Case Study: How An Unconscious Judgement Created a Lifelong Shoulder Pain

As I was working on a client’s shoulder, by simply rotating it slowly, he kept noticing an inner voice chiding him. You’re worthless, it was saying. Pathetic. I saw it in his face so clearly that I could almost hear the voice. 

I narrowed in on the motion, and it seemed something like a throwing motion, the arm over the head, arcing down. Is that familiar? I asked. It seems to me like throwing something. As I said that, he saw a vague image that slowly came into focus… it was the laces of a football, lamely wobbling through the air. This shoulder pain had plagued him since high school. 

And then it came to him; the origin story of the condition. Time stopped. 

Releasing past 'trauma'; by accessing the layer of consciousness where it is stored

It’s common for people to underestimate their traumas. Some even shy away from using the word trauma. I simply use it to mean ‘something that the body is still holding on to.’ It could have come from something as extreme as  years of ritual physical abuse, or something as seemingly innocuous a harsh word from a trusted parent. It doesn’t really matter how it compares to the lives of others. All that matters is that we discover and honor our own experience; acknowledge where we’re stuck so we can move forward as gracefully as possible. 

This requires feeling the emotions fully. This sounds simple… it isn’t for most. 

Disease Burrows in the Unknown Places; the 'cure' Is to Radically Increase Presence; Healing.

Disease burrows in the unknown places. It’s a fiction that relies on other fictions; a fragmentation that requires seeing only pieces, at the expense of the whole.

The ‘cure’ for this fiction is always to flood the darkness with light, and to fill the unknown with presence.

Where you are most ‘absent,’ that is where a disease is most likely to take root. (Most people are most ‘absent’ in their lower half, and particularly in the pelvic / gut region, the seat of most disease).

Diseases that arise out of Metaphors, Healing, And a Glimpse at how Consciousness Works

Diseases that arise out of metaphors; Healing; And a Glimpse at how Consciousness Works

I love the ‘diseases’ that arise out of metaphors, because they are fascinating to unwind. 

A client was lying down on her back, as I held her feet and had her tune into the pain in her neck. (Holding the feet signifies support for most). The pain flared up, just to the brink of being unbearable, and I encouraged her to breathe and stay with it. Tears poured out as she realized that the source of ‘the pain in her neck’ was her partner. She left him, and those symptoms… feeling ‘unexpressed’, and thyroid imbalances, as well as the physical pain and stiffness… were finally free to heal. They’d plagued her for a decade. 

Viewing yourself as a ‘flake’, in other words, as never sticking to your commitments, can manifest as literal flaking skin. When no balms, salves, or medications support, seek deeper.  (Suggested Read: Your Body Believes Every Word you Say). 

Foot pain is often tied up in a metaphor. For instance, I have trouble standing on my own two feet. Or, I have trouble supporting myself. Or I’m tired of standing on my own. Each of these will manifest as a different symptom, for instance,  a collapsed arch, or a bone spur, or a bunion, or fascia pain. 

There are no ‘accidents’. When you break a bone, or incur a trauma, where and when that break occurred is a clue; the body consciousness is directing attention to that area or the issue that that area represents

Often, being unable to ‘let go’ of the past, manifests as a shoulder injury. Or reaching around to grab something and injuring oneself has to do with vainly trying to finish something that is unresolved. 

The eyes go blurry when something in life is difficult to see. Seeing it fully, objectively, often resolves the vision issue. 

The body is a masterpiece, when viewed from the perspective of the ever expanding dance of consciousness.  It does not malfunction on a whim.  It is not a machine, as the systems in place would have you believe. 

Symptoms are signs. Honoring them, listening to them, truly hearing them often resolves them completely. Sometimes, they are the gentle, persistent requests for a life course change. When we ignore them, they become louder and louder. 

What are yours, and are you listening? 

Love and flow, 

Steven 

How your use of language can keep you from healing, and the transformational anatomy of bones

On the healing journey, be careful about the language you use about your ailment, because that is a clue about how the mind is functioning. 

‘My back is killing me.’ Your back is not killing you. It has been supporting you for a lifetime. It is sending out signals so you change your life path. If you don’t listen, it will send out stronger signals, like small waves before the tidal wave. Let it know that you’re listening. Find out what it needs. 

Can a bone ‘need’? Bones are consciousness. As alive as any other part of you. The plastic skeleton we grow up learning from is not anywhere near reality. Since ancient times, bones have been infused with divine meanings, and many of these have been corroborated by more radical osteopaths. 

Case Study: Finding your Feet Means the World Changes

I had a client who, during our conversations, kept hiding her feet. Especially when we broached difficult topics. As I questioned her, she eventually confessed. 

‘I hate my feet. They are so masculine. They remind me of my father’s.’ 

So she never wore sandals, and took great lengths to hide her feet. So, hiding her feet was a way to hide from me, and the world. Hating her feet was a way to hate her father. 

Case Studies: Radical Strategies for Healing Chronic Relationship Patterns Quickly

Most of our relationships suffer because of our tethers to the past. I wrote in my Flow Training Manual about Lucy. She was bound up in her shoulder, physically. As we gave a gentle pull, while taking the time to connect her to the emotion, we realized that, on some level, she was still ‘holding her father’s hand while she crossed the street.’ This was long ago, as a toddler, and the body had not let go. 

Her father had passed away years before, and she was unable to mourn. 

As I pulled on her shoulder, the floodgates opened. Tears for her father poured out, and her shoulder released physically. 

Deepening Intimacy by tuning into the Rhythms of Life

Our skulls literally expand and contract at the sutures. This opening and closing happens approximately 10 times per minute. The motion only covers fraction of a millimeter, but we can learn to hone in on it and use it for our own unfolding. It can be a powerful tool for cultivating presence, and its beauty lies in its simplicity.

Tuning into this rhythm on ourselves, the rhythm of life, is the most profound sorcery, however it’s easier at first to feel it on another. The cranial tide swims through the entire physiology, but it’s perhaps most accessible at the skull. If presence is the origin of wisdom, the cranial tide, along with the breath, is the pathway to presence.

Use your relationship to awaken; transform the relationship by transforming yourself

Many of our most profound life lessons show up as intimate partners. Our lovers are called into our lives as teachers and sages. They dredge up our deepest fears and unleash our darkest shadows. They set us free by first binding us to our limitations.

This paradigm shift can be very empowering. By keeping our eyes peeled for lessons we can become avid pupils of life; students of the soul. Suddenly, that which was meaningless begins to make sense. Suddenly, a purpose unfolds, and we notice that it was there all along.

First, stand where you are. (Then, step forward).

First, stand where you are. 

This is easier said than done. Somatically, there are pieces of us scattered in the past. We sit in quiet meditation, and a steady refrain begins to play softly under our awareness. Something about our mother or about our origins. Residual pain from an old injury flares up, and tugs our knee back into the fifth grade. If we breathed just a little deeper, we'd notice that fragment of the heart we broke twenty years ago, that hasn't quite been mended. 

I approach every issue in the same way: Discover and resolve whatever is Incomplete

People come to me with a business challenge, or a creative blockage, or a chronic relationship pattern. I watch their language, mannerisms, and posture as they tell their story, and within a few minutes, the origin of the challenge reveals itself. The right knee is clenching. What an interesting choice of words. They could have chosen any word, and they chose 'battle' to explain their condition. A wave of emotion fluttered through the room when they mentioned their partner, and they swallowed it. I saw exactly where it went. Did they notice that? 

Rearranging the Constellation of Stories that you think you Are (for Healing)

I often say that a human being is a constellation of stories. Some of these stories we adopt passively; some we adopt consciously. There is no authentic story; so there is no authentic way of being, other than experiencing the moment fully, and acting out of that experience. 

I distinguish between the personality and the essence, the terminology of Gurdjieff. The personality is what we present to the world; it is concerned with image fitting in. The essence is the part of ourselves that surfaces during peak or awakening experiences. It experiences being directly. 

How Touching into your Essence Fundamentally Shifts Behavior.

Habits can be changed by force, but it is not an effective approach. There is a lot of friction, and therefore a lot of wasted energy. It is easier to change behaviors through a fundamental shift in the nature of being, which shifts the perspective, which shifts the reality. 

Managing and directing the flow of Creative and Sexual Energy

The process of life comes down to the management and direction of energy. After all, our lifetimes are determined by the finitude of our energy supplies. What we accomplish is determined, in part, by where we direct our energy. 

I've talked about increasing the flow of energy, by releasing blockages, and by preserving energy by stopping energy draining activities, thought loops, and taking power back from vampires. 

I want to talk a little now about the directing of energy. 

Discerning Between The Real and the Illusion

Don't let people (or corporations) manufacture your visions of what is possible, or of what is real. You are the architect of self. You are the curator of your reality. You can choose who you follow. Even this decision pulls attention in the wrong direction. We are given a faulty choice. Don't follow anyone. Blaze your own path; march to the beat of your own drum. And fall in love with the depth of the person, an art, an experience, a place. 

Everything is finite.  Change is the one constant. Beauty wanes. Trends change. The essence never dies. Sometimes you can catch a glimpse of it in a photograph, but mostly there's just the sheen off of skin and hair. 

Pretend your legacy matters. Stand at the center of the universe and grin. Soon, someone else will be standing where you are. You'll be replaced. Everything else is wishful thinking. Your legacy will be washed away like footprints on the beach, as will the rest of them, no matter how earth-shattering they seem. 

It's an illusion; a beautiful illusion. Dance with it, if you dare, but don't for a second believe it. Life is rushing at you. The flowers are in full bloom. The grass twists in the gentle breeze. It's time, again, to fall in love with life. 

How the Budden Process Works (Somatic Breakthrough Delivery); With Esoteric Anatomy of the Skull

While the benefits the Budden Process work are often very clear, the mechanics can be mysterious. 

They are a mystery in part because we are working with consciousness, and consciousness is, almost by definition, a mystery. Many spiritual traditions that are based in mindfulness practices are studies of consciousness. We don't study it much in our culture. Scientists call it 'the hard problem.' For one thing, how does one observe oneself objectively, when even the most minute particles of matter seem influenced by the observer?

Certain principles show up again and again in Budden Process sessions. So we can use these to deepen our understanding. 

What is Nourishment, Really?

“A fight is going on inside me," said an old man to his son. "It is a terrible fight between two wolves. One wolf is evil. He is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other wolf is good. he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you." 

The son thought about it for a minute and then asked, "Which wolf will win?" 

The old man replied simply, "The one you feed.”

Here are some tips for feeding the right one. 

Awakening Belongs to the People (coopting realities)

Organizations immediately move to co-opt everything real, profound, and quintessential to the human experience. As an example, direct experiences of awakening and oneness have been coopted by religions. These experiences of the purest freedom are then used to control. This is the supreme irony. 

Here are a few guidelines for resistance.