As I struggle with the unwinding muscles I keep being struck by the vast amounts of my energy that have obviously been bound up in holding all of this tightness. It isn’t a new thought; as the process of restoring my muscles from all of them being steely, twisted, and glued-together has moved along I’ve been aware that my energy increases as my body opens. But there’s something about the slow journey from cement-like to healthy in my head and face that has really brought it home.
Most of this year I’ve felt like I’m barely hanging on in one sense. The constant unwinding of the muscles in my face, while miraculous, is also painful and wearing. It interferes so much with sleep that I’m often just catching naps whenever I can. Keeping to any kind of schedule is nearly impossible. Exercise, meditation, cooking, cleaning — all these things have become hit or miss. It’s hard not to feel like a failure when I so rarely do what I meant to do.
The shining light that keeps me taking one more step each day is the amazing feeling as life is restored to one tiny place at a time. Every increment of blood and prana flow restored show me how much energy did NOT flow. Every piece that opens reveals how very much energy has been devoted to holding all this steely tightness from head to toe for most of my life.
You can see in the picture above that there are many layers of muscles in your face. Every single one of those was twisted like steely pipe and every single one that you can see connected to others was intertwined with and glued together in groups with every connected piece. I can now feel parts of my face that I have no memory of feeling. The body is like that — lots of layers, lots of interconnections. Once one part goes off they all start twisting to fit the pattern.
I’ve said it many times — I know that most people don’t have a situation with their muscles as bad as mine. But I also know that TMJ, tight necks and shoulders, near-sightedness and back pain–to name a few–are rampant. And I’m not sure that everybody realizes how much of their energy is lost to those holding patterns. Various sorts of body work help with these things but at some point I think it takes personal work. If you don’t practice yoga or some sort of pattern-ending movement (see here for the work I developed) in between, body work will rarely take you the whole way. Emotions are also in there. These holding patterns contain parts of your story. Parts of your ancestors’ stories. You don’t have to dredge up every detail but I do think you have to be willing to look inward and see what you’re holding in there.
It takes time. This isn’t stuff you can plan on fixing with a few body work sessions or one “release the past” exercise. Most people don’t have to go through the excruciatingly slow process that I’ve had to go through but these patterns take time. I think I’ve been led through this long slow process so that I could feel every stage of opening and be aware of it all. And to spread the word — do the work. It’s worth it.
DON’T FORGET TO CHANT FOR PEACE! See Collective Prayer Sundays for info.