Friday, 25 October 2013


Being calm, peaceful, relaxed, isn't a show. It's not just something there for a purpose, of making the way easier for others, of making yourself more acceptable to others.

Being calm is a gift to the self. It is a state of being aware of the self at any given time. It is being aware that I have boundaries, that I have the means to stop others from overstepping those boundaries, and that doesn't necessarily mean they'll like me, or that their way will immediately seem easier.

Remember your self. Remember your nervous system, your breathing. Remember that your environment affects you, and you are allowed to determine what effect it has. You can do this by changing where you are in that environment, or by finding out whether that environment can change, or both. If that environment cannot change, you are allowed to remove yourself from it.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Releasing my voice

Everything is connected, Arlyn Zones would say. As would any ecologist, as would anyone who has anything to do with the practice of observing life.

Where I am now, and how I arrived here.

This evening, I took part in a functional integration session carried out on my self by Zoran Kovic. He asked a question - I don't remember the words exactly. But my answer was something like, I want to feel like I can be OK with wherever I am.

It was in response to environment, to feeling constantly like there are demands on me, time constraints on me, emotional needs to be met just to keep the peace, a feeling of being pulled in many directions. How to cater for all of those demands. How to be in so many places at once. It is a feeling of panic, chaos, not feeling the ground, not getting a sense of where I am, not being OK with where I am.

Part of that environment is negative thinking. Habitual negative thinking. Thinking so negative, it doesn't even know it's negative. I encountered it when I arrived home to my parents' place tonight: compulsive judgement, compulsive criticism, compulsive inability to accept, compulsive subjectivity. I noticed it. I noticed I didn't want it. And this, I realise, is a really major boundary for me.

This FI came after two and a half weeks with Arlyn Zones, a person who has embodied much knowledge and experience, who observes the world with great capacity, who I must remember is human. However, in her presence I felt held, and her leaving left me feeling like the carpet had been pulled out from beneath me.

Anyway, during her time here, she took us through a series of lessons all about releasing the voice, through the base of support, the spine, the way the head rests on the spine, the ribs, the tongue, the jaw. There was a battle going on around my sternum. Let that voice out! No, keep it in! Plus, during her time here, she started to create a major shift in that line along my front left side, from the ground to my pelvis, a line that has become more significant to me in recent months. I told her my left hip is where my doubt resides. It's the place that sparked up, began to spasm, last time I lay on an operating table, just prior to being anaesthetised.

In the FI, I started to feel how that place is also connected to the muscles in the neck, the left side of the neck. Following the demo in which Arlyn created that shift, I felt a new sensation of empowerment running from the inner arch of my left foot up my leg to just left of my vagina. A personal, private and powerful episode of phenomenology.

The factors I listed before my FI with Zoran were many - being in other people's spaces, sleeping in a different bed every month (or every week lately), breaking apart from my lover, riding his inevitable ups and downs, an emotionally demanding mother, work - switching between the intellectual of the work and the sensorial of the training - beating myself up, trying to give work 150%, feeling inadequate. It was all environmental. I told him I'd left the training when my system felt overcooked, and took my self out to a creek and swam. He said, you felt buoyant.

He proceeded to lay me on a blanket and move me ever so slowly, ever so minutely, in waves, to create the slowest moving environment for me that he could. Through the FI I was disturbed to hear a fellow student talking with another member of staff about her pain, very close to us. It disturbed me because I had been looking after that student (happily - looking after others is easy!) just prior to the FI, and I felt like I'd somehow given and then been slapped with a less than ideal FI, distracted by talking and whispers about other people's problems.

But my chest gradually melted. My sternum gradually dropped. The autonomic nervous system, Zoran explained, was settling down.

He gave me some tips. We found that place in my left hip as he was trying to plant my feet on the ground. He suggested ATMs about flexors, bringing the upper torso to the thigh / knee either diagonally, or laterally (I think we did an ATM like this with Arlyn) and doing such an ATM on a mattress so that there is give, and my mid back can work out how to move backward to allow the flexion.

He brought attention to a downward accent in my walk, and encouraged an upward accent, to allow freedom in my head and neck.

There has been so much I've taken in and experienced recently. There was a comment the other night - a trigger - to my sister. You haven't cooked us dinner? But you've only had all day. Yes, all day to raise five children and catch up on all the stuff she can't do when working 5 days a week, which she otherwise would be. The expectations placed upon us are not human. They are not superhuman. They are just idiotic, as Moshe would say. And that's not to say the people who have these expectations are idiots. It's to say that the society in which they (we) live is idiotic.