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Monthly Archives: October 2012

In Rolfing school, we talked endlessly about congruency.  See, the whole idea behind Rolfing is to look at the whole picture, the whole human being, not just one muscle or bone or even limb.  How does everything work together?  My instructors would say, it’s no use getting one perfectly lengthened, hydrated, functioning hamstring if the other 5 hamstrings (you know you’ve got 3 hamstrings per leg, right?) are still short, dehydrated, and stunted.  Or, if you lengthen the IT band, but don’t look at the adductors, you may be encouraging the problem instead of resolving it.  Which is just anatomical jargon for: look at how the whole functions, not just a piece of it.  The message was always: make it congruent, not perfect.

I want to talk about that in a broader sense than just anatomy.  In junior high and high school, I was friends with a girl, we’ll call her Bridget, for the sake of our story.  Bridget and I were really good friends.  We spent a ton of time together and we could communicate with a look.  Bridget was also friends with a girl ‘named’ Sarah.  Sarah and Bridget grew up in houses on the same block.  They’d been friends for a really long time.  When Bridget and I were alone, she’d complain and complain about Sarah.  Sarah’s so annoying.  She’s driving me crazy.  Her house smells weird.  She’s stupid.  And on and on.  Okay, I get it, Bridget, you don’t like Sarah.  Not even a little bit.  Then Sarah would show up and Bridget would run over and give her this huge hug.  “Oh my god, Sarah, hiiiii!  How are you!  I’ve missed you!”  Huh?  What?  I thought you didn’t like Sarah.  In fact, we just spent an hour talking about how much you don’t like Sarah.  It didn’t match up.  And it made me really insecure around whether or not Bridget actually liked me at all.  ‘Cause she acted like she liked me, when we were together.  But I didn’t know what was going on when I wasn’t around.  Maybe she was talking about how my house smelled weird.  And how stupid I was.  There was a definite lack of congruency and it made me uneasy.

Just a little while ago, I was hanging out at a bar with my siblings and some friends of ours in Chicago.  Some of us had to get going because the last train to my parents’ house left at 12:30 and we didn’t want to miss it.  My friend, we’ll call her Michelle, offered to give us a ride instead, so we could stay later.  I turned to her and asked, “Haven’t you been drinking just as much as we have?”  She said, “Yeah, but I drink and drive all the time.”  Which in itself is disturbing.  But the thing is, Michelle is a state’s attorney and spends her days prosecuting drunk drivers.  What?  The lack of congruency made me sick.  And we took the train.

Congruency isn’t always easy.  Getting things to be congruent takes work, and it takes more work to keep things congruent.  That’s what makes my job so interesting and challenging.  I think it’s worth striving for.  When you expand the goal of congruency to include your whole life, it’s a matter of integrity.  And integrity is one of those things I value immensely.

Say what you mean.  Mean what you say.  Do what you say you’re going to do.  I want my private life to match my public life.  I want to make my right match my left.  Make my body match my soul.  I’m not always going to achieve that, but I’m going to try.  I want to be congruent.

 

***The next Demo Day will be Wednesday, November 14th.  If you want in on it, let me know.

I know I’m awesome.  Not to brag or anything, but it’s true.  I’ve worked hard to be awesome.  I follow my passions.  I spend my time doing things and learning about things that are interesting to me.  I invest time and energy into relationships that feed my soul.  I read books that inspire and educate me.  I eat food that gives me energy and vitality.  All the little things I do, all the quirks in my personality, all the experiences I’ve had, add up to awesome.  And why shouldn’t I be awesome?  I’m the best version of me that I can be right now.

And so are you.

Way to be awesome, Sassy Pants.

But the thing is, sometimes I forget how awesome I am.  I lose track of my greatness, just like my keys and my sunglasses.  When I’m hanging around someone who’s clearly smarter than me, I forget that I’m smart.  When I’m surrounded by beautiful people, I forget that I am still beautiful.  When I find myself in the presence of a true comedian, I suddenly feel like a boring lump.  I see a commercial for “So You Think You Can Dance?” and I feel like a robot, and not the dancing kind.  You know how it goes, right?

It’s uncomfortable to be reminded that I’m not the best at something.  But I have to remind myself that just because I’m not the best doesn’t mean I’m not good, or even great.  And when I come from a place of greatness; when I truly stand in my power, I am a better person.  I am more generous.  More kind.  More patient.  More understanding.  Which in turn, makes me more awesome.  When I feel jealous and insignificant and sub-standard, I act accordingly.  I am stingy and cruel and impatient and judgemental.  Which makes me less awesome.  Personally, I’d rather be generous.  I’d rather be kind.  So I will stand in my greatness.  I will own my awesomeness, and in doing so, become more awesome.

I dare you to join me in mutual awesomeness.

Hey there, SassyPants, I’ve got a question for you.  When you have an injury, or a painful spot on your body, how do you talk to it?  When you sprain your knee, does the conversation go a little something like this?  “Stupid freakin’ knee.  Always gotta be hurting and twisting all funny-like.  Why can’t you just work right like other people’s knees?  Why can’t you just do what you’re supposed to?  Man, how long are you going to take to heal?  Does this mean I can’t play basketball on Wednesday?  Great.  Thanks a lot, you stupid knee, you.”

Or does the conversation go more like this?  “Oh, hey knee.  Well, you certainly got my attention.  Is there something you need?  Something you’ve been trying to tell me lately, that I haven’t been listening to?  Do you just want some time off?  Take a little break?  That’s cool.  You got it.  I love you, knee.  Let me know if you want some ice or gentle stretching or anything, okay?  You’re awesome.  Thanks for everything you do for me.  I know we’ll get through this just fine.”

I know my first instinct is to go the first route and be angry when I get hurt, or when something hurts.  But I think it makes a difference when we go the second route and send love towards the pain instead.  I can’t prove that it speeds the healing up.  But I know that whatever you think about all day trains your brain to keep thinking about that same thing.  It’s like when hundreds of people take the same shortcut across the grass in the park and pretty soon there’s a path worn through it.  From then on, it’s easier to take that path than to cut a new one through the grass, so you probably walk the path.  Your brain works like that.

If you spend your day thinking “my knee is so stupid and weak,” then your brain starts to believe your knee is stupid and weak.  So your knee behaves as if it’s stupid and weak.  But if you spend your day thinking “my knee is so healthy and strong,” then your brain starts to believe your knee is healthy and strong.  So your knee behaves as if it’s healthy and strong.  I don’t know about you, but “healthy and strong” sounds better than “stupid and weak” to me.

Now, I try to send my injuries love instead of hate.  Compassion and patience instead of frustration and anger.  So, SassyPants, what’s ailing you these days?  Wanna try sending it some love?