In that moment before surrendering the bed to get started with my day, I cautioned myself “ok, take it steady this morning…” in my head but, too late, I was suddenly locked-up in excruciating spasm. All the signs of this likelihood had been there, from the steady build-up of widespread pain the day before to waking feeling like I’d been beaten with iron girders in the night. An earth-glancing CME is heading this way following Thursday’s solar flare, according to Space Weather…no, two CMEs now and geomagnetic storms likely, they say (I always feel these things long before the predicted timings) and I’m really not surprised at all. Yesterday felt like electrical pressure was building in my head and all the cells of my body, disorienting me in dizziness and brain fog, tugging between my ears and making me want to crash and just sleep in the middle of the afternoon. My weekend had all the classic ingredients of a typical flare-up, a time when simple movement can become precarious. But if there’s one thing fibromyaglia teaches you its the ropes, the procedures that work best, the mitigation kit. I hadn’t been planning for a sauna on a Sunday morning with a leisurely family breakfast calling me downstairs but, suddenly, I was switching it on because intense, direct heat – and the sooner the better – works best for locked-in muscle spasm, in my experience (and that can include hot shower, hot bath with epsom salts, hot heat-pad or even hot stone massage if there’s someone around to help you do the releasing). Because release is what it is all about and the heat is only half of the story, the facilitator, the catalyst to opportunity – and yes it is an opportunity when something (anything, not just physical pain) comes up for release like a knock at life’s door. No need to analyse it, to ask why it came up, to blame (I could have done that better, when will I learn…) or to re-live whatever it is that has got stuck. Such a simple process, really – let it up, let it out – and mine boils down to this “I release all that is not mine, I release all that does not serve my highest purpose”, like a gentle mantra in my head. Meanwhile, I do the stretching work…practiced like a dress rehearsal in all those other times I carry out my morning yoga or sauna rituals without the pain only, now, they come beautifully into their own. When those stretches burn, when they hit the sorest point, the reaction…that’s when you know you are getting close to the very root of them, to what is asking to be released the most, wanting to be worked into, to be guided out of the cells by a gently guiding hand. Inch by cautious inch, those are the stretches that are crying-out to happen, the stuck-points asking to be flexed, to have their rigid pattern dissolved away, to be set free. No less so than when those other flare-ups, the so-called crisis points in life occur – it means release is ready to happen and a new you is standing just the other side of it. Meanwhile, in that state of allowing whatever to come up, its quite incredible what does come up on the tv screen of consciousness, the ‘random’ thoughts, the realisations, the new perspectives, the expansions…the multi-layered releases that feel like your consciousness has shed ancient burdens and sprouted new wings. The ‘outside’, physical body, stuck-point-shifting process finds its counterpart on the ‘inside’ and so evolution takes place. An analogy I could use, which may help any of you that has ever worked with metal (as I have in silversmithing), is this – these times when we melt down with challenge, with pain, with internal heat or with solar flare, with whatever catalyses the crisis-point in our experience can feel like having a blow torch directed at you. Suddenly you are turned to molten metal; amorphous, distorted and far less than beautiful to your mind’s eye yet, with all the old rigid shape that you once held for so long dissolved away, full of so much raw potential. In that moment you get to hone, buff and polish yourself into a whole new form, one that you designed yourself through choice. You get to watch this beautiful thing take shape, knowing just as deeply, appreciatively, that it is made up of the exact same substance that you started with, just reshaped through the creative fires of newly expanded perspective. These flare-ups are the more concentrated version of life itself; the experiences that literally make us, if we let them; perhaps that’s why all the various forms of heat (literally, the heat of life turned up) so often accompany transformation. These times flag up something tremendous to me, something profoundly wonderful to know about the very mixed-bag that life is, which is this: that human consciousness is such an incredible thing and, best of all, we get to play with this toy every day of our lives, regardless of how challenged our body, our circumstances, are feeling and, sometimes, especially because of these things. Once we drop the bizarre idea that how great we are feeling, how so-called ‘perfectly’ everything is playing out, is some sort of measure of how well we are doing, we perceive opportunity and progression everywhere and in every possible kind of circumstance – now thats transformation!