Welcome to Body Happy with Carl Rabke and Erin Geesaman Rabke

≡ Menu

“It’s not happiness that makes us grateful but gratefulness that makes us happy.” – Br. David Steindl Rast

Softening our Rigidities We Find the Healing Power of Nature

A note from Carl:

Greetings,

Last week I attended a powerful retreat with Will Johnson, where we worked with bringing hands-on bodywork sessions into sitting meditation retreats to support ease, comfort and vitality in sitting practice. There was a line he shared during the retreat that has been resonating, percolating and inspiring both Erin and myself ever since:

“Fortunate are those who have learned to soften the rigidities within, for they have access to the universal healing power of nature.”

Softening our Rigidities We Find the Healing Power of NatureAllow me to share it again, as it is worthy of repeating:

“Fortunate are those who have learned to soften the rigidities within, for they have access to the universal healing power of nature.”

Sounds like some great Taoist master, right? Maybe Chuang Tsu? Or even the Buddha?

According to Will, this is an earlier translation of the line from Jesus, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
Wow! You see how translations can be like the old “telephone” game we played as children.

To me, this line is so central to what it means to be waking up in the world.

We can look at these rigidities on many levels.

Erin and I have often written about making the shift from a physiology of fear to the physiology of love as a basic re-orientation.

For so many of us, most of the time, we are embodying aspects of a “chronic startle reflex”- including tightness in the jaw and shoulders, narrowly focused and darting eyes, restricted breathing, and tension in the pelvic floor.

We get so used to these tensions that they become invisible and seemingly normal, yet when we are in that startle response, we lose access to states like compassion, learning, empathy and creativity that rely on what Dr. Stephen Porges calls the neuroception of safety.
When we learn to sense and soften the holding in those areas, there is so much we gain access to on an inner and outer level.

We could also look at the ways that we have learned to experience ourselves as rigid and separate beings. We might know intellectually that at an atomic level we are made up of 99.99 percent space with a little tweak of movement and substance, yet our identities can feel so solid and rigid, our back pain can feel so solid, our challenging situations can feel so stuck.

When our friend Russell Delman was teaching an advanced training for Feldenkrais practitioners some years ago, he said “Generally, when people come to your office, they come in with 3 strong nouns: There is a person, with a body, that has a problem. Our job is to help shift those nouns back into verbs- to help people experience themselves as living process.”

I love the line that Tara Brach often uses in her meditations:

Ice melting into water… water into gas.

Softening the rigidities within…

With this view, you can see how powerful an inquiry like “Is there any way I can do this with less effort and more pleasure?” can be. In any activity you’re doing, you can notice “Is there a way I can soften the rigidity?” Notice if the “universal healing power of nature” begins to show up in your experience more and more.

Softening our Rigidities We Find the Healing Power of NatureWishing you access to the universal healing power of nature,
and with many thanks for all your kind words in response to Erin’s email last week.
We’re grateful beyond words,
Carl

We'd love to give you a gift.

Where should we send your FREE 6-minute audio: Your Body's Gateway to Ease?

{ 0 comments… add one }

Leave a Comment