Presence, that is, staying mindfully present can be a nice sweet spot when you anchor the process in your body. The resonance of presence is all about paying attention and listening in/with your deepest self. The process is very simple and easily maintained when you let go of the minds rambling nature and let your body sensations keep you focused on listening fully. This is all about your inner relationship, your intrapersonal connection. Young children are especially great teachers and role models for developing the ever-present curious state of being. When you get in touch with the place deep within where you are watching/listening/being without the mind running the show. There is a delicate balance, like a beautiful flower, light and free to move with the wind and yet firm in form to maintain the integrity of the appearance. I have learned presence through music, through hearing and feeling in my body as an improvisational musician. In essence I become the witness, the observer of the process in such a way whereas my body is free to feel and interpret. Yes, there is hardwiring in the brain that maintains the process and yet there is such complete freedom to feel, to listen, to resonate, to create new patterns while unattached to outcome. It’s like continually jumping into the void, letting go of how or where I will land and I always find myself supported by others as the process unfolds, unfolds and continues to unfold.
Unleashing the Power of Curiosity
What does is take for you to stay curious? The power of curiosity is all about leaning in to what’s going on, not running away. The best way to stay curious is with the power of a good question, an inquiry. The better the question (the more it rattles your cage) the better you will discover curiosity.
Whenever I have been in crisis, major crisis, like a divorce, keeping the inquiry front and center makes all the difference in going forward. The good/deep questions allow you to be reflective, to gather your sense of self and perhaps what emotions are really running the show. Yes, staying in inquiry is uncomfortable and it is where you choose to learn and establish new patterns rather than hiding in the sand.
Staying curious is all about your creativity, unleashing the talent you have cultivated and experienced in a way that breaks new ground, gets you off your rump and back into the game. The inquiry then allows for a dialogue so you can glean new information and walk into the dysfunction you tend to run away from. Digging deep is the path of your own heart, learning about being unconditional with yourself. Surely this is an exciting way to keep life fresh and off the leash.
You have a special talent now one else has and this is the gift of your heart, of your particular perspective. This knowing gives you a second chance and enough confidence to face the storm even when it’s only in your own mind
What is it to be at choice? For me this is all about being in the heart where there is no concept or mental frame. This is the state of being where I live in eternity and there are endless possibilities in any moment. Being at choice is all about movement and what allows our spirit to soar at any given time. Being at choice is about making choices out of the deepest wisdom in our being and on the other hand this is all about what it is to be playful.
Have you ever done any form of performing arts improvisation? The best way to describe this activity is all about saying yes to your fellow creators. Then you continue to add to the creative process. Your awareness is directly in the environment around you. You are adding something to the mix in your own unique expression. The energy you bring is what gives the next person something to work with.
I was involved in a research project designed for visual artists that we processed as three musicians, a visual artist and a dancer/movement artist. What happened literally changed my whole experience of improvisation. As a musician there was a system of improvisation, though not specifically stated, each musician added what he or she wanted to add to the mix. With the dancer/movement artist it was similar. There was a cohesive language of the movement that was easy to follow.
The visual artist stunned me, because his methods/awareness turned the improvisation into a new type of language. For me this dynamically changed the relationship I had with my fellow musicians. As the visual artist began with a black ink well, a large Asian paintbrush and a long roll of white paper I experienced rhythm in a whole new way. This was not a linear rhythm, but a holistic rhythm experience. My brain didn’t know what to do and my body found the spatial rhythm and engaged. This changed the very essence of how our musical improvisation. What was always linear moved into a non-linear state. I felt so odd until I let go of my mind having to track anything and went for it, fully present in the moment. Ah, being at choice.
Let the Water Flow!
How much water do you really drink? I have a habit of filling 3 – 32 ounce bottles every day and that’s how I can best keep track. What is your method for remembering to drink and when you drink your water? I find that it’s much more difficult when I have a lot of different tasks on my plate. To be on the safe side, I start with 32 ounces first thing in the morning, well before any breakfast. If you drink coffee, it takes even more water to keep you hydrated.
I once had a client who came to me with excruciating knee pain. When I assessed her lats (vastus lateralis) I discovered she was totally dehydrated. How did I know? The knees are at the crossroads of the body. It’s the only place where the entire fascia comes together. There are only tendons and ligaments crossing over and attaching to bone at the knee. When dehydrated, the tendon/ligaments are flat. When hydrated, the tendons/ligaments are nice and pulpy.
I asked her what she drank on a daily basis. She said she drank two full (16 oz) glasses of milk and at least 2 12-ounce coffees’ with milk. I decided to ask if she was open to a little experiment. She said yes and all I did was ask her to add ½ cup of water to her diet every time she drank anything. Both coffee and milk are diuretics, which means they take lots of water to be digested in the body. This means that the water in her body gets used to processes the milk and coffee and subsequently peed out. By adding water before she drinks her diuretics, her body will have a chance of hydrating better.
She was a High School athlete and her pain had been so bad, she wasn’t able to participate in Track & Field, her favorite extra curricular activity. With the new habit of adding water before every diuretic, she was down to 1 glass of milk and 1 coffee/milk per day in two weeks time and was able to run again. In three weeks, she was able to participate in all Track & Field events. By the fourth week she went to the state finals. She told me she got more energy from drinking water and no longer needed coffee to stay energized. Besides, she said; “When I drink the ½ cup of water I feel full and don’t need anything else.”
Investing in your Golden Resources!
I was first drawn to Bowenwork after injuring my left shoulder in a significant fall. I was in daily pain and my arm was limited to certain movements, nothing above my head. A friend who also had an injured shoulder said I should try Bowenwork. I did! At first I was a skeptic. I did not understand how something so simple, given with what seemed hardly any effort or awareness, could heal an injury.
I was literally blown away with just four sessions. I now had my shoulder’s full range of motion back and no longer had to take ibuprofen on a daily basis to stay out of pain. How did something that felt like a light touch, initiate my healing capacity? I did remember how I easily I fell asleep during each treatment. What I didn’t know was that my Relaxation Response was restoring my injured muscles while I slept.
What is the Relaxation Response? This is when the stressors in the actual DNA strand turn off. Dr. Herbert Benson has studied this effect more than any medical practitioner to date. His books, The Relaxation Response and The Relaxation Revolution clearly create a case for how to best heal physical trauma.
What happens in your body after an immediate trauma? The body goes into what’s called the Sympathetic Response, which is Fight, Flight or Freeze. The adrenal cortex is activated and there becomes a neural pattern established in your body to protect itself. Essentially the trauma gets locked into your body’s muscle system until either the brain develops a new pattern (good luck) or some kind of healthy intervention (Relaxation Response) initiates a shift in the physical tissues. This relaxation process is called the Parasympathetic Response, or commonly known as Rest and Digest.
Please download my Relaxation Response audio on the website to begin practicing this technique. You may also email me at: email@example.com to get the script of the audiotape and begin memorizing this golden resource for yourself.
Restore Yourself from Within
What are your best practices to restore your full essence; Body, Mind & Spirit? You may be surprised to know a literal key to your overall restoration lies in one muscle group. Huh! How can that be?
The Psoas group otherwise known as the Iliopsoas includes: Psoas Major, Psoas Minor and the Iliacus. This dynamic group of muscles is one of the softest and most pulpy muscles in our body. They have been called our ‘tenderloin’ muscles because they have the least amount of fascia (connective tissue) holding them together. Hence, they are the most energetic muscles in our muscle system. What does that mean? These are keys to gut and abdominal health as well all basic digestive functions.
Our sexual organs and kidneys sit right on top of the Psoas, affecting a whole range of physical/hormonal/adrenal processes. This muscle is most related to your intuition or ‘Gut Feelings’. The Psoas is directly connected to the notochord, the functional pre-brain of our body when we were in our mother’s womb. The notochord regulated all of our body’s functions as your body was supercharging itself to get ready for life outside the womb.
Let’s get to best practices. Initiating a full release of the Psoas only takes 8-10 minutes. Lie comfortably on your back, with knees up and feet flat on the floor. Lying on a yoga mat or carpet is best. You may roll up a small towel under your neck. There will be a small and natural curve in your low back whereas you may be able to slide the thickness of your fingers underneath unobstructed. This is a good time to unplug from your electronic environment/equipment, use an eye pillow, and put the rest of the world on hold for the next 10 minutes. Is that too much to ask?
I call this position the Core Restore and will be a vital part of your new self-care/restoration practice. This sets the stage for a full parasympathetic shift (think Relaxation Response) and begins your body’s healing (rest & digest) phase. Most people use this position right before bed and when they wake up in the middle of the night to get quickly back to sleep. Of over 1,000 clients with whom I have given this exercise, only one had an increase in energy and they only did the exercise in the morning when they wanted energy. I suspect this was a major healing response and once the Psoas was balanced, it would then become calming.
May you be restfully balanced in times of stress and anxiety by Core Restoring yourself.
The Dance of Zero
I love the quote by Hafiz; “Zero is where the real fun begins. Everything else is just counting.”
So, What is it to be at Zero? I often ask myself that. Where is that place where I really begin? What brings me to a state of true curiosity? Of wonder?
As a bodyworker, zero is where the body is at rest. There are no sympathetic influences (fight, flight and freeze) and the parasympathetic nervous system (rest & digest) has begun the healing process in earnest.
In my work as a Bowen Therapist, the healing process truly begins when the body is ready, when the body is ‘at ease.’ Disease is a function of the sympathetic nervous system out of balance. This begins with inflammation and with inflammation; homeostasis has given way to an imbalance.
I work with a significant amount of chronic pain and the ultimate key has been to get the body back to zero so it can heal. Sometimes the body is chronically dehydrated so I ask clients to use bone broth. Bone broth is super hydrating and helps establish better collagen production.
I also use the Bemer device to activate the osteoblast production within the bones and tissues. This well tested and researched PEMF (Pulsed Electro Magnetic Frequency) medical device stimulates/enhances vascular microcirculation directly inside the arteries, veins, capillaries and venules.
Your body can heal quite rapidly and effectively with proper care. Getting your body back to zero after a trauma is most important. What do see as the most effective way to jump start your healing process?
Calm & Peace of Mind Restored with Bowenwork!
What is your leading cause of stress and anxiety?
It’s not hard to come up with a list, just to get started. Now add a recent injury, migraine headache or chronic condition and your head starts to spin faster and faster.
What brings relief from your state of stress?
Ah, a good nights sleep, a long peaceful walk in the woods, time out for a delightful book or even a close friend to talk with…
How about Bowenwork for your stressors and resulting anxieties?
I had a client come in recently who had a lot on her mind regarding some upcoming events. During the course of the intake she expressed a very deep need about her own self-care and ability to be “at choice” with others in loving and understanding ways. Now she was stepping out and her anxiety over this was full and present. Simply letting her talk and acknowledging her struggle let her begin to relax. As she slowly released her emotional intensity, her mindful presence returned. With this, the Bowenwork session began.
Over the next 45 minutes and a series of soft gentle “moves” on the fascia, her body relaxed fully and completely. The tightly wound bands had now unraveled. When she finally got up from the table, she was smiling and literally glowing all over. She told me how glad she was to have come to my office and what an absolute blessing the Bowenwork session had been. She said her “Calm and Peace of Mind” were restored.
I see Bowenwork as a way to enter your own personal oasis. Here you will find peace from life’s intensities and allow your body to shift into a place of healing and regeneration. Many clients say “Bowenwork is magic” and what I know to be true is how this unique gentle modality accesses your dynamic healing response. I say it “comes in the back door” when the conscious mind if offline to reboot, redirect and revitalize the body’s amazing life force energies. Better yet, when you can learn to witness the effects of Bowenwork in your body, then your own intimate connection assists your consciousness to pay attention in healthy and regenerative ways.
How do you unlock the “will” of the mind from running the show and overstepping its authority in the body? When do you let your body move you and orchestrate your most divine and gracious self?
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April 20th, 2013 from 12pm- 4pm at Seattle Healing Arts Center Bowenwork is a gentle, effective, noninvasive touch therapy that stimulates the body’s ability to heal itself. It can be done though clothing. In this four-hour, introductory class, you will … Continue reading