Totally remember 1984. My mom had been gone one tender year and somehow I was finding my way raising two precious little ones, working three days a week in a profession I loved and doing whatever I could to keep the flame alive with the man who was doing all this beside me. What a whirlwind. It is hard for me to remember how moving through that chapter was even possible. And I have so much respect and awe for young families making it happen in this ever more challenging world.
In the background of all that 1980’s doing was unrelenting pain stemming from a 1974 whiplash. In the early years, the discomfort was just an annoyance cropping up a few times a year for 2-3 days. Ailments like this behave predictably; over the years the pain grew in frequency and intensity. I tried everything I knew professionally and also sought help from a succession of practitioners. Nothing worked. When the suffering morphed from intermittent to constant and I had to lean into pain meds, when many patients I treated were actually less disabled than me, when every new treatment plan came up futile….well, I know many of us have been in this place. It is hard to be human sometimes.
In 1984 I connected with the expertise of an orthopedic manual therapist in Folsom. He introduced me to mobilizing thoracic spine with those double-wrapped tennis balls you see pictured up top. I wept with the intensity, looked up at him and asked if he was sure I needed to do this. His smartass answer? “Did you want to get better?”
And that is how the healing began. Common axiom in the recovery field: once you start on the correct healing trajectory, it will take about the length of time you have been in trouble to fully heal. Over the next ten years, bit by bit, often in fits and starts, the severe neck, shoulder blade and arm pain dissipated until it was no longer physically present. But energetically? This embodied experience continued to exert a huge influence, nudging me along toward my destiny. By 1994 I had owned Dreizler Physical Therapy four years out of its fifteen year run and was well on the way to helping thousands of patients learn to heal themselves.
Through my own experience and continued training, I became skilled and super-clear that hands on expertise will only take you just so far. It was never about me healing you. It has always been about me coaching and witnessing you. Translating the release skills my hands knew how to deliver into what you could do on your own. My destiny became my passion.
My love for the variety of ways the double tennis balls can be utilized has never waned. I have wrapped, blessed and gifted literally thousands of pairs. I am deeply grateful to the pros at Sutter Lawn (other picture up top) who have generously shared their discards over the decades. Intrigued and driven by what my hands could do, I continually added to the arsenal of release toys. By 1990 the foam roller and various other massage tools became firmly integrated.
Over the years I learned that releasing tight connective tissue would never be a stand alone for complete healing. Release just opens the doorway. Strengthening what is weak and lengthening what is short has to follow. And if the nervous system is tied up in the utter mess…well that must be tended very carefully.
I actually set out today to write about manifestation. How it flows from intention and how intention is only the beginning. But what I wrote instead was a manifestation story. In 1984, after already a dozen years of providing physical therapy, my intention to share self-healing practice began to form. But manifestation takes way more than intention.
As I healed and learned and transformed, my heart (as quiet as it can be sometimes) kept chiming YES to the direction I was moving. Intention needs 100% whole-heartedness to take healthy form. Take it from a life long manifestor who can clearly look back and grudgingly identify what manifested less than whole-hearted. Maybe you can look back and see some acted upon intentions that were half-hearted, too.
Once we’re whole-heartedly behind a clear intention we can powerfully move into action. This life long manifestor also knows how exasperating it can be to feel confirmed in whole hearted intention and also remain patient, listening, breathing, feeling and not move too quickly into the very satisfying concrete realm of action. Insert remorseful sigh right here.
I love teaching. We breathed into all this manifestation in Tuesday morning yoga, we’ll dance a wave of just this in Wednesday 5Rhythms and then pray in this field in Sunday Sweat Your Prayers. To teach is to learn is to teach. And, in the realm of letting go, I am totally excited to spend an entire afternoon with you exploring the whole juicy field of Release April 7 1:00-5:00 at Clara. The double-wrapped tennis balls will be integral! And of course you’ll take a blessed pair home. There’ll be a luxurious review of Fluidity and Power to open. First timers welcome. Do drop in.
Ready to release what no longer serves?
Ready to manifest something awe-inspiring in your life?
There is nothing quite like embodiment to create possibility.
See you on a floor somewhere soon….love, Bella