Control

A recurring theme in my life is one of control.  I feel uncomfortable if I don’t know, or cannot direct in some way, the outcome of a situation.  Another aspect of control for me, is to push on no matter how difficult the situation becomes. Even when it is obvious something wasn’t meant to be, I continue. It’s almost as if I can’t stop once I start a project. Acknowledging that this isn’t always possible or healthy, the world presents me with opportunities to “let go of the control.”

During a recent illness, I had ample time to contemplate my behaviors and beliefs.  I came to the conclusion I was forcing myself to complete a task that was not at all joyful for me.  So I stopped pushing through and let it go.

Not surprising I was immediately lighter and happier. When I relayed my decision to a friend, they tried to assure me I hadn’t quit.  As if my self esteem was at risk for giving up the project. In reality, I had quit.  I had quit trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.  And it felt great.

I didn’t quit because the project was too hard.  I quit because I was too hard on myself. I had been trying to complete something that wasn’t right for me at this particular time in my life. The project, the timing, my attitude were not in alignment. So things were difficult. Very difficult.

Remembering to use Ortho-Bionomy principles – go with ease – and suddenly my life wasn’t a struggle.  Lesson (I hope) learned.

 

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Resetting the Past

An amazing thing happened this week. It was something I’ve heard other people talk about, but I never really knew how to apply it to my life. I reset my past. Rather, I reset how I perceived my past.

A conversation with a friend brought up bad memories, tinged with trauma. This trauma memory had attached itself to many parts of my past, affecting how I responded to people and situations in the present time. This time, instead of running away from the thoughts and feelings, I took a deep breath and decided I didn’t want to be scared, hurt or fearful any longer. The pain had become uncomfortable and present enough that I was able to see it clearly and I wanted it GONE.

Tugging at the edges of the trauma, I stepped back into the feelings of my past and became for a moment the Younger Me. There was the tightness in my chest, the confusion and fear in my head, the shortness of breath – all re-lived. Here’s the amazing thing – I saw things from the vantage point of me from Now. The Me with the experiences and learning from that time to the present. Sitting in a safe, far distant future with a supportive friend, I also saw it from the other participants viewpoint. This in turn changed how the Younger Me saw the event. Which eliminated the trauma for me.

Whether it was time travel, quantum physics, or just a conscious decision to let go, that part of the past no longer binds me in a negative spiral in the present. My experience with Ortho-Bionomy helped me observe and acknowledge my feelings, gave me the confidence to explore choices, and reminded me where my safe place, that place of comfort, could be found. Change isn’t easy, but staying in a negative pattern isn’t either. I’m grateful I made the change.

Posted in concepts, demons, empowerment, Experiences with Ortho, observation, past, Rememberances, trauma | 1 Comment

Acceptance

The past month gave me many opportunities to practice Ortho-Bionomy®. Not only in my office with clients, but in training for me, and in daily life. Part of Ortho-Bionomy is being non-judgmental. It’s easy to check my verbal comments, slightly harder to check my mental processes. Especially when it’s directed toward myself. Talking with others, it’s clear I’m not alone.

In several conversations, people have told me they are their own worst critic. Certainly setting a high bar is worthwhile. That’s how we improve ourselves. But I asked how often they gave themselves praise or credit for the work they did complete, or attempted to complete. Not often was the reply. I asked if they would say those same negative comments to another person. The response was surprise, confusion and denial.

I’m not saying slack off. I’m suggesting giving yourself a pep talk every once in awhile. Maybe the people in your daily life, who we tend to take for granted, could be included in this practice. There is a magnet on my refrigerator with the following quote from Emerson, “Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” What I take from this is: Accept what you did today and try again tomorrow.

ACCEPT is the word to focus on here. Don’t berate yourself for what you didn’t do. Realize you completed what you could, the best way you could, At That Time. Yes, some days you can do better. Some days you may do worse. Hopefully it balances out in the end.

So during November, when we are reminded to give thanks, remember to include yourself.

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Space

Space in Ortho-Bionomy is important. The hyphen in Ortho-Bionomy helps remind us to put space in our work. You may have heard the phrase “the space between the notes.” The pause between the notes allow our senses to integrate what has happened and anticipate what is coming. Everyone needs a little time to settle into the newness of change and to prepare for what is next in line.

If you’ve ever moved into a new apartment or house, after all the furniture is arranged and boxes are unloaded, you probably sat down, looked around and took a deep breath. You needed time to integrate, and become familiar with your new surroundings. You also needed to rest before tackling the next box. It’s the same when I work with you and we ask the body to release here, strengthen or tone there, or move into a different alignment. The body needs that break, time to breathe and look around at what is new and different, to become familiar with the “new home.”

Putting a pause in your day allows you time to recharge. Take five minutes between tasks to sit, close your eyes and take a deep breath. Scan your body for any tension or imbalance. Make adjustments to become more comfortable or relaxed. Then continue with your day. Notice if your day is just a little less hectic, or your shoulders are slightly lower at the end of your workday.

I would love to help you put space into your life. Call and we’ll schedule a session.

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Movie in the park

I just returned from a training session in New Mexico. I was in training this time…learning to teach others how to observe subtle movements. Finding and following tightness and releases in the body has always seemed easy for me. Showing someone else how to feel the pea under the pile of mattresses is another thing altogether. You have to quiet your mind, let go of expectations, and just observe.

Maybe this is easy for me because I love to watch people. I don’t have any knowledge about them other than what I observe. I don’t have any expectation of them changing what they do, because they are only in my life the brief time they are walking past. It’s amazing what we project in our facial expressions, the way we hold our shoulders, move our arms and legs, the speed we move, the timber in our voices, even the amount of weight we put into our steps that give away our emotional state and can point out where we hold tension.

The first night of my training, there was a movie in the park. A huge inflatable screen was secured at one end of the park, while hundreds of people looked for a suitable spot to spread their blankets. I found a bench to sit on, alongside the grassy area and watched people walk by. Little kids bounding next to, or in front of their parents. People walking dogs. Groups of girls looking for people they knew. There were people, clearly on a date, holding hands and leaning toward each other. I saw a girl walking with her sisters, shuffling her feet, head and eyes pointed to the sidewalk, shoulders rounded. The lady on the bench next to me was on high alert for anyone with a small child or dog, which might attract her own dogs unwanted attention. One teenage boy sitting with his friends was especially nice to watch. He had a smile on his face, and engaged everyone in his circle in conversation. When he spotted someone he knew walking on the sidewalk near me, he jumped up, ran over, threw his arms around his friends waist and spun him around in the air. He then introduced himself to the three other people walking with his acquaintance and then returned to his blanket. A few minutes later I’m watching a group of four girls posing for a photo. This same happy teen came up and stood quietly behind the photographer. When the photo was taken, he stepped forward, bowed toward one of the girls and asked “Would you like to meet a charming friend of mine?” She gave him a quizzical look but followed him over, where he introduced her to his very shy friend. Happy Teen helped smooth the awkward conversation that started, and soon they were all sitting on the blanket talking.

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I felt like I was watching a giant spider web and each person was either a thread or caught in a thread that wove our lives together, however brief. When the movie started, I discovered it was a sing-a-long, without the benefit of captioning on the screen. That didn’t bother the audience, as most of them knew the words to the songs in Grease. After each song, the entire crowd clapped and cheered. Two hours later I walked back to my room, feeling like I knew more about the people in that little bit of community that was created in the park. It was a wonderful place to observe people and how we interact with ourselves and others.

I hope the next time you are waiting, you take time to look at who is around you and become mindful of the community we share.

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Chiropractic and Ortho-Bionomy

I’m often asked “What is Ortho-Bionomy?” My response of “a way to remind the body of how to stay in comfort” is not always enough information. Because the founder, Arthur Pauls, was a British osteopath, I’ll compare and contrast Ortho-Bionomy with chiropractic work.

Chiropractic manipulates bones into a new alignment. Ortho-Bionomy uses bones as levers to release muscular tension. Massage therapists know muscles can pull bones out of alignment. By releasing tension in the muscle, bones don’t have the pull and can relax back to their normal placement in the body without being pushed.

Chiropractic uses various levels of force on the body to achieve the end result. The force may be through hand manipulation or with tools or the table itself. Ortho-Bionomy attempts to stay within a clients comfort level at all times. Ortho-Bionomy relies on the client to verbalize when they are in comfort to achieve an end result. An Ortho-Bionomy practitioner will often ask which position or movement is more comfortable, then slightly exaggerate that movement. This exaggeration follows the body’s preferred pattern, which often releases tension in the muscle.

Chiropractic addresses the spine. Ortho-Bionomy addresses muscles, organs, lymphatic and respiratory systems. Ortho-Bionomy practitioners may find tender points along the spinal column and use the shoulder, hip or torso as levers to follow and release a preferred pattern.

Chiropractic work can often take several visits to correct an issue. Ortho-Bionomy techniques can sometimes receive results in as little as ten seconds. That’s not to say chiropractic cannot get results quickly, or that multiple Ortho-Bionomy sessions will not be needed. The quick chiropractic manipulations force the bones into a new alignment, but in my opinion, this makes the corresponding muscles tense. If the muscles are not relaxed, they will continue to pull the bones out of alignment. Ortho-Bionomy moves within the bodies comfort level and doesn’t force movements. By working with the bodies preferences and timing, the work has a better chance of staying in place (until you do something that needs compensation again!)

Chiropractic is well known throughout the United States and the world. Ortho-Bionomy is not well known at all, though there are Ortho-Bionomy organizations in Germany, Australia, Austria, New Zeal and, Switzerland, Europe, France, Canada and the United States.

Chiropractic has a plan and attempts to fix an issue following that plan. Ortho-Bionomy doesn’t have an agenda. We offer you choices so you can decide whether or not the change is appropriate. Ortho-Bionomy believes the body has an innate ability to self correct. Many of Arthur’s first students were chiropractors, but he believed the technique was easy enough for a child to learn. Arthur’s wish was to have an Ortho-Bionomy practitioner in every home. If you are interested in learning more, consider taking a class. I have one coming up in June!

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Stories

Most of us aren’t published authors, yet we write or create stories all the time. Maybe not on paper, but in our heads. I’m talking about the scenarios we create when we project something happening in the future. We can create elaborate stories, and get so caught up in the “what if’s”, that we neglect to focus on the right now. Imagining an event in the future can be helpful, if you use it to plan out or organize a party. It’s not so helpful if you create a scenario in your head based on a partial conversation. In my experience, I’m almost never accurate when trying to guess what someone is thinking.

Here’s a made up example. I ask a friend to meet me for dinner. Friend says they can’t. If I focus on the right now, I know my friend cannot meet me for dinner. If I focus on the “what if” I might think the friend doesn’t like me; or the friend has something better to do and I’m not worthy of their time; or they think I’m boring; or any number of other imagined scenes. I can get all worked up about what I imagine the friend is thinking, rather than take their response at face value. I have taken my own insecurities and inserted them into the response – I’m not worthy, I’m boring, they don’t like me. In reality, my friend may not feel well, may have other plans, not have transportation, or just want some alone time.

If I want/ need more information, I have the responsibility to ask my friend for clarification. Can they meet me another time, would they prefer a different restaurant, is there anything they need from me so we can meet?

The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz, encourages us to not make assumptions. He says to find the courage to ask questions and express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings. And don’t take anything personally. Hard lessons, but I’m finding they are important and helpful in reducing drama, misunderstandings and sadness.

Communication is an important aspect of any relationship, whether it’s personal or business. In an Ortho-Bionomy practice, we focus a lot on communication. We don’t assume. We acknowledge your comments, and ask questions to clarify. It’s nice when that concept works in other parts of your life.

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