Don’t Pull Yourself Together

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“It’s going to be a few minutes before I can pull myself back together.” was something I heard from a client the other day.


What would happen if you didn’t?


So much of the tension that we experience in our bodies comes from a pattern that we’ve held for a long time.  A pattern of tension and of movement that is as much a part of who we are as our personalities. Have you noticed that you can tell who a person is at a distance long before you see their face, by recognizing the way they’re moving?  It’s a sort of signature.


I remember reading in an Oliver Sacks book about how our tension and immobility gets completely erased under general anesthesia.  He was describing an old man who could barely move and who became as limber as a yogi once he was anesthetized.  


It brings up the rather interesting question, ‘If I wasn’t who I am…if I was somehow different, would my shoulder/back/foot/knee/neck still hurt when I do….?’  If someone else could inhabit my body, what would their experience in here be? How much of my form comes from my idea of Me?


We have this bias for pulling ourselves together, or returning ourselves to our idea of who we need to be.  What if we didn’t? What if we were completely able to change?


I’ll tell you something that it’s taken me ten or more years in the healing profession to learn (and that I’m still learning).  


Healing is change.


In all its many forms change is what heals us, whether it’s the physical change of snipping and sewing bits of tissue or the psycho-emotional change of psychiatry.


A colleague was just describing to me the profound healing of a Native American sweat ceremony and the willingness to accept whatever change was granted, because that was the healing.  


The thing that all healing has in common is that change has happened.  It’s the change that we’re hoping for, that we’re trying for. If what we’re doing, or how we’re being is leading to discomfort, it’s time for a change.


“If you always do what you’ve always done, then you always get what you’ve always gotten.”

~Jesse Potter


The question in my mind is, ‘How can we affect the most profound and lasting change?’  I think one thing that stops change from happening is this idea that there is a directionality.  That there is change for the better and change for the worse…and that we have to know which one it is before we try it.  Why not try it first? Any good experiment needs to be performed and the results observed. Certainly we can be curious and learn something.  


If there is a sign that change is needed, try something and see what happens.  Try something that challenges the idea of who you are. Maybe try something that scares you…and be willing to be surprised.

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