Shaken to the Core
On January 6, 2021, I was settling down to write this column. It was my typical Wednesday off. I rest my hands, take time for myself and get life done. I was watching television coverage of the Electoral College Count, when all hell broke loose. As I witnessed the rioters running up the Capitol steps, smashing windows and doors to get inside, I felt my stomach sink and suddenly began to cry. I immediately felt unsafe and ungrounded. Those feelings were so familiar from years past.
Feeling unsafe and unstable was how I felt in my twenties. In art school, the weirder you were, the cooIer you were. I wasn’t that weird and certainly wasn’t that cool. After college, I began to actively seek truth, balance and inner connection. I took every healing workshop in modalities that sounded interesting. I worked as a waitress, taught art classes, sold Earth Shoes, traveled in Europe. I got Rolfed. In my second of the ten sessions of Rolfing®, I received an inner message that I would become a Rolfer and do this work for the rest of my life. I began to feel more grounded and focused as my body transformed with the Rolfing® sessions. My journey had begun.
As I worked on my prerequisites for admission to The Rolf Institute (now called The Dr. Ida Rolf® Institute), I had a crippling car accident and could not walk or work. I had to heal and get ready for my interviews, so I stayed with a friend in Carmel, California. She brought me up the road to The Esalen Institute in Big Sur, the hotbed of wholistic body/mind/spirit thought. Through connections I made, I ended up staying for a life-changing month, trading bodywork with practitioners there and healing from my recent injuries. I then went off to Boulder, Colorado for my two days of Rolfing® interviews.
I was accepted to The Rolf Institute and soon began my studies. I had a difficult time as I was only 24 years old and didn’t yet know enough about myself. I was the youngest person in my class with most of the other students already having had a career or two. Many things were suggested to me to help me “find” myself. I believe the process of getting my body organized with all of the Rolfing® I had over those years, brought me into my solid, strong body and nurtured my development of a clear, intuitive mind. I became steady, grounded, and grew professionally, personally and spiritually.
Ten years later, I remember how I suddenly lost my physical sense of the world. I awoke in the midst of an earthquake at Zion National Park. My bed was jumping, the floors were rocking, the walls were creaking and the sound of a loud freight train roared from below. It became clear this was a massive earthquake. I returned to my bed after a harrowing several minutes huddled under the bathroom door frame and burst into tears as I put my head down on the pillow. My entire nervous system was reacting to the lack of solid earth beneath me. We expect the earth to be stable, always there when you jump or put your feet down on the floor or when we walk, hike or run. I sobbed myself to sleep that night, knowing I had experienced a profound shift.
When I witnessed the chaos and the storming of our Nation’s Capitol, all my senses went back to those times when I experienced ungrounded and insecure feelings. This time, I felt it in my gut. I was mentally and emotionally upset. I needed more sleep, reached for comfort food and felt distracted. Speaking to others about this, many people had a somewhat similar reaction. We all felt we had no ground to stand on. I felt unsteady, shaken to the core.
The remedy? I went on a five-mile hike with my dogs, prepared healthy food and got myself back. As I breathed the fresh air and felt the solid earth beneath my feet, my inner fears melted away. We certainly cannot control all that happens, but we can have a say in how we deal with things. The layering of all these current issues from COVID, to winter, more isolation, unstable government; all pile up. However, we get to choose to stay the course, choose organization, and choose healthy habits.
I challenge you to find what makes you happy. Get some bodywork, cook new favorite foods, enjoy a long bath, take a hike, dance, or clean your space. It all helps us stay centered. We need to be in our right minds and in our right bodies to survive these assaults and traumas of life. Go within, hug a tree, write in a journal, be kind to yourself and to others.
We are all in this and struggling with how to cope. I see freedom here for myself not relying on the old ways, but creating some new ones. It is time to regroup, take stock and clean out. Shaken to the core, but with feet firmly planted, I celebrate each new day.
Sharon Sklar is in her 40th year of private practice as a Certified Advanced Rolfer. State licensed and the only Rolfer in Central CT, Sharon works with direct manipulation of the soft tissue of the body and movement re-education over a ten-session series to help her clients feel freer, get more balanced and reduce chronic pain. Great for athletes, children and adults recovering from injuries, stress and traumas of life.
Call 860.561.4337 for more info or to schedule a consultation. www.SharonSklarRolfing.com.