My favorite thing about LBMS is that it helps me look for patterns, in myself, my interactions, my environment, and my life. Finding the pattern makes it possible to choose what, if any, change(s) to make.
Patterns of Movement / Changing to Heal
Years ago, when I first immersed myself in LBMS studies, I developed a knee injury that sidelined me from dancing, performing, even walking. Physical therapy exercises to strengthen the surrounding muscles helped only temporarily; the injury kept recurring. Finally, I realized that the LBMS training was changing an old pattern of mine. Decades of dance technique – mostly Graham and other early Modern forms – had strengthened me through Binding. Now the multifaceted world of LBMS exploration was encouraging me to let go. Which I did, into Passive Weight, dropping all the holding and dumping the stress into my knees. Once I noticed that pattern, I could begin to think in terms of “what else is possible” rather than just “either/or”. I discovered that, instead of releasing from holding into collapse, I could release into activation. As I practiced this new movement pattern, my injury gradually healed.
Patterns in Interaction/Changing to Get Along
While administrator at a large yoga center, I heard complaints from two employees in conflict. “She’s pressuring me, she’s pressuring me! If she would just slow down!” cried T, a careful, methodical worker. “She won’t get moving; she’s not getting anything done! She needs to hurry up!” declared B, whose Quick Impulses kept her flying through her day.
I spoke to
each of them:
“T, I’ll bet, when you are cooking, you read the recipe, then line up all the ingredients, then read the recipe again before you follow the steps one by one.” “Yes! How did you know?!”
“B, when you cook, I imagine you might have glanced at a recipe for ideas, and are assembling and chopping stuff while you’re throwing things in the pot, and keeping it stirred, right?” “Of course!” she exclaimed.
“Well, here, you are both cooking the same stew; you just have different ways of going at it. Let’s see how you can get the thing done together.”
We looked at what changes to choose: which tasks were best assigned to whom; how to sequence their assignments, align their goals and adapt their expectations. Perhaps B should swoop in to open and unpack all the boxes and get the props on the shelves, then have T focus time on comparing the inventory to the packing slip and logging everything in to the online system. The idea was to allow each to use their own preferred patterns in support of each other and the job at hand.
Patterns in the Environment/Changing its Functioning
“Why are they all just running in circles and yelling? There are plenty of things for them to play with. They’re going to crash into each other!” The day care director and I were watching as the children emerged from their small classrooms into a large open gym, strewn with a few small climbers, some tricycles, jump ropes, balls and miscellaneous building toys. Clearly, they experienced that Phrase – from enclosed space to open area, from quiet activities to recess, from stillness to motion – as a Becoming: now I can get big and go fast and be loud. Given the pattern inherent in the space, the timing and the children’s bodies, the director needed to choose an intent for their gym time. Running in circles might be just right for that moment in the day’s rhythm. But, if she saw it as dangerous, or “unproductive” (that’s a different article), she could reorganize the space for a different result.
We talked about setting up “landing” areas around the periphery, with a section for building, one for jump rope games, etc. Still leaving running space, but perhaps taping lanes or a large circle on the floor for the trikes, to safely separate the riders from the runners. The next time I visited, there was still lots of high energy, but a little less scary chaos.
Pattern as Metaphor/Change as a Choice
In the middle of downward facing dog pose, C exclaimed “It’s my life! Dog pose is my life and it’s staring me in the face!” The class paused and he explained. “I want to get strong, so I decided to practice holding dog pose for five minutes. I built up gradually, minute by minute. One day, I held the pose for five minutes! I’m so pleased with myself, the next day I took off and didn’t practice at all. It’s my life – staring me in the face! I have a girlfriend, we work on our relationship, it gets pretty solid. Then I leave. Dog pose is my life, staring me in the face!”
C had discovered a Phrasing pattern that he’d applied unconsciously, in yoga practice, in life. Now that he sees the pattern, he has options for changing – or not.
What I love most about LBMS is that, by helping me find patterns, it gives me choices about change.