Monday, July 03, 2006

Soften & Receive

I've had a shoulder injury for over two years now... and it's beginning to heal at last. In the last 5 weeks or so, my amazing friend Lorie has been treating it with massage & craniosacral work. With her skillful assistance, my shoulder has been freed from its self-made bondage with astonishing speed... which has been a fascinating process to watch.

The original injury had healed, but what it left in its wake was a muscular armor around it. The muscles hardened and unified together as an act of protection... and didn't get the message to relax after the injury had begun to heal.

Of course it's a mirror of the process that we all make emotionally, when we continue to guard ourselves long after a threat has passed or dissipated. Long after an initial emotional injury, our psyches hold on and continue to amass armor and weaponry.

After my first appointment to get the shoulder worked on, Lorie and I were discussing that the injury was on my left side - the feminine, receptive side. Later that day, I witnessed some people engaged in a heated argument... and I felt the new freedom in my shoulder constrict and flinch. Amazing! I hadn't ever perceived such a direct relationship. I realized that I had been girding my shoulder from emotional injury as well as from physical injury. I'm sure this is going on all the time, all throughout my body, but with the fresh sensitivity of my shoulder, I was able to actively perceive it.

So I have proposed to myself an endeavor to "soften and receive." Keep the muscles soft. Keep the sponge moist. ... And to be sensitive to how my emotional flinches leave physical memories in the body.

Yesterday in class we did Vrsikasana (Scorpion Pose) and I watched a few of my friends do it with such grace and strength. The pose requires such faith and such a deep relaxed contraction in the back... Watching those backs bend, I thought again "soften and receive." Allow the back to relax in on itself.

And I also got to thinking about how and when we are able receive. Obviously, a vase that's full of water can't accept any more, at least not without spilling out some of the old water. So, I guess you've got to be willing to get rid of something old in order to receive something new.


Blogger Urban Vegan said...

good food for thought.

1:20 PM  

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