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Reflections Massage Therapy

I don’t know…gulp. April 19, 2011

Filed under: Massage Therapy — Reflections Integrative Therapy @ 8:16 pm
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So I had this amazing realization the other day: the world, this great big beautiful mix of land and water and air that we all inhabit, actually keeps on keepin’ on whether I am right or wrong. And what’s more, it does not in fact explode or implode or suffer any other form of mass destruction if I don’t know something. New flash, I know. But here’s the thing. I really don’t like being wrong. It’s not so much that I always have to be right, but I really don’t like realizing I’m wrong about something. It feels…uncomfortable. Because in my mind, I’m supposed to know everything, right? Which leads to the next realization – there are things that I don’t know. There’s actually quite a lot that I don’t know.  Yet, somehow I’ve managed to convince myself that I’m supposed to, and if I don’t, I’ve failed somehow. At what? I’m not quite sure. Being human?

But here’s the flaw in this thinking – ok, maybe there a few – being human actually entails not knowing. Because that’s how we grow, that’s how we evolve.

When you cut yourself, your body jumps into action and repairs that wound with a whole arsenal of things I’m not even going to pretend to know. The point is, after that repair, that patch of skin is actually stronger than it was before the wound. See where I’m going here? In our quest of perfection, or to not project, in my quest for perfection, I haven’t typically left a lot of room for myself to be wrong. And one of the problems with that is that when we’re wrong about something and we acknowledge it, we are often also given an opportunity to make repair, and through that repair we can strengthen what is there. So, to not allow for space for that, also means to not allow space for repair and strengthening.

So, in listening to this mind-blowing realization, I am playing with curiosity. I am learning to digest the fact that not knowing something doesn’t make me less of a person, nor does it make me bad or stupid. It simply means that I haven’t discovered something new just yet. And it’s a chance for me to play with curiosity.

In my work, while I have a great expanse of knowledge about the human body – it’s anatomy and functions – when a client presents an issue, the best I can do is use the tools that I have to hypothesize. In actuality, I don’t know anything about what is happening for them. I can’t. I’m not inside their body. I can’t really know what’s going on. But I can have curiosity and an openness to exploring that. I am in fact a much better healthcare provider when I surrender this idea that I know what’s going on and embrace whatever is in front of me with curiosity. In large part, because it makes me far more open to what may surface.  It also means allowing myself to not be perfect. Gulp.

In playing with this further, though, I think perhaps the most enlightened being are in fact not “perfect” but rather fully embrace the imperfections that are inherent in existing in this world – and by embracing them they are able to transcend them.

And while I in no way can claim enlightenment, I would like to offer you this piece that has come from these earth shattering realizations and the subsequent self-reflection and work I have been doing: all of our imperfections are simply opportunities. Opportunities for radical acceptance, opportunities for growth, opportunities for repair, and maybe even opportunities to learn something we didn’t already know. They present themselves to us everyday and everyday we are given the opportunity to get a little bit uncomfortable for the sake of our own growth and evolution.

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Root down April 3, 2011

Filed under: Massage Therapy — Reflections Integrative Therapy @ 10:05 pm
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Moving into Spring (despite a snowy April day today) I thought I’d share this beautiful song by the wonderful trio Coyote Grace from Seattle. It seems quite fitting…

In yoga last Monday, my amazing instructor said “you cannot be flexible unless you are grounded” and that has stuck with me for the past week particularly as we move into spring and there’s that sweet soft green fuzz to a stand of trees, the first blossoming buds greeting the sun. One of my favorite things about trees is that they must send their roots down equidistant into the ground as branches into the sky. This rooting allows them to seek nutrients and water, as well as to stabilize so they can bend and flex as needed – allowing them to not break in the wind and also to not topple over.

The concept of grounding to find flexibility is interesting to e. It seems contradictory at times, I think, the idea that you can find more movement if you plant your feet more firmly. So I started exploring what that means, what it looks like in my body, in my relationships, in my work, in my interactions with people. And I think I get it, or I’m beginning to. Grounding means to stand in yourself. To feel the ground firmly beneath your feet and to know that, trust that and allow that to be your marker to know where you are, to know that you are. And then you move from there. Sometimes this means slowing down enough to check in with myself before I make a decision and sometimes it means finding ground under my feet after I’ve jumped into something new; finding this new footing beneath me and moving forward from there.

I believe that it’s possible to find movement from grounding. And for this again I turn to my trusty trees. Because in essence that’s what they’re doing. They’re rooting further down day by day in order to grow taller and broader and more expansive. Finding your ground allows you to expand and move and flex and reach beyond yourself.

I had a Philosophy professor when I was in college who asked us all on the first day of class what our biggest fear was. Stagnancy was mine so this idea of movement and rooting coexisting is fun to play with, to explore the ways I can experiment with it in my life – and to see that just because this is the sixth Spring that I find unfolding before me in Boulder, that does not mean there is not movement in my life.

So, I leave you with the question to entertain for yourself: how do you find movement while you’re rooted?

 

 
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