How to use this Somatic Care Deck for Chronic Pain
This care deck was created to support folks in feeling more freedom, ease, pleasure and safety in their bodies.
It is intended to empower you in feeling more embodied and more connected to yourself: to call your body home again.
It is for anyone; whether you experience chronic pain, struggle with boundaries, or find accessing pleasure to be challenging sometimes (or most of the time).
In this deck, you will find 12 affirmations, 12 prompts, and 12 practices.
The categories are broken down into three focuses: pain, pleasure, boundaries.
When to use the deck:
As part of a daily practice (highly recommend!)
When the need arises (during pain flares or menstruation)
To Create a Care Kit for pain, that includes somedays pain management and pleasure-oriented products
How to use the deck:
You can shuffle the deck and choose to pull a card at random.
You can organize the deck into the three focuses so that an affirmation, prompt, and practice can be pulled together.
You can also separate them into Affirmations, Prompts, and practices, and then pull a card from whichever you're feeling most called to in the moment.
This deck can be explored with friends and partners. The prompts are lovely invitations for conversations, to support deepening your understanding of yourself and anyone in your life. As a co-regulating species, so much of our healing comes from being in relationship, this deck was built with this in mind. Some of the exercises are created to be done either on your own or in relationship.
The deck can also be used with a group of friends, you can meet once a week and pull an affirmation, prompt and practice and explore together in community.
So, why Pain, Pleasure and Boundaries? Because our relationship to each affects the other.
If you experience chronic pain, then I’m guessing you’ve always/or at some points have had a complicated relationship to pain and your body. You’ve likely tried disappearing it, fixing it, changing it, you’ve maybe even spent years enduring it, pushing through it, and dismissing it and having it dismissed by folks in your life (especially the medical system). Folks with chronic pain often get the message that it’s all in their head, they should just get over it, they’re making it up for attention. Sometimes we even start to believe this ourselves.
Chronic pain has a way of creating a war within ourselves, making us feel like our body is the enemy.
What I’ve learned over the years is that if we can become curious about our bodies, if we can lean into the pain with curiosity instead of moving away, there is often something beautiful and surprising on the other side. This care deck will offer you prompts and exercises to support curiosity, tools to help manage pain, give you opportunities to get to know yourself more and give you more opportunities to befriend your body.
Prioritizing pleasure, playfulness, and feelings of ’safe enough’ play an important role in the process of healing, pain management, and feeling at home in our bodies. For those with chronic pain, the body often feels unsafe. We become quite adaptive in pain management strategies, a lot of our life energy goes to managing symptoms. I’ve learned in my own experience, and after working with hundreds of people 1:1, pleasure has a way of restoring a sense of wholeness, it has a way of bringing our vitality back online. Pleasure heals us (sometimes quite literally), and yet it doesn’t always feel accessible.
When we attune to our needs, when we begin to create more safety in our body, pleasure becomes more available to us.
Pleasure brings about the possibility of radical transformation. Pleasure connects us to the goodness of existing in our bodies, it helps us fully inhabit our bodies, even just for a moment, something that so many of us struggle with (actually being IN our bodies).
You deserve more pleasure and goodness in your life, this deck will offer you some simple yet profound practices to create more moments of pleasure.
The more we strengthen our boundaries and build a stronger awareness of them, we become more aware of the places in our life where we endure and override our body’s cues, the more awareness we have of ourselves.
If you cannot feel yourself, you will not know when you’ve come in contact with something other than yourself. Knowing your boundaries lets you know where you end and others begin.
What is me, and what is not me. A good sense of our boundaries creates more opportunities for pleasure, not less. They support you in maintaining your autonomy and individuality.
They create a distinct understanding of who you are in the world.
The more we attune to what has felt intolerable, the more we can no longer tolerate choosing others over ourselves. A strong sense of self equals a strong sense of our boundaries and limits.
Part of boundary work is really about self-discovery. What do I want? Need? What will I or won’t I tolerate in my life? What boundaries can soften and what boundaries need to be more defined and firm. This care deck offers tools and invitations to help you get curious about these questions.
My hope is to see one of these decks in the hands of everyone I meet, because we all deserve to feel more goodness, to feel more freedom, ease and pleasure, we all deserve to feel at home in our bodies.
Somatic Care Deck
Pain, Pleasure, and Boundaries is a comprehensive and easy-to-use somatic care deck designed to help you explore connection, safety, and acceptance with your body.
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