Where Do You Live?

No, not what is your address. Your "real estate". I'm referring to your body. Just where in your body do you spend the most time?

For most people the answer would most probably be the head. We are so visually and auditorily engaged in our daily lives. Looking . . . listening . . . appearing . . . being listened to. Yes, it would most certainly be the head.

Unless there is discomfort or some other issue in the body which calls the attention to that place. Then that's what gets the attention. If you are given to saying things like, "A thorn in my side", "He's such a pain in the neck", "You're such a pain in the ass", then take a look if that doesn't correspond to an aggrievement in any or all of those parts.

The point is that we do spend time in only parts of our bodies. Meaning that we may not in fact spend time in others, or that we don't spend time in our bodies at all. It's safe to bet that only the rare few occupy 100% of their bodily real estate. You know how it is such a chestnut tossed around about how we only use a small percentage of our brain? Consider this. It's a Body/Mind. We speak of one or the other as a convenience. But, in fact, it's one thing. So if you're not living in all your body isn't it the same as saying you're not using all your brains. Your physical brain may be in your noggin, but your "brains" is in every part of your body.

How could I be suggesting anyone doesn't spend time in their body? Where the heck else? If you care to examine the situation you may come to see that your sense of body, body sense, your sense of self, is a mental construct; albeit with a set of familiar feelings and sensations that define who we  are . . . in the world, anyway. We rarely experience our physicality unmitigated by some overarching notion or two. I'm referring to the pure felt sense of it. And when we do attempt to do this, (so many times I've seen this with my clients), how disconnected, absent we are. Try it. Without moving, feel your feet. Or, your shoulder blades. Convinced? You can, if you want, scan your whole body, bit by bit, starting with the toes.

Out of my own life changing experiences (for the better, life changing) in the process of completing a basic Rolfing series I trained to do that work myself and currently am soon to log 33 years of practice. (Some would say, keep practicing; but, I'm not sure how to take that. I would say that I'm not bad.) I remember how, like most people who come to this transformational work, I had issues. My lower back. My first impressions working with my Rolfer were like being freed, as if armor and chains were being removed and lifted. It didn't really help my lower back pain much, however. Not immediately anyway. It should be disclosed that Rolf Structural Integration is not about relieving specific symptoms per se. It's a whole body approach designed to set the stage for automatically healing/correcting local symptoms as a consequence of the global result of balancing the arrangement of the entire body along the lines of gravity. I could go on with this ad nauseum, so if you are interested search away. There's plenty to read in other parts of the WWW.

I had a memorable epiphany moment midway through the 10 sessions of Rolfing. It is understood among practitioners that the process with the client lying on the cushioned work table is about opening, lengthening, separating, and connecting in the matrix of the soft connective tissue. When the client stands up after the session, the force of gravity engages this new open situation and things sort themselves of their own accord. Room to move, space to breathe, kind of thing. When I stood up there was this most amazing experience. I felt like I was dropping, more like sliding down, into my body; slowly and gently, as if I had been living in a space several inches or more above and just to the side of my body. Psychologically you could call me a mental type. (Case? Ask around.) As one of my esteemed colleagues would put it, I came to earth. I came back to earth, really. Literally. It was a welcoming experience. So exhilarating in fact that I danced and cavorted around my Rolfer's work space like some kind of new born monkey. Me exalting in the pure animal of my human nature. Jumping up and down with glee.

It was sublime. My feet felt rooted to the earth. My body was effortlessly upright. I was full of good old vim and vigor. Free! I went back to my office and realized I didn't, shouldn't really, be cooped up like that. Soon after I was out of there. That's how come I became a Rolfer.

So this is how I know from my own direct experience that we don't always live in parts of our body, maybe have not ever. Certainly not the whole body. And, living in the whole body is what I stand for.

Dr. Ida P. Rolf, who originated Rolf Structural Integration, quoted The Poet saying, “Robert Frost said 'You have freedom when you're easy in your harness.' That is what Rolfing is about.”

So maybe I turned this into a promotion for Structural Integration. Well, you can count on that I would do so at every opportunity. But, don't call for an appointment. Start to entertain the possibility and see what things you can do right now on your own to improve your standing and up your awareness of your own "real estate". Look up my friend Scott Gauthier and check out his guide to body awareness. Then, and if you want, Structural Integration can offer peerless and definitive personalized assistance to get you on your way.
 
Now let Robert Frost put it so poetically . . .

 
THE SILKEN TENT
by Robert Frost
 
She is as in a field a silken tent
At midday when the sunny summer breeze
Has dried the dew and all its ropes relent,
So that in guys it gently sways at ease,
And its supporting central cedar pole,
That is its pinnacle to heavenward
And signifies the sureness of the soul,
Seems to owe naught to any single cord,
But strictly held by none, is loosely bound
By countless silken ties of love and thought
To every thing on earth the compass round,
And only by one’s going slightly taut
In the capriciousness of summer air
Is of the slightest bondage made aware
 
 




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