Saturday, 1 February 2014
On 14:47 by Victoria Stanham No comments
What is the first question that strikes you when change happens?
When some distressing change occurs in my life my first reaction is to look up to the heavens, shake my fist and scream, “WHY?”
Three possible answers: the world is at fault, I am at fault, or guilt is shared between the world and me. I can work on the “me” part.
The next question that crops up is: “WHAT FOR?” A change in perspective, a veering from the past into the future. I can now choose a conscious direction for the change that was occurring.
But still it isn’t enough. I now have the direction but no means of following it. I am stuck in my old habits and once the turmoil of change (that paradoxically wonderful moment when true change is possible because all our old reference points are up-ended for a while) is over, I will revert to all my old patterns, unconsciously and consciously searching for my old footholds that will reinstate my old routines.
“HOW?” That becomes my new battle cry. How is the key to everything, how is the key to power.
Take your computer for example.
You can have a fairly good idea of why it was invented; and you know what you use it for. But, should it break down, do you know how to fix it so it can continue to fulfill its why and what for?
I know precious little about the how’s of most things I own. I trust that if something goes wrong with them I’ll have a trusty expert to send the malfunctioning bit to, and he or she will fix it for me. Or it is sometimes easier to chuck the malfunctioning apparatus and get a new one.
But your bodies (mental, physical, emotional) can’t be replaced. They were originally designed for self-maintenance and a long shelf-life, if treated according to design. Even when you don’t treat them according to design, they still get you through each and every day as best they can, until you finally run them down and they call it quits.
In other words, it’s paramount that you get a little insight into how your body works, how it was designed and hence where you might be pushing it a bit too far beyond its inbuilt self-regulatory functions. It is also paramount that you become more sensitive to the signals your body sends you so that you know how to aid that self-regulation instead of hampering it.
Your body is a vast and multifold universe, impossible to grasp in its totality by any one person. So, what little area of that universe can you focus on that will be most beneficial to the overall?
Two intertwined areas (that are really only one) are most important when it comes to helping yourself: posture and propioception.
If your posture follows your structural design, then everything that is held within the body will be occupying its correct space and functioning at greater ease, than if it is stretched or compressed out of shape.
For example think of your house. If its structure is a little askew, with tilting walls, caved in roofs and uneven floors, your furniture and appliances would have a very difficult time fitting in, staying put and hence working correctly. You’d need to tie-up or super-glue your fridge to the wall so that it doesn’t slide away into the living room.
So how do you change your posture?
You need to work on fine-tuning your propioception. The more youcan tell where the different bits of you are in space and in relation to each other, the more you can arrange them where you want them to go. If you cannot ‘feel’ that you are out-of-shape, if the signals of strain, tightness and tension don’t register in your consciousness (alas! The out-of-shapeness even feels ok! It doesn’t register at all as wrong!), you will be hard-pressed to do anything about the havoc those tensions are creating in your body and life. You might see the effects (high stress levels, anxiety, depression, your poor posture in the mirror or photographs, etc.) but you’ll be unable to change them.
Change requires awareness of what needs to be changed.
Do you want to change your posture?
If the answer is yes, let me give you a series of pointers on what change requires:
1. Awareness of what needs to be changed.
2. Knowledge about how that thing works (this might give you a clue as to why you haven’t been able to fix it yet).
3. Insight into the key feature upon which change hinges.
4. References outside of yourself to gauge your process (mirrors!).
5. A teacher and a practice group (they provide knowledge, outside reference, motivation, and a sense of belonging).
6. A detailed and thought out plan as to how to deal with specific obstacles so that you’re prepared when the gremlins of temptation whisper in your ear.
7. A willingness to experiment, make mistakes and learn (ditch perfectionism! You don’t even know what “perfect” looks or feels like anyway).
8. A deep desire to change (this means you are aware of the insidious effects of the thing-to-be-changed in your life… not your mom, your spouse or your doctor)
9. The ability to remember (this needs working on for all of us, I assure you! It is necessary in more ways than one).
Do you still want to change your posture?
If the answer is still yes, and you’ll be in Montevideo (Uruguay) in February then I’ve got an invitation for you.
I’ll be doing a series of workshops on Posture for very small groups (just you and one or two of your friends).
If you’re interested, put your name and email address in the sign up box at the top-right corner of this blog. I’ll be sending you all the relevant info next week to your mailbox.
"Confusion Meter" by Stuart Miles /freedigitalphotos.net
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