This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Body­work

Body­work is all about dis­en­tan­gling your­self from your wacky thoughts. We all have them. Blam­ing, chid­ing, crit­i­ciz­ing, ornery thoughts.

Back when there was a site, there was a high­ly pop­u­lar Body­work sec­tion. I’ve been work­ing on turn­ing the infor­na­tion into a book / e‑book. So, let me know–good idea? You interested?

The word of the year

Sev­er­al years ago, I picked my “word for 2010,” which was “unbind­ing.” I decid­ed on “unbind­ing” as an expres­sion of nir­vana - a state of being that is devoid of cling­ing, per­tur­ba­tions, and knottiness. 

Unbinding comes from one definition of this hard-to-define word. (see wikipedia)

Nir, (means “knot”) + va-na, (means “weav­ing”,) = “free­dom from the knot of the dis­tress­ful thread of kar­ma.”

Unbinding. Unknotting. Untangling.

So, the wise soul asks, “Unbound from what?”

Unbind­ing one­self from the allure of mind trips by join­ing the mind with the body in the here and now.

In the last arti­cle I men­tioned that true vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty is a byprod­uct of escap­ing from the trap of end­less men­tal games and descrip­tions, into the realm of action. And this seems to me to be the ulti­mate unbinding. 

Oh. By the bye, notice that the word is unbinding, not unbound. This is a process. We learn how to unbind our­selves, and then con­tin­ue to do so, until we die. It’s not one time, game over. 

This is not a quick fix  —  quick fix­es aren’t, and don’t!

Most peo­ple I know live in their heads, and have only a nod­ding (could­n’t resist…) acquain­tance with their bod­ies. And in this arti­cle, I don’t even real­ly want to talk about doing bodywork.

I want to talk about how sad it is when one is caught in one’s stories. 

Oh, the twists and turns a tan­gled mind is capa­ble of. It’s like a rat’s nest up there. Some peo­ple alter­nate­ly love and hate their spouse. Back and forth, back and forth. 

She” says she wants com­mu­ni­ca­tion, and all she does is judge. She says she wants fun, and all she does is blame.
“He” gets tired and push­es back, and she gets harsh­er.
He pulls in and acqui­esces, and she decides to stay, as she’s con­vinced he’s final­ly trainable.

And noth­ing changes, as this loop is ingrained in both of them, and they “enjoy” the drama.

Oth­ers get caught in a “I’m a fail­ure,” or “I’m not good enough” loop. Oth­ers, in an “I’ll nev­er have a suc­cess­ful (rela­tion­ship, career, fam­i­ly. etc.)” loop. And the odd thing? All that’s hap­pen­ing is that they are on a hunt.

For what, you ask? More “evidence” to support their preconceived notions.

Makes you won­der: why col­lect evi­dence to sup­port what you say you don’t want? Answer: because they DO, at some lev­el, want to con­firm their tale of woe. Much bet­ter than the risk and inse­cu­ri­ty of strik­ing off on an unchart­ed walk.

And there lies the rub.

Despite the obvi­ous­ness of this, let me state:

Think­ing about doing things dif­fer­ent­ly is being caught - entan­gled, bound, because thought  —  think­ing, pon­der­ing, reflect­ing, all change noth­ing.

Grip­ing, com­plain­ing, demand­ing res­cue, demand­ing that the world change  —  changes nothing.

Doing some­thing dif­fer­ent? That changes things. It’s the only thing that does.

Change comes at a price, and the price is actu­al­ly doing some­thing. In most cas­es, it’s doing what you say you’ll do.

  • If you say you are going to com­mu­ni­cate using a mod­el, you do so.
  • If you say you are going to start a project, you start it.
  • If you say you’re going to treat your grown kids as adults, you do it.

No grip­ing, no whin­ing about how hard change is. No blam­ing your par­ents for inad­e­quate train­ing in get­ting a life.

Unbinding is stopping doing what does not work, while doing what does.

Unbind­ing is dis­en­tan­gling your­self from your wacky thoughts. We all have them. Blam­ing, chid­ing, crit­i­ciz­ing, ornery thoughts. On and on, like a bro­ken record. They mean noth­ing, and are just chat­ter, unless you choose to make them the cen­ter­piece in a mean­ing­less life. Then, they take on a life of their own.

The next time you feel bound, tight, caught, have a breath. Move your atten­tion to the tight­ness, hot­ness, cold­ness, dry­ness, or wet­ness in your body. Ask your­self, “What is this? What does my body want?” 

Most­ly, if you lis­ten, you’ll hear, “Do some­thing! Move me, shake me, use me!” Those aches and pains have been caused by you, as you forced your body into sub­mis­sion and sur­ren­der, and yet on it fights, send­ing you mes­sages, try­ing to get your atten­tion, cajol­ing you to act differently.

Go out of your mind, and come to your sens­es.

Fritz Perls

Unwrap their arms from your chest, unlock your legs, and open your­self to the world. Become free of bound­ed­ness, and open to pos­si­bil­i­ties. From this stance of vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty, it is pos­si­ble, very pos­si­ble, to take a ten­ta­tive step or two into anoth­er real­i­ty. But only if you unbind your­self, and then take a step.

What sto­ry are you using to stay bound? What would it be like to unbind your­self? What fear-based sto­ry do you tell to stay stuck? What would it be like to tell your­self a more inter­est­ing story?

What would it be like, to let your body work?

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