feelings around the removal of the hedge did just that.

I wasn’t struggling emotionally with the loss of the hedge. Instead, my pain body was awake and mithering out its naive message again.

Everything I had accomplished was for nowt.

All my sweat and effort were wasted.

The thieves were coming, and I would be left bereft again.

What a breakthrough!

What a celebration!

What an opportunity revealed!

542 days ago, I would not have gotten this far.

I would have self-medicated those unpleasant feelings away early in the process and pushed through, unaware of the actual assailant.

My realization has broken the spell, and I no longer feel the sadness.

I am back in the ring, ready and raring to go.

I am aware that I need to spend some time untangling and healing this pain body.

I will ruminate on the importance of impermanence, that all things pass, and in their wake, the new finds space to plant and grow.

Transience affords variety and freshness.

I will edit my internal narrative and help build a better and more functional version of myself, more capable of navigating this beautiful and testing world.

I will expect to enjoy what replaces the hedge in the coming months.