MBS lessons do not heal me. Instead, the movements are the pen that I use to mentally and emotionally rewrite my story, outside of the diagnostic label from a doctor’s office, something more than a box with a pill that promises relief. Using chemistry, a drug can give someone an alternate state of mind so they can see what is possible beyond the tunnel of depression. In contrast, using my attention and creativity in MBS lessons, I find my own way past challenges and habitual patterns to a place where I can feel the success of self-work. By exploring the parts of myself that are not the “concussion survivor,” I step out of the historic pattern of someone burdened by trauma, who lost human dignity somewhere in the middle of the medical system.
Perhaps the deepest realization I had came at one point during a class where we explored variations in twisting to the side. It was the sudden understanding that the movements weren’t just physical: they were an analogy. The steps we were taking to move beyond pain could also be used to move into our full potential in the real world. In MBS, instead of focusing on my inability to reach farther in a movement, I might explore how I can do the movement differently and find greater efficiency or a more comfortable sensation. After someone embodies this principle in the lesson, they may gravitate towards improving the efficiency and quality of the most important tasks in their life instead of trying to do a greater number of things, a practice that may lend them more energy, decreased pressure to over perform, and/or fewer working hours. Personally, I struggle still with what I think I wanted my career and life to look like, pre-injury. Sometimes I still think I want to travel and teach acrobatics, but I am coming to realize that the elements of what drew me to these goals and dreams are what will actually sustain me: the creativity, collaboration, fluidity, and presence of a movement practice.
By approaching difficult situations with the creativity we cultivate in MBS lessons, we find that there are ways to overcome these sticking points where our expectations do not match our changing realities. This type of personal transformation comes from seeing the whole person: who they are beyond their disability, injury, or symptom. I know that for myself, I am no longer a ghost in my own brain, but a mind/body finding ease and elegance in movement, a change that extends far beyond the classroom into the challenges of life.
Anonymous contributor, 2018