Remember the conversation we had about “compensatory torque”? I’d love to get back to it.
As I unwind the compensatory torque of my body I can also feel an unwinding of the emotions that are bound up in the tension I’ve been holding in those places all these years.
As I do a new physical process that involves strength and flexibility, it feels like the cells of my body are being released. It feels like more energy – an energy of my own — is becoming available to me, and it feels like something old is coming to the surface, complete with emotions.
Now here are some of the things that we normally do to correct physical issues in our body (and I’ll focus on the physical here for a moment):
We focus on strength.
This sounds great doesn’t it? And it was the very first thing that I focused on. I was was told that if I was able to strengthen my body I would feel less unbalanced and things would work themselves out.
The only problem is — I was strong. Only I was strong in all the wrong places. Isn’t this exactly what we’re talking about with “Strong Surrender”? Strong on the inside and soft on the outside — when actually we’re doing it in the reverse – strong on the outside and soft on the inside?
We have big muscles and we have small muscles and we have fascia and we have all kinds of elements in our body that work together and hold us up. The easy part is to strengthen the big things. To strengthen the big muscles. And when we work out, most of the time that is what we’re doing — strengthening the big muscles. It’s in the smaller muscles that the inbalance is happening.
And to make it even more interesting, there often are stuck places in the muscles called “trigger points.” (isn’t that a nice label for the work were doing?)
The trigger points sort of lock up the muscle and pretty much make it not work. The trigger points shorten the muscle, tighten the muscle and what happens is we just stop using them. We stop using the small muscles that are supposed to be doing a certain job — like lifting our leg or operating our arm — and instead we go by default to the big muscle.
This is why you may have back pain even though your abs are really strong. Because they’re a lot more muscles involved in holding up your spine than your abs. All kinds of small muscles.
Isn’t this the same with our daily lives? We emphasize our competence instead of our feelings? Our abilities instead of our vulnerabilities? We value the wrong things, so much of the time?
And even more than that, and here’s were getting into some really interesting stuff — in our female bodies, there is the “pelvic floor.”
There are all kinds of muscles in and around the pelvic floor. And all the strength from your body starts at the pelvic floor.
So if we’re all tight and tense in there, we’ll be out of balance throughout our bodies. (Just as, if we’re all tight and tense in one part of our thinking and feeling, we’ll throw everything else out of balance, too.)
In my body for instance, the whole right side of my pelvic floor was completely non-operational. I couldn’t even feel it. It was like it was canceled. So all the muscles on the left side of my body just sort of took over. And then everything on both sides of my body tried to make up for what was not going on in my pelvic floor.
There are lots of reasons why your pelvic floor may not be operating the way it should. Trauma is a big one. Sexual abuse. An accident. Mentally and being told over and over again that sex is bad. Pain — perhaps from an illness or an accident or an in-expert man having in-expert sex with you.
I’d like to feature here the person who’s helped me tremendously. She’s a genius at understanding and working through the “anatomy train” of your body. She’s also selfless, ego-less, and only about your success. Her name is Kelly Ann Colbert, she’s in Culver City on the Westside of Los Angeles, and she uses techniques from Pilates, Gyrotonics, Thai Yoga and physical therapy.
I really want to recommend her to you if you’re in Los Angeles anywhere. Here’s her e-mail address — Kelly.Colbert@mac.com. (And here’s her picture so you can see how sweet and brilliant she is — and you can find her on Facebook, too)
***So let’s get back to how compensatory torque works in your love life, and how we can unwind it and retrain your mind, heart, spirit and your body so it works in an effortless, flowing, easy, thrilling and creative way.
You can’t be a ballerina and use your shoulders for the job that your calves need to do. You can’t hold yourself up with your back muscles because your pelvic floor is not working and move with ease and lightness.
So, I’m going to give you a really simple physical exercise I do (I’m going to tell you how I do some of it, then how you can take it further, because I’m not a doctor or physical therapist and don’t want to be prescribing something like this for you): I get out a tennis ball (I use this for a lot of different things), find a chair — a hard wooden chair — and sit down, on the tennis ball, on the chair.
At first, it hurt, and it still does if I’m not careful, so I play with holding my weight with my arms.
AThis is about experimenting and exploring. I sit directly on the tennis ball right in that spot between your vagina and your butt. (It’s called the perineum.)
I move it all around, moving the ball in a circle around my “sit” bones. I pay attention to where I’m most sensitive, to where things feel tight or tense.
Now, there are many ways to work out the kinks that you find. And you don’t want to be brutal and you don’t want to be harsh and you don’t want to overwork it. This is your pelvic floor. This is a sacred place. You’re going to want to explore with your fingers some of the tender spots you found and gently massage them. Gently work them out.
I suggest you get something silky and slippery and work from the inside, too. Simply put your fingers up your vagina and feel for tense, stuck, painful places. Go ahead and massage them out, gently.
Most of us are out of balance. We use one side of our body more than the other, we raise one hip higher than the other, we stand on one foot more often than the other, we carry things the same way over and over. And this is how our bodies get stuck.
Just as you would want to unwind this pattern by doing things in different ways and using different muscles, finding out which muscles work for what, and massaging out the stuck tender trigger point places, you’d want to do the same thing with your emotions and the patterns of your love life!
If you’ve been doing the same thing for a long time — you have compensatory torque in your love life. And from here things just LOOK stuck. It’s hard to even see or imagine experiencing another way to be than the way you are. The way your love life IS — just feels so darned normal. Terrible, maybe — but normal.
And what we’re doing here is breaking down this idea of what normal is to you and getting a NEW normal. Stretching the edges of the kind of life you’re used to. Stretching the possibilities of how much you can actually be loved. Stretching how much wonderful stuff you can have in your life. Matching up your dreams and your visions with your reality.
And just like working with the body, this is going to take some attention from you. And just like working with the body it’s going to take some exercise. It’s gonna take some homework. It’s gonna take some feeling around, some massage, some exploration, some experimentation and yes, some elbow grease.
It’s also going to take some thought. It’s going to take thinking about a plan and following through with your plan. And it’s going to take being really really attuned to how things FEEL.
It’s a pretty magical thing learning to engage one muscle in your body when you’re used to using another one for the same thing. I have to close my eyes. I have to imagine where that muscle is, what it feels like to engage it.
That’s why Circular Dating works. That’s why all of these baby-steps and Tools work. Because they are about getting into different — new to you –muscles in your body. Ones you haven’t used much lately. Undoing compensatory torque is about resurrecting the power of muscles, fibers, nerves, impulses, energy patterns that have been left to wither. It’s about renewing a connection with parts of your body that have been ignored. Parts of your body that have gotten so tight and tense that they don’t work anymore.
Begin with your dreams, your spirit, and your power. It’s time to get reconnected to those parts of yourself that have been left to wither. You still have them. They’re still there. Now — let’s get them working!
Start with a tennis ball — use it on your feet, use it on your back, use it along with your fingers to explore and experiment, gently, all over your body.
Now imagine what it would be like to do the same for your heart, your dreams, and your emotions.
Imagine if you could massage the place where you’re stuck in the “blues,” and bring your joy back to life again! What if the blues are really just compensatory torque because your joy muscle is just not working anymore? What if none of this is your fault and this whole pattern got started at a moment where you had no power to decide whether it was going to change your life or not?
Well — you have the power now!
This is why I do not believe in the time line of healing that most people promote. I believe in the steps of grief and recovery. But I don’t believe they have a timeline attached.. I believe that you can have a horrific breakup — even a divorce after 20 years — and start healing yourself in ways you may never have thought of, like Circular Dating, in a week. This is not to say you’re going to feel fantastic in that first week or that first month or even that first year — at least not all the time.
I believe in time off, I believe in vacations, I believe in retreats, and I also believe that none of those things in themselves help heal you. It’s always what you do in the moment you’re IN that can help heal you and change your life.
So start now discovering your patterns — your physical patterns, your emotional patterns, the way you move, where you go, what you do. Notice what you’re doing that is stuck. That is holding you back. That’s running in a rut. That’s just digging your pattern deeper and deeper and deeper.
I wish I could send Kelly out to you all, and what I’ll do is just turn what I’m learning into something that can help us all in a big way.
Happy exploring, happy discovering, and please tell me what you’re finding out about your compensatory torque — where it is and the steps and baby steps and tools you’re using to unwind it. Don’t look for the “why” — just experiment and see what you find. Let me know!