I thought I’d write about the similarities between the Indian Chakra System and Psychotherapy (and human development.)
Finding Stable Ground
I got to thinking about the word “stable.” Now, ignoring the “home for horses” definition, stable means,
1: not changing or fluctuating (the patient’s condition was listed as stable)
2: not subject to insecurity or emotional illness (a stable personality)
Source: Merriam-Webster’s Medical Dictionary, © 2002 Merriam-Webster, Inc
Now, of course, the word also has to do with stability, or “the capacity of an object to return to equilibrium or to its original position after being displaced.”
I find it interesting that language concerning the body is often used to describe mental or emotional states – for example, “He doesn’t have a leg to stand on.” Or, “She just can’t stomach him.”
Try this one, then: “After the accident, Joe seemed perfectly stable, but Mary became increasingly unstable.”
What did you think?
I would guess that you made an assumption about Joe and Mary’s mental or emotional state, not about how well they were standing. Yet, from a Bodywork perspective, how a person stands says volumes about how they “are” in the world.
No one can be “stable” if their physical core is ready to fall over.
You need to “get” that the framework I’m presenting here is not “right.” It’s just a way of looking at things – a perspective. And a perspective is like this – you and I are standing a few feet apart, looking at something. No matter what, our perspective (how we see the thing) will be different. If we stand in the same place, it’s still different, because time is involved, and all things change over time. Also, my eyes are different from yours (obvious example – you may be colour-blind…)
My favourite perspective, then, is eastern. I describe things from a Chinese, Japanese and Indian perspective. The feet, legs, anal area, and First Chakra area are interconnected, and have to do with stability, security, sense of being entitled to occupy space, and also (at the First Chakra/anal level) the holding onto versus willingness to release past traumas and sexual confusion.
Almost everyone holds some blocked material at the First Chakra level. If I am unwilling to “let go of my crap,” then my life will be about clinging to past hurts, abuse, confusion, trauma. This, in turn, leads to issues around balance and stability.
(Another Bodywork expression – “He seems to be well balanced.” – where did you go with that?) Balance and stability are what we call Root issues, and are also about feeling rooted to the ground.
I think you get the drift.
Or, maybe not. This perspective takes getting used to. First of all, it’s about the connection between the way our body “is”, and how we carry ourselves, and our mental and emotional states. In other words, the realms are closely inter-related.
Because most people can’t see their bodies, and because it’s hard to see something different about ourselves (we’re used to seeing the person in the mirror, so we miss the obvious physical signs) we are constantly providing illustrations.
A while back Darbella and I invented a Workshop we called “The Grid.” We took pictures of people from the front, side, and back, and then imposed a Grid over the photos. In this way, people could see the way their bodies tipped off of what we call neutral. I never got permission to use those photos.
I’ll just show you a couple of portraits from my days as a commercial photographer. I have releases for these. These pictures might just help you to see that how people stand on the ground is a great indicator of who they are and where they are stuck.
This first picture is of a dancer (I did PR photos for their dance troupe.) In every shot, she is leaning forward, ahead of her centre of balance. Rather than get into definitions (i.e. “headstrong”) just feel the instability in her posture, now that you are aware of it.
Second picture, health club owner. I asker her to stand normally and turn 45 degrees to camera.
Notice: her legs are collapsed at the knees, (“weak kneed”) her pelvis is thrust forward, this to compensate for her upper body falling back. (“a push-over”) Again, just feel for what you sense in the picture.