What do we truly desire in life?
When I began this work 20 years ago, I had not yet arrived at that question. During that time, my focus was helping people create a different relationship with their bodies. I knew that this mysterious thing called Rolfing® Structural Integration could help clients get out of pain and feel better physically. But of greater interest to me was the possibility that this transformational bodywork modality could deeply impact how people created and lived their lives. I had little first-hand experience in the realm of personal evolution, so it was more of a hunch and a curiosity than anything concrete.
Over the years, I saw that physical bodywork alone, whether Rolfing®, Chiropractic, or some other modality, did not always open my clients to the life changes I suspected they really desired. Some shifted out of long-held patterns of emotional reactivity and mundane mental murkiness, experiencing changes in their lives and relationships with no other cognitive or behavioral interventions. But others continued their old habitual patterns of living, despite their self-reporting of “having a completely new body” or “feeling so much better.”
Through these experiences, I came to realize that bodywork on its own, while monumentally important and effective for physical change, was only part of the process for many clients to shift more global patterns in their lives.
Fast forward to present-day. Our world is in flux. Accelerated change, unpredictable systemic breakdowns, and disasters of all sorts are the daily norm. Our overly busy and stressful lives seem to be a permanent reality. Unlike 20 years ago, when “working on” ourselves was an optional “add-on” to boost self-awareness and performance, personal development is now mandatory training to navigate an increasingly complex future. What once seemed like self-improvement projects for those with traumatic histories or extreme emotional challenges is now required exploration for anyone desiring to live their lives from a place of empowerment and effectiveness amidst the chaos.
We are all being invited to get clear on who we are as this new world takes shape.
Addressing our bodies through hands-on bodywork assists the process of greater awareness, change, and growth. It releases physical patterns from the past in multiple ways – most notably bio-mechanically, neurologically, and energetically. As a result, we move differently. We perceive our bodies differently. And we experience a new, more easeful internal state, opening us to experiencing our lives differently.
These changes of movement and perception can assist us in waking up out of old emotional patterns, erroneous mental assumptions, and destructive behaviors into more conscious choice. Because the brain is receiving new, different signals from a body that now holds less tension, that is more energized and alive, that is easefully supported and lifted in gravity, and whose joints move through more complete range of motion, it awakens out of its habits, ready to learn again.
Learning is furthered through a process of inquiry, witnessing, and partnering, establishing new neural connections to drive internal change. These global shifts of awareness can involve processes described through metaphors, like “unpacking the mental boxes” that weigh us down, “seeing what we’re bringing forward from the past” that’s interfering with our lives, and consciously experiencing the “lens” through which we see ourselves and the world around us. Getting in touch with the underlying structures shaping our experience is imperative to having greater clarity and responding to life in ways that are most effective and reflective of our highest values.
Getting more clear, honest, and intimate with our internal landscapes brings the change forward as we awaken from unconsciously living through old patterns into creating our lives through choice.
Simply stated, greater results in life occur through changes in behavior. These changes are reverberations of a deeper shift in perspective. New perspectives form the foundation of a new way of experiencing ourselves, our lives, and the world we live in. Lasting results require incremental changes in behavior over time – a process contingent upon deeper understanding of ourselves, our motivations, and our values.
Through this process, we see differently, we feel differently, we experience differently, and we choose differently. As we make choices every day, we consciously shape our lives into greater alignment with who we are, what’s most important to us, and what we truly desire to create. The more we live this way, the simpler the process becomes. The simpler the process, the less stressful our lives become. The less stressful our lives become, the more truly confident, fulfilled, and happy we are. Living from this place allows for better choices, and thus, the cycle continues.
The world is changing. We are changing. The question is, who are we becoming in this change and what are we creating?