I wrote this as I was heading to a weeklong hands-on human dissection workshop in San Francisco under the tutelage of one my mentors, Gil Hedley, a preeminent authority on anatomy. My mind was buzzing.
It was an opportunity to really reflect, ponder, explore, and learn more about the human form, and the energies that come with exploration. Over a decade ago, I met Gil, and little did I know then that he would forever change my perception of how the body works.
The human body is in itself a mystery of complexity, one that I’ve thought about since I was a kid. When I wrote this I was thinking about my 12-year-old goddaughter because it was her birthday. I thought to myself, “Wow, she’s only one seventh of a 91-year lifespan,” and perhaps at a point at which more questions are asked about both the process of aging along with just physically doing it. We grow and develop so fast in the first 10 years of our life—so many first-time milestones pass.
Then, the teen years alter everything from our skin and body shape to our mindset, social, emotional, and physiological changes emerge that go by in a fleeting moment, though at the time we are experiencing unfold slowly. I’ll admit, I hated being 12. I remember it too well. I was constantly being picked on. I was unsure of myself. I knew I was different from the other kids. Perhaps it was only in my mind, but that was enough to make me feel uncomfortable in my own skin.
It’s amazing to me that I can now look back to those preteen years and recognize with compassion and respect that those formative years have shaped me into who I am today. I can reflect on the many layers of life I’ve been able to peel away at and tinker with my memories that hold tightly each sliding surface like the tissue I had the pleasure of exploring. I entered the workshop with an open mind and child-like curiosity.
I’ve done dissection before… nearly a dozen times now. It all comes back to me when I sit in the lab with my white jacket, hair tied back in a knot so it won’t accidentally dip into the human canvas. My scalpel is in hand and I’m ready to find something new.
This time it feels a little different.
Instead of being just the student, I have the opportunity to walk into this dissection with MELT instructors along for the ride. This has been a dream of mine for years. A busy schedule and planning always fell by the wayside but now with a team and a business to help me, we planned this endeavor nearly 10 months ago.
The instructors who chose to walk down this interesting path spans instructors I’ve known for a decade and some I’ve only met in the last year. Nearly 30 in all, we would dominate this group and become fascinated together as we dissect the body with a common thread of curiosity. I talk about connective tissue and the nervous system, what I coined as the Neurofascial (aka Autopilot) System. A dual stability network that supports and protects us both within and outside of our forms, this connected network has had me compelled to learn more about it and its longevity for nearly 25 years. I suppose the fascination of aging hit me right around the age of my goddaughter when my great grandmother’s mind slipped along with her body, forgetting my name and how to formulate a sentence. Aging and getting old seemed like something to avoid at all costs instead of a rite of passage to womanhood.
Though today I perhaps still get frustrated at the negative effects of aging, I spend each day fully present working to recognize how the energy around me shapes my thinking and my physical being.
So to the 30 MELT Instructors, Gil Hedley, Julian Baker and those that spent the week in the minutia and somanautic world of the human universe, I stepped into this spring week with anticipation and wonderment like a 12-year-old on her birthday awaiting teenage changes and empowerment.
Next time, I’ll tell you all about what we discovered!