In the past two weeks, I experienced two very painful physical injuries that brought me to my knees – literally.  The first happened a week ago Saturday. I was scrambled around trying to get 100 things done by Noon, and feeling stressed and overwhelmed about all that I had on my plate. My son was in his room and my daughter was arriving later that day on her way to moving to Maine. I began preparing a 2nd cup of morning decaf coffee, and I was moving way too fast, feeling distracted, worried, and just not thinking about the task at hand. 

As I poured the boiling water into the coffee funnel (on a cup that was way too big for the one-cup funnel), it toppled over onto my leg, and boiling water and hot coffee grounds came spilling down all over the inside of my right thigh and knee. I’ve never experienced burns of this kind before, and they were so incredibly painful that I cried. It was an agonizing morning as I spent the next few hours taking care of the burns. Thank goodness, they weren’t severe and they’ve been healing well since. But the initial pain was so very frightening. What’s left now are some nasty scars reminding me every day of what happened. 

Only two days later, on a boating trip on a beautiful lake with dear friends, I was climbing over the back seat of the boat to sit down and again, I was moving too fast and not focusing on what I was doing. I bent my knee in a way that made something pop, and from that minute, it was too painful to bend it or walk. I couldn’t believe that such a painful, debilitating injury could happen from such a tiny (over-extending) move. 

After three days of trying to walk with no success and experiencing a great deal of pain, (and praying it would heal without needing a visit to the doctor), I realized I needed outside help and had a medical exam. Turns out, it was a sprained ligament, and with helpful medical guidance, it’s healing well and I’m on the mend now, for which I’m so grateful.

What do two serious injuries within two days in the exact same spot signify? 

When things like this happen to me, especially where there’s a pattern (such as I injured myself both times, 2 days apart, in/on the right knee) I choose to see these experiences not as random, meaningless occurrences, but something more. I pull back and think long and hard about what these events might signify at a deeper level. I’ve come to see and believe (just as I learned in my Masters degree studies and training as a marriage and family therapist) that 

The body says what the lips cannot. 

I believe there are powerful, underlying messages and meanings when these things occur, and there are key lessons our life is trying to teach us through these experiences, if we will only stop, sit up and listen. 

When I experience sudden injury or chronic health problems, I love to consult one of my favorite books – Louse Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life – for a look at what might be an underlying emotional issue I may be facing that is contributing to my self-injury or chronic problem in this particular area of the body. I’m also looking to discover any new thought patterns that might help me address and resolve what I’m going through internally. 

Interestingly, this is what Hay’s book shares about the physical pain and challenge I’m facing in my right knee: 

Probable cause: Anger and resistance. Not wanting to move in a certain direction in life. 

New thought pattern needed: “I trust the process of life to take me only to my highest good. I am at peace.” 

Probable cause:
Anger, burning up. Incensed. 

New thought pattern needed: “I create only peace and harmony within myself and in my environment. I deserve to feel good.” 

Knee Problems 

Probable cause: Stubborn ego and pride. Inability to bend. Fear. Inflexibility. Won’t give in. 

New thought pattern needed: Forgiveness. Understanding. Compassion. I bend and flow with ease, and all is well. 


Probable cause: Represent changes in direction in life and ease of these movements. 

New thought pattern needed: “I easily flow with change. My life is Divinely guided, and I am always going in the best direction.” 

Right side of the body

Probable cause: Giving out, letting go, masculine energy, men, the father. 

New thought pattern needed “I balance my masculine energy easily and effortlessly. 

The descriptions above fit exactly what I’ve been feeling lately and there’s clearly a pattern here – of anger, resistance, fear, and inflexibility about certain situations and people in my life and work – and I’m finally ready to let those emotions go. 

On a more basic level, I also realize too that when I’m stressed and overwhelmed, I don’t slow down, pay attention, re-calibrate and balance, or take care of my physical body. I race around like a chicken with my head cut off, flitting to and fro between each task that needs to be tackled. It’s only when I slow down, breathe deeply, relax, focus and get into the flow of my mind, spirit and body do things in life go best for me. 

From the minute I recognized the deeper meaning to these injuries, they began to improve in a faster, less painful way. And I feel overall so much better as a slow down, breathe, relax and shift to address in an empowered way what’s been upsetting and angering me. And I’m taking new steps to address what’s angering and frustrating me.

Do injuries and chronic illnesses always mean something bigger? 

There are people in my life, family and community who don’t believe that injuries and illnesses have a deeper meaning. They believe that these are randomly occurring events. And they’re certainly entitled to their opinion. 

But for me, I believe there is always an underlying emotional element to physical malaise or disease. I would say this – maybe it isn’t “true” in your way of thinking, that the body is trying to tell you things through illness and injury that you’re not able to recognize cognitively. But even so, what would be the harm in thinking about your injuries and ailments in a deeper way, exploring and and truly feeling the emotions you’re experiencing now, and the potential impact they may be having on your body and mind right now? Would it “hurt” for you to explore that more openly and deeply? 

I’ve found that being open to understanding a potential deeper meaning to what happens in my life has opened amazing doors to a far greater understanding, wisdom, and clarity about what’s really going on, and what I can potentially do about it to shift to greater strength, health, and positivity.  

To learn more about what your physical challenges and ailments might be trying to telling you, check out these resources: 

Louise Hay’s book You Can Heal Your Life
Kathy Caprino’s book Breakdown, Breakthrough 

Kathy’s Forbes interview with Dr. Neha Sangwan on The Most Potent Cure For Your Sickness Is Having The Conversation You’re Running From

Kathy’s Finding Brave podcast interview with renowned energy healer/therapist Lynn Carroll on What Keeps People From True Compassion and How We Can Heal 

And for hands-on personal growth coaching help, visit Kathy’s Personal Growth coaching programs including Live Your True Spirit and Finding Brave Life Mastery.

What are you going through physically today that might reveal a deeper message for you? 


  • Kathy Caprino

    Hi! I’m a career and leadership coach, writer, and speaker dedicated to the advancement of women in business.

    Kathy Caprino, LLC

    Kathy Caprino, M.A. is an internationally-recognized career and leadership coach, writer, speaker and trainer dedicated to helping professional women  "find brave" and close their power gaps to create more success, fulfillment and reward in their lives and work. A former corporate Vice President, a trained marriage and family therapist, and the author of Breakdown, Breakthrough and the new book The Most Powerful You: 7 Bravery-Boosting Paths to Career Bliss, Kathy is the Founder of Kathy Caprino, LLC and of the Amazing Career Project online career course and the Amazing Career Coach Certification training program. She is a Senior Contributor on and leading voice on Thrive Global and LinkedIn, and a top media source on careers, women’s issues, and leadership and has appeared in over 200 of the nation’s leading publications, and on national radio and TV. Her podcast Finding Brave ranks in the top 100 Apple Career Podcasts in the U.S. and beyond, and shares compelling interviews with top business and leadership experts, bestselling authors, creatives, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders who are making a brave difference with their work. For more information, visit and, check out her new course The Most Powerful You, and connect with Kathy on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.