What do we truly desire in life?
When I began this work 20 years ago, I didn’t specifically ask that question. My interest back then was in working with people to 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. At that time, 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. Indeed, some would shift out of long-held patterns of emotional reactivity and mundane mental murkiness, experiencing changes in their lives seemingly out of nowhere, with no other interventions. But others seemed to revert to 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 bigger patterns in their lives.
Fast forward to present-day. The world is in flux. Accelerated change, unpredictable systemic breakdowns, and disasters of all sorts are the daily norm. Our current overly busy and stressful lives seem to be here to stay. Unlike 20 years ago, “ working on” ourselves to stay ahead of the curve and be our best selves is no longer optional, but rather, mandatory as we move into an increasingly complex and unpredictable future. What once seemed like self-improvement reserved for those with traumatic pasts 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.
Hands-on bodywork can release physical patterns from the past in multiple ways, most notably biomechanically, neurologically, and energetically. As a result, we may move differently. We may perceive our bodies differently. And we may experience a new, more easeful internal state, opening us to experiencing our lives differently. These changes of movement and perception can wake us up out of old emotional patterns, erroneous mental assumptions, and into more conscious choices.
For some, however, the hands-on work is only one part of what’s required for these bigger changes to take effect. Oftentimes, we must also update our minds to allow for the same kind of clarity, organization, and integration to land internally as well as externally.
These internal shifts can involve processes best 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.
Through the experience of being more present in the moment and seeing ourselves and our lives more clearly, our perspective changes. Our sense of who we are changes. We eventually experience ourselves with more agency in the world, our actions in greater alignment with our truth. The old hooks from the past no longer have their power as we gain momentum from this enhanced perception.
Simply stated, if we are looking for a different result or a change of behavior, we require a change in perspective. This change in perspective forms the foundation of a new way of seeing, a new way of considering the world, ourselves, and everything in between.
We see differently, we feel differently, we experience differently, and we choose differently. And 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?