If you’re a learner like me, you like to understand the end before you can fully grock the whole process. In other words, the question “where is all this going? what’s next?” is just as important at the beginning as at the end.
As its worst, I think, this kind of questioning is a way of avoiding, of mentally needing every duck in a row before committing to something (and there are always ducks not in their rows, yeah?). As its best, though, it’s an appreciation of the whole, of beginnings and endings mirroring each other, and existing co-dependently.
That’s my long introduction for what’s below: a one-page letter I just wrote to give to my first, and subsequent, graduates of a KMI Structural Integration series. So even though it’s not a letter to you per se, if you haven’t gone through a full SI series, it’s for you if it offers any more insight into this process.
Thoughts for Departure
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?”
Cheers on completing your Structural Integration series! Perhaps take a moment to reflect upon the you who walked in my door months ago, and the you who is reading these words now.
Like any good graduation, this is of course an ending, though just as certainly a beginning, and in many ways now is when the real change begins. By that I mean, the task now is to live into your new structure and its new pattern, expansional ability, limitations and all.
Here are a few guidelines I’ve found helpful in this process.
- Listen for what’s next.
You may find your patterns in daily life have naturally shifted, either subtly or dramatically. In terms of movement, this may look like you not feeling as drawn to an old sport or way of moving as you once were, maybe as you “have always been.” Tune into your internal listening for what’s next, how your structure wants to move and express now. Don’t worry, it’s not permanent; it never is.
As a rule of thumb: movement in general, and especially more multi-planar movement, will help reinforce and develop an expanded posture. Think yoga, dance, tai chi (though the same principles can certainly be found in more typically-linear sports like running, or lifting weights). Again, start by noticing what you’re feeling drawn to now.
- Reinforce positive change.
As with anything in the body, good nutrition, hydration and enough rest will continue to serve you well. Especially now.
- Rest assured.
Changes in the fascial web would last for months untouched. And, of course, they’re not untouched. The openness is reinforced every time you stretch your arms above your head in the morning, or walk in a more balanced, expanded way.
- More bodywork …
… may indeed be in your future. As a rule of thumb for more structural bodywork, live into what you’ve got now for six months to a year or so. After that time, you could come back for a shorter, probably three-to-five session, “tune up” of sorts (I put this in quotes because in some ways it’s a tune up, and in some ways it’s actually working with deeper structures that weren’t available to us originally).
As for if and when, this goes back to listening for what’s next. You’ll know.
May all this allow you to serve the world well.
Liam Bowler, LMP, BCSI
Dynamic Alignment Bodywork