knowledge + experience
They say you teach what you most need to learn and in my case that is true. I teach people how to relax, receive, and change their state so that I can also keep learning how to relax, receive, and change my state even more - so I can continue to evolve. I have been blessed to give massage to and nurture more people than I can count over the last 11 years. With this experience I can say with certainty: the hardest thing for people to do is to let go. It sounds funny doesn’t it? When I tell new clients “even though we just met and we’re strangers, the most helpful thing you can do is to let go and simply let me move you…If you want to help, try not to help.” I almost always get a nervous chuckle with a nod. We want to relax but we don’t really know how to relax.
A friend introduced me to Dr. Joe Dispenza’s work and after listening to a few interviews and reading a couple of articles, I felt something light up in me. Finally! someone was demystifying the mystical. He frequently says things like “it’s not a time just to know anymore, it’s time to know how.” And “knowledge is the precursor to experience.” And “Our thoughts and feelings create our personality and our personality creates our personal reality.” (PS I highly recommend reading Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself)
It turns out when you know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, it assigns more meaning and more value to the act which then helps you to relax into it. And when you can relax into something more, you receive more benefits, you create a positive associated emotion and your whole system comes into a state of health and balance.
If I get a new client who hasn’t had much experience on the table and I don’t introduce myself, tell them a little bit about my approach, use a one liner of light-hearted humor to let them know that they’re in good company with their neck and shoulder pain, let them know briefly where I’ll begin and where I’ll end, etc… then it will take more time for them to settle, they’ll be more protective, ticklish, jumpy, alert. But if I take time to run them through what they can expect, then I can literally see them begin to relax because they feel safe, they have an idea of what’s coming. Quite literally, they're making a neural connection in their brain to something relatable. And they have an amazing experience on the table. They're a new person when they get up than from when they laid down. Something happened. They express gratitude about feeling so much better; they now have an experience to go with the knowledge they learned of what the benefits of bodywork can be and in result they have a positively associated memory. And that memory acts as an inspiration to want to do it again.. to get better at it, to receive more, to relax more, to feel better.
If I give my kids a command and, when they say “why?” I say, “because I said so” then they’re more likely to roll their eyes, complain or resist. But if I take a minute and explain to them that we drink water because we are 70% water and staying hydrated helps our body to function well so we stay healthy and can feel good when we do fun things, then they’re like “oh, ok, mom” and they do it! They have an understanding. Their neocortex, or forebrain, makes a neural connection. They know what "feel good and fun things" means and now they're associating health and water with that. They're making a link in the brain. Dr. Joe also commonly says "what links in the brain, syncs in the brain."
It's challenging to get motivated by all the "shoulds" in your life if you're already overwhelmed. Eat healthier, exercise more... especially if you're associating those words with it being hard or boring or not having enough time/energy. Something I will often ask clients when they say they want to lose weight is "what will having that do for you?" After I ask that a few times in response to their answers ("and so what will having that do for you?"), they almost always get to a place of "I'll just feel better" or "I'll enjoy my life" or "I'll feel whole." Isn't that enough of a reason?
So let that knowledge be the precursor to your experience. Instead of being driven by a not-enoughness or a should or something you're not already, be inspired by knowing you'll simply feel better. And you know what that feels like.
Right now, recall a memory of a time where you felt really good. Remember the setting, the people, the place, the time. Hold that feeling in your heart - a time where you felt whole and complete. Now, while holding that feeling in your heart, imagine that past version of you sometime in the future doing something you'd like to experience more of. What choices would someone who feels really good make? How would that version of you that feels good act? What kinds of thoughts would someone that feels whole and complete think?
Dr. Joe also says that knowledge is for the mind and experience is for the body. Thoughts tend to be the electric charge and feelings are the magnetic charge, what draws in the experience. Once you begin to feel the emotion, you chemically (because emotions are chemicals released in the brain - energy in motion = e-motion) instruct your body to be in alignment with what your mind knows/learned (knowledge acquired). So you've gone from thinking to doing - knowing to experiencing. You made a connection in your brain. And if you do it over and over again, you will become more familiar with embodying this state. You will move from thinking to doing to being. After all, we are human beings.
So what's something you can learn about this week and then move into that experience? What's your why? How will that feel? Can you move into that feeling now? If you can spend time every day mentally rehearsing feeling the feeling now, you will rewire your brain to think and act in a way that links with that feeling. If you can master overwhelm and insecurity, you can just as easily master feeling whole and complete.