Jenny Palmer invited me to give a postgraduate seminar in Brisbane in April 07. I delivered my ‘Core Success’ seminar, which is a seminar for therapists generally not just cranio sacral therapists. As well as the Brisbane folk, some therapists flew up from Sydney. Here is what Jenny has to say about it.
Lost and Found – gifts from John Dalton’s Core Success workshop in Australia.
by Jenny Palmer.
If you’ve ever been fishing, you’ll know that casting the line out may be the trickiest part. It’s important to get the bait right out to where the fish are biting.
Sometimes, you find huge balls of tangled fishing line amongst the rocks, where someone did that thing where the line spools out into a giant knot behind you, instead of flying cleanly through the air in front of you. In desperation, they cut the line and get rid of the giant knot instead of spending hours trying to undo it.
So what’s that got to do with a craniosacral workshop?
Well, before John came back to Australia to do the seminar, I had loads of questions – about my practice, about some people I’m treating and about cranio in general. It felt a bit like a giant ball of knotted fishing line. There had been years of ‘stuff’ happening in my personal life as well that seemed to have sucked the essence of ‘hope’ from my being.
So, the day of the Core Success workshop finally dawned and in I went, expecting to get loads of answers. John welcomed everyone and began the day with the statement that he had ‘no answers for anyone’.
Great! I thought…….
What John was going to attempt to do was to help everyone realise that they inherently had the answers all along. (I thought, ‘Like a good cranio session perhaps?’)
Using simple exercises (the ‘interactive’ part), there began a gradual awakening to John’s opening statement. It’s often shocking when things are revealed to you in seemingly simple ways. It reminds me of my own inner ‘complicatedness’. My brain gets in the way at times and wants to know everything – right now – please!
After a couple of these interactive exercises, I couldn’t really remember my list of questions. They’d disappeared, or the couple I could remember seemed to not really be questions at all. (That may be categorised as having a ‘seniors’ moment, but I don’t think so.) It was like holding that big ball of knotted fishing line and all you really have to do is find that one little strand that seems to hold it all together – the more you dig your fingers in and search, the more frustrated you get. The tighter the knots seem to get. But if you just sit with it, soften your eyeballs and really look at it, see how the threads are running, the one bit that holds it together will become apparent. Just loosen it, a little, and see how the ball of knots falls apart, slowly, slowly, easily…
As the day progressed, I got some wonderful insights into myself and my practice and the people I’m treating and how I’m approaching everything. I had been having some serious doubts about myself, and my ability to help some people. My hope had taken a battering. That had also affected my faith, in myself.
Some of what I really got was:
• We’re NOT in the business of imparting wisdom (that’s a relief in itself).
• We don’t teach people to ride a bike by riding it for them.
• Assumption – if people come to me they want to get better.
• Assumption – when it looks like you’re sharing a reality, you’re not.
• We really don’t want to know the end of the movie before we see it
- even if it is a happy ending.
• Our biggest trap is success (you think you know for certain what’s going on).
• The other main trap is failure (you’re certain you’re no good).
And the most beautiful, yet unsettling thing?
You’re part of the liberation that you might not even see……
And that’s the beauty of the mysterious, still places that we go to every day as therapists. Or, as that infamous ex US Defence Secretary once said. “As we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”
Makes perfect sense to a craniosacral therapist.
We (craniosacral therapists) are pioneers. And that’s tough in itself. It’s enriching to get together with other practitioners and students and just chat. I wish we could do that more often. In the meantime, I sit back in that great ‘armchair’ and find the stillness that’s demanded of us the most (and remember, you can’t see round corners).
The day was lovely – I want to thank John. For his wisdom and insight and understanding.
He created a still place for us all (calming and unsettling) – inspiring, gentle, nourishing, illuminating, warm (just like a good cranio session?). What I got from that day is still unravelling in myself, and in my practice. I’ve really moved forward with what I want to be doing, and it’s falling very nicely into place.
I can’t wait for next year’s workshop – I’m starting on my list of questions now. (Kidding!)