In the Stage 1 Somato Respiratory Integration (SRI) exercise, we reconnected with our bodies and we began to find ease in experiencing our touch, breath, focused movement and energy in positions one, two and three. By the end of stage 1 it became safe to fully experience each position and we got pretty good at it. The sense of connection brings a peace and joy in the acknowledgement and acceptance of our disconnection.
In Stage 2, we start to explore and better experience these disconnections. In this stage’s SRI exercise we encourage two positions to communicate with each other by putting them in relationship with one another. Instead of placing both hands on one position at a time, we separate our hands and place one on position 1 and the other on position 3 to start. (Any two places in the body can be placed in relationship this way.)
Through the Stage 2 SRI exercise – which uses similar touch, breath, movement and energy strategies as in Stage 1 – we find that the relationship between the two positions begins to reveal that there are polarities and rhythms that reside within us. The rhythm, (i.e. our ability to breathe into and expand) in one area may be easy, while in the other it is hard. We might like one area and dislike the other. One position could feel good, while the other feels bad. Thus, the opposites within us, (i.e. the polarities), begin to surface.
In fact, interpersonal relationships are a great way to experience our polarities. We may feel that we are exceptionally balanced and together when we are on our own, but when we get into a relationship with someone else, sides of ourselves that never show up when we are alone begin to emerge. This happens particularly in intimate relationships, but also in business, familial and social relationships. Have you ever noticed that issues that come up in the presence of others never seem to be a problem when you are alone? While we may believe that it is the other person’s fault, we often never consider that it took the other person to reveal this side of ourselves.
Through these relationships, we discover that we have different parts and different rhythms. We may never have known this on our own because no other rhythms ever presented themselves. A couple that moves in together may find all sorts of new rhythms surfacing as they learn the timing and frequency with which the other person does things, takes care of problems, maintains order and tends to the other. Some of these rhythms may be harmonious and mutually supportive, but others can be discordant and jarring. Troubling polarities may become painfully obvious as the toilet seat issue arises, dining habits create tension and differences in upbringing and expectations are brought to the table.
We find that within ourselves there are antagonistic rhythms that clash. Perhaps we love being with another person while, at the same time, we miss living on our own. Parts of us are confident and can take care of everything, whereas others become insecure with another person around. These differing rhythms create an internal charge which can become extremely harmful and damaging to ourselves and our bodies. If left unresolved, we can get sad or resentful and we may fight. We typically blame the other person for the problems. Sometimes we even feel that we would be better off without this relationship.
The truth is that the things that we think we are learning about the other person are actually things we are discovering about ourselves. While we often blame the other person for the undesirable situation that may be causing us pain, the reason it bothers us so much is that it has activated our conflicting needs, desires and nature within. The buttons that we have that another person can push exist because of our own internal polarities. If there was no charge within us, there would be no chain to yank on.
While it may take us multiple tries within the relationship or multiple relationships to figure this out, we eventually see that we have a personal responsibility in the situation. Simply getting rid of the rhythms that another person brings into our lives by leaving or dominating a relationship does not solve the problem. Rather, it is understanding that these separate rhythms within us, not outside of us, create the polarities. To depolarize them, they must learn to co-exist. In doing this within ourselves, our coexistence with other people becomes much easier as we accept that these divergent patterns are all part of any relationship. We learn to embrace the good with the bad, the fun with the drudgery and the joy with the pain.
Original article Paul Newton, based on the work of Donald Epstein
Rachael Talbot & Olaf Frank
Re-organisational Healing, Wellness & Chiropractic in Wilmslow, UK