Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Beauty in the Storm

The energy outside was dynamic as the storm clouds gathered over the mountains to the east. Those luminous clouds brought much need rain. But it also brought to my awareness the beauty in the storm. As my perception of things around me changes and the layers are peeled away there is insight, awareness and subtle shifts. I notice how often people are unhappy with the weather. Aah, but if one can just stop and breathe and experience it, there is beauty.  Even the wind has beauty.  Watch the resilience of the trees as they dance in the wind.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Thursday June 17, 2010

I hear the distant sound of thunder. The rain is sure to follow. The wind has blown fiercely since about noon. The trees are in continual movement. Bending, straining against the gusts of wind. There is a calmness. Not for long as another wave of wind contorts the shape of the trees. They go, but with protest.

I have moved from the patio to the front porch which grants me more protection from the wind.

It has been a couple of weeks since I have shared my SI experience. Probably because I have had a lot going on with LEI and nothing profound has happened. Yes, there was pain. Yes, I felt much lighter and continue to move with much more ease. Each session has gone well even though my pain threshold is challenged each week.

It is the emotion that I am compelled to write about. The body will never cease to amaze me. I remember why bodywork fascinates me so much. Massage is one thing. Structural Integration is so much more.

Session 7 began at my neck and shoulders. I was pretty sure as I was rotating my head and trying desperately to breath, that at some point the muscles in my neck would quit protesting and give way. Sometimes more than others they would relent.

Emotion rose to the surface when she worked along my chin. It is one of those experiences that is hard to put into words. There are no significant memories or pain that surfaces with the emotion. Just raw emotion. Uncontrollable. Do you question the emotion? You can. Maybe you will get an answer, maybe you won't. To me it does not matter. I can feel it leave as she makes her way to the end of the stroke. I have spent a lifetime keeping my thoughts and emotions inside. Is it no wonder that I should have such a release at his point?

I am trying with each step to be conscious. I am still showing signs of rotation in the lower half of the body. Old habits are so hard to break. Thinking about what you are doing when you are doing it difficult. Being in the moment. I know that most of the time as I am multitasking daily chores, I am neither here or there. Somewhere else, lost in the memory or thought about something totally different than what I am working on. Be in the moment. It is all we have.

The aroma of rain fills the air.

I was curious about what the inside of my mouth and nose and how or what would she do there. Grape flavored gloves. I smile. Can I have peppermint next time? She explained to me how she was going to start at my gum line and work up, both on the outside and inside of my teeth. I could feel the tissue moving under the pressure of her finger. It actually created more space. I cannot explain.

The rain has arrived.

Next she would work the tongue at the back of the throat. Oh, but I have a gag reflex, I reply in protest to such a thought. This would sure to be tricky. Pushing down on my tongue at the back of my throat is sure to engage it. And it did. But each time she worked it, it lessened to some degree and she was able to work with a little more pressure as she counted to 3 before removing her fingers. I didn't realize how much the tongue has to do with the alignment of the neck. At the beginning of the session you could put a arm between my neck and the table. By the time she was done, at best it was a finger width. Which means my head which weighs approximately 10-12 pounds is now sitting on the shoulder girdle in much more alignment, reducing the stress on the vertebra. It was a most interesting session.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Bound up

I am sure that some of you are wondering why no entry last week. Has she succumb to the tortures and given in.? Quite the contrary. Is is most surprising each week. Now I think I am getting "sick and demented" because I actually look forward to it.

Last week was lifting my torso and ribs off my pelvis. This is sure to help with the 1 1/2 inches that I have lost in my height. It was grueling but nothing like today. Adductors, hamstrings and quads, the bound up muscles of my thighs and did I mention that my legs felt like they were going through a vise grip. The key there is going through, not just being held in the grip, but having that grip slide, no not slide, rip? no not rip, oh hell, you know what I am trying to say, as she takes the bound up muscle and puts it back where it belongs. Holy shit. One does not just lie there and take the pain. You must participate in it. "Sick". Be a willing, or unwilling participant, however you want to look at it. I can hear her saying "knee up, knee down" and wanting me to do these motions as she frees the muscle, but sometimes it is all one can do to keep breathing, pant and swear. No knee up, knee down. She won't let you get away with it for very long. And did I tell you it feels like she has hands of steel with the grip of Hercules. But it is so awesome.

My knowledge and enthusiasm for Structural Integration grows with each session. While SI is probably not for everyone, it certainly couldn't hurt the majority of us. Oops, sorry about that play on the word "hurt". It really is okay to experience the breath sucking pain that one must endure to get through a session because when you come out of it you are a new person. Each week as she works the misalignment of my body up from my feet and out the top of my head I move with much more ease. I knew I was "tight" but not bound up. My thigh muscles were bound up into one unit. The individual muscles were not working undependantly like they are designed to do. Needless to say when that happens other things stop working, which affects something else until one day your body screams at you "HELP, stop what you are doing". And that is where I am at. Stopping and smelling the roses in between being in the moment and the breath being sucked out of me.

It is becoming much easier for me to stand and walk in alignment. I still struggle sometimes especially when I flip into auto pilot. It's that "teach an old dog new trick" thing. It is getting easier. I have noticed that sitting correctly takes less work. I catch myself slouching and bring myself into alignment a lot quicker. I have slouched for many years now. When working at my computer for long hours I was usually slouched completely down in my chair by the end of the day. Bad habit....

Wouldn't it be great if as we entered into our mid years that we felt physically as good as we did in our earlier years.? We don't have to be all bound up, hunched over and in pain 24/7. There are alternatives and I can clearly see the SI is one of them. It is working and I am feeling much better each week. Until next time.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Happy Feet

My homework from last week was to walk toes forward, heel to toe. You say, so. Don't we all? Not really. As I have focused on that, and it does take concentration not to walk in my comfort zone, I have felt the misalignment of my feet, ankles and knees. To walk with my toes forward actually made my knees feel really awkward. I have become much more aware of how my feet touch the floor. More specifically what parts of my feet are touching the floor and at what point. I have been walking laterally on my feet which would explain why my knees are rotated outward. The body is so amazing. These misalignment's are so gradual. They just sort of creep up on you until one day your body rather than just talking to you begins screaming at you.

I went to the doctors office to have them measure how tall I am at the beginning of these sessions. 5'51/2". WHAT? I used to be 5'7". Where did the other 1.5 inches go.? Oh wait, I know, it is there, just supressed by tight facia and tendons that are restricting movement of my body.

I'm not sure I was prepared for the pain I endured today. Karon told me the first few sessions were realitively easy. Well if this is easy, I'm not sure I want to play anymore. Oh, but I do.!
I can feel it allow my body to move with much more ease. I didn't really feel I was so tight all over. Ya, my shoulders and pelvis region I now are, but never really knew my feet had issues.

It is not an easy task to train your body to move differently than it has for the past 50 years. So those of you who are following this pay attention. Pay attention to how you are walking, sitting and standing. If you are in generally good physical condition, but have pain somewhere chronically maybe you are out of alignment. Seek structural integration sooner rather than later.

I also need to express that I may show signs of personality disorder. I have not become possessed by demons. Although you might look at me in wonder as I begin to speak things that in the past may have been held back because of fear or rejection. Thoughts and emotions will most likely be flowing freely from my mouth. Karon told me to warn my loved ones that I may display a personality that is unfamiliar. So maybe I will, maybe I won't. It will just happen. Just know that I love you all, but I am loving me now.

I have discovered that I have some emotions stored within. It is so weird, amazing, not sure how to describe what happens. Karon completes a stroke and a floodgate of tears and emotions come pouring out of me. Totally unbeknownst to me. It happened in the first session and it happened again today. Its not every stroke. Most of those are just fist clenching hold your breath and scream strokes. It just happens. I have no control what so ever.

I've decided to blog this hoping that I can share my awareness and make those of you who are following more aware. Structural Integration is very powerful. After just two sessions I can see why Karon gets so excited to do this work. It isn't becasue she is sick and demented and likes to cause you pain. She knows the outcome and how it transforms the body. It is amazing. Just watch and see.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

ROLFING: Reestablishing the natural alignment and structural integration of the human body for vitality and well being.
Thank you Ida P. Rolf, Ph.D.

Spring is in the air today. The crab apple trees are in full bloom with bright pink blossoms. A slight breeze has the branches dancing. I find myself reflecting on the past 3.5 years. Diligently and as naturally as possible I have tried to resolve my low back pain. From kidney and liver cleanses to releasing emotional issues.

Today there was a fork in the road. I am taking a new path to realignment and balance of my body and my life. Karon, a friend and rolfer, began the 1st of 10 sessions today. This, I can tell, will lead me back to a pain free body that moves with ease and freedom.

The realization hit me when we looked at pictures of me standing in a normal relaxed position. We knew that I had some slight rotation at the hips, but it blew both of us away to see how uneven I am from the shoulders all the way down. I think we both new at the sight of the misaligned body what needed to be done.

These sessions are not relaxing in any way. Quite the contrary. Four letter expletives flow from my mouth with great intensity. I must admit, however, that after the stroke is finished there is significant release of tension and relaxation. So, relaxing? yes and no.

Awareness has new meaning. Becoming aware of how I sit, stand and walk is not going to be easy. It is really easy to fall back into the old habits of walking and sitting. It takes more work to walk the right way. You have to think about how you get yourself out of a chair. This will be a challenge I can tell. I am up to it. The outcome will be well worth the effort. I pledge to be more aware of my movements and my thoughts.

I usually have to lay back on the bed and raise my feet into the air to put my socks on. Today after the session while talking to Karon, I sat on the table and was able to put my socks on while sitting without pain. Holy heck. Why didn't I start this long time ago. Amazing.. I feel much lighter. It is hard to describe the difference you feel, but there is definitely a difference.

Walk with your chin level, feet pointed forward with a slight spring in your step. Heel to toe. Sounds simple doesn't it.? It feels totally awkward to me.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Birthdays to me have always been, just another day. Little did I know turning 50 was going to have and be so much more than just another day. Apparently Amanda started working on this project a long time before the big date. And with the help of Ellis and a few others they pulled it off.

The special event took place on March 13th. Earlier in the week Kris had asked us to go to dinner with them at the Country Club on Saturday evening. She gave me the excuse that my birthday was on a Thursday and the weekend is easier. So on Saturday morning before EL left for work he pulled out dress clothes for dinner that evening. That should have been my first clue, but that piece of the puzzle would not reveal itself until later. So with Easter just around the corner I was busy making Easter gifts most of the day. This was a good thing since Amanda was running around town finalizing last minute stuff. She would have a difficult time explaining to me what she was doing in town when she had told me she was hanging with girlfriends for the day.

The weather took a turn for the worse and it started snowing by afternoon. On the way out to the club Ellis tells me that Vicki and Jim are out here having dinner with a bunch of friends. I guess he was thinking I might wonder why there are so many vehicles in the parking lot. Still I had no clue. Yep clueless. Until....I saw the Honda Element out of the corner of my eye parked over by the Pro Shop. It still didn't register until I saw the Mazda and Jeep. My mind went quickly into overdrive. The kids have all gathered for dinner. I love having all the kids together, not necessarily in my honor, but I was feeling okay with it. What I saw when I walked into the room was WOW!-friends and family. Not just the kids, but parents, siblings, aunts, cousins, long time friends and new found friends, grandkids and kids, almost all of them. I was totally surprised. I had no idea until I saw the kids cars then I still had no idea until I walked into the room and everyone yelled surprise.! I looked at all the faces looking back at me, processing who they were and how far some had traveled to be there for me. It was a wonderful feeling of warmth and gratitude. I never thought a 50th birthday could be so much fun. Amanda presented me with a scrapbook that everyone had contributed thoughts and memories of their times with me and/or about me. Many special words that brought back memories. It was a wonderful gift. I didn't want the evening to end. Thanks to everyone for a most memorable evening.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Last weekend Amanda and I ventured to a wellness festival in Jackson Hole Wyoming. Some of you may ask "a wellness festival?" What the heck is that and are you sick.? The theme of the festival was Pursue Your Purpose. Wow, have I been thinking heavily about that lately. There is something else out there that I am supposed to do. I am just not sure what it is. I think I am waiting for it to fall out of the sky and hit me on the head.
I have always been attracted to self help books. I actually remember going to a day of motivational speakers when I was 9 months pregnant with Amanda. I went with my grandma. It was a long day because I am pretty sure I was the size of a beached whale. But memorable and motivating.
This festival was similar. Only two days long, not just one. There were at least 3 speakers at one time so you chose which one interested you the most. Amanda and I were side by side attending the same ones. We listened to speakers on decoding your life's purpose with your finger prints, Access the Intuitive Wisdom of Your Body and many more. Gary Zukav, author of The Seat of the Soul and Linda Francis were keynote speakers on Sunday afternoon. I received a lot of insight into myself at this one. Things like I have a difficult time articulating my feelings. That we all have frightened parts of our personality that like to emerge, but we may not recognize them and what those frightened parts do to us and our ability to communicate. We came home with a lot of reading material. I am excited to get to them all. We made a pact that we would read the books together so we have someone to share our thoughts with about the material in the books.
My mom was supposed to go with us on this adventure but something personal kept her from attending. Amanda and I had a good time just hanging together, eating some good food, sleeping on incredibly HARD beds, and learning some new things about ourselves. We encountered snow and it was cold so we didn't do a lot of sight seeing or roaming the shops in Jackson. I hope to make this an annual event.