Blog

Category
  • The Sky and Earth of Orienting

    As living beings on planet earth, we have a lot in common with the other creatures.  We all are held here by gravity - we all need the support of roots (be they literal or perceptual).  We all rise up towards the sun, to the nourishment coming from the environment (water, air, food etc). 

    But in a technological age, we can lose touch to these fundamentals. Most of us know intrinsically that we suffer with too much screen time, with too much time spend in our heads.  This suffering is not abstract, real physical changes are occurring.  When we are not feeling and moving our body and when we are narrowing our senses to a small frame in front of us, our fundamental orienting and sensing capacities are diminished. 

    Luckily, just as easily as we lose them, we can reclaim these capacities.  But we have to do a challenging thing.  We have to stay more present, slow down, feel, smell and see freshly our physical selves in our environment.  As we begin to learn some language of sensation we begin to learn the language of the body. 

    I’d like to spend two blogs inquiring into this.  In this blog we will consider the question "What is orienting?".  The topic of the next blog will be ask "How do we sense?"  Finally we will learn about the fundament ways we perceive ourselves and our flow of life.

    Orienting 

    As creatures of this planet we orient through two poles.  Earth and Space (sky).   

    Earth orienting 

    • Sensing the earth through our feet (or any body part touching the ground) 

    • Feeling our weight (gravity) 

    • Receiving support 

    • Like the roots of the tree 

    • More related to the back line of the body 

    • The arrow head is pointing down 

    Space orienting 

    • Perceiving the environment through our senses 

    • Feeling our buoyancy 

    • Relating to the world 

    • Like the leaves of the tree 

    • More related to the front line of the body 

    • The arrow head is pointing up 

    Each of us will naturally tend to a preference to one pole.  A balance between poles will provide the safety to engage creatively with life.  

    Embodiment

    Earth orienting: Where ever you are (sitting, standing, walking, laying) take a few moments to feel the ground beneath you. What sensations do you feel?  Is it pressure, touch, temperature?  Do you feel the hardness or softness of the surface you are on?  Do you feel stable?  Is there anything you can do to feel more stable? Perhaps shifting your weight slightly.  Perhaps connecting to the bones or the waters of the body. How is this?  Can you name the sensations you associate with gravity? eg heaviness, solidity, anchoring, safety.

    Space orienting: now as you feel the qualities of weight with you can you also notice the environment.  Can you soften your gaze to include yourself in the landscape?  Can you feel the space behind you from the skin on your back?  Can you imagine the horizon omnidirectionally in the landscape around you?  Can you imagine your own equator? How is that? Can you name sensations here? Perhaps you feel volume, spacious, soft, light, or vulnerable. 

    Now slowly let go of the practice and return to your usual self.  Can you notice any changes in your body shape as you return to the familiar?  Get up and walk around.  Observe for a few moments any sensations you feel.  You could try transitioning back and forth a couple of times to feel the contrast.  You might notice the overall body shape or postion of your body parts, or notice the internal sensations of your body.  A third option is to notice how you experience the space – perhaps it feels wider or narrrower, perhaps volumous or flat...

    A final way for this inquiry to land is to take a walk outside.  Try walking feeling weight in your body, feeling contact of earth in each footstep and observe how it feels.  Add the awareness of landscape, eyes including a wide view and even imagine the space behind you.  Again check how it feels and how it compares to how you normally walk.

    In part 2 we will cover the act and art of perceiving. Until then, thanks for reading and do pop your comments or questions in the bottom of this page should you have any. I'd love to hear your experience.

  • Price Increase

    Hey folks

    Just letting you know that as of 1 August 2018 my prices will increase by $10.

    New prices:

    Initial Consult $160 full ($140 conc)

    Standard Consult $140 full ($120 conc)

    I really appreciate your understanding in this.  It allows me to not only pay all my ongoing costs but also to attend regular Professional Development overseas. These trainings are essential to keep my skills growing and to keep me connected to my community.

    If you do have a concern please do get in touch.

    Best wishes

    Meran

  • My Practice is Moving!

    I am delighted to announce that I am moving my practice. I have a beautiful, big room in my home that is becoming my new Studio space. It is lovely and light and located upstairs which means no more closed blinds. We will be able to tune all the more to our space orientation as we view the surrounding trees and sky. 

    I am located just near Ceres (environmental park) in Brunswick East. I feel the location is far more harmonious with my practice than noisy High St. You can stroll around Ceres before or after your session or take a walk by Merri creek to integrate. 

    I'm in the process of organising Hicaps/Eftpos and a split system hearing/cooling system so we will be comfortable all year round. I am also happy be able to offer more timslots for sessions as well.

    Address:199 Stewart St Brunswick East 3057
    First day: Monday 19 February 2018.
    New hours:
    Monday 530-830pm
    Tuesday 1-830pm
    Wednesday 1-830pm
    Thursday 10am-230pm

    I look forward to sharing my new Studio with you.

    Cheers

    Meran

  • Holiday Blessings

    Dear clients and visitors to my site,

    I have had a wonderful year this year.  I am been lucky enough to share in the healing and discovery journey's of many dedicated and courageous folk.  I was also blessed by another visit to the US to study.  I'm happy also this year to have built my first Eagle Bench which has been enabling me and many clients to play with Hubert Godard's movement practice Flight of the Eagle.

    I am wishing for you and for me and all of us, blessings over the coming holiday period.  For celebrating, seeing loved ones, resting, playing and drinking in sun and sand.  Wishing us fortitude for meeting any challenging relationships that come our way. 

    May our presence be a gift to ourselves and those lucky enough to call us loved ones.  May we remember to see the world, feel the world and be touched by the world.  The beauty and the tragedy.  May be we find love and compassion as well as silliness and play as we take time off and bask in the flow of this precious life.

    Friday 22nd is my last day and I'll be back on Monday 15 January.

    Merry Christmas!

    Love Meran

  • Fate and Destiny

    I love listening to podcasts and recently heard Michael Meade's podcast entilled 'Unlocking Destiny'. This inspired me to reconnect with his book  Fate and Destiny: The Two Agreements of the Soul. He speaks about two inherent aspect within human life.

    "Fate is an old word which suggests limits and even hints of fatality, and yet fate is also the doorway to destiny.  In the very old ideas of this world, it is the limitations that create the openings for growth.  The refusal to accept limitations keeps people stuck where they are."

    It is the limitations that create the openings for growth.  I am deeply touched by this statement. Often times limitations feel like failure or even punishment.  We think "what have I done wrong?" or "what have I done to deserve this?". Michael turns this idea on its head.

    Some of the ways we might embody times of limitation are feeling contracting, narrowing, stiffening, gripping, collapsing, depressing, resisting and hiding.  Some emotions are frustration, anger, hopelessness, despair, distress, lack... Each one of us will have a unique constellations of sensations, feelings and narrative for our experience of limiting times.

    Michael offers us a radical shift in perceptive; to include our limitations.  Not only that, but to also see these as required on the path to growth.

    "Fate is exactly that which limits us and destiny is that great thing to which we are called. And we have to struggle with the fate in order to get closer to the destiny."

    When we are right in the middle of difficulty, stuckness and limitation we are also at the doorway to growth, to destiny.  I find this extremely helpful to remember as I traverse difficult times.  To keep my balance when the winds of life are blowing a gale and I fear I may be blown over.

    Another way to keep balance is in our body. As I write this I am sitting on a stool that I can raise up high so my thighs are slanting downwards towards my knees.  I am sitting so that 25% of my weight is in my buttocks and 75% in my thighs.

    From this position I imagine my inner ear - left and right inside the ear and behind the eye.  I tune to this location and notice if both sides are feeling equally boyant.  Imagine rolling a marble back and forth your open palm. These marbles are in your inner ear and when you roll them back and forth your inner ear awakens into boyancy. Its a tiny movement.  So small that your head only moves a milimetre or two.

    As your inner year marbles dance the weight of your body hangs down into your seat - 25% buttocks and 75% thighs.  It feels like ongoing organising movements as your body balances in gravity. Hang out here for a few minutes and then take a walk and observe how you feel. How are your feet feeling? Your space? How about your head? Your pelvis?

    Here is Michael's again

    "We enter the world threaded in a certain way, aimed in a certain direction... gifted in certain ways, marked in certain ways, styled in certain ways.  And the struggles of life are not there to defeat us but to push us into a deeper place of self revelation in which we find out who we already are."

    Perhaps I can imagine in my body the location or feeling or movement associated with my inner gift. Perhaps it feels like warmth in my heart, maybe a silver thread that is weaving through me, maybe it is a golden glow deep in my belly or a pearl in the centre of my being.

    I'll leave you to wonder in your own imagination.  I'd love to hear what you notice.

    May we all be blessed by enough security to hold us and enough radical possibility for our inner gift to shine into the world.

    * All quotes are taken from Michael Meade's Living Myth podcast Episode 36, 14/09/17

  • Spring... Beginning?

    As I sit here hoping for inspiration for this blog post I can hear the wind gusting outside.  It is officially spring though these last couple of weeks have been particularly cold and winter like.  Its hard at the best of times for our systems to navigate the season change, but this season change feel particularly challenging.

    Many clients are coming into the clinic feeling tired and low and lacking their usual energy and vigor.  I must admit that I am feeling the same.

    One of the things that I love most about this time of year are the flowers.  The wattle in particular - its fragrence is everywhere around where I live and I am so thankful to this smell to help awaken my senses to the present moment.

    I associate spring with new growth.  I look at the garden and landscape around me and I see some little green buds but still a lot of winter stillness and hibernation.  Nature shows what I feel - the 'nearly but not yet' feeling.  No wonder so many of us are feeling out of sorts.  Ready but not ready.

    At this time I invite myself to be gentle.  To remain in the uncertainty and know that the time for bursting forth will come in its perfect rhythm.  We can't hurry mother nature and we can't hurry our inner nature.

    I love essential oils.  I have been finding sweet orange, peppermint and geranium all helpful to keep my spirits up.  For me they are sweet smells that make me smile.

    I am looking forward to the energy of spring giving support to my upcoming practice.  I am continuing my self learning that began during my US trip and I'll be offering more of the Flight of the Eagle practice.

  • I'm Back

    I have just returned from the US.  I have been studying with Kevin Frank and Caryn McHose at their Resources in Movement Studio in New Hampshire.  The setting was idilic.  A rainy spring had given birth to an emerald green landscape.  The water of the pond was cool and the fire powered hot tub warm.  

    We were supported and nurtured by the landscape and by the Rolf Movement class.  I enjoyed getting to know a new group of dedicated Rolfers as we lived and learnt together for 7 days.

    Each afternoon we moved out onto the deck and learned the Flight of the Eagle sequence.  It was wonderful for me working with Caryn on the sequence which has facinated me for years.  Kevin had built enough benches for each participant and it was a beautiful sight as the class took flight.

    I am inspired to build my own bench for the clinic to offer this practice more.  Stay tuned.

    We also learnt some fun alternatives to the seated 'hands on the wall' practice.  Again Kevin had built a structure which allowed the client to grip a verticle 'grab rail' rather than push with flat hands against the wall.  This makes the practice much easier on wrists and hands and again I will be building and implementing some changes for my practice.

    I'm feeling well fed and inspired after my trip and look forward to integrating the new pieces with you. This last photo is on the final day, fun with my new friends.

  • Landing... again

    Sitting this morning after breckfast I began my awareness practice.  

    As I sat I could feel my right foot scrunched and almost hovering on the ground. When I checked in with my pelvis, I noticed this pattern in my sitting bone, along my right 'bicycle bone' (ramus) and into my inside thigh. I tried to correct by finding weight in my bones and clarity between the landing and moving part of my foot. No matter how hard I tried (or maybe because I was TRYING so hard) I couldn't find my desired coorination.  I felt a familiar old frustration.

    As a Rolfer I am often teaching a new coordination or movement sequence.  Its something I am very familiar with.  However sometimes new coordination is not what is needed.  Sometimes fresh perceiving and trusting in the intellengence of our body is far more helpful.

    So this morning I changed tact. I invited myself to stop trying to fix anything and to meet solely with presense and allowing. I brought my attention to the sensations of my body with no attempt to correct. I felt less space and more gripping on my right foot and pelvis.  I wanted it to go away and I needed perserverence to not start correcting.

    I tried to notice the feeling of contact with the surface of chair and floor.  I couldn't feel much contact. I sat a little longer.  Then I remembered the vocal sounds used in Continuum Montage.  I made the bussing sound "zzz jjj" and imagined my bones receiving the vibration.  All the way down my body into my seat and then all the way down my leg to my foot.  

    After a number of minutes I stopped.  In Continuum we are invited to offer these sounds into the body and then to allow the body time to receive and respond.  I opened my attention and imagined my body free to bathe in the sound.  I felt a slow dawning.  I felt a fluid feeling.  I was aware of tiny flowing movements. Like the feeling of water moving inside my body,

    I tried another sound.  This time a 'blown "ooooo"' where you make the "o" sound with closed mouth at the same time as puffing out your cheeks.  Its a very round feeling vibration.  I imagined this roundness and the roundness of my sit bones and heels being in concert.  I did this for a few more minutes.

    Again I stopped and waited in open attention.  Waiting to feel the fluid effects of the sounds.  Again I felt flow and my body started to reorganise. I imagine its the instrinsic intellegence of my body that is awakened. So I allow. Ny body weight shifts, muscles lengthen and awaken.  Finally I realised all this tension where my collar bones rest on my ribs.  As this tension softened I felt sadness tinged with relief.

    Slowly the emotions passed and my body gently landed a little more into the chair and floor.  Halleluja I could feel my body weight again! Here I ended the practice and went for a walk by the creek to harvest my new sensations.  

    I felt such a big change in my awareness of the space of the earth.  I was aware of much more space at ankle height in a blissful panorama all around me. I experiemented comparing the new feeling with the old more held up feeling until I got a clear sense of them both. I didn't realise how held up I had become until I landed once again. I didn't realise how decreased my awareness of space was until it had returned. I am smiling as I continue my day.

  • Heading to the US in June

    I am excited to be returning to the US for a Rolf Movement Workshop.

    My final day in the clinic is Friday 16 June and I will return to work on Monday 3 July.  

    I will be studying with Kevin Frank and Caryn McHose the authurs of How Life Moves: Explorations in Meaning and Body Awareness.  Its a residential retreat at the beautiful Resources in Movement studio situated on the shore of White Oak Pond in New Hampshire.

    I'm looking forward to connecting with my community, meeting new friends and engaging in lots of new learning and discovery.  As well as expanding and deepening my knowledge, these trips are of profound importance to my own practice.  Being the student again is essential to the health of any practitioner or teacher.

    I look forward to sharing with you new perspectives and skills I develop on the trip.

    Love

    Meran

  • Courting the Unknown

    In our sessions, just like in life, there are times of 'knowing' and times of 'not-knowing'. When I discover a new awareness of my body or my movement, when I know myself more, it is often a good feeling. However when I meet the unknown, when something is unclear or still forming, I can feel afraid, confused and vulnerable.

    This not-knowing space is furtile ground.  It is like the soil before the seed has sprouted.  It is like the womb where the baby is growing.  Just like winter is an important phase in the seasons, so to is the not-knowing place.  If we can develop the willingness, the support and resources to hang out here, to court the unknown (so to speak), then we are ready for the sprout of new awareness, new life, new ways of being to come forth.

    Culturally we have a bias towards 'knowing'. From early in our school life we are taught that 'knowing' is good and 'not-knowing' is bad. Given this history, its no wonder that we are challenged to be here.  

    To support our capactiy to 'not-know' we need our body.  We can bring attention to our orientation.  To our awareness of our physical weight and the earth that holds us.  To the wide open space of possibility that is our environment.  We can feel our spine like a cobra snake anchoring our soft organs from behind. Backing not only our organs, but our feelings and our heart.

    We can remind ourselves that this place that rests 'in between' is a natural part of the rhythm of our being, its our winter season.  We might like to image a snow covered mountain in Tibet, the awe, the wildness, the vastness of nature.  We can be supported by this image. Just as the natural world can hold the cold and the dark of winter, so can we.

    I have created the following video as a practice to share with you.  We can journey together in this creative, somatic meditation where we rest in the space before the full stop, where we court the unknown. 

    Finally I would like to acknowledge and mention my teacher and mentor Susan Harper. It is through her that I have discovered much of what I offer to you. You can listen to her on this podcast talking about courting the unknown.