Be Activated – Checking out, checking in. Let Me Begin…
Douglas Heel’s Technique – Be Activated, enabled me to reconnect with my broken body.
It’s said that the body is the vessel for the subconscious and I’m gimping proof that my subconscious dumped a world of emotional detritus into my psoas and diaphragm. The result? A 333 leg, an unstable shoulder and a story that needed to be put to rest. During a follow-up Be Activated course I was faced with a few uncomfortable truths. I had checked out.
A fact of life is that until one is awoken from one’s ‘fug’ the embrace of misery becomes comfortable. I had a reason why my life had gone a bit wrong. I had my story of woe and I had dropped into a place of irresolute ambivalence. Cruise mode override happened without warning.
In the space of two days an old friend, Maria Arpa, asked how my life was going without my rudder. Douglas Heel, the genius behind the Be Activated Philosophy, probed my deeper emotional state and Martin Feaver, a virtual stranger asked me how my story and the pain I associated with it served me. All three questions were uncomfortable and although Douglas’ rattled me as I peered into a vacuum – I want to say Abyss but Abyss has depth- Martin’s question harried me. What was I getting from my pain, my story?
I was handed a mirror and saw the Gorgon of paralysis, her eyes half closed staring back.
A few years previously I’d been involved in a collision on the streets of Amsterdam. It wasn’t the first time I’d fallen and injured myself. I have broken bones, I dislocated my foot and I’ve had a few concussions. Not because I’m clumsy but because I grew up with brothers and friends who played rough. We climbed, abseiled, canoed, rode motorbikes. I fell from a 70 foot, home-made zip line; landed badly during a skydive and more, but falling from my bicycle on that rain-soaked Amsterdam morning became my never ending story on a never ending loop. I didn’t realise it at the time. There was fear and anxiety surrounding my future and I’d attached it all to the injuries I sustained.
And psoas the sad tale goeth.
Oblivious to the power that I had gifted to my demons, I’d rocked up to Douglas Heel’s Be Activated training and was abruptly reacquainted with myself. I hadn’t realised that I had checked out mentally and that my body had joined me. I’d moved house for the 4th time in 3 years, my work had dried up and I was miserable.
From a yoga perspective, the hips are our emotional centre. I know this and still, I’m surprised when my body runs its default pattern. The second I’m annoyed, anxious or sad my diaphragm locks and my negative internal monologue grabs another ride on the not so merry go round. The psoas is intelligent, it’s sensitive and mine knows me better than I know myself.
When life becomes difficult you can either acknowledge your lot or you can check-out. The first option means analysing the problem, pinpointing the triggers and then devising a robust strategy to overcome. When choosing the second option -pay attention now Lads- it is absolutely crucial that you avoid responsibility at all costs. So avoid I did. I ignored what was irking me and I moved to Galway anyway. Galway, Ireland. Known fondly as The graveyard of ambition. However, I wasn’t idle. I had fun, I watched the storms, went to wine school, became a connoisseur of Irish craft beer, developed a taste for Guinness, became ‘The Girleen’ to the ‘eld fellas’ in the snug.- one can see where this is heading.
I’d become jaded with the world of yoga. It had become too commercialised. I moved less -well my shoulder hurts me doesn’t it tho. Then BAM! the realisation that I’d reduced myself to the title of Bev, the yoga teacher with the 5-year shoulder injury who complained that *yoga porn’ was to blame for my lack of lustre.
I came back from the course feeling fairly pissed off with myself but I realised pretty soon that it was harder to stay in the misery than it was to move forward. I had a strong but kind word with myself. I did the work, it’s still ongoing. I’m conscious, I’m motivated and I have a spade and a plan, and if you ask me what inspires me. I can tell you and you can test it.
I might not have a fully functioning psoas yet but I will, and until then I’m off to buy some skimpy yoga apparel and stick my leg behind my head just for the craic, then I’m heading to the beach to bury something old and boring.
Stay strong, stretched and activated
* Yoga Porn – Extreme asana performed by scantily clad, bendy young ‘Wans.’