Find your Edges

That which we fail to notice we cannot change.

“Whenever you think or you believe or you know, you’re a lot of other people: but the moment you feel, you’re nobody-but-yourself… .” ~ e. e. cummings

Thinking can connect you to others through commonality and shared reality … but, when a touch-starved nervous system reaches out for regulation through connection, this light-touch therapy helps you regulate towards innate harmony and healing. 

With Craniosacral Therapy I can bring you out of sympathetic nervous system activation and amygdala hijack and co-regulate with you so that you drop into a state of parasympathetic rest, digest and innate healing.

We are born to thrive yet through lack of appropriate tools to manage life’s ubiquitous traumas, injuries and dis-eases we are set up to survive.

When we are sick or injured what is trying to be activated is deep inner healing … this can be on an emotional, a mental and a spiritual level as well as on the physical plain.

Co-regulation happens through balancing vagal tone from a place of safety and support so you re-member or re-embody through connection to the truth of your self, and find self-care even within a state of pure survival. 

Find your edges and build capabilities to access your still point of comfort even in the midst of discomfort.

Trust the Breaking

Kahlil Gibran said that the pain you feel is the breaking of the shell of your understanding. 

Just as the seed has to destroy itself to ultimately become the baobab, the bud has to burst its membrane to become the flower.

What holds true for the seed, the bud, the flower and the fruit is analogous of the human psyche. Every cell in our bodies is in a constant state of flux and transformation.

Everything is already there waiting to emerge … waiting for you to stop holding it all together … waiting for you to crack wide open.

Trust in the surrender to the magic that happens when you break out of your bud, not to die but to bloom.

The Magic of Holistic Intuition

I don’t believe in methods. They lend themselves to prescriptive formulas that override each unique individual’s drive to heal their distinct injury, wound, trauma, addiction, illness or dis-ease … yes, we all have these lurking in the shadows of our beings waiting to be brought into the light as the gifts we bring to the world.

The holistic model incorporates all modalities and can be used to tailor-make fluid healing protocols that include a variety of specifically selected therapies for whatever an individual is focusing on at any moment in time.

Healers and Therapists don’t fix you; they hold you in a space of self-care and self-repair. This makes the most important precursor to any healing journey the guiding of a client to somatic self-communication; to touch into their inner oracle that will serve as their true guide and practitioner so that the healer or therapist is a critical partner on the path to healing and integration but not the navigator.

Having grown up in Durban, I was a ’quick-dip-in-the-ocean-when-I’m-baking-hot’ kind of person when I moved to Cape Town three decades ago. But 13 years ago, my intuition led me to the cold water. I was breaking apart my seemingly safely constructed reality and leaving my husband. And I was doing it sober, sugar-free and unsupported.

Besides the obvious trauma that comes of such a massive life event, it brought up all the traumas that had created my particular love pathology and attachment dysfunction and set me up for marrying him in the first place. Cold water became my meditation place, my breathing space, my calming clearing clarifying container where I could feel my outer edges, free-float, and learn that everything passes away with present moment awareness … and there’s nothing like immersion in ice water to bring you instantly to the present moment.

Since then it has become my go-to … a new lesson in how pushing into the edges of a discomfort zone can initially lead to more discomfort but will ultimately lead to a new comfort zone.

I have used many modalities through the various life events and trigger points and have, as such, been constantly reminded that what works for me in the moment doesn’t necessary work for me in a future moment and, therefore, doesn’t necessarily work for anyone else in the format I practice it.

#ice bathing isn’t for everyone; #dance isn’t for everyone; #running isn’t for everyone; #yoga isn’t for everyone; #craniosacral_therapy isn’t for everyone; #talk_therapy isn’t for everyone; #gyms, #steams, #saunas aren’t for everyone … and the list goes on and on and on.

No one — least of all me — would have imagined skinny little cold-averse Penelope would have gone running for 20km before floating in ice water until hypothermic … and no one — least of all me — would have imagined that hyperactive, inflexible yoga-averse Penelope would be currently registered to go to India next year to study #Transformational_Yoga and #Integral_Meditation.

So, no, there are no methods, no formulae, no prescriptions to finding wholeness and healing … there is only you … and what your being is seeking invariably moves towards the very thing that’s seeking you.

Multipotentialite

Multipotentiality is in my nature and that means I am always looking for different and more intricate ways to access life and learning, which I perceive as one big cosmic map of travelled paths and uncharted landscapes. At some stage of formal schooling I lost who I was and stayed lost, wandering in the dark on other peoples’ pathways. Had I not found my way to a meditation practice that prompted giving up my vices and then my marriage, I may never have cracked open the layers of muck that both masked who I am and incubated who I was to become.

Throughout my healing journey of self discovery I have found many anchors that have kept me focused enough to to find the patterns and connections between modalities and, as such, use these footholds to become who I am today through the shedding of all that I’m not.

Craniosacral Therapy has been that anchor since 2014 and I am now formalising the guidance I offer with Integral Coaching. In 2022 I will add Transformational Yoga and integral Meditation to this trilogy.

I had overloaded my backpack and reached a tipping point of dumping it all and starting again using intuitive mapping and courageous navigating. What we carry on the outside defines us to others but we define ourselves ultimately not by that which we carry but through the charting of our inner landscapes. There’s nothing wrong with any of it because sometimes we’re born too wise and have to get lost in order to find our way that ultimately spirals back to the beginning.

You are what you think

What I have experienced through a decade of Vipassana meditation and learned through its application to and interface with almost everything I navigate in life is that where your attention goes your energy flows. This means that whatever you focus your energy on, that is what will manifest in your life … Fighting against what you don’t want or fighting for what you do want (or simply thinking about either) is an act of creation of that very thing.

Whatever you think, that is what you become.

PRESENT Traumatic Stress Disorder

#PTSD currently is more PRESENT Traumatic Stress Disorder but even though it is anchored in past events and how they have been stored in your somatic nervous system and the cells of your body.

We are navigating a collective trauma that encompasses all of our individual traumas and this is being compounded by polarisation over differing beliefs and opinions rather that finding connections through commonality; compounded by judgemental othering rather than holding onto our humanity, and compounded by sinking into fear rather than rising into faith. You see, fear and faith are the same thing — both require a belief in something intangible and unseen.

Unfortunately we are living through a time of overwhelming #fear for most people and, because almost everyone has some form of mild to major trauma embedded in the cells of their body, it has become difficult to focus on faith. Added to this, being confronted with masked faces and/or people turning away when you pass them in public, it is impossible to orientate to feelings of safety and any latent trauma gets compounded and then either internalised through depression, fatigue and anxiety or externalised through rage, anger and aggression.

Research around the vagus nerve and the subsequent model by Stephen Porges called the Social Engagement System speaks directly to this. For more information: https://www.polyvagalinstitute.org

Healthy Vagal Tone plays a crucial role in emotional and physical wellbeing by regulating the balance of your parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems, reducing inflammation and balancing your breath and heart rate variability. Any tools and practices that stimulate the vagus nerve will calm the body and better equip you for resilience through better homeostasis of your system.

General Vagus Nerve health can be optimised through regular Craniosacral Therapy sessions.

Integration through Observation

There is a lot of self-development talk around the notion of self love. But many people react to this with resistance, confusion or even fear. “What does that even mean?” they will ask. “I don’t even know what that is!” they lament. You can’t self-medicate with something you can’t identify or define … if you don’t have a sense of ever having been loved well then self-love will of course feel scary. 

When you’re not loved for the one you are; when you are not welcomed to the world nor loved unconditionally, it’s an act of abuse. If you can’t recognise love, or if you’ve been told what you’ve been shown is love when the reality is it hurts like f*ck! then this abuse is mistaken for an act of love. When, added to that, you have been verbally and/or physically abused — when the cues from your primary caregiver in no way meet your needs — the very reliance on love will in fact become a reliance on self harm. In fact many adults add to childhood abuse by self-harming in an attempt to replicate what they were taught was love because of the new age idea that you will only self-develop through self-love.

Don’t force self love. It may never come. Don’t even force self acceptance. Just observe … that’s enough. Don’t try figure it all out. Just be … who you are. And in the observations, see the fragments of your child self that make you smile, that open your heart, that fill you up … and then patch them into your current reality of who you are today. When the pieces come together, as surely they will, the peace will come.

Love may always be an elusive intangible thing so create that which brings you integration.

How do you feel now?
How you would like to feel?
What’s getting in the way of the ideal you?
How you can go about getting through the obstacles you can and accepting the ones you can’t?

The Fabric of the Body

If you imagine the human body as an interwoven web of threads into an intricate fabric, you may be able to get an image of what it would look like if any part of this fabric is twisted or stretched. What you may then understand is that one part effects the whole … and the premise then is that if one aspect of the human body on any plane – physical, emotional, mental, spiritual – is injured, stressed or struggling to find homeostasis, then the whole is impacted and pains may show up in a completely different area.

With Craniosacral Therapy I work with the whole system, tuning into the weft and weave of the intricacies of the human body, mind and psyche. What you present with may not be what I work with and what I work with may not be what you find ultimately resolves in your system. Working with your fabric also has an impact on the fabric of all those in your family and the best part of it is that, even without articulating what we’re working on together, your system will once again find its still point where homeostasis is present.

This is the Circle of Zen

At the beginning of every journey it is easy to seemingly know everything… but it is only when you’re experiencing the territory that you begin to see how much there still is to learn. When you get back to the beginning, the path hasn’t changed because of you but you have changed because of the path. And you still know nothing. Walking the same path over and over again doesn’t make it easier, it simply highlights things you didn’t see before … it is not in the knowing that change happens; it is in the seeing. With the attainment of wisdom comes the ultimate acknowledgment of one’s own ignorance… and thus begins the same cycle.

Find the Pause

‘In between the stimulus and the response there is a space and in that space is our power and our freedom.’ ~ Viktor Frankl

Habits cut us off from ourselves because we tend to use them to escape ourselves so – as with breaking any habitual behaviour – pause as you move towards it and, in that pause, feel into the sensations in your being that give you the cues and clues around whether it’s really what you want to do or whether it’s simply a way to not do what you don’t want to do.

So, I ask you today, can you want whatever it is without judgement and shame and then work with it in your imagination in a way that gives you a sense of deep inner peace?

Can you get to the essence of it to find the love that resides in it … your own presence … the presence that already exists within you. Because you are not a drop in the ocean but the entire ocean in a drop – you contain the entire universe in the atoms of your being so you have the capacity to bring forth exactly what it is you need right now.

Love yourself into healing – commit yourself into healing – trees need the wind to create a hard core … so use these winds of change to create your own solid core of worth, compassion, love and care.