Being at Ease

I’m moving into my third week of physical therapy – something that, even after a roller-coaster of treatments over almost twenty years, I’d never thought to try until my daughter had trouble with migraines and found it tremendously helpful.

It is usually the case that when you first begin a new thing, the payoff feels huge, but effects dwindle over time. I’m as guilty as anyone of running around thinking (and sometimes saying) I’ve found the answer during this phase, so I won’t do that. 😉

However, I’d like to sing the praises of Myofascial Release. Good research about this will come with time, but the bottom line is whether it helps. For me, so far, yes. 

The therapy has some overlapping qualities with massage, but rather than kneading muscles or stroking them up and down, practitioners press into them – often very hard. When leaving sessions, for instance, Firestone says she feels energized, clear-headed – “and sore as hell.”

Should You Try Myofascial Release? 

I wish I’d learned these techniques a long time ago, although indeed I am sore as hell. The apartment is filling up with balls and pool noodles and we’re all spending more time on the floor.  Modern furniture is almost like having a house full of beds, encouraging way too much sitting.

Even without the MFR though, just the act of going to PT at all is a prayer and intention, even a cry for help. I want to learn to RELAX – not think that I’m relaxed, or be relaxed as compared with others, but to deeply relax in the way Elizabeth Gilbert talked about relaxing in a talk titled “Creative Living Without Fear” a few days ago here in Miami.

As though relaxing is a radical and powerful stance that gifts the relaxer with a profoundly wide view and ability to survey many possibilities, allowing a way of leadership which operates precisely by being and setting others at ease. As though relaxing is the crucial opening to “let Love in the room.” She talked about doing nothing until there is something to do. Doing not-doing. Suzuki Roshi called it, “effort without self”, the Tao’s wu wei

This feels like something I know but had forgotten. Life is calling me to remember, showing what authenticity means in this context. For instance hearing in meditation the other night, “If you find yourself exhausted after an interaction, it is a good indication you have been performing/putting on a show.” It struck hard that it isn’t all about my being ‘introverted’ that social life is sometimes so draining.

Lastly, the message of today’s meditation: “Cry.”

My suspicion is that many of us think we cry, but really don’t. Crying in a burst of frustration is okay; momentary crying provoked by something touching or upsetting is okay; bawling one’s eyes out for no reason whatsoever (or, without any need to articulate the reason) is also okay. No, actually it is brilliant.

I keep crying for no reason, and without any thought whatsoever, while in physical therapy. The therapist hits a button and the tears flow. The stuff in the middle of ‘the button’ and the tears, like tracing back and identifying emotional pain, is 90% of the time unnecessary. 10% of the time it is necessary, and clear when it happens. (statistics mine :P)

But, there are of course, many reasons to cry, too. There are many things that should be cried over. I mean, try reading the NYT Kristof piece on Yemen this weekend. Unbearable.

It is important to cry, as humans. It may be a big part of how we stay human. Perhaps stopping ourselves from crying when and as long as we need to is a bit of a problem. 

Maybe we need to stop the show every day.

Or I do. I did today. #Goals for 2019 are coming clearer.


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