I love the voices, the thought patterns, the routine rumination. I finally am willing to concede to the idea that it’s not in my best interest. It makes me less competent. Sobriety keeps me sharp, untwisted. One keeps me lifted and the other allows me to relax deeply. There’s a time and a place for everything, so why not moderate? It’s an obvious solution and my lack of ability to achieve it as a goal has been obvious for a couple of years now.
Using low back pain as an example, the pain is caused by weakness in muscles. The muscles recruit more muscles due to weakness and a strain develops around the joint. It could be weakness on one side or on both sides of the body. We take two Advil. The inflammation subsides and the pain is alleviated. The strain is only relieved until you activate the cycle again with simple movements.
Fascia is the connective tissue that runs throughout the body, wrapping around each muscle and each group of muscle fibers. It also wraps sheaths around the central nervous system and around all of our organs. Fascia tightens as a result of trauma, to prevent movement in order to prevent further injury. Craniosacral therapy engages the body’s own healing abilities to release the tensions in the fascia and muscles.
Once the tensions are relieved, you will be able to remap your body’s movements and work to strengthen the muscles.
Trauma carried in the body as a tension or as an energy cyst, often contains an emotional component. As the bodyworker has her hands in that area, you may feel the related emotion. Often, talking about the feelings facilitate the tensions and energy cysts releasing. This simple dialogue that emerges is the core of somato-emotional release.
For me personally and intimately, receiving bodywork changed my life. Years of therapy unleashed into vivid releases when on the massage table. As my body released tensions and unblocked energy centers, my posture improved and my muscles relaxed, allowing me to shift energetically, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. All the years of working for self-improvement and seeking happiness while in deep depression were finally in the past.
As Dr. John Upledger, the developer of CranioSacral Therapy said “The secret something that is shared by all effective healing methods is the process of leading the patient to an honest and truthful self-discovery. This self-discovery is required for the initiation and continuation of self-healing; for it is only through self-healing- in contrast to curing- that patients can experience both permanent recovery and spiritual growth…the closer our perception of self approaches, the deeper our capacity for self-healing becomes. When there is a very close correspondence between self-image and truth, our self-healing powers may be virtually unlimited.”
I feel like I’m wearing fifty pounds of sausage hanging off the front of me. I hate it. Its not new or anything. About three years ago, I started hating my body again. I don’t know what triggered it for sure but two things happened around that time. First, I found myself on a new cocktail of psychiatric medications. Second, I moved back in with my parents and began spending time with my family of origin after several years of estrangement.
I accuse them of upholding society’s impossible ideals about weight. They insist it’s the health issues that are important. When you lose the weight, annual bloodwork seems to clear up miraculously. No more high cholesterol. When we see each other we say, “Have you lost weight? You look fantastic!”
I’ve been shopping at Lane Bryant, the plus size women’s clothing store, since high school. I’ve always been big boned. The models back then were thin. The models now come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. I sit and stare at them and wonder, “Is it okay for me to be fat? What am I fighting and why?”
Something is happening in my body that I cannot quite explain. I spin around the same circles of neurosis. I practice yoga weekly and with my full attention and dedication. During yoga, I feel movement internally and energy shift. I do not usually feel emotions.
About a week ago, I was feeling especially anxious and prayed silently to relieve this pattern of spinning. A few days later, I awoke feeling more present and centered. The spinning had been alleviated.
As a practitioner of craniosacral therapy, I have experienced the release of energy cysts, core to the modality. Energy enters the body as physical or emotional trauma, the body responds with the attempt to assimilate the energy. What cannot be assimilated is walled off as an energy cyst.
I suspect what is happening is the release of energy cysts as a result of yoga. My constant concern with discipline has subsided. I am feeling more joyful and energetic.
I learned this wisdom in my early twenties experiencing Ram Dass’ “Be Here Now.” The book explained the entire process of finding happiness through Buddhism.
Now, twenty years later, I wonder how I came to believe that everything beneficial to my body-mind-spirit is suffering. Now I am loving yoga but still feel like meditation is suffering if you’re doing it right. In yoga class last week the teacher demonstrated using balance poses that there is always movement in stillness.
I’ve been a perfectionist again, believing that I could sit for 20 minutes and still my body-mind-spirit completely.
According to Buddha, the basic cause of suffering is “the attachment to the desire to have (craving) and the desire not to have (aversion)“. From that we learn “detachment.” Detachment leads to flow which lessens suffering.
I have to find it all within. Perhaps that is the honest, humble path to a daily committed meditation practice. It’s not in food or any addiction. All pleasure, all creativity, all passion, is generated within.
From my place of white, American privilege in the world’s scheme, I am overwhelmed daily by ounces of fluid gratitude, oozing like honey down and through me.
I am the broken one.
I see you seeing me and know I’ve got it all wrong
again. I did not have a broken wing; I had both wings torn violently from my torso.
I fell apart, for years. Limping around, wreaking havoc.
When I turned 40; my father began to raise me. He re-parented me generously, teaching me lessons about the ways of the world; sharing the wisdom of his age. In the same way as he taught me how to ride a bike, he teaches me the brutality of dictators and the “there’s nothing I can do about it” feeling they awaken.
I was obsessing about meditating. It was causing me more harm than good. I spoke with my therapist and he thinks I should find calm, centering (my words, not his) things to do that I enjoy. I wrote a note to myself in 2017, “Do it because it gives you that peaceful feeling.” That’s been my inspiration for getting to yoga at least once a week. Yoga makes me feel good, while I’m doing it and after I do it. Meditation was stirring up angst and didn’t feel good.
I go back to read blog posts and pages I created in fall 2018 and I’m amazed at what a sharp turn I’ve taken.
My parents and I traveled to Mobile, Alabama for Mardi gras 2019. We went to two parades and were wowed and overwhelmed with beads and other goodies thrown at us from the floats. The best part of the whole trip was meeting two women, friends of my mom. They met traveling to Costa Rica and Peru as part of a group. The two women were the greatest world travelers I’ve ever met. They had been just about everywhere and had vibrant, strong memories of each place and what made it special. It was a real lesson in life adventures, Mobile for the first time, Mardi gras for the first time, and the bonus of making new friends.
I’ve decided to work on self-discipline in moderation. I resolve to meditate for 20 minutes a day. I’m using the Plum Village app. I also resolve to continue yoga two to three times per week. Other than that, I choose to flow from one moment to the next without discipline and structure, but with grace and ease. That’s how I like it best.