Sunday, July 15, 2007

the power of glacial movement

As the braces continue to change the structure of my face and eventually the structure of my body, I find myself waking up each day to what feels like a different world as the body is constantly shifting, then shifting again.

I have experienced these kinds of changes in my body before, but nothing at this speed, continuity, and amount. I sit in Kali class this morning and the concepts brought up today, explain alot about the levels of pain I've been experiencing.

There is the wire that pulls on the teeth that pulls on the muscles. The first reaction of the body is to pull back, creating a tension that cascades throughout the body, a conflict in the body that my body doesn't want to change.

After a day or so, the body relents and then adjusts, but now the mind has not caught up with where the body is. There are new sensations, sensitivities. The mind now creates a tension by resisting the new sensations, the new way the body moves. Another conflict, a point of confusion.

In the meantime, all the adjustments makes me fatigued with the mind and body seemingly always on, always sensing. Sometimes the new motions make me afraid that I might pull something again as the movement doesn't flow as smoothly. The body and mind innately are afraid of change. Evolutionarily speaking, we like status quo if it means our basic needs are met.

Each day there are muscles and part of my body I wasn't aware of. Sections that connect in ways I didn't realize.

To deal with the fear, with the conflict, I find myself constantly reminding myself to relax, to not allow the fear to create more tension, more pain, but to try to accept more and more the changes that are happening. And at the same time to try to expand my capacity to take on the new experiences, so they don't feel as earth shattering, so I learn not to fight.

In the interview at KPFA, they asked me why I would train in something that seems so violent. And I would say now, is in learning how to fight, one also learns when not to fight and learning not to fight is a much much harder lesson due to the stubborness of the body and mind. My body feels pain because there is a conflict with what I know and what really is. To reliave this pain, I have to remove the conflict, find ways to adjust the body and the mind to take away the conflict. I have to change.

I don't think my orthodontist warned me that this would happen, but when I decided to get the braces I kind of knew it would. And I jumped in knowing that there would be big changes I needed to make. As I told one of my students, it'a a good bad thing.

Today there was a technique in which to do well you can't muscle through it. I found that because of the weakness in my back and shoulders I wasn't going to muscle it anyway and it allowed me to adjust more readily. Though I was still afraid to move faster. I believe it's just a matter of time before the body regains its strength in these new ways.

And I have to be careful of being too careful. I can't let my mind believe that there is pain when there is none simply because while I'm "injured" there is pain, that as I get stronger, the pain does not remain. I'm not sure if that made any sense. But it's like experiencing putting your hand on a hot burner. At first, the skin while injured is quite sensitive to touch. And the mind and body program if I touch the burner, there will be pain. And now my body reacts to even a cold burner with a perceived pain. This is what I have to be careful to avoid.

I could feel this today even standing still. There was no pain in the body, but my mind was fatigued from being in this new position, and so I felt pain. So I had to stop and try to move the mind away from the pain, to reduce my reaction.

This is the glacial movement of the body. Adjust, change, conflict, resolution. Different stages in different parts of my body.

The great irony of course is that I asked for this. I wanted these lessons because I told the universe I wanted to go somewhere and to go there, I needed to change. And well, the universe answered.

The other day at a party I saw many of my sister's friends, many of whom hadn't seen me in a long while. And of course they asked, "What have you been up to?' And I could have said a myriad of things, but in my mind I kept thinking, well, lately, I'm just standing still. And if I was younger I would think that answer would frustrate me because I would have thought that standing still was the death sentence. But there are many many things to learn from the things we cannot see moving because there is a motion to all things living whether we can percieve them or not. A 50+ year marriage. A baby sleeping. The glacier carving the mountain. The still lake. A cloudless sky. A tree.

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