Why choose Bowen?
We live in a world inundated with choice. Walk down any grocery store aisle and this point is clearly in evidence. There’s a whole aisle dedicated to breakfast cereals. And another to beverages. And another to snack food options. When looking for a breakfast cereal that is right for you, for example, how do you choose among the dozens on offer? (Not that I’m comparing Bowen to breakfast cereals.) Are you swayed by the packaging? Or content? Perhaps by price? Do words like ‘whole grain’, ‘low sugar’, ‘nutritious’ or ‘delicious’ have you grabbing for one product over another? Are you a consumer based on ingredients and nutritional panels? Or do you choose the one that makes your body feel the best?
Finding the right healing modality for your body can be a bit like choosing the right cereal. There’s a lot to consider and many different choices available today. It can be, in a word, overwhelming.
I have tried a lot of different therapies over the years and I believe they all have a place as healing techniques. But one definitely makes my body feel better, especially in the longer term, than others. And that therapy? Bowen.
Here are my top 5 reasons why Bowen should be the go-to therapy of choice:
©️Susan Marte 2017
Myth #6 - Bowen therapy is all you need!
I think most Bowen practitioners have had this happen: A client comes in for, say, a lower back issue. They are seeing shifts and results with Bowen. They tell their doctor (or another health professional) about said shifts and results, and their doctor (or other health professional) suggests they stop going for Bowen. And although it defies all logic, said client calls to cancel their next appointment. This is frustrating for a number of reasons but my Top 2 are: you have probably lost a client. A client, mind you, who was responding favourable to Bowen; and Bowen therapy is being undermined by health professionals who have no idea about Bowen and how beneficial it can be. Who knows? Maybe they think it’s that thing with magnets (please refer to Myth #1 if you want more info on that) and they can’t be bothered to learn more.
I have experienced this myself on a few occasions. It leaves me frustrated, a bit angry, and somewhat sad. Bowen therapy works and it brings relief to so many people who have had no relief from conventional therapies or medicine. It also frustrates and angers me that the medical profession seems to take our freedom of choice, our dignity and our power when it comes to our own health and well-being. One of the things I love about Bowen is the client is very involved in the healing process and Bowen has only the best interest of the client in mind. It doesn’t take your power away. It actually enhances it.
So while I get frustrated when people who are getting results with Bowen are told they should stop coming, I also get frustrated when practitioners think Bowen (or their particular healing modality) is the only therapy a client ever needs. That’s not empowering a client; that’s disempowering them.
I have studied a number of different healing techniques where the teacher preaches their particular technique is THE ONLY thing anyone needs. Really? How is that in any way realistic? To me, it’s like saying that all you need to eat are bananas because they are packed full of nutrients and come in a handy wrapper and then getting mad when someone wants to eat an orange. Or an apple. It’s not logical, right?
I do believe Bowen is the most wholistic therapy a body can experience and I do believe any body can be helped with Bowen. But I don’t believe Bowen is the be all and end all of therapies. That puts a lot of pressure on the technique. Let alone the practitioner and client.
Here’s the thing, though. If I, as a practitioner, say Bowen is the only therapy that can help a client, then I am not serving that client. Bowen can’t help everything all the time. Nothing can. A body wants what a body wants. And sometimes that’s massage. Or acupuncture. Or Bowen. Or pizza. There are so many variables at play that the blanket statement ‘Bowen is all you need’ is incorrect.
I write from personal experience. Over the last five years or so (since I began training in Bowen) my walking gait has deteriorated to the point where walking is awkward and stressful (but thankfully not painful). I have tried many things - from reiki to masochistic masseurs to orthopaedic surgeons and most things in between - to find help and relief. Most of the modalities I’ve tried have helped a bit but never for long and never fully. This includes Bowen. Bowen therapy alone is never going to ‘fix’ my issue. Never. Ever. Ever. But it can help my body to integrate and readjust to the work I need to do to get my leg functioning properly again. This is the dynamic beauty of Bowen - it is a fantastic stand alone therapy but it also dove-tails wholistically with other modalities. I don't mean in the same day or in the same session, but as part of a client’s treatment plan. Bowen can help the body to integrate any other therapy it’s having.
I know Bowen works. It is so simple, yet profound, in its delivery and results. It helps all the supporting systems of the body, as well as mental and emotional components. It’s gentle and effective. And while I think it should be on the top of the list of go-to therapies, I’m okay if people choose something else. I just prefer it to be because they know what their body needs at the time and not because another health professional has convinced them otherwise.
On the Coffs Coast and wanting an appointment? Contact me on 0426 241 435.
Myth #5 - Will the real Bowen technique please stand up?
In honour of Tom Bowen’s 100th birthday on 18 April, today’s blog takes a look at Tom Bowen’s legacy.
Bowen therapy is named after Tom Bowen, the man who ‘created’ the technique. While Mr Bowen never taught anyone what he did, he did allow a handful of men to watch him in his clinic for a number of years as he treated hundreds of clients. Mr Bowen seems to have taken aspects from a number of different modalities but overall he was self taught in his healing technique now known worldwide as Bowen.
All of the men who shadowed Mr Bowen in his clinic took away their own interpretation of his work. They translated what they saw into their own language. That’s what we do, as humans. Ask six people to describe the same scene and you’ll get six different answers. Is one description more right than another? One perspective more valid? My answer would be no. We all interpret our own reality.
It’s not surprising that it’s no different with Bowen. Each of those men have their own interpretation of Tom Bowen’s technique. We need to start working with that and seeing it as a positive for this amazing healing modality.
The Bowen world is divided. There are strong factions within the community. This school believes that; and that one believes this. One school believes they are the real Bowen technique while another school believes they are more in tune with how Bowen worked. And here’s another man claiming his technique is more true to Bowen and on it goes. Who’s right? Who’s wrong? For me, it’s more: Who cares? Certainly our clients don’t care. They just want to feel better. And that’s what we should be focusing on. How to support and grow this technique for the health and benefit of our clients.
Politics are generally divisive and that’s no good for anyone. Especially the client. If a practitioner is worried that they are doing Bowen wrong or aren’t being true to their original teacher or teachings then ultimately it’s the client who suffers. Let’s agree to disagree on who thinks they are the only ones teaching the real Bowen therapy and get on with helping humanity, shall we?
I am Bowtech trained which is, admittedly, quite prescriptive in its teachings. The beauty of this is that anyone can be taught the basics of this amazing technique. The simplest of moves can result in the most profound results and this can be achieved by a body worker as easily as a car mechanic, accountant or astronaut. Bowtech teaching brought Bowen to the world in an easily teachable and repeatable form. Bowen therapy would unlikely be a known technique throughout the world today if not for Bowtech teachers teaching Ossie Rentsch’s interpretation of Tom Bowen’s work.
Those who teach Bowen therapy offer their own interpretations of how Tom worked. They argue that Bowtech is far from how the man worked. And I believe that is most likely true. But how do you teach a technique that was created by a man who didn’t know how to explain what he did? Tom Bowen wasn’t a teacher. He was a healer. The world is just lucky that Mr Bowen allowed those few men to watch him so they could further his technique and results. It has been said that Tom was very gifted at reading bodies. He worked intuitively to shift unhelpful patterns in clients. He worked quickly and efficiently. It would also appear he worked without ego. Just saying.
The thing is, though, who cares whose interpretation of Bowen therapy is the ‘right’ one? All the infighting takes away from the focus of sharing Bowen with the world.
I don’t think we are honouring the man by denigrating those teachers of Bowtech. While I am proud to be Bowtech trained, I am also grateful to other names in the field who bring their own interpretation to the game. I love the different perspectives they bring to the Bowen table. They encourage thinking outside the prescriptive teachings of Bowtech. They share their interpretations and like anything - it’s up to us, as practitioners, to take on what resonates, question what confronts us and look to provide each and every client with the best Bowen therapy for their condition and situation.
I don’t think Tom Bowen had prescriptive sets of moves he used. I think he assessed the body and applied the least amount of moves needed to get the best job done. One of the things everyone in the Bowen community agrees on is the ability of Bowen to heal profoundly and wholistically. This is what we need to keep as our focus - making a consolidated effort to work together to continue sharing Tom Bowen’s legacy with the world. We believe in what we do because we see results time after time. We see the quality of life in those we treat increase as their pain and dysfunction decrease. What a gift! Thank you, Tom Bowen. And Happy Birthday.
More about me and what I offer at www.balancingacttherapies.com Appointments available on the Coffs Coast. Give me a ring on 0426 241 435. Thanks for listening. I’m off now to bake Mr Bowen a cake…
Myth #4 - Rule of three (sessions)
Recently I saw a post on Facebook from a woman asking for recommendations for doctors in her area. She said she was looking for a doctor who would listen to her. The woman had multiple issues, both chronic and acute. She had limited mobility and what sounded like autoimmune issues, as well. When I read the post, there were already about 40 comments. When I see posts like this, or from people looking for relief from symptoms conventional medicine hasn’t, or isn’t, helping, I want to chime in about Bowen therapy. But I never do. What I do though sometimes is read down through the comments because I am interested in hearing about what people are recommending.
Almost all the comments in this post feed were helpful. The woman who posted the question was active in participation, wanting to find out more about why someone liked a particular doctor, or where they were located etc. Then came a comment recommending a particular doctor because they listened to what you presented with and they were a conventional doctor but also a naturopath and homeopath. The response? “I don’t believe in naturopathy or homeopathy.”
I was dumbfounded. This woman is suffering from multi-system issues, wants a GP who will listen to her, is being let down by conventional medicine and she doesn’t believe in complementary therapies? She doesn’t believe in an alternative which will assess her wholistically?
She wants to be fixed. And she wants someone else to fix her.
So, what does this have to do with the Rule of Three (sessions)? Well, often people are after a quick fix. If you’ve read my blog on Myth #2 - Bowen will fix anything! - you will know that often there is no quick fix. And you will also know that Bowen doesn’t ‘fix’ anything. Bowen helps the body to ‘fix’ itself.
Bowen can take a longer time [then, for example, other healing modalities] to integrate in your body because it is working with the body at a pace it can handle. It helps unblock systems gently and effectively. If a symptom has taken years to present itself into the issue you take to a Bowen session, is it a bit unfair to expect the body to completely rid itself of the issue after one treatment? I’m not saying it can’t be done. It’s just putting a lot of pressure on your body and on a technique which is designed to unravel patterns down to the issue. And get rid of them permanently. Isn’t that worth taking the time to do?
Bowen helps the body help itself. We are whole beings. This is the beauty of Bowen. It’s going to help you on all levels - physical, mental and emotional - because the moves go where they need to go. Bowen can be targeted to an area or issue, but it doesn’t mean that’s the only place you will feel a benefit.
Think of aspirin. You’ve got pain in your body and you take over the counter pain relief for it. You don’t have to tell the aspirin where to go. Its job is to find the pain receptor and dull it. It breaks the pain connection for you so you feel better. Your body allows the aspirin, and its effects, to go to the area it is most needed. It’s the same with the Bowen move.
Many clients ask how many sessions they will need to come for. We are taught that a good answer is three. I understand this answer but I don’t like the answer. What I don’t like is putting a limit on it. What I really want to tell people is - it will take as long as it takes. Have patience. Have trust. Take part in your own healing journey and I am here to help.
I find it frustrating, the clients who come only once. Mostly because I never get to find out how they went but also because I feel like they haven’t given Bowen a chance. This is where the three session recommendation comes in. To me, if by three sessions you are not seeing a benefit, then maybe you need to look at another option. Three sessions will give you an idea of what the technique can offer. It’s not for everyone. No modality is. Three sessions isn’t asking a lot, though. You have been living with your symptoms and issues. Ultimately, how you go about healing is up to you. We all need help at times with the healing journey. I believe Bowen therapy is some of the best help you can ask for.
Trust the technique. Trust your body. Both are infinitely wise in their ability to heal.
Help me help you. Book your appointment today on 0426241435. More about who I am and what I offer at www.balancingacttherapies.com
Myth #2 - Bowen will fix anything!
In my training*, we were told from Day 1 that we, the practitioner, don’t ‘fix’ anything. It’s the body which ‘fixes’ itself. Bowen moves just help facilitate the process. (Go, Bowen!)
So when a client asks me, “Can you fix this?” my answer is no. I don’t fix anything. I facilitate. I do Bowen moves on specific areas which then allows the body to tap into its own innate healing wisdom to start correcting patterns to lead to a change which hopefully leads to the body feeling better.
(You can see why it would be so much easier to say, “Sure! Bowen will fix it!” if this is the kind of response you need to give every time someone asked you if Bowen can fix something. But I digress…)
There is so much that Bowen does. I thought that understanding how it does what it does, might be helpful. So, I’m taking this opportunity to talk more about how a Bowen move works in the body.
Bowen isn’t manipulative. It works with the body to heal itself. The Bowen move is usually performed across fibre and often only needs to be firm enough to stimulate, or engage, the fascia (connective tissue) just under the skin. That move sends an electrical impulse to the brain and the brain relays that signal to where the body needs it. It’s kind of cool and amazing. Our bodies are pretty sophisticated and can do wondrous and miraculous things given the chance. Bowen helps give the body that chance. It helps the body to remember a state of health and well-being.
Bowen moves can be targeted to specific areas but ultimately the brain will send the stimulus of those moves to where the body needs them first. Because we are whole beings and one thing affects many things, we can present with symptoms that may not be directly related to the underlying issues. Our symptoms are usually layered. What is actually presenting may be streets away from the actual cause. Bowen unravels the mystery of the symptoms. As an example, our neck might not come right from the chronic pain and stiffness until the imbalance in our pelvis is addressed. Our bodies are smart. They know that once our pelvic alignment is better, work around our neck will be easier to sustain. Makes sense, right? So I’m not fixing you; your body is fixing you!
As a practitioner, I listen to what a client tells me and I formulate the beginning of my treatment plan from that information. But sometimes, often actually, the body will also be giving clues which help inform the treatment. By working with the wisdom of the body the moves help facilitate change at an issue level. That’s the beauty of Bowen - it can help alleviate the symptoms at the same time it is working at eliminating the underlying cause.
When someone is asking you to ‘fix’ them, it’s because they are in pain and they want help getting out of that state. While Bowen may not ‘fix’ all that ails them, it certainly will go a long way towards helping them to heal and feel better. Because of Bowen’s unique ability to facilitate healing at a whole body level, I do believe there isn’t any issue Bowen can’t help. Fixing implies something is broken. We are whole beings so unless it’s a bone that is broken, our symptoms are often the manifestation of an unbalanced body. Bowen is amazing at helping the body to balance itself.
So while I won’t say ‘Bowen will fix everything!’, I do believe Bowen can help heal the body on a number of levels from a myriad of issues. Bowen helps to give the body the chance to heal - on the physical, mental and emotional levels. Every body truly is better with Bowen.
Bowen therapy is the most wholistic treatment available. If you’re on the Coffs Coast and would like an appointment, please contact me on 0426 241 435 or visit www.balancingacttherapies.com to find out more about me and what I offer.
* In the spirit of full disclosure: I am Bowtech trained. Why this even needs to be mentioned will be a future myth to de-bunk.
Myth # 1 - That's the thing with magnets, right?
I work in a multi-disciplinary wellness centre that is heavy on massage therapists and light on “weird, esoteric” modalities like Bowen therapy.
People know what massage is. They generally know what acupuncture is and chiropractic and osteopathy, and even reiki. But Bowen? Not so much. When people ask me what Bowen therapy is, I find I spend time explaining what it’s not. It’s not like a lot of things, it turns out.
You know when you are trying to figure some life things out (work, relationships, where to live etc) and people ask you, ‘Well, what (job, partner, address) do you want?’ and it’s easier to come up with what you DON’T want than it is to actually drill down to what you do want? Well, that’s the same with explaining Bowen therapy. And just like listing all the things you don’t want isn’t helpful, it’s the same with ticking off all the things Bowen therapy isn’t. It still doesn’t answer the question of what Bowen therapy IS.
It can be hard to convince people to try Bowen therapy because they want to know what it’s like. The thing is, though, it isn’t like anything. It’s its own healing modality, just like acupuncture isn’t ‘like’ anything else; it’s just acupuncture.
This means there are a lot of misconceptions about Bowen therapy. My favourite is that it has something to do with magnets. When a person walked into the wellness centre wanting to see a practitioner to help with her back problems, the receptionist recommended Bowen. It took a lot of convincing this person to have a Bowen treatment because for some reason they heard from someone who heard from someone that their friend had Bowen and the practitioner used magnets on them. And they didn’t like that.
So let me set the record straight: if ever a Bowen therapist uses magnets on you, you are not having Bowen therapy.
I can talk for ages on what Bowen therapy isn’t but instead I will focus on what Bowen therapy is: Bowen therapy is a soft-tissue healing modality which helps the body to heal itself. Bowen moves help to shift the body from the sympathetic (fight/flight/freeze) to the parasympathetic (rest/digest) nervous system. Because the Bowen moves work with the body’s innate ability to heal, deep levels of healing can often be felt on the physical, mental and emotional levels. Bowen is non-manipulative so instead of the practitioner imposing moves on a system which may not be able to handle it, the practitioner instead facilitates change by applying small moves where the body needs input.
It’s simple. It’s wholistic. And it’s certainly not magnets! It’s also not particularly weird or esoteric but that will be a myth to debunk at a later date.
For now, just know that Bowen therapy is probably the safest, most gentle and wholistic treatment you will ever come across. It will most likely also be one of the most effective therapies your body can experience. It works equally well on chronic and acute conditions and there are few contraindications.
Interested in a session (without magnets) or want more information about what Bowen is? Contact Susan on 0426241435. Bookings essential but same day appointments often available.
Change of season
South Coast boat (c) 2013
First day of autumn. And with it - rain. All through the night. Such a welcomed sight, sound, smell. In between the gusts of wind and shaking leaves, a collective sigh can be heard. A kind of 'ahhhh' as the water soaks into the trees, flowers and earth.
The temperature has also dropped. Being a born and bred New Englander, I don't go much by the southern hemisphere's idea of seasonal change dates. Here, the new seasons are heralded in on the 1st 's- 1 June; 1 September; 1 December; and 1 March - autumn. In my bones I know the seasons change on equinox and solstice dates. So when people here say things like, 'This isn't much of a day for the first day of summer!' I hold my tongue and think, 'Give it three weeks.'
Old timers in the parts where I grew up used to say that if you look at the weather on the equinox, you will get an idea of prevailing weather for the next six months. I have got to say, the times I took note of this, it proved eerily accurate. What no one wanted to see on March 21 or September 21 was the weather blowing a strong nor'easterly gale. The old timers also used to say that winter wouldn't come until the ponds were full. In other words, if there wasn't sufficient autumn rain, then the winter would be mild. Another observation which proved its truth many times.
These bits of Yankee wisdom were told to me by old timers who lived their lives on a small island, 14 miles to sea. There is a reason why talking about weather is a commonality - it is something we all live with every day. And when you live in a small community, buffeted by weather, wind and tides, you develop keen observational skills. The weather determines your livelihood. We come from agrarian societies - the weather meant feast or famine. Being able to read the weather patterns, and intuit what they meant, could be the difference between life and death.
We live now in a society where other people tell us what the weather is. Sometimes, listening to their forecasts, you have to wonder if they have windows to the outside or if they have ventured out of doors. They rely on computer mapping to tell them what's coming, instead of their senses, memory and intuition.
Sound familiar? Sometimes we can get so far from our own selves that we believe what others tell us instead of what we intuitively see, feel and know to be true - in our bones.
The old timers didn't have the technology we have today. Yet I would listen to their observations every time over what a weather report on TV might tell me. They listened and felt what was going on around them. They were connected to nature and to community. They took the time to listen and observe. And those skills allowed them to sense things 'in their bones'. They put trust in what their surroundings were telling them.
We have had a very hot and dry summer and throughout it all my husband has been saying, at least once a week, 'I think we could be in for a cold winter.' To which I think, 'Yeah. Not going to happen unless we get rain.' So, as I sit here on the first day of autumn (southern hemisphere time) and the weather is cool, blowing a gale and raining, I think it could very well be a cold winter. And I am thankful for my husband's persistence in getting us set up - there is already wood in the shed and a new, hopefully warmer and more efficient, wood stove waiting for installation.
I will be noticing the weather again on the equinox but for now, I am listening to my intuition which is saying, 'My husband might just be right...'.
Bright blessings for this transition between seasons. Remember that all you need to know is within you, if you are able to still the mind and listen. If you are feeling out of touch with this, step outside. Immerse yourself in nature. It will help you to hear and feel what you need to know. It will ground you back into your body; back into your intuitive self. Happy autumn/spring.
I have just launched The Ocean Oracle on the App Store. It's a funny thing to have it out there, to be at this end of a process that began nearly four years ago. I am excited and happy; pleased and grateful. As well as feeling a bit distraught, empty and at a loss. The creation and delivery of this oracle has been a part of me for a long while now. The publishing feels like a birth. And now that it's birthed, I feel a void. I am no longer in control of it. I have nurtured it and shaped it and now I need to let it go. I have done what I could with it and now I need to trust it will find those it can help, those it will resonate with, and those it will heal. Just as it has done all these things for me, and continues to do for me as it makes its way into the world.
The process has been remarkable. It began in a February morning meditation when I was strongly guided to write an oracle based on the ocean and its ability to heal. The vehicle to do this was through story and messages. And so it began. Although I knew this process was about healing I needed to do, I also felt the stories and messages I was intuiting would have healing for others. I knew it was something that needed to be 'out there', available to a larger audience.
It didn't matter how many publishing house rejections I got, I knew my oracle was worthy and important and needed to be available. I knew it offered healing on levels people needed healing. I started making decks myself, selling them at markets and on-line through my website. And then a friend mentioned making the deck into an app.
What I love about the app idea is its instant accessibility and availability. Millions of people can have ocean oracle wisdom at their fingertips. My desire is for this app to go viral. I want the Story and Messages the oracle offers out there, out there doing what it's meant to do. This world, OUR world, needs healing. We need to remember who we are - we need to remember our beauty and brilliance, our light and our gifts. We need to remember these qualities individually, so we can start healing collectively. We know what happens when people are hurting and in fear, so disconnected from themselves and who they are. We are reminded of this every hour of every day if we watch or listen to the news. Imagine the world in which people are healthy and tapped in, connected to their source. Imagine the power of love when we are all okay, functioning from a place of healing and not hurt. This oracle offers the remembrance of our true soul selves. In this place of remembrance, healing begins.
I feel very strongly about The Ocean Oracle and what if offers. There have been times when I wonder about how hard I need to push, but everything feels right about how the oracle and the app came into being. Now I need help. I need help getting it out there, further. I want people to know it's available. I believe one of the best ways is word of mouth. Please tell your friends, tell your family, share with your networks, share your stories. It's a brand new year and a brand new world, full of infinite possibilities. What passion, what spark of an idea, are you going to follow this year? I would be honoured and grateful if you would share The Ocean Oracle - my spark of an idea ignited four years ago. Allow it to be part of the journey - for your Self and the world.
I learned the word liminal recently. It was the perfect word, at the perfect time. Like most words, it can have a few definitions, but what resonated with me was its reference to the space between; a transitional time; a threshold. Between what was and what is. Or what is and what will be. The space where we are neither one thing nor another.
I think why I fell in love with this word recently is because it described, in one word no less, where I've been. And as difficult as that space was at times, it was also incredibly joyful.
Most everything in life is a process and often we are unaware of these transitional times. We move seamlessly from one thing to another. Like breathing. We inhale and we exhale, not often aware of the space between breathing in and breathing out. If we focus on that space, the experience becomes something new. Something else.
That leaving of the old to start something new. The space in between is liminal space. And that space can be all manner of things. It can be overwhelming because we are essentially in 'no man's land'. We are not our usual self. We are no longer connected to what was, nor yet present in what is to come. And that is the beauty of transition; of being on a threshold; of liminal space.
In that space, though, we can feel vulnerable, lost, anxious, depressed - it's not a space we are used to hanging out in. We go through transitions all the time, every day. Between sleep and wakefulness; between daily activities; between wakefulness and sleep. We are often not aware of them. And some of the transitions are easier than others. But what about the bigger transitions - changing jobs, partners, homes, towns? Those are all major changes. Do we give ourselves enough time to transition? To be present in liminal space? What would happen if we did?
I have recently been gifted 2 months of, essentially, liminal space. While I was in this space, I was uncomfortable. I couldn't understand what was going on. I was in incredible flow. Highly creative and happy. Yet giving my self such a hard time because I wasn't making money. It was such a fight between what I love doing versus mainstream money making employment. I feel like the space was a gift because it was a special time. And although the transition hasn't been something tangible, I feel like a completely different person; slightly askew from where I was. But totally taken with where I stand and the view around me. I feel like I have crossed a threshold.
I didn't know I was in transition - I just knew I was no longer where I was, yet not arrived at where I was going. Liminal space describes exactly where I was, the whole time. Who knew?! I am ever grateful and ready to step forward.
Bad Knees & Integrity
I've been having trouble with my knees lately. This isn't anything new. But the degree of how unstable they have become is scaring me. I have never been able to trust my left knee. (And no, the symbolism of being able to move forward into the feminine is not lost on me.) This comes from a childhood of knee dislocations which would have me wandering along quite nicely one second and then crumpled on the ground the next. These scenes were awkward, and painful, to say the least.
I had surgery on my knee when I was 14. And although my knee has not dislocated since, I have never fully trusted that it wouldn't. I am still realising how much this fear has impacted me in my life. I am hesitant to cross roads, I am extra careful around furniture at knee height (not wanting to inadvertently knock my knee cap out of place, like what happened in drafting class when I was 13). But I've always been okay with just plain walking. And I am very thankful for that. Because walking has always been one way for me to process and to ground. When all else fails, a walk helps.
So it is to a new level of fear that I have come into lately as walking has become increasingly difficult. I don't trust my knee any more to support me. I feel like I am going to topple over backwards and this leads to great jerky moves of my whole body. It's really quite freaky. It's like a startle response without the actual startle. I no longer trust in the fluidity of my movement. In short, I feel like my knee is lacking in integrity.
Which is interesting because this week's Ocean Oracle card is Rosa Rugusa - INTEGRITY. The card, story and message can be read here but what I find interesting is that I am trying to walk a path - walk MY path. And I no longer trust it. And while I know there is something physically wrong with my knee, I can't help but wonder at the metaphysical stuff around it: according to Louise L. Hay's 'Heal Your Body', knees 'represents changes in direction in life and the ease of these movements'; left symbolises the feminine. I remembered today that these jerky movements started a couple of years ago. As I was contemplating the transition from permanent state government job to self-employed healer, I used to walk in the park near my office. It was on these walks that I started to feel unsteady. Now I have transitioned so far into the healing side of things that I forget I was ever an extension horticulturalist. But lately I have been having trouble trusting the process. And although on most levels I feel completely supported, in a couple of ways I feel completely unsupported. It's as if my physical knee is reflecting my internal walk. So as I walk further along my path, in my truth and integrity, I am being challenged by all manner of things which currently seem to manifesting as a dodgy knee. I've got choices up ahead. The path is not only in one direction or even one path. I know I need to keep moving forward, even when that movement is awkward and scary and uncomfortable. And even if my knee is lacking integrity, that doesn't need to reflect the integrity of my choices. In gratitude.