I had the pleasure and honor of speaking to an amazing group of parents and therapists, organized by Lisa Rudley, about my work, including Brain Gym and reflex integration. I felt so blessed to share what I've learned to these open minded and very caring parents. I also had the pleasure of presenting with a veteran practitioner of the Tomatis Method, Valerie DeJean, owner of the Spectrum Center in Tuxedo, NY.
It's funny how lives converge and diverge in unexpected ways. It turned out that I had met Valerie years ago, when I was an OT in Maryland and she had a Spectrum Center in Bethesda, Maryland. She presented on the Tomatis Method and how it impacts the development of the sense of self, and what was interesting was that I feel very strongly that the reflex integration work as well as the brain gym all works to enhance a better sense of self and greater independence in the kids.
I have been thinking to myself what drives me in my work these past few days. I love working with the kids. They are potential energy, little acorns fattening up and gathering energy before they split open their shell and bring their inner world out into reality. I felt this very strongly when I was working with the really young ones, and now that I work with slightly older ones, I feel this energy still, but there's a little more weight in their psychic backpack. A backpack packed, lovingly by society, well-meaning but fear inducing parents/caregivers and teachers and in some cases, by themselves.
In my own journey, of picking weighted objects out of my own backpack, I have been faced with choices, to let it go or to transform it.
It's an interesting process, and one that takes a lot of my attention and energy in life. Some experiences are easy to purge, like a yucky, moldy, smooshed up peanut butter and jelly sandwich that is causing quite a mess in the bag, while others are like trophies of a game played long ago.
I see the beginnings of the tendency to hold on to any and everything, the tendency to not let anything in, to be confused, to be one type of personality(one week and then another the next), to be rebellious, to be obedient, to want to please, to want to be completely independent.
These things are new to them. They are working it out. Stretching and testing their roots and wings. Lately I have been feeling like I have unearthed some large unknown objects out of these kids' backpacks. Working together, we've connected the dots to some inner kinks affecting their outer world. Connecting these dots leaves me with a sense of satisfaction. Like there's more that makes sense in the world and that somehow brings me comfort.
Paul Dennison, the creator of Brain Gym, once said in a class, under his breath, barely audible, perhaps in his mind, as an aside, "we are teaching kids to live lives they haven't lived yet." I remember this statement made me cry.
It's not possible to avert these kids from anything and everything that will be difficult in life. It's not my intention and I would not be helping them if I was to try to make everything better for them. Perhaps it's my own wish that I had someone show me the way, and it's that little girl that I am actually trying to heal. Being around these kids reminds me that it's never too late, and the body and brain are amazing. And once you give it a taste of possibility, it must, IT MUST move towards it.
Ever meet people who do things that you know that they know is not a good idea, but they do it anyway, over and over again, despite their own better judgement?
I had a very interesting conversation with one of my students yesterday. He is one of a set of twins, and he is a sweet boy, but has very poor behavior and the things he does is very alienating to adults and other kids.
He was having a particularly alienating day yesterday, and were saying such nasty things, I told him, "You know, I know you're a good kid, but it's times like this that I don't want to be around you. And I think that sucks. Moreover, I think you know exactly what you're doing and saying, and I don't like it. It's almost like you and your brother, decided some time ago for him to be the good twin, and for you to be the bad twin."
And he says,
"That's right! I AM the bad twin."
"But I don't really think you are. Don't you think you guys can both be good twins?"
".....but if I wasn't the bad twin I don't know who I would be."
"Maybe that's not such a bad thing. Maybe you can slowly figure out what kind of twin you are without filling some role someone else made for you."
"but everyone thinks I'm the bad twin."
"if everyone else decides who you are, then you are not in control of your own life. Is that what you want?"
" well, as long as we're working together, it's not acceptable. I am not giving up on you because you have a cute personality and good sense of humor to share"
"Everyone always says that but they all end up giving up on me."
"When you act the way you do, can you blame them? I think you just try to push people away so that you can give yourself more evidence that people give up on you, but in fact, you're creating that reality yourself. So you can stop that when you're here cause I'm not gonna accept it."
He reluctantly agreed that he would explore what it means to be the good twin and left. Today, I had a meeting for a different child I am going to start seeing next week, when it was determined that this child would be moved into the class my challenging student is in. I asked the new student who his friends were, and he mentions my "challenging" student. When I walked out of the meeting room, I ran into my student in the hallway and said, "hey listen, so there's a new student coming into your class starting tomorrow, and he doesn't do so good with transitions. He mentioned that he thinks that you're cool and you're his friend, and I was wondering if you could help him out with adjusting." He looked me in the eye and said, "Ok. I can do that."
He looked very happy and he when we had our session later on in the day, he walked into my room with none of the alienating behaviors or nasty comments. It was interesting how this arrangement just came into being today after our conversation yesterday. I have a feeling that this partnership will help him, as well as the other student in many ways. It's amazing how things get arranged better in ways that I could not even imagine.
Take a moment and ponder this question.
Do you hear and listen at the same time?
You are probably thinking, "Of course I do, what are you asking?"
But do you really?
As you are reading these words, are you hearing all that is going on around you?
If so, is there ever a situation where you are seeing someone talking but not understanding a word they say? (perhaps the more pointed question to ask here is, are there 'certain people' who are talking but you don't get what in the world they are talking about?)
do you ever feel acute awareness of the sounds in the room but can't see what is right in front of you?
Most of the time, the two systems, the visual and auditory systems are working in unison with each other, enough to get you through your life with some ease. Or they are not and you are going through life with lots of stress because you keep missing things you should've caught.
Perhaps you get pegged as someone who just doesn't listen even if you really want to. It feels like you just "can't help it". Or maybe you must have COMPLETE SILENCE while you're trying to study or do something that takes visual focus.
Whatever variation of this you have, do you know that this can change?
This inability to process sight and sound at the same time is a result of these inputs overloading your brains ability to process these information simultaneously.
When sight and sound come at you, your brain reacts like an outlet at Christmas time which has a bunch of appliances as well as the Christmas lights plugged into it at the same time. You either blow a fuse or start putting out smoke from all the hard work you're doing to process everything.
Of course you can unplug and remove some of the inputs, but if you are living life inthe world, staving off input for a lengthened period of time is an unrealistic strategy.
This can be a result of certain reflexes that have not integrated fully from a young age. Another possibility is that there was stress somewhere along the way in school or in life, where these stresses compounded and created a block which you eventually learned to live around.
I have seen this change in my clients. If this is something that you would like to explore, come try the Miyoshi Method.
Welcome to my new website. It is one I maintain myself, so it is a labor of love and learning all rolled into one.
This year feels full of promise and expansion, and it certainly has been off to a running start.
I have been a learner, an absorber, an observer, an integrater, and synthesizer for a very long time. My cup and brain feels full and it is time to share. I have been blessed to have the teachers and experiences that I have had.
I am so excited to be able to share with you my discoveries and ponderings along the way.
Ponderings along this path of searching for greater ease and joy in life.