I have been quoted numerous times regarding my belief that “one of the greatest gifts of craniosacral therapy is that it offers the individual the opportunity to heal at whatever level they desire…physically, emotionally, or spiritually”. However, having had the opportunity to watch literally thousands of individuals on this path of healing, it becomes very obvious how difficult it is for many of us to “connect” with all these aspects. Being a physical therapist, most individuals come to me with some physical complaint. Many times it will be neck pain, back pain, migraines or nerve pain. As part of the physical therapy aspect, I must ask, “Describe your pain, how often do you have it? Is it increased by walking/stress/weather?” It is surprising how difficult it is for many to answer these questions. Why do we find it so challenging to describe how our bodies feel?
Often we feel that we “don’t have time” to listen to our own bodies, let alone to “tune in” enough to describe it to someone else. Yet, we all know that we can’t fully connect with others or with God, if we don’t take the time to connect within ourselves. It is as simple as making time to listen…first to ourselves and then to others and spirit.
“Making time” for ourselves is a commitment. Often we feel we have to give ourselves permission to do this. As a parent, it is common to feel that by taking time for ourselves, we are taking time away from our families. As an employee/employer, we can feel that we are taking time away from our work. Yet this is exactly where we need to begin. What better example to share with our families and colleagues?
When we solicit advice on how to make this time, a common response is “just meditate”. However, this is sometimes difficult for many of us with our busy lives. I have seen individuals who have made this commitment, yet feel pressured by the concept of “meditation.” I recommend starting with an activity that seems natural to you. Perhaps it is taking a long walk by yourself, ten quiet minutes sitting next to a brook, or just being outside to listen to the birds sing. Ideally, try to find a quiet time and space that is convenient to your life. Pray. Prayer is one of the easier ways to find that quiet space.
Focus on how you physically feel , not just forgetting about the stress of your day, or what the kids/spouse said to you at dinner. Connect with your physical body.
Ask yourself, “what part of me feels good, what part does not?” Knowing your physical body can ease your ability to connect with emotions and spirit.
Take time to exercise. What better way to connect with your body than to dedicate time to it? Many times we think of that quiet space to connect, but our bodies need physical activity. In this computer and desk world we live in, occupations that used to be all physical labor are monopolized by technology. We “tune in” so much to technology…computer, internet, television, radio/iPods…that we “tune out” us. Instead of exercising to the television, put your treadmill by a window to look out into nature.
Find someone to emulate. We all have someone in our lives that just seems to “have it together”…they exude that balance that we are all looking for. While connection or balance can be a struggle to maintain in this busy world…it can also be contagious.
Throw away phrases such as, “I just don’t have the time”. We do have the time. We each are blessed with 24 hours each day. It ishow we chooseto use this time. I choose to dedicate at least some time each and every day to me…to how I feel physically…to how I feel emotionally…to how I feel spiritually. Connect and LIVE!
Vanessa Cayle, MSPT is a physical therapist and owner/director of the CranioSacral Institute of MI., LLC. She teaches and presents craniosacral therapy and Frequency Specific Microcurrent (FSM). She is part of the National Advisory Board for FSM.