The Pain Body and Revision

We have been talking about Eckhart Tolle‘s The Pain Body a lot at our house. It’s come up around the media images of beautiful women. These images, we feel, serve to create a pain body for those women who don’t look like those images. By not looking like those airbrushed uber models, we create this reservoir of painful comparing, dissing and general lack of ease within ourselves. Tolle gives us permission to step out of that pain body by being aware of it and choosing not to stoke its fires. Stepping out the Pain Body can be as simple as going for a walk or eating a really healthy meal.

I am about to begin another revision of my middle grade novel. Each member of my critique group has marked up my manuscript. They are laid out on my dining room table. Next to my computer is a pad of paper for me to make big pictures notes.  I feel a wee bit scared. Can I bring this novel into better focus? Can I turn telling scenes into showing ones? The Pain Body awakens, smelling the fear. It is ready to seduce me outside, telling me, ‘No, no no you can’t possibly do it. Don’t try. You will fail.’ Etcetera.

Instead, I turn the first page of the critiqued manuscript, I read the notes. I make small revisions on the manuscript in the computer. I write notes on the pad for bigger scene changes later. I begin. The Pain Body slinks outside.

Here is a video of Tolle taking about the Pain Body: