When you step back without expectation to observe and truly listen and see what is before you without coloring your thoughts with prior expectations there is a sweet freedom where learning can take root and knowledge expands. When we are always looking for confirmation of what we think we already know to be true about the world we end up making the situations conform to our vision and miss the gems that are there or cannot see the healing path in front of us because we have not remained innocently open. This lab is a place where the dead heal the living.
Five days ago were were strangers coming together to learn. What we found was a room full of incredibly compassionate souls all wanting to heal the world of its wounds by seeing how this new knowledge could shape each practitioners work to help one person at a time. We cannot heal the whole world, but we can give our best to whatever is in our reach. Each day is a step to being a better human being and connecting with those around you.
Each of us had the opportunity to pick a learning project and follow it through. I choose to remove all of the muscles of the leg and the forearm while leaving the interosseous membranes intact to explore the stability verses mobility of the joints in each region. I was nervous I would tear through the membrane as that would destroy the integrity of the project and I would have to choose to make a different model. Patience is not my strong suit so I decided to embrace slowing down and committed to the delicate brushstrokes of the blade to clear the muscle tissue. Aided by slow deep breathing and the cheerleading support of Joe and Corrine I ended up with two beautifully clear and working models. I was able to demonstrate the tensile pull of the interosseous membrane between the tibia and fibula. We were able to watch the membrane tense up as we shifted the ankle into dorsiflexion and witness the pull of the membrane guide the fibula laterally and superiorly to make space for the talus bone to shift and fully come into dorsiflexion. I had time then to help Joe remove the brain and work to check the relationship of the suboccipitals to the dura mater of the brain. As Joe suspected you could pull on the muscles and feel the tension inside the skull. Although Joe and I would no have time to go look at everyone else's projects were were so happy and full with the current work I'm sure it will be weeks or months before all of the other projects that we observed will fully settle into my mind.
At the end of the last day we ceremoniously wrap each cadaver with care to return them to the facility so they can be cremated and reunited with their families. Jenna, Joe, Bea, Kim, Corinne, Karin and I stand around the table holding hands in a moment of silence. Bea breaks the silence with thankful words and we hold the space for a moment longer before we are ready to part for the final day.
Outside the lab I fly a few students is a little therapeutics and we are all happy to have a bit of playtime and hugs. A few hours later I would be on the redeye home.
Tonight I step back into my studio and prepare to lead a partner yoga Valentine's event. My heart, body and mind are so full. I have no idea yet how all of this week will begin to show up in my work, but one thing is super clear to me. I am OPEN! Whatever IS is. I want THAT!