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Reflections Massage Therapy

Taking it to the next level* February 6, 2012

Filed under: Balance,CranioSacral,Massage Therapy — Reflections Integrative Therapy @ 10:03 pm
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*The title of this also happens to be my self-designated theme for 2012

I’m learning to stay put these days. You could call it a practice. A practice of allowing a subtle and slow network of tendrils to root down into this soil that my feet have trodden these 6 years. A practice of allowing the familiar to be home. A practice of unpacking with no intention of repacking at some arbitrarily designated time in the future.

It might seem strange that I have to practice staying in one place, but let me tell you, even though my address has been within the confines of this one state for the past 6 years, my eyes and heart have been elsewhere. And within me there has been a part that never really unpacked, never really settled in, never really let this feel like home. I’ve always thought that I’m supposed to wander. I’m supposed to explore and discover and create and re-create home over and over again until I decide to stop. Boulder was the first stop on what was going to be a multi-year journey exploring what it means to create a home. Ironic, really, that I thought bouncing from place to place would be how I learned about creating home. But it also meant a safety in always being able to leave – never being tied too strongly to a place that I could just up and leave whenever I wanted. Self-preservation at its finest.

But instead, for various reasons, I came to Boulder and stayed. I stayed for a relationship. And then I stayed to finish massage school. And then I stayed to give myself a little time to figure out what to do next, where to go. And then I stayed to study CranioSacral. And that is coming to an end shortly. This spring I will be free from my tie to Boulder, free to head on to the next destination, free to go out in search of home. Free to find…what I have here.

But time is starting to do funny things as I inch into my next decade. Suddenly the feeling of having known a person or a place for multiple years feels…rich. I have friends getting married soon and I have been witness to their relationships from the beginning. And the idea of getting to watching those relationships make the transition into marriage and then possibly the creation of families, I want to see that. I want to get to be a witness to the unfolding lives of those I love. And by not saying, “Where to next?” I am allowing that time to play out as it will.

In that expanse of time, there is space for depth. There is room for me to allow these relationships that I’ve cultivated, be they clients or friends, to go deeper. Because there’s time, there’s time to allow for the organic process of depth, there’s time to get to know people on a new level. To encounter a depth that comes, not from a shared intense experience, but rather from sharing in the small victories and little deaths that we encounter on a daily basis.

So, I am here now, I have unpacked my bags and let myself be held by a space that is familiar yet constantly changing.

For so long (perhaps since I moved here) I’ve had a love/hate relationship with Boulder. I wanted Boulder to be something else. I wanted it to be somewhere else. But, ultimately, what it really came down to was that I wanted me to be something else. So perhaps this finding home in a place that I’ve actually called home for years now, really speaks more to finding home in my own skin. It is less about what an external place is, or could be, and more about where I am internally.

It means letting myself rest into the familiarity of my external environment while also trusting my own evolutionary process. For years, the most transformational times that I had were when I was traveling, moving, pushing myself to the edge of my comfort zone, and then jumping out of it.  And so I was convinced that to keep growing, I had to keep going.

I talk a lot about processes. Processes and practices and how there’s really no end point to anything (expecting of course for the ultimate end point) when it comes to our personal evolution and consciousness. I asked a Cranio mentor recently if you can ever not go deeper. She just looked at me and smiled and asked what I thought. Of course not. There’s always a new layer to uncover, explore, rest into.

So, these days, I’m learning how to go down instead of forward, in instead of out. It’s hard. It’s harder than packing a bag and leaving; harder in some ways than being in a foreign country and not speaking the language. It’s harder because there’s nowhere to run when it’s hard, no next town to explore and get lost in, and no train to physically move me into a new place. There’s no avoiding the monsters that take this opportunity of stillness to make an appearance. It’s hard because the foreign country is my own self and I am exploring this territory in a way that I never have before. But, I’m exploring it in this way, in part, because the space that I am in these days in familiar. I am not learning a new grocery store, or the fastest back-roads route across town. I’ve done that. I’ve spent 6 years doing that. I have built the foundation in a lot of ways that allows me to deepen in to this place and explore its depths, and my own in the process.

So often we come to a point, a divide, and we can either chose to move forward or deepen in. I ask you to think, which do you most often choose? Do you go to the depths when there is a pause in movement? Or do you say, “Ok, what’s next?” I think that both modes hold a purpose and there’s a need for both, certainly. But, if you’re like me and your tendency is to say, “Ok, here I am at a resting point. What comes next? Where am I going now?” I invite you to deepen into that pause. And you just might find that even in depths there is movement. In stillness there is change and potency. Staying put and going in doesn’t mean inviting stagnancy. In fact, quite the opposite. By staying put just a little bit longer an entirely new world may unfold before you. And if not, you can always pack your bag and go looking for one elsewhere.

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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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