Synopsis: avoidance mechanisms — the things we do to not deal wit our issues, and what to do first to get past it
Tilt and compensation
Some years back, (clearly prior to my last tattoo) I did something to my SI joint. It got to be a chronic thing, and I always knew it was out because my hips were “canted” of to the right.
Strangely, it wasn’t all that painful. More of an annoyance than the agony I’ve felt a few times when I’ve put my lower back right out.
But bodies are funny. They’re like interconnected stacks, and when something is out somewhere, often the body compensates by shoving something else out, so that the body remains in balance. You can see that in the photo; my shoulders are tilted to offset my hips.
Anyway, I got it pretty much fixed, thanks to a couple of physiotherapists, some exercises to help straighten my hips out, some acupuncture, and chiropractic adjustments, etc., although both of my physio guys did that too.
I subscribe to a site called Psychetruth. Among other things, they are a group of massage therapists, and they do tons of videos. I tend to have a look at the “lower back” ones, and last week, “Yoga for lower back pain”
showed up. Can’t see the vodeo? Here’s the link
I watched some of it.
I was impressed with the front end of the video. The instructor demonstrated some gentle stretches one could do in the morning, say, in bed. What was key for me was her suggestion of gently probing for tightness, aches, and pain.
Which got me thinking about avoidance mechanisms.
In a sense, when our bodies go out of alignment, the physical compensation is an avoidance. It’s the body’s way to torque itself into a semblance of balance.
Thus me, right hip out, upper body tipped the other way.
We do this with our “life pains,” too. Rather than go after the source (that would be me, messing with me, or you, messing with you) we:
- blame others
- blame genetics / upbringing
- blame our financial / work situation
- shut down
- we tell others that they need to change so we can be happy
- we run away for “a break,”
- we leave the relationship
- drink, do drugs, or do endorphin producing things to “get high” – but really to avoid
- we try to find a doctor or therapist who will agree with our judgement that externals are to blame
- we go to workshops and seminars, and take away the idea that others are wrecking our vibe
The one thing we do not do is take full and complete responsibility for who we are and where we are stuck.
The thing about the ideas in the video, above, is that gently probing identifies… wait for it… our internal pain points. In other words, if I’m rocking my back and poking around, and I hit a spot that is sore / tight — that’s me, and only me. I have to figure out what to do about it.
Of course, I could find a doctor to operate and make me even less flexible. I could take something and get temporary relief. I could limp and try to ignore it.
Or, I could deal with it, directly.
That was the point of my article about the guy with the beatbox, and me annoying myself, and out went my back. I dealt with it physically, through physio and with Dar working on me. Then, I worked on in mentally and emotionally, looking deeply at how and why I set myself off.
My back feels great, thanks!
There is no cure for who we are and how we operate. We tend to do the things repeatedly. But if all we do is look outside, nothing changes. We have to be willing to “gently probe” our sore spots, our stuck spots, our blocked spots. We have to seek out direction for shifting things.
And then! We need to address our issues directly, fully, deeply and gently.
As often as we mess with ourselves, making it the work of a lifetime.
Because avoiding, changing dance partners, or blaming works about as often as you’d guess.
As a thank-you, we'll send you a link to our pdf booklet, Exercises in Consciousness.
What could be better than that??