Internal and External Softness

Rainy Days Inspire

A rainy day can inspire softness within and therefore without, look at my horses’ happily grazing in the warm rain. What do you notice? Perhaps, how close and connected they are to each other, or how they have structure and form with a palpable soft, bonded interconnectedness all at the same time.

So what has that just awoken within your body? Are you aware of your structure and how you can be connected inside and outside and be soft at the same time?

Nature has this powerful potential to keep refreshing our sense of our bodies/minds, that if we just let go and become present and respond to nature we can soften inside.

Listen to the raindrops in this tree, accompanied by the beautiful bird song, it’s just one minute long. Then notice what you notice within yourself.. enjoy!

Tender Awakening

Echo’s Gift

A while ago, I had one of those experiences that we all have occasionally, that once it is over makes you go gosh, that was powerful. I felt it was very significant even though at the time I didn’t understand why.  These all-consuming intense experiences have shared characteristics, primarily they require one’s full attention and therefore you spend a considerable amount of time during it, being present. It requires that you go with the flow of what’s unfolding and stepping out of the hum-drum of everyday life.

Space of Awareness

I spent two weeks over the Christmas and new year period of 2015 in this space. I had never experienced anything so intense moment by moment, for that length of time. A space of awareness where being is primary, and honouring the small things in these moments, surrendering to what is unfolding and responding only in the now. Being in this way uncovers aspects and depths of one’s personality rarely experienced. So, I came out of it not knowing why, or how I should change consequently. I just knew it was a blessing of unquantifiable proportion and that it was very important to me! Over the following weeks, I slowly came back to reality. I kept pondering upon the relevance or its message to me, but nothing came.

In the following 6 months, my BodyMind Awareness work grew and the people who came my way were all were all special souls, every one of them touched me no matter how long we worked together.

Blocked

In July, I had agreed to a commitment, which I was looking forwards to and I thought it would benefit me greatly. Surprisingly only on a superficial level and the rest of its effects were to block my path and flow and especially within my work, that had been so fluid prior. Now I knew I was blocked but I didn’t know why or by what. To compound it, I had a further commitment in October, the second part in fact and I honoured it as I thought it would help. You guessed it, it made things worse, more intense. I started to have glimpses as to its root but doubted my intuition.

Messenger

Thankfully I met a visitor, (a messenger) to the process who could see clearly what was happening. I felt a connection with this person and discussed my feelings in a conversation and thankfully they shared their insights with me. Wow it was obvious, my clarity returned and my intuition was correct. I also shared my intensely present two-week experiences and the details and again this person saw it from a higher level and feedback their observations, now this was a revelation to me and it awakened within a knowing and understanding which turned into a deep and lasting insight.

So, in November galvanised with these new insights and in resolute determination, assisted by the messenger I addressed the block, and synchronicity conjoined to support me with this work. I knew it was fundamental for my evolution.

Tenderly Awoken

My constant shadow was with me all the way, little darling Echo, and of course, she had been with me throughout the primary experience.  During this altering work, it became clear that she was transforming too. Echo’s light started to diminish and she withdrew over a 10 day period.  I felt this could be her time so she became my priority and I stepped into another episode of intense presence with her.  This time I consciously decided to be present to surrender to uncertainty to her process and follow her, to soak up my darling angel’s essence, all in preparation for an easy transition for us both. The profoundness of the situation opened me up to complete acceptance, I felt an even deeper peaceful silent connection to her, a well of tenderness, fearlessness and that we were both conscious of what was happening and what was needed, I told her she could let go now, her work was done and gratefully received.

She required a little assistance to pass over and the last 24 hours prior to her death was full of so much shared love and tenderness, that I feel I was taught how to let go of her physicality and connect to her spirit. She had a peaceful death at home and the horses said goodbye to her, I took my time and she is buried at home. Her spirit is free and she has just transitioned from form back to formless and she is with me and everywhere.

So here I am again in this space, having been awakened, I have been given an incredible gift. The timing and significance are apparent to me now and I surrender to what unfolds.  Echo’s preparation of me and her transition to her true home have allowed me to receive a deeper understanding of what we truly are and what our true purpose is. It’s that we are consciousness living in a human, a dog, a bird, a tree and that the human’s role, my role is to become present in the now and then I can truly be who I was created to be. Echo has taught me so many things and her last gift of who we truly are was her most magnificent, and I miss her little white body being here BUT I feel so strongly she hasn’t left me at all. Because she has tenderly awoken in me a profound level of conscious awareness in my awakening process.

Photo,s taken by Lizzie Feltham

Whole Body

 

Habits

What we do every day is dependent upon our habits…

Most people feel that they are fully conscious of how they do what they do and are in total control, whereas in fact, it is the subconscious that is in-charge of around 90% of what we do.  We all have had experiences of doing an old habit that’s no longer relevant, a bit like we are on autopilot.  We have a lot of good habit’s it’s just the pesky ones, the tendencies or patterns we want to address and clear them, usually the ones in our blind spots.

We get used to doing things in a certain way, like standing,walking and it sticks and then this feels natural and normal, but are we doing what we interrupt as right? We all learn mostly by copying others and repetition and not much attention is paid to the how.

Understanding True Whole Self

That’s when the Alexander Technique (AT) tools can help us, help us to evaluate what you or I think we are doing.  Firstly, it is a way to allow you to engage with this “feeling right”, and then a way to build an understanding of truly what your body is doing in each present moment. A way to evaluate, calibrate and release what was happening, so that the innate wholeness can happen instead. An AT person helps you recognize an unhelpful habit perhaps in standing and where freedom is blocked, and they give you the tools to solve this blind spot gently and consciously, over time.

Whole vs Parts

Perhaps you want to achieve a goal with a certain movement in your field, a hobby, sport, or job. AT is all about doing what you want to do in activity but not at the cost to the body/mind, not taking from and damaging another part that is compensating for the over-doing part. The goal is achieved but then eventually there is pain somewhere, so movement happens but it is borrowed from somewhere else and this is not sustainable. You can’t section parts off, even so, that the damage is only in one place, there will be ramifications elsewhere in the body.

We were all taught to think and feel in parts about ourselves, but we are now learning that this belief system is not how the body/mind works and it goes against the true nature of self, from how we are made to how we function.

Injuries are always good at telling about our part mentality that we are all feed, we say things like my back hurts and if you listen closely it sounds like the back is over there in a different place, it’s not part of the whole and to top it all, it’s causing a problem over there.  This is unhelpful because the back is just a part of the whole, there is no separation. In fact, what’s been going on in the whole is showing up in the back. It’s what been going on in the whole that needs to be addressed. AT addresses the whole always and the pure fundamentals of how we are made and how we work. So to rectify this, if “my back hurts” and I get out of the back (as a problem) and go into the whole, so think and feel the whole body, then I reconnect with my innate nature of wholeness, and that focus is more likely to facilitate healing, by removing tension that’s all around and is trying hard to compensate for the back that is hurting. In this process, I can discover what was the root cause of the issue that happened to show up in the back.

The body/mind always wants to be whole. When I changed my focus to the whole it made a huge difference to me, after my accident. So now I always think whole body if I get a niggle or in activities I remind myself whole body.

Home Play

I suggest, rather than keeping the issue body part always in your attention, and hence guarding, anticipating, and keeping tension around it. Although it’s very natural to protective but that turns into limiting and keeping the memory of the issue alive. Instead of micromanaging and keeping the area frozen you can liberate it to rejoin the harmonizing whole body. Feel your feet, your legs, arms, back and head as best you can in that moment.

We all have a brilliant natural alerting system within us, tension arrives or pain and that alerts us …. oh there is a problem here I need to, stop, slow down etc etc. We can let the area part be and go about our life.

Give it a go yourself, rather than searching for Pain that you are experiencing…. go about your life and if pain arises in your awareness… ask yourself …. Why is this happening now?

What was I just thinking, feeling or doing?

Then pause and rethink whole body and get out of the way of the part, that could be being hampered and allow the whole to make it easier, explore for yourself !

BioTensegrity

What’s the Story and Why is it Important?

( if you haven’t already please read my blog on fascia)

If you are on this website I can presume that you are searching for something! I believe that knowledge is a helpful precursor to experiencing, hence I feel it is beneficial that those that I work with have some very empowering information about the way they are made, I know that it has made a big difference to me. So below is some information about BioTensegrity, I hope that you find it helpful! (Go to the end for some images to experiment within yourself.)

Physical Intelligence

We are moving more rapidly into the technological age which is great in many ways but in others not so good, for example, we are becoming far less physically active and our whole body is not being fully engaged in our lives anymore. Our range of everyday movements is being slimmed down by all the energy saving gadgets that we have, we go to movement places (the gym) or classes to move and then go back to being very static. This is very detrimental to our mental-emotional and physical wellbeing.  We need to get back our physical intelligence which requires prioritising our physicality.

Most of us start this inquiry because of an injury, that is what woke me up, knowing about BioTensegrity enables a whole new level of understanding and potential to resolve these wake-up issues, and enhance our future wellbeing.

Balloon Body – Buoyancy

I believe that with wellbeing postures and movements all the forces of movement are balanced in such a way as to enable maximum safety and adaptability for your soft tissue and joints.

To improve your dynamic balance and alignment, therefore, requires the ability to tune into your body and sense how much effort is there and can you “do” less so that over time you naturally will “do” less. So rather than imagining yourself as a building block person perhaps use the image of a multiple balloon body with bones just the spacers that aid and maintain the shape and therefore a body, does this  image create a different feeling inside or sense of your whole self a natural inner buoyancy perhaps?

Trampoline

If you view you are constructed in a building block, levers and pulley type model that will give one type of experience of your “self”. In the BioTensegrity model,  however, I feel that it gives a much more freeing dynamic sense, with its tensile-compression, holding the upright form by creating a balance between elements that resist being compressed and those that resist being elongated. It is a far softer comfortable resilient, existence with far more potential to change and change with ease, with its rolling, flowing or tumbling like actions.  It’s like we are made of microscopic trampoline, clear, fluid like fibres.

Bones

BioTensegrity is the balance of the body determined by the tension in the soft tissues, in the whole-body fascial system . In other words, if you want to re-position the bones you need to address the soft tissue.  Even the bones are soft fibres – when seen under a microscope it is easier to understand, otherwise, how can the delicate bones of the heel, for example, take the compression from walking let alone jumping.

I call on expert John Starkey to explain furtherIMG_1910 (2)

“In the BioTensegrity model, the limbs are not a collection of rigid body segments. The upper and lower limbs are semi-rigid, non-linear, viscoelastic bony segments. These segments are interconnected by non-linear, viscoelastic connectors including cartilage, joint capsules, and ligaments, with an integrated non-linear, viscoelastic active motor system, the muscles, tendons and fascia (connective tissue). BioTensegrity counters the notion that the skeleton provides a frame for the soft tissues to hang upon. Instead, BioTensegrity structures are integrated pre-tensioned (self-tensioned) continuous myofascial networks with floating discontinuous compression struts (skeleton) contained within them. A column whose centre of gravity is constantly changing while its base is rapidly moving horizontally would require forces too great to consider. The forces become incalculable if the column is composed of several rigid bodies, hinged together by flexible, virtually frictionless joints.

A rigid column needs to be base heavy to support the incumbent load above. Internal shear forces are created by the weight of the structure, which in turn would be destabilizing. Energy would be required in large amounts to keep the structure intact. Humans are Omni-directional, as are all biological organisms, in order that the tension elements function at all times in tension regardless of the direction of applied force, while the compression elements in biological structures “float” in a tension network (Levin 1995)”.

Exploration with Movement and Imagination

I was lucky enough to attend the Biotensegrity Pre-conference Day in May, all of the speakers at this tremendous workshop wanted us to understand that BioTensegrity is a behaviour, tension and compression are always present and it takes a leap of faith to get onboard with this, so perhaps use your imagination with freeing images that can give freeing experiences, and knowing now that – what we are made of; rolls, flows, tumbles and morphs naturally so perhaps we can enhance that by consciously engaging it in activity.

Whole-Body Movement

When you consider this new system can you begin to see this different idea, that bones float in a sea of soft tissue? Your brain doesn’t organise a movement in terms of parts, it’s a response of the whole body when you move, so you have an intention to kick a ball and a system made up soft tissue with multiple little engines completes it, how wonderful is that!

Can you now see that bony manipulation will only stay put if you address the soft tissue? If you go back to sitting in their same chair in the same way, for long periods of time, what was done  won’t help. So we need to address changing habits. You can make changes yourself by putting in more movement in your day, stand more, walk more, the more transitions the better.

Imagine

So if we imagine perhaps folding layers of trampoline fabric,

the structure of an orange, sections upon sections inside just like the orange,

or water-filled balloons in a water-filled plastic tub,

or the soapy bubbles that you made as a child one after the other connected within folds of soapy fabric that is us in BioTensegrity everything inside all 7 trillion cells, that originated from one, aren’t we all amazing!

Go for a walk, cycle, swim, whatever movement you do where you can get “inside yourself” more, and for the time of that practice- whatever it may be- let go of ideas of yourself as a collection of parts, and see if you can think about yourself as 7 trillion cells that are together. Cells that are morphing, rolling, tumbling, flowing, you can explore if this little mental shift changes the experience of your “self”.

Another concept to explore go for a walk and think of yourself as a BioTensegrity system, with every step you take , your whole body will absorb some of the impacts, through tiny stretching and give of the tensile elements. Imagine all the joints ankles, knees, hips, pelvis, spine, shoulder girdle allowing a minute amount of give with every stride, like a trampoline body could.

Just simply think of yourself as an aligned string of balls (netballs, footballs)that ease their way through life, it is easy for them to realign and balance if they get out of support of the whole.

I hope you find this interesting and will it for yourself….Enjoy!

If you want to be amazed watch this short animation, it is incredible and shows how incredible ever cell is please click on the link below.

The inner Life of a Cell Animation by XVIVO and Harvard http://www.xvivo.net/animation/the-inner-life-of-the-cell/

It reminds me of the film The Matrix and a matrix is a great analogy for BioTensegrity

Cheeta slow motion for more inspiration on this topic , click

Picture of my tensegrity model taken by Lizzie Feltham

Body Movers in Fascia

 

Fascia what is it and what’s the story?

It is the connective tissue matrix of life!

Well traditionally in Western sciences the fascia was deemed just a wrapping, a bit like bubble wrap, and so it was cut away to expose the important functional parts, the cogs in the wheel of the structure and movement, hence we were seen as a movement machine. Muscles and bones were investigated to understand movement. The fascia was not relevant then, we are now thankfully expanding our awareness and knowledge to include what is in between everything, connecting everything (connective tissue). We now know fascia to be a matrix of connective tissue, which encases everything and therefore is part of everything and every movement.  it’s a misunderstanding to think of humans as moving parts, rather we are a self-assembled by the embryo , whole body movers.  Every movement is a whole expression of the self, we animate our own architecture.
Fascia has been found to be the largest sensory organ of the body, and so this is transforming our understand of structure, pain, and movement.

If you want to see what it looks like under a microscope please click below. Alternatively, I describe fascia as a looking like beautiful cobwebs with rain drops all over it, or tiny strands of tubule mirrors.  If one has an injury or has a habit of restricting movement somewhere within the body then it dehydrates and looks a bit like melted plastic.  But because it is connected to everything there is generally a way in to rehydrate this area again, how fantastic is that.

Please click on the link below to view amazing pictures of living fascia from Dr. Guimberteau’s website.

http://www.guimberteau-jc-md.com/en/

Why is it important to know about fascia ?

Well I feel that knowing even a little about fascia, is very liberating if you understand that the natural structure of you is made of this matrix of incredible dynamic material then if you have something you want to change or resolve , can you now see that it is far easier to do so if you consciously work with fascia!

Whole Body Movers

Fascia is the responsive , sensory material that is holding us together and it communicates in the whole. We are all movers in space expressing ourselves in our unique way. I think of if that I am expressing myself kinesthetically primarily  through this matrix of connective tissue that joins and communicates cell by cell, rather than part by part. You, everyone, and every living thing has a unique expression of the self, which can be seen, a movement signature.  That’s why when you are in a crowd you can tell a loved one by the way they move, you don’t have to search for their face only. Or you can tell a type of bird in the air by its flight pattern. I can tell my horses apart in the distance just by the way they walk. This to me is looking at movement through the fascia .

I apply my fascination and understanding of fascia when I am with someone who is investigating something within themselves that concerns or challenges them. I explain about this amazing material in the hope that they too will recognise its advantages in their change process.

Exploration

Perhaps when people watching take in their movement signatures, and explore how this informs you about them and importantly about yourself. have fun , enjoy!

Women’s Empowerment

Women’s Empowerment and the Alexander Technique

If you haven’t heard about the Alexander Technique (AT), you might think oh that sounds a bit harsh, please don’t be swayed by this, I agree by-the-way about the name!

It is anything but harsh, it is a gentle self-empowered exploration of your true essence. Investigating, at your own pace the space within you, the resources within that have been removed from you, by our patriarchal society. I would go so far as to say stolen from you. A woman who is centred and expanded within her body/mind, but especially in her body is deemed a threat, so this essence and power is systematically removed from each female.

My passion and work is to awaken this natural true female, so she can take up her own space and start to shine. To connect with her true self, her inner natural resource’s support system, that is both grounded and suspended at the same time. With simple but profound movements/experiences, we are awakened to an inner knowing, a silent-power rather than will-power.

Groups

Experiencing this within a group of women, we travel together, we realise our sharing and our profound uniqueness at the same time, we are like snowflakes no two the same. We connect on a level that we rarely experience in our modern lives. There can be a remembering of this true self before she was shaped to fit-in.  We explore/experience that we can take up space and not be a threat to others or most importantly to ourselves, as we feel a new sense that could be described as more rooted, connected, expanded. This body-knowing shifts us to an awakening of the original self that is most importantly one of true Self-Acceptance and is never lost, she waits silently and patiently within.

 

 

 

3 Benefits of Alexander Technique

3 Benefits of the Alexander Technique

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A short but hopefully encouraging blog on inner freedom and oneness!

1.Body and Mind in the same place.    

Your body affects how you feel, how you perceive people, and how people perceive you.

Posture is associated with the Alexander Technique, and it is a very loaded word. It can imply phony posturing, forced and correct positions. To some, good posture is sucking your stomach in, sticking your chest out, pulling your shoulders back, tucking your chin in; add the proverbial yanking your head up with a string. This so-called “good posture” feels horrible, is tiring and looks uptight— is unsustainable and is definitely nothing to do with the freedom and liberation one gets from exploring this knowledge.

You can find a natural inner poise that feels free and looks great. You’re upright, but never not uptight. You are in support, everything working as a whole mind and body crucially in the same place. Sensing; where you are and with the task in hand, a very practical way of being. It is very reassuring for the mind and body to be at the same place, you feel free and calm.

2. Pains can be a thing of the past.

With a new perspective of yourself and some common causes of pain, you’ll discover how to stop your own pain or discomfort, and prevent it from recurring.  I enable you to free yourself from pain, tension, and suffering. I know this sounds amazing but it’s true. I will hand you the tools to assist yourself to health and well-being for life.

3. Surprise, Benefits.

What is the mystery, surprise, unexpected benefit?  It’s a wildcard benefit is, because it all depends on you, it’s particular to you as an individual.

Do you run, cycle, or do martial arts?

Do you play the piano, tennis, dance or are you a keen gardener? Or none of the above, but have stiffness, and feel less active than before “feeling older”?

Would you like to expand your awareness, or diminish your neck pain?

You can use the tools to benefit all areas of your life — giving you freedom of choice, a new sense of attentiveness, and a centre. The Alexander Technique covers it all because it covers all of you, there is no separation within. You come to the door with one issue or concern and go away with healthy well-being skills for the rest of your life, to explore and develop within yourself.

 

“Can’t do Wrong by Doing Wrong!”

My first voice Blog, It was recorded spontaneously in a moment on my phone IMGP4054 (3)a couple of weeks ago. I hesitated in sharing it but feel ready today, so please forgive the rough quality but it is real, true and how it flowed out of me, no script. Just under five minutes please have a listen and then inquire in yourself what does this mean to me?

A few snippets

“Wake up in a moment label myself as being wrong”

“feeling tense thinking tense things in that sort of way, with a bit more awakening, I know all I have to do is do less… think less”

“Think on a different subject if the subject I was thinking on was a tense one and there is nothing I can do about it in this moment”.

“or Tension in my body, inquire into that and release it ”

“It’s like a warm Blanket in the cold”blankets

“I wrap this blanket around me and I feel safe”

“When I start I can’t do Less…. but that’s just a thought and belief”

“I find a little bit of tension in a toe or upper arm ah I go there and do less”

“A thought cames in and I go ah I can think less”

“Turn my awareness in and find and go on this journey that’s always different always me, a coming home”

“My path to bring this  “lessness” into every aspect of me ”

“In any moment I can Choose who I want to be NOT who I have been in the past”

Rocking Sitting Bones

Can you Rock on your Sitting Bones?

Rocking Sitting Bones

This is my first attempt at a video and I thought showing the sitting bones (Ischial Tuberosities) in action would be good.

Trying too Hard?

Are you Trying too Hard?

Are you going through life trying too hard especially when doing things that you love?

 

Perhaps this is you but you have never asked yourself do I  try too hard?

We are unaware of where and when it starts, perhaps very early on someone important in your life said: “try harder”.   As a young child, you didn’t know what that meant so perhaps you put in more and more muscle effort (TENSION). Then that quickly became your way of doing most things!

This inner tension is so often below our awareness and goes undetected by ourselves and others that it goes unnoticed for years, perhaps decades. Because it is not seen by most people.

So how do you become aware of this inner tension?

Frequently people start to have signs and symptoms:

Pain.

Difficulty in doing something that was previously easy.

A realization that there has to be an easier way of doing a special thing in your life, perhaps a hobby, an activity, or even a position like sitting or standing. It varies from person to person what the effects are.

The body seems to be saying “enough, I can’t cope with repeatedly over doing things”! It’s also in our Western culture, to try hard, to be always busy, always seeking control or perfection. I now know that for decades, I was a typical over-doer, at practically everything.  I was even trying hard to ride my horse softly and was failing. I was confused and frustrated, none of my teachers were helping me be soft, they were, in fact, stimulating me to be the opposite.

Or

You could just ask yourself do I try too hard sometimes before the difficulties show up.

So what can you do if  you feel, I am or I may be a try too hard kind of person?

Explore a different way of approaching life. Pick any activity and be aware of all of you as you do it (all of your body). Because that’s how we are made to do and move, the whole is involved in everything.  Become aware of your contact and support with the ground if standing or the ground and the chair if sitting. Involve as many of your senses that you can, be open within the activity. An open focus on your whole environment.  Not concentrating narrowly down into it. This multi-dimensional awareness is:

  • Feeling the activity you are doing ,
  • Following the intention to do something, not the how
  • Awareness of your whole self
  • Feeling for comfort,
  • Slower
  • Using your imagination
  • With soft eyes and ears aware of your environment with your peripheral vision, sounds and smells.
  • That there is more beyond the space that you are currently in, a building or a field etc.

Take in as much as you can and the activity will get easier than when you were micromanaging the parts.

music trio

Bring fun, playfulness, joy and imagination to all that you do, and see what changes inside ? Having tried it with one activity then flow into all your activities and all of your life.

Now go and explore and experience for yourself and enjoy.

photodropper

photos by: &