WILLETT WORDS OF WISDOM
THE BODY REACTS TO LIFE:
Tuning into fascia as a sensory and emotional organ
Having an extensive background in both counseling/life coaching and teaching movement is very exciting for me. I feel like I have been able to get good practice and study in understanding how the body and the spirit are so beautifully intertwined. I remember getting frustrated as a young person, wanting so much to help people with their minds, help them through their thoughts. Yet, I was naïve in that I didn’t fully see how thoughts come and go; and, are often something we create. The beauty has been in discovering that the body never lies. It is the vessel that houses the spirit and gives us information all the time. It is the body that keeps us alive. We rarely notice it and often we take it for granted; until of course, it screams at us in some way.
Dr. Christiane Northrup, MD, a New York Times best-selling author and advocate for women’s health has been on my radar. Though it wasn’t until I took an online course of hers that I actually tuned in fully to her and realize how much of what she does and says resonates with the work I do. I am very grateful for her and for connecting with her course that gives me affirmation in the work I do. In this course, she talked about four pieces of physical health influenced by the work of Mario Martinez and how our culture and beliefs can shape our health.
1. Elevated cognition – the practice of positive thoughts, not letting fear drive the ship, not beating ourselves up with our thoughts, which may or may not be true, and understanding that our thoughts are energy and can manifest in the body
2. Exalted emotions – being able to seek and to embrace joy and delight (despite the fact that many of us are taught at an early age that we can experience only so much pleasure, that there is a threshold)
3. Righteous anger – the practice of expressing anger, and that it is okay, that it signals something that is wanting to come forth, some sort of truth (I remember my dad telling me it was okay to feel angry when we think we’ve been wronged, though he cautioned to not hold on to anger or it would make me mean or unhappy – I interpreted that to mean that I needed to own it, express it and then let it pass through me)
4. Expressed emotions – to allow oneself to feel all emotions and to express them, to realize that they are messengers from the body - that if we repress them or deny ourselves from experiencing them, dis-ease can manifest
Understanding these four elements helps us tune in to our body and spirit connections. Through my years of counseling and teaching movement, I know that when there is disconnect in the body, there is disconnect in the spirit. When there is disconnect in the spirit, there is disconnect in the body. The more we connect to who we are and why we are here, the more we are able to edit the “story” and move forward aligned with our soul and our purpose.
As I noted in one of my previous articles, fascia is a huge, all-encompassing sensory and emotional organ. It is highly innervated with sensory receptors that assist in how we move through space, let us know when we need to eat or poop, and detect when there is threat to our body or spirit. Fascia holds the story. It is the system that touches all other systems. I like to say it is having a love affair with the nervous system as well as all the other systems. Together they are writing a story waiting for someone to read. As I have learned as a writer how I am always looking to best edit the story I am sharing on paper, I too know that I want to edit my own life story. In other words, I want to move any wounds – emotional or physical – out of my body, ones that may be new or may go way back through my ancestry. I want my soul to heal and grow and learn in this lifetime. That is what I do as personal practice. That is what I do in my work – facilitate others to edit the story their bodies hold in order to manifest their highest and best selves – whether it be as an athlete or a parent or an accomplished worker or any combination of possibilities.
Furthermore, I believe it is in the quiet moments of being alone and dialing down that we are able to notice what is being called forth. Examples of quiet moments can be sitting alone on a porch with no distractions, sipping tea or coffee first thing in the morning and quietly tuning in; or, lying on one’s back with legs over an ottoman to relax the psoas and release the body. This past month, I had a fun contest for my clients. For each time they dialed down during the week, they put their names in a bowl for a drawing for three prizes. The drawing is complete. Congratulation go to Alicia, Jerrie, Amanda, and Sharon!
Having a contest and prizes was fun for me and for my clients. Most refreshing was having them realize the beauty and power of dialing down, simply being in the moment and present to the body and the spirit as one requisite for health.
©AnneLloydWillett April 2019