People are caught in dysfunctional patterns. These dysfunctional patterns don't somehow exist "in the mind" without a physiological counterpart; they consist of both psychological and physiological perspectives of the same thing: adaptive memory -- memory formed as a response to experience, as pain or pleasure, physiological and psychological.
We feel that those dysfunctional patterns are "bigger than we." We're in their grip.
How do we get equal to them?
by matching them, duplicating them, replicating them, causing them, recognizing them
In practice, somatic education exercises produce feel-able effects by the end of the first practice session. "Feel-able effects" means that you feel yourself move differently, your balance is different, places that were tight are now looser. Your limbs may feel longer, or your whole side longer. Pain may have decreased. That's what "feel-able effects" means. That's for one practice session.
However, "practice" means practice.
The feel-able effects of any given somatic education exercise are likely to vary from session to session, as well as having similarities from session to session.
That's to be expected. It's supposed to happen. It's the nature of change.
What is also to be expected is that the effects accumulate.
What's accumulating is your memory of these movements and what they feel like.
You're getting familiar with them.
And the more familiar you are with the movement pattern, the more accessible it is to you, the less you need the old, dysfunctional pattern, and you switch over.
That's the process called, in behavioral psychology, "extinction" of an old habit -- the movement memory habits of dysfunction naturally get superceded by mastering yourself in those areas -- where "mastering yourself" means "doing as you intend to do and not doing as you don't intend to do" (to oversimplify, a bit).
In these terms, it means getting free of the pain of unwittingly self-inflicted muscular tension habits, recovering your mobility, feeling and moving more like yourself as you prefer, able to dissipate pain and stress at will, overcoming the effects of time and experience to freshen yourself, so that you continue to grow and develop abilities that make you more than you were, before, not less, as you age.
if you're effective in your own somatic education
You are likely to experience the accumulating effects of these exercises as an ebb and flow, going in and out like the tides, having some better days and some worse days. As you progress, the better days come more often and you feel better, and when you feel worse, you don't feel as bad as before. Symptoms are likely to shift, you may feel places where you didn't know you have places, you may get "muscle sore" for a day or so, from time to time. Old issues you thought were gone may resurface to be dealt with more thoroughly, now.
It's a process dealing with your actual condition, not only with the most prominent symptoms of your condition, but with all of it. It's for people who, when they do something, they mean it. It's for people who intend results, not excuses. It's for people who are intrigued by the possibility of awakening more of themselves, of being more competent in more areas, particularly with having command of "number 1" -- themselves.
The meaning of the word, "education"
is "to draw out or draw forth"
It means taking the seeds of possibility present in a person and, one by one, bringing them to life. In this case, what is being brought to life is the person's capacity to put attention on something and keep it there - and - the person's capacity to exercise their intention until they get the intended result. It's backbone.
Backbone isn't machismo. It isn't "no pain, no gain". It isn't "suck it up". It isn't boisterousness and it isn't readiness for confrontation. Backbone is support and balance, suppleness and strength.
And that comes from competence, some basic forms of which emerge in somatic education.
Emerging from our dysfunctional patterns is like the emerging of the sun from behind clouds.
Take the changes in stride. Notice the larger trend. You emerge.
© 2014 Lawrence Gold
some rights reserved