We are like rivers. A healthy young river has solid, narrow banks and fast, clean flow; an aging river meanders, with unstable banks and irregular flow. I live on the thirteenth floor of a high rise on the river; before this I had a house on the river. I have observed over the years what happens to flow through the seasons. As people age, they become like the aging river.
I loved my house. It was a small cabin style home -- it was like being at the lake, the way it was positioned, yet only a block away from a major city artery. The backyard was completely private and faced a park directly across the river, close to where I grew up. The view was phenomenal.
Photo Credit: Rachael Aberle
It was situated on a bend. The current flowed toward the house, at a point where the banks were wide. In the springtime the river would pound on the bank directly in front of the property, gradually undermining it. In six years of living there, we lost a significant amount of land. Meanwhile, on the other side of the river, you could see deposits causing the bank to build and extend beyond itself. At the edges, eddies would pull in debris, trapping garbage and waste.
Every year, as spring turned to summer, life would thrive on the banks. What kind of life depended on the health of the area. Where banks are healthy and flow is fast, the water is clean, and wholesome life abounds. Where there are disruptions to flow and eddies are present, waste accumulates, promoting growth of algae, which attracts less savory organisms. So it is with the human body.
From my apartment, thirteen stories up, I have a different perspective -- an eagle’s eye view. One spring, to the right of my building, a fallen tree had extended into the river. It was fascinating to observe how this barricade changed the current. It brought me back to the Fibonacci sequence and the way energy moves in waves and spirals.
The tree stretched quite far. It was old; its base right at the bank. It must have lost its grip with the spring flood and uprooted itself. There it sat, creating a visual display for me to study over the summer: a magnificent gift that brought clarity to my evolving insights.
Typically, foam on the surface of the water would flow in the middle, halfway between the banks. Presumably, this was where the current was strongest, the foam riding the wave like a surfer. The interesting part was what happened to the foam as it approached the area of the fallen tree.
The foam was pulled toward the tree in a spiraling pattern, accumulating on the underside. Here was a striking confirmation of everything I had been learning about the Fibonacci sequence as the underlying architecture of the universe, and the golden mean spiral as the way energy moves through it. As with the smoke leaving the pipe, I could see how the foam first traveled in a wave, then began to spiral as it moved toward the tree, and finally disintegrated into apparent chaos, where the foam was intermingling and intertwining, the threads losing any apparent order. Now I had two visuals to help me make sense of what my fingers were detecting. To stop the foam from spiraling into chaos, all that was needed was to remove the tree.
Everything in nature mirrors nature. This is loaded with meaning; among other things, it helped me put together a language with which to teach Fluid Isometrics. If you observe the movement of my hands on the surface of a body, there is no apparent pattern. This always presented a challenge when I was teaching therapists. They would ask why I did what I did, or how I knew where to go next; but the fact was that I wasn’t planning the route; it was already there. The route is the path along which the tissue has sealed over time; and in that respect, as in so many others, everyone is unique. One must learn how to tap into the seams of time and let the tissue guide. This can’t be explained logically. I learned to teach with visual analogy, just as nature was teaching me.
When working on patients, I could feel that under the surface chaos lay the spiral. This was where the tissue felt dense. Screwing into this density would create a release. Once the area softened, a wave of flow resumed. I loved that I could now explain the actions that my hands were intuitively taking. It wasn’t chaos; the pattern was definite and followed the laws of nature. Following the path of least resistance uses the concept of persuasion vs. force. When you tap into the seams of time, magic happens!
I have this wonderful video to share with you of the river. I love the power of the visual demonstration this video provides. Enjoy!
Next Week: Stay Connected this Holiday Season