Moving Through Pain Toward Hope

Writing by Holly Johnston

Responsive Body- Interbodied Movement Dynamics (c) 2018


“Through Pain, Towards Hope”


I wonder, how can our pain be a benefit to our lives?  Is it possible that we can strengthen our capacity for hope by embracing our capacity to endure pain? The pain I describe may be physical, emotional or psychic; injuries to our personhood may come from social, cultural and political embattlements with inequality and injustice. Whatever the original source of injury may be is it possible that by feeling this hurt, really feeling it, that hope can grow from our pain?


A description of experiencing P.A.I.N. as a portal towards health and healing:


Pronounced sensation (What)

Access to new awareness (When)

Integrated activation of ethical actions (Who)

Negotiating reciprocity (How)


What is PAIN?


Pronounced sensation: body communicates and signals that something has shifted from proper function or away from dynamic responding; something is happening that could harm the continuation of health or well being to the person, persons or peoples.


Access to new awareness: with the pronounced sensation body becomes sensitive and hyper-attentive to the information that arises from the site of hurt, or injury. The spike in sensation allows for perception to wake up noticing that ‘something is happening.’ Body is aware that a heightened level of care may be necessary in order to understand why you are hurting. A seeking for why this is happening and a journey towards learning begins.


Integrated activation of ethical actions: this is another way of suggesting being conscious of cause and effect. Body wonders what the right actions might be, what choices must be made, what might be a better practice for functional well being? Body evaluates in its curiosity to explore what strengthens healthy behaviors, what reinjures the pain? Body’s wisdom can prevail over our cognitive confusions.


Negotiating reciprocity: Body is generous, it gives and gives, but it must also receive in order to exchange and distribute beneficial energies to all the cells of our living body. Body understands wholeness, it will regulate itself towards full function if it is given what it needs. When there is inadequate resource, energy or awareness, body will alert you with its needs, if we offer back to body what it needs, it responds back with resiliency, agility and capacity to endure the rigor of being fully alive.

This article is written by: Holly Johnston (c) 2018