Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Community/Subjectivity/The Rest - "Popping the Bubble of Doubt"

Please take the time to watch the video reviewing
the project in question:

I was lucky enough to trade some work in order to attend and assist with a pilot project in Sumatra and Borneo, from which I recently returned. Now, the story of just getting there is a whole essay in and of itself, but I feel more drawn to focus on the major themes that I managed to harvest out of this experience.

This project, which was comprised of a gathering of some very astute and influential people, took place at two locations; Way Kambas Elephant Sanctuary in Sumatra and B.O.S (Borneo Orangutan Survival) resort in Borneo (incidentally, a program funded by Halliburton. I also learned a lot about the background and incidence that led to Indonesia's current socio-economic and ecological state, and that may be a blog for another day).

We set out to film and document our process in regards to working with animals - making use of some interesting technology (Biofield Viewer) and thorough orthopedic assessment to display changes. As is the protocol with this kind of work, we do not lay our hands directly on animals, and so humans would act as the surrogate for a particular animal. Pre/post assessment and images were captured on the human as themselves and as the animal in question, and of course as was not doubted (by myself) we were able to show and capture these physical changes in accordance with what was being observed in these sessions, along with some other wild magical moments that I look forward to reviewing again. We were also able to discern from the handlers/caretakers of these animals, although skeptical at first, that the behavioral differences after these sessions were notable and rather uncommon and they seemed to jive with what we were 'up to'.

This trip was especially interesting for me because it was my job to listen (recording sound), and I surely did. Not only to the tones in people's voices and the clarity of intent that came through it all, but to the whole scenario and process. This was not a research project, but more of a "look-see", to quote one that was present, though it took a turn in that direction. Even though this amazing group of people had gathered together against a whole hoard of impossible circumstance and scheduling, there was a prevailing focus on the assessment process in order to either display or validate that 'something' happened. Something that I noticed in all of this was that, in my humble and subjective opinion, the outcome of these sessions or assessments did not actually seem to be hinged on one technique or practitioner. We had several practitioners ranging from intensely experienced to fairly new in consciousness or energy work, and the results were always dramatic and powerful.

So this had me asking myself the obvious question, "What's really going on here?"

I'm sure I'll be digesting some of this a little more in the coming months, but I believe I understand what happened at least in a general way. It wasn't about proof or self-validation, although for some there was an underlying agenda and that was fine. It wasn't about demonstrating that a technique has an effect because we had zero control around the application of said techniques. It wasn't about what we observed, period. What happened was unpredictably and beautifully subjective...

We came together. A group of amazing super-freaky people with a whole spectrum and range of presence and intuition decided to come together to watch something. And we did. Despite any ego that may have required proof or validation, despite the semi-mechanical process that was observed and the array of agendas that brought us there. Despite the completely wild variance in what was applied or how - we always saw dramatic change; animal, human and environment alike. When a human with zero experience with 'our side' of things was asked to take on the consciousness of an animal, in the presence of that group of observers, they did. Thoroughly and completely - and those experiences will change the work of those particular people going forward for evermore. Those completely subjective experiences.

So back to my subjective (word of the day) interpretation of all of this. I believe that the changes we observed or experienced were a result of the communion or collection of these people and their presence as a unit, not necessarily a result of the application of techniques or even the intent behind them.  Present was an incredibly experienced chiropractor. My back does not crack, no matter how much I'd like it to, ever unless there's a forceful adjustment made (not that that is the only way). He barely laid his hand on my back and "crack-crack-crack". This was beyond intent and beyond agendas, the whole thing. Our presence contained whatever our presence contained, and the culmination of that experience and understanding overrode our human drives and exerted some kind of interaction with our subjects and their environment whether or not we acknowledged it consciously.

I really do believe that at the end of the day, if we had all sat together in silence, we would have been able to record the same results. Not because things are always changing, but because we were all there together. And so how can a practitioner who's playing the role of observer acknowledge the inherent subjectivity in their observations without asking too many questions to validate that subjective experience? Would the outcome be the same regardless?

Better yet, how can we bring people together to consciously support ourselves and our environment through this time of drastic and undeniable global and collective change?

I'm suspecting that the act of coming together to watch is something that we're innately wired to do, and that it's a lot more powerful than a lot of what we choose to invest in... Now, to actualize conscious community...

Sunday, 26 March 2017

What To Do

Subjectivity is the word of the month for me.

As someone who's trained in hardlined physiology, it's been a slow and interesting transition in to a world that starts to lose it's rational guidelines as far as working with people. I work under the umbrella of "BodyTalk", but there's generally more than that happening when someone comes in to see me.

The other day, I bumped in to one of my teachers from high school and had a great conversation with him regarding the psychology VS the systemic structure of teaching. He made mention of our capacity for empathy and how the state of the instructor will inevitably affect the entire room of people. I started to talk about Mirror Neurons and quickly stopped myself, because I realize I was only hinting at the whole truth of that idea.

The truth is that we don't yet fully grasp the entire scope of what humans are capable of. Today I posted a FAQ on BodyTalk hoping that would be enough of an explanation to pull some people in to try it out. Realistically though, the science behind what we're attempting to speak about is currently loose. I have complete faith that in my lifetime we'll actually see the evidence stack up for clarity on what transpires when we decide to sit together and ask what wants to happen VS dictating an ideal and hoping for the best.

I'm encouraged mostly by the rate that we keep discovering new and exciting things about the body and the mind - the Mesentery has been pronounced an official organ! We just discovered that the lungs play a huge role in blood production! What about our brand-new (ancient) Primo Vascular System? And what about the realization that we do indeed have lymphatics in the brain?!

These are just a few of the discoveries that will inevitably drastically change our perception of these machines we seem to inhabit and how we study their relationships. People sometimes ask me what a session looks like and I'm often reduced to a humble, "You'll have to come and see" because no matter which resource I quote or what kind of new science I want to paint it under, the reality of our interaction together is that on some level you're giving yourself permission to change. My explanation thereof does not change your experience. And in that state of openness wacky, sometimes unexplainable things happen... Though your evaluation and integration of that session ends up being completely subjective alongside the results and my perceived observations. 

While abroad recently, someone said something to me that really stuck. I'm paraphrasing here, but the message was that in all our efforts to be objective about one thing or another, we lose sight of the fact that our entire experience, objective or no, is subjective.

I'll leave you with a (completely subjective) testimonial from a recent client of mine. Astounding results, although the session would have appeared to have very little to do with the leg...

"Just a note to let you know my appreciation of your treatment yesterday. My leg feels normal this morning - it is a dramatic change; no buzzing, no odd sensations, no heaviness, no spasming hip muscles...empowering relief. I feel insulated and whole and supported on all levels. I sense immense processing occurring and am grateful, hopeful and inspired. These are all enormous gifts! Thank you for your help; your work is a blessing to our world."

Monday, 13 March 2017

Expir/Inspir on Dreamscapes

I recently returned from a journey through Borneo and Sumatra in part with Linking Awareness Adventures. If ever you had an interest in experiential training around the idea of expanding your perspective and perception, do check out what they're up to!

I often have vivid dreams, and they've really been catching my attention the last few months. I'm always taken with the landscapes in them and they often reflect places I've been or sometimes even show up in my waking life after the fact. This trip was no exception!

I dreamed a few years ago a long and intense dream that picked up where I left off 3 nights in a row (never happened before or since quite like that). I'll spare you the tedious details of the dreams themselves, but at the end of it all I was walking along a misty green mountainous ridge dotted with little odd buildings, winding my way up a mountain to a hospital. Now, the hospital I dreamed about actually showed up last year while doing some outreach work at a hospital in Malang, Indonesia.

But the path! The image of the path has been burned in to my brain ever since that dream. While waiting to recline on an internal flight from Sumatra to Jakarta this year, I happened to pick up the in-flight magazine and flip through the tourism ads... Lo and behold, in a full page image, there was the path I had wandered up in my dream years before.

Mount Bromo, the famous volcano in the Sea of Sand in Eastern Java. The year before, we had tried to arrange a trip up there but nobody was motivated enough so it didn't happen. I'm all for laughing things like this off but this isn't a similarity or resemblance, this is to an absolute 'T' the place I wandered through in that memorable vision. Naturally, a picture of the ad was necessary!

What made this all the more interesting was what happened on my way home this year. I had 12 hours to kill before my international flight from Jakarta, so I checked in to a nearby budget hotel. The man at the desk looked vaguely familiar. There was quite a language barrier, but we worked out that he was on vacation in the same resort I was at last year in Malang and remembered my face. Great! We shook hands and smiled about it all, and I turned around and picked up my bags to hit the elevator up to my room. He asked as I was walking away, "Have you been to Mt. Bromo?"

I turned around wide-eyed and explained that I hadn't been, and asked why he had asked... He shrugged and said "I don't know!"

Some probably don't put as much stock in their dreams and I have a feeling that I have a lot more that are easily forgotten and discounted throughout any given day. To me, this speaks to an idea (of course, coming from another dream) that there is common ground in our dreamscapes. It's entirely possible that I saw a similar image at some point and it just happened to sit in the back of my subconscious, but certainly the inner sanctum of the hospital I wound up actually walking in to wasn't acquired from some fragmented image. I'm big on symbolism and personal messages, and whether it's subconsciously generated or not I don't think it becomes any less relevant to one's self. The more I encourage and allow myself to dream freely, the more difficult it seems to become at times to separate the waking world from what I've already seen.

Bromo is a culturally significant volcano, whose name is derived from a Javanese pronunciation of Brahma, the Hindu creator God. Whatever that means for me I'm still not sure, but it's hard to ignore the spiritual symbolism when applied to the dream I had. Wounded, I wandered for hours up a hill which turns out to be a revered volcano representing the power of creation, only to land myself in a hospital waiting for help. Very cool, at any rate...

I'm in the process of attempting to clarify my dreams in order to see if there's something productive to be done there. I'm often doing a lot of footwork all night long and wake up just as exhausted and sore as I would be in the waking world, so I have a keen interest in trying to rope that in a little bit to see what's possible.

I think that perhaps I might have to take a waking visit back to that volcano, just to see. I wouldn't be too surprised to find there were someone or something waiting up there for me!

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Gratitude and Presence in the Working World

When I started in on school for Registered Massage Therapy, I really had no idea what I was getting in to. I came from a place of openness, realizing after several interesting 'circumstances' that there was a part of me that was driven to 'fix'. Looking for a healthy outlet for this energy, I found myself thrown in to a 3000 hour incredibly intensive program faster than I could think, learning all about a technique and approach that didn't resonate with me.

I've always had a resistance to institution, so I tried to apply what I was learning in an objective way - note the results and go with what works. For my own personal physical stresses, the western approach to hands-on therapy did not, in fact, work. Physiotherapy, Chiropractic, Swedish Massage Therapy - none of these things created any substantial or lasting change in my own physical body. Moreover, the most significant observation around the effects of these practices was the fact that if a strong agenda was present in the practitioner, my body would react paradoxically - break out in hives, get worse, exhibit something like what is commonly referred to as a "healing crisis". I am not at all discounting the validity of these therapies, but I learned quite rapidly that the intention and presence of the person delivering them seemed to be as, if not more, important than the techniques they were choosing to use.

Going forward - and I consider myself incredibly lucky for this one - I started an internship with a man who has made his life about learning, educating on and working with fascia... Not just the connective tissue that's loosely talked about in medical programs (that is changing) but using it to address the WHOLE of an individual. I can't even begin to describe the presence this person had in treatment. His technique and knowledge of anatomy were subtle and masterful, but beyond the technical aspect his presence was what brought people back as lifelong clients.

Here was a man who didn't say much at all. He didn't try to tell you what was wrong, he didn't try to diagnose or presume or offer helpful home tips because he couldn't be responsible for you beyond this time spent together. He simply looked and felt with all of his intuitive and rational self in a way so profound it took me a few years to witness it again in another person. The difference between him and other people of a similar philosophy was that he was truly THERE with his clients. His whole life and world poured in to all 60 minutes of an hour, and it did not wear him out.

This was a defining and formative time in my life. I walked away from that internship, before even graduating from the program, convinced I needed to throw out all technique I had learned. And I did. In the student clinic I found a way to work with people in a movement-based session, without the oils, without the etiquette and pretense that as a student there was actually nothing I could do beyond making sure your central nervous system was relaxed and your blood was indeed flowing. I started seeing the results I knew were possible, and even with the completely superficial understanding of the techniques I was attempting to use, the fact that I could sometimes remain present and really try to feel what was happening seemed to lead to positive outcomes.

Fast forward to now. My practice has completely changed again. The underlying philosophy on presence has not changed but my suspected understanding of what is actually happening is something I'm constantly expanding on. I've learned a multitude of new, reliable techniques that are non-invasive and effective... All of this is integrated in to my presence with my clients.

Through BodyTalk, I've been taught ways in which I can objectively assess, work off-body altogether, and then reassess to show the (sometimes drastic) results of working with a potential in the field VS. the physical body itself. A prominent figurehead in the therapeutic world, Dr. Kerry D'Ambrogio (whose textbook on positional release was a required buy in school) helped to validate a lot of these concepts for me. And when you tie in some of the history and emotional charges associated with the way a body presents, the effect and change is undeniable. This leads in to the idea of working remotely or from a distance. I won't even begin to delve in to an explanation for how or why this works as I can only muse and guess at the realities of the physics behind it all, but I do know that it works. In my experience working with my own things and offering this type of session for others, sometimes the results are faster and more palpable than an in-person session.

It all still comes back to presence. Technique and knowledge adds to what my system can account for in another's, but at the end of the day I still can't disprove the effect real presence has on these exchanges. I am blessed to get to spend time bathing in gratitude for what I have experienced and what I can facilitate as a presence for my fellow human beings.

A beautiful testimonial on distance work from my amazing friend and colleague:

"I had the privilege of meeting Brodie on a Practitioner Development course in Indonesia. His knowledge and ease in conducting his BodyTalk sessions was incredible to witness. Since our meeting I have had a few distance BodyTalk sessions with Brodie and the information and results have been incredible.

Brodie's understanding of the body's anatomy juxtaposed with his understanding of consciousness and metaphysical principles leads to a wild ride....

The greatest shift Brodie helped to facilitate for me was one of being in a static state of martyrdom to shifting to a role of unconditional support. This was not only affecting my emotional state, but creating disharmony in the body, especially in relation to my endocrine system and hormones running rampant.

Brodie helped bring greater clarity on the physical move that was creating these issues and helped me to redefine and create better boundaries with my loved ones while helping me to feel better! And all of this pretty much overnight!

I love how Brodie makes his distance sessions work. The last session we had he recorded the notes and sent them to me in mp3 format. Listening to it made the session feel less "distant" and that he was right there in the session with me.

Brodie's humble confidence and warm neutrality speaks to his profound ability to stand in presence of the body's innate wisdom to heal. Not always an easy task. Brodie knows when to support this process to create the necessary shifts and changes.

Brodie's very presence is healing.

I look forward to an "in-person" session soon but absolutely love our distance work. I highly, highly recommend setting up a session with Brodie - whether you feel called for a specific reason or just "because" and whether you are in his neck of the woods or in another country - the results and shifts are the same 🙂

~Megan Adams
Certified BodyTalk Practitioner"

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Therapy and BodyTalk

In my work I play a very specific and defined role as observer and facilitator. Some people hold different definitions for what it is I "do", however the result is the same. I've come to realize that above technique and specific knowledge, presence and neutrality seem to play an even more essential role in supporting the individual. When we cast the net a little wider and really take a look, it is easy to see the way physical distress was made manifest in the first place. It becomes difficult to argue with the idea that any conscious agendas at play are often missing a deeper and more meaningful order to the things that want to play out. The information that comes from a clear, neutral presence and observation has, at least in my life, been profound, accurate and life-changing.

This is why I am such a strong believer in the BodyTalk System as an integrative approach to the whole person and beyond. Through a system of muscle testing similar to applied Kinesiology combined with an all-encompassing protocol, we incorporate everything I know in to a system designed to suss out the true priority as it presents on all levels - physical, energetic, spiritual and beyond. My practice as an RMT consists primarily of an approach that combines my knowledge of anatomy and physiology with Craniosacral Therapy, Muscle Energy Technique and Myofascial work. BodyTalk allows me to take those techniques and integrate them in to its protocol, so that I may pull my own agenda with these approaches out of the picture and allow a deeper story to present itself. Not only then is it possible to see the physical priority and how to integrate these techniques in a very effective and safe way, but it opens up a world of other modalities and conceptual philosophies in order to pinpoint the underlying cause - whether it emerged from an energetic potential, or something like an active memory from childhood that may still be affecting a person today.

As it evolves and my own knowledge evolves, so do my sessions and the layers they can unwind. Part of my love for this is that I have not stopped learning in the two+ years that I've been studying this multi-faceted modality, and I don't imagine that such learning will stop or slow anytime soon. The most beautiful thing about this is that it will reveal another practitioner or/modality as a priority when my resource is not what is needed. Everyone needs something different, and this approach does not presume to be the end-all and be-all of what is required in an individual's journey through health and consciousness.

If you are interested in a session with me, please visit my Facebook Page to find my contact info. If you are not near me physically, don't be afraid to ask me about how BodyTalk works over distance or remotely - some of the most profound sessions I've had have been from half way across the world. I'll write more about this in the future.

The BodyTalk System
Linking Awareness Adventures