#1 The Inherent Wisdom in the Classroom
Years ago, I realized that a part of my role as a teacher of Biodynamics is to create a container within which inherent wisdom becomes more obvious.
This inherent wisdom is carried by each and every one of us. According to the eloquent osteopath James Jealous, we all carry millions of years of wisdom in our bones. These words landed deep when I first read them and opened a doorway that has stayed open to this truth.
#2 Creating a Safe Enough Container
One of the most prominent voices in the field of neuroscience, Daniel Siegel, reminds us: “Like the calm depths of the sea inside, the hub of our wheel of awareness is a place of tranquility, of safety, of openness and curiosity.”
I am beyond grateful for the felt sense experiences of safety, curiosity and realness that consistently occur in my classroom. What happens is not random, but intentionally cultivated. I strive to create a space where trust can grow, and grow deeper on the other side of conflict.
One of my definitions of safety is that it is safe enough to say when it is not safe. This may seem counterintuitive, but it is on point. If it is not safe enough to name when something or someone feels unsafe then the only options are to stay and dismiss these feelings or leave.
Whenever someone speaks up in class and names something that doesn’t feel safe to them, an imaginary bottle of champagne pop open in my mind – to celebrate the possibility of real connection on the other side of speaking up, saying what’s not working, and working towards resolution.
#3 The Intention to Negotiate and Deepen in Relationship
From our Module One manual: One of the unique skills that students learn in a biodynamic training is how to provide both space and contact. Creating a felt sense of both space and contact is very healing for clients. It gives the client an experience of supportive contact with presence and neutrality that is missing from earliest experiences. The qualities of space and contact that a practitioner provides a client during a biodynamic session is an essential part of creating the relational field and amplifying its healing potential.
Healthy relationships have an appropriate balance of space and contact. The essential ingredient in both is PRESENCE. Without presence and appropriate space and contact, the therapeutic possibilities of the session are limited. When the practitioner can maintain appropriate mental, emotional and physical space, and be present to the client’s process as authentically as they can, the possibilities for healing expand.
#4 Creating the Conditions for Healing to Occur
My students all know that one of my favorite quotes is “It’s none of my business how the process of healing is occurring!”. I love unpacking this quote by James Jealous in class and telling my students that our business is to create the conditions for healing to occur. How a practitioner does this is at the core of what makes Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy so powerful. We begin to unpack this in our intro classes and continue to deepen this capacity over the course of the practitioner training.
#5 Something Beyond Me is Organizing Every Detail
In Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy literature much has been written about the organizing forces that align in the body and field during a session. Since the field includes the classroom and all the participants in it, everything, and I mean EVERY THING, that happens in and around our biodynamic classes is relevant. The personal details of my own life or my students’ lives during the days of class and in the weeks approaching it often amplify the subject matter of the module in creative, poignant, humorous and always profound ways.
#6 Teaching Confidence
In the beginning I didn’t believe in my teaching capacity. It often seemed magical and out of my hands. Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy is a vast inquiry, initiating far more questions than it answers. As I gained confidence in myself as a teacher, I realized that it was really important to teach my students confidence. This goal has organized my approach to learning each new skill. I remind students that they can return to what they know when they feel lost during a session. I tell them that even if the only thing they know in that moment is that they are sitting in a chair with their hands on another person, focusing on the chair and its stability rather than what they are not sensing or not understanding with their hands will build confidence. I remind them that shifting their attention to what they know is an invaluable practitioner muscle and that when they shift their attention to what they are confident in, their clients will feel that shift and it will support them far more than spinning into the unknown.
#7 The Power of Recognition
This one seriously cannot be overstated. Recognition is powerful, and often what the body is waiting for. Once the precise story the body is remembering is recognized– sometimes by holding tension in a certain area or way – change is often instantaneous. This blog I wrote in 2022 tells a powerful story of this process: https://www.schoolofinnerhealth.org/2022/05/10/still-racing/
#8 Witnessing Real Change
It’s amazing what happens in Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy sessions! There is always discovery and change. The power of creating conditions for change and knowing that change is possible are ripe ingredients for fruition! It is an honor that needs bigger words for what it means to witness change and have that extraordinary possibility become ordinary in the classroom and in all rooms where practitioners of this great art form practice their craft.
#9 Speaking From Depth
During the first intro I ever taught in British Columbia in 2005, I began speaking during table trades in a voice I had not heard myself use before. It seemed to come from deep in the ground, straight up my midline and out my mouth. I remember watching the clock to try and verify that the words were coming at a long tide pace. They were. This ancient voice is not mine but one that comes through me. Nearly 20 years later, I am still astounded and enlivened when students report this voice / these words speaking to their exact experience in the moment.
#10 Being Cooked
Teaching Craniosacral Therapy has been a catalyst for endless positive changes and realignments in my life. Teaching this modality has called me, pulled me, guided me, refused to give up on me, waited for me, and taught me more than I can ever speak or write to.
Teaching has also cooked me into a more capable human being. Sometimes I have been simmered for hours, days or even months. Other times I have been transformed in a matter of minutes at a fast boil. Over and over, I have been changed. I often notice this after teaching a module because I feel molecularly different at the end than I was at the beginning. It’s a cellular and visceral experience of transformation. An awareness that I have been changed, or cooked, by the intensity and beauty of the classroom days into a new form.
There are literally hundreds of reasons I love teaching! May these 10 give you a taste of them. I hope they awaken your curiosity whether or not you are familiar with Biodynamics. I’d love to hear which ones speak to you!