Monday, October 24, 2011

The Great Oz

As a craniosacral therapist I spend much time in silence “listening” to the body tell me its story.  Deep healing can happen within that space.  Becoming attuned to that part of our bodies that handle those healing resources takes much practice at being present.  It’s much like meditation in that respect.

I recently had an image during one of my sessions that was a very still pool of water that ended at a right angle to form a waterfall.  However, the water was not falling over as I suspected it should, but was trickling.  Down in front of that and off in the distance was a city.  It reminded me of OZ.  As a child that was my favorite movie.

Of course I thought I was really weird and wondered what the heck.  But I have learned to be okay with all that comes my way and to not question.  Immediately after reminding myself of that it occurred to me that the Great Oz did not give the tin man, the lion or the scarecrow anything that they did not already have.  He acknowledged what was already within them and sent them on their way.

For me, this image represented that part of ourselves that refuses to believe that everything we already need and everything we already are is within us.  On one level we can relate to the fact that the Great Oz did not give those creatures anything, nor do we need anything in order to be complete. Yet I believe that the trickle (as opposed to a rush) of water was that space within us that doubts the truth of that.

I propose that each of us learn to truly appreciate ourselves and who we are.  We’re good enough just as we are in this moment.  Once we acknowledge that, our growth begins.  Our attitudes change and we start attracting the health and happiness that we all desire.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Developing Presence

I can hear the deep silence anytime I remember to listen.  It’s right below the noise.  This is what I am reminded of each day during my meditations.  It is the stillness where my answers arise, where my pain melts and I feel gratitude for my life with all its joys and all of its sorrows.
It is this present moment awareness that is my foundation for exploring my life journey.  If I can remember to be gentle with myself once I start my daily relationships it makes me doubly appreciative of the time spent honing this awareness of what Stillness is capable of.  It isn’t only the moment of the “aha” but all the spaces in between; the process of living my life step by step by step.  And yes, stumbling at times as well.  In fact many times it is the stumbling that creates more insight than the “aha”.  Or, maybe the “aha” is the result of the stumbles.  It’s probably a chicken or the egg discussion.
At the heart of it is my realization that the process is what has created the form of my life.  If I focus on the answers that I think I need I entirely miss the experience of how to live in that moment and the next moment that provides the ultimate result and deeper meaning.  It is the deeper meanings of those steps and stumbles that provide healing. 
It is developing presence that gives me knowledge of myself.  And, more fully knowing myself allows me to heal.  If I can heal myself I can help to heal the world.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The journey

The spiritual journey, which to me is essential to our health, can have many connections and interpretations.  It is as unique as our fingerprints.  From this basis we can all learn to appreciate the healing capacities held within us.  As we journey into a present moment awareness and delve into the Stillness that arises we are able to access our original Health, which resides under all the layers of undigested experience and is never lost.  This allows us to appreciate the magnificence of who we truly are and become a co-creator of the manifestations we desire in our lives. Using our bodies as the vehicles for this experience will allow us to sense the details of the process.  This gives us real knowledge; not just information.
What I have found is that this knowledge is always there but that I tend to distract myself from it.  If I get too close to a change I need to make, or it becomes painful I think of something else or I get up and do something to take my thinking mind away.  When I have someone put their hands on me with no agenda except the intention to be present I am able to sink more fully into allowing the arising process to resolve itself.  If I start to wander, a skilled practitioner will gently bring me back to the present by keeping herself present.  If the practitioner is willing to wait for whatever revelation needs to manifest then my system responds to that TLC.
There is really no mystery here.  When we can be present we create the space needed for life to do its work.  This is what Mike Boxhall calls letting the work do the work.  With a mind that is open to all possibilities the expansiveness of the Stillness is free to express itself.  Our choice is whether to accept that answer or elect to bury it again.  Sometimes, we’re not ready to let go of the pain.  We still have a few more lessons for it to teach us.  There is no judgment about that.  It just is.  Sometimes the wait increases the sweetness of the final resolution. 
We cannot get here before we have been there.  The journey is what it is all about.  There is no dance; there is only the dancer.  Life is perfect.  One of our jobs is to remember that; especially in the midst of our chaos and pain.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

No Judgment

Sometimes, when I have my hands on another I feel an overwhelming sense of wanting to get things right.  Not that I want to “fix” them but that I don’t want to make a mistake of judgment.  It can so easily happen as I find myself with an idea of what needs to happen to have the fluid reorganize or to have a bone move into its proper movement pattern.
Hold on!  Within seconds I come to my senses and realize that I am not the judge.  What I might think “needs” to happen is absolutely the last thing that does need to happen.  I’ve come to realize that perfection is exactly the situation we are in at this very moment in time.  Each one of us is as individual as a snowflake so what may seem an imbalanced pattern to my senses is the perfection of another’s system.  For me to have a thought otherwise is affecting that system.  This is why it is so important to sit in present moment awareness and stillness and be a witness (and only a witness) to what arises.
I’ve heard it said that the heart of clinical practice is listening.  It reminds me of the times when I need to vent about a situation I’ve found myself involved in.  I don’t need anyone to give me answers.  I need someone willing to listen to my feelings about what transpired.  Afterward I feel as if a weight was lifted.
That is how it is with this hands-on work.  I need to be willing to listen to pain, suffering, hope joy and the deeper forces at work in my life without attaching any story or fear.  Can I leave agendas behind and be open to the forces of life itself?
That is the greatest gift we can give our clients.  This is what allows their system to decelerate and reorganize around the Health that exists at the core.  This present moment is where healing takes place.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Awareness of Love

A teacher of mine says that he doubts any judgment can be absolute or objective.  He believes that any and all of our strongly held beliefs are a mirror of our story rather than statements of TRUTH.   “It is not true to say that a truth at one level is valid at another level.  Failing to recognize that has led to so much opinionated bigotry and violence.”

This reminded me of another lesson I had many years ago when I was first learning to touch someone from the craniosacral perspective of stillness.  I remember thinking that I had to give or send someone on my table, love.  My teacher encouraged me to be love rather than give love.

This is where my belief is today.  If I can put my awareness into however I perceive love – be it a thought, a feeling of a previous experience of love or just focusing on my heart that energy permeates regardless of whether I “give” or “send” it.

For me, this is a helpful practice because at my level of understanding I feel in that moment I am vibrating with love.  I have made no judgments about whom or what needs love.  I am just relishing the energy of love and that does whatever it needs, on any level.  Healing happens in the present moment; and in that moment with the vibration of love permeating the immediate environment miracles can and do happen. 

Of course, physics tells us that these energetic vibrations can affect the entire universe and that’s a bigger lesson about my role in life.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Holding Space

In my last entry I said that the model of craniosacral work I follow is based on doing nothing.  I've had many conversations about it since that time. It’s a challenging place to be since our society is so geared towards “doing”.  Then, I wondered if that was an adequate description for what transpires on my table.

I was also moved towards that thinking from a book I’ve been reading about the scientific approach towards craniosacral therapy.  This author’s basis is steeped in Global Scaling which is a mathematical description of how the material universe works.  This ordering principle is based on wave patterns and how they exist in animate and inanimate organisms. They transmit information such as the communication that occurs between different organs in our bodies or the information that sound waves provide for us.

There are wave patterns that are less than seconds long and waves that oscillate back and forth only once in countless billions of years!  They are all connected and communicating with each other.  Our bodies are oscillating with the rhythm of the Universe and beyond.

When I say that I do nothing in a craniosacral session I’ve been feeling that even those words are totally inadequate.  Words are tough to describe experiential events because we know that there is no dance; there is only the dancer.  What I perceive is different from what anyone else perceives even if we are in the same place at the same time watching the same event.

During a craniosacral session I sit in silence paying attention to whatever arises and something happens.  Is that really doing nothing?  Isn’t the mere fact that I am sitting with my client changing the dynamics?  Global scaling shows that anything that happens here on earth on a small scale can be perceived billions of light years away and exerts the same effect.  Stillness and emptiness still has movement.  My stillness interfacing with my client’s stillness can’t really be “nothing”.  My intention can be to do nothing but sit in stillness and remain aware.  But on the quantum level of understanding even that is something.

As I ponder the consequences of doing nothing I suppose I can say that what I do is to sit in stillness with my clients and the whole of the Universe moves. 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Living Forces

“I’m treating to restore health.
I’m not treating to correct the problem.
In treating this way, I have opened the doors
for the body to try to do what it wants to
with its own living forces.”
Dr. R. E. Becker, DO

This is a basic premise of this work that is called Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy.  I find it challenging to put a name onto what it is that I do because at the heart of it I am really not doing anything.  I am allowing your inherent health to manifest itself.  Dr. Becker said he was treating and if we had more doctors in our health care system that felt this was treating then we would certainly have less disease and more health because we have a propensity to move towards health if given the proper tools.

For some people I imagine that this philosophy is challenging.  If I spent money on something where the practitioner said she wasn’t doing anything I would sure want something to happen.  That is my desire but it may not be what needs to happen.  My body on a very deep level of being knows what it needs.  This is why I love this work.  I can put my hands on someone and know that if I stay present and appreciative of whatever arises that person as well as myself will benefit on some level.  And I can have the same expectation when someone puts their hands on me from this space of openness to the Infinite.

For me, sometimes it is not always apparent where I have benefited.  Sometimes I may have a set back.  When I can comprehend that life is a journey and not a destination I have a connection to Dr. Becker’s statement.  I have choices in my life.  What I do with those choices and how I respond to every situation takes me where I need to go.  Is it always where I expected?  Or where I wanted?  Of course not but I do understand that it is where I have the greatest need in that moment.  And then I move to the next moment and the next choice.  And don’t let me fool anyone.  Yes, sometimes there is resistance.

My body’s physical health cannot be separated out from this philosophy.  My journey is for the whole of my being – body, mind, spirit and whatever else may exist there.  Sometimes it just isn’t convenient to be sick or in pain but when I can allow that to be what it is, my responses are so much more in the flow of life processes and the next moment becomes another opportunity on a different level than if I had resisted.  I am finding that the more I can practice this the more contentment I find in the journey.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Remembering to Trust

It’s a vague fear.  Nothing I can put my finger on.  Nothing that keeps me awake at night.  It is keeping me company for portions of my day.  I finally got wise (a little) and meditated on it when it was staring me in the face.  The insight was that fear is thinking about something bad or unpleasant that might happen in the future.  Unless I am immediately being threatened there is no logical reason to fear something that isn’t even happening.  It takes me out of the present moment.

If I can learn to ask myself if I am okay right at the moment I will in all probability learn that everything is okay right now.  If not, then the next question should be what I can do to make it alright.  There will always be some amount of uncertainty in my life but that shouldn’t equate to fear.  The uncertainty is an opportunity to trust.    

Trust is the basis of what William Sutherland discovered through his years of studying the craniosacral system.  The main force of this system is the tidal movements which are the expression of our inner Health; the part of us that exists in harmony with the Universe itself.  Through our life experiences, minor and major traumas and everyday stresses we tend to move away from this Health.  With the help of a practitioner who practices the Stillness that is the heart of this work our system will uncover the health that exists at our core.  Dr. Sutherland encouraged us to “rely upon the tide”.  Those tidal movements will find their own health and restore us to homeostasis.

At the heart of our beingness there is no fear.  Life happens.  We roll with the punches.  We expand with the joy.  We respond to the love.  Our system has an amazing capacity for renewal.  I find that when I resist against trusting that process is when my fear arises.  I feel an ache and make up some story about why it happened and how I can change it.  If I will only notice it and sit with it and not judge it or give it a story my body has a marvelous capacity to recycle it into a form that is useful. 

I don’t need to know.  I need to trust.  The Intelligence of my system is infinitely more gifted than my intellect.  Sometimes the situation does require an action on my part but worrying about it is never the correct answer.  Trust the tide.  Trust the process.  Extinguish the fear.  For me, it’s a perpetual reminder to allow life to move through me and to appreciate the journey.