In older age this goal is to transcend and transform whatever gets in the way of belonging in and connecting to the universe – a wordy way of saying I feel the need to get out of my own way.
Naturally, my way of seeing the world has been limited and distorted by what I inherited and from how society shaped me. This is why a paradigm shift matters. Thus I set out in search of such a shift, aware that society shifts when individuals widen their conscious awareness.
For this to happen, I thought I would watch for moments or occasions when I did not slip too quickly into the habitual. Because I don’t usually seek out pain, I was willing to experience rolfing. Maybe there would be a paradigm shift in the deep tissue realigning that rolfers do. A few times I had been hard pressed by a masseuse or two, though never at the deep level of discomfort I had been told to expect from being rolfed.
With no prior rolfing experience, I could not say that all rolfers initiate conversations with the part of the body being treated. I hadn’t expected to be channeling a conversation with my right arm while the tissues on that side of the body were being pressed.
In pursuit of an increased ability to experience the world free of past conditioning, I had sought out treatment from a rolfer for trauma I felt might be getting in the way of maturing. During our initial consultation I told the rolfer I could be carrying trauma in the right side of my body and certainly in the right arm as that body part had been injured when I was three years old. This trauma could have resulted from being immobilized in the hospital for many months as well as from getting my arm caught in the grinding wringer of an old-fashioned washing machine and having mother put the wringer in reverse rather than pulling the plug.
Asked to channel the right arm, I had nothing to say. The right arm couldn’t communicate probably because it was traumatized. Unfortunately the grown-up arm, which might be carrying the little-girl arm, was itself speechless. I suggested the rolfer talk to the left arm as it had not been injured and maybe not traumatized.
I was right. The left arm assured us that it had survived my childhood and myriad accidents occurring throughout the years and was able to say with some confidence that being an arm was not complicated. It advised the right arm to take its cue from her. The arm’s succinct advice was to hold on to whatever gets put into our hands to do or carry. The rolfer encouraged the left arm to continue assisting the right arm until it got the hang of being an arm. Both arms seemed fine with this arrangement, and I had no objections either.
For whatever reason, I was willing for the hour of the rolfing to suspend disbelief in the possibility and value of conversing with my arms. Maybe a paradigm shift had started and would continue in the direction of more openness in general. Maybe I would be opening dialogues with other unexpected parties. I certainly aimed at shifting in the direction of more equanimity with both physical and emotional pain.
I hoped to get out of my way so as to be a peaceful and productive human in this universe, yet it will not be entirely in my hands even as I become willing and able to hold them out. The universe will have something to say about what will come.