One of the most interesting observations as a teacher of Cranial Sacral therapy and Rolfing/ Structural Integration, is how people react to the knowledge they gain from a course and the expectations and frustrations that often accompany our educational systems. You have heard my mild rant about the “jack of all trade” syndrome before, so I will spare you. I was certainly guilty of that syndrome as well. At least until I knew exactly what I was most attracted to as a bodyworker, beyond my original training at the Rolf Institute. I honestly understand the frustration caused by how most of us were educated. A+B=C. Next!
The study of bodywork and especially cranial sacral therapy requires a very different mindset from how most of us were taught to learn. The best analogy and the one that I share with my students from the onset, is how long it takes to learn a musical instrument. It’s really a lifetime, and if you accept that, then you can relax and put one foot after another as you become more gifted at what you do.
BUT, there are ways to accelerate the learning of the work, and change the quality of your path as a human. One might say by becoming in touch with who we really are, we enhance our abilities as a craniosacral therapist, Rolfer, massage therapist, or should I say human.
Intuition is a gift that can be developed. It deepens our abilities as a therapist, but few take the time out of their busy days to practice what is necessary. SHAME on you! Moshe Feldenkrais said just by lying on the floor the feedback that you receive form the ground is priceless in gaining clarity to where the body is holding too much tension. And I would add very valuable as well to discharge the nervous system from its overload that it receives daily. This unloading allows us to be more open to stimulus from the world we are living in.
I think it is fairly obvious to us, that many of the great wisdom schools point us inward and not outward. Its like we are going about our lives in the opposite direction necessary to really understand our work and how to enhance our abilities. We pay little attention to the stillness of the inner world. It’s just too difficult to explore inwards when there is so much outward distraction, so we default to the egotistical outward journey of what is obvious. Not that those experiences are bad, I am just pointing you in a different direction to attain a more profound skill set as a bodyworker. Because the inner game is often not quantifiable, we are more comfortable in the outside game. You know, something that can be labeled in a fashion or placed in a box, or categorized. Cranial sacral therapy work is somewhat of a paradox because we require the knowledge gained from the external visual world, but the fireworks happen when we cultivate the inner world.
The approach that I am now going to share is based on feedback and questions from many students and my observations as a teacher. What are the big stumbling blocks, and how do we navigate around them? We just need to start looking at ourselves a little more closely in a detached but formidable way. We need to begin to move away from linear and logical thinking and to shed the light on ourselves from more of a somatic fashion. Because really what we are doing as bodyworkers is more somatic by nature, so why not cultivate that sense? Let’s get visceral. Anyone who has experienced the magical realm of cranial work, or any bodywork for that matter, where one does very little but healing occurs, will agree with me that there is something more at work here than meets the left brain approach. If we can just set aside the analytical brain for a few minutes a day and plunge into the deep pool and discover who we are at the depths of true selves, maybe we begin to uncover why Jesus said, “the kingdom of god lies within you.”
Stillness is our guiding light to become conduits for healing. Its less about doing and more about listening. That ability is developed first by listening to our own body and revisiting it in a much more lucid fashion from the concept of the practitioner fulcrum, a concept I will cover in the next post!