Read The Manual

Clive , my beloved, always jokes with me when I complain that I cannot fix some appliance that has gone on the blink. RTM comes the suggestion, which I then remember means "read the manual, then ask me if you still cannot fix!"

We all went through school without learning the first useful thing about how our mind, body and emotions relate to each other. I even graduated from medical school and was destined for a career in psychiatry and I was still ignorant about practices that could have saved me from years of profound mental imbalance. In my classes I try to pass on a user's manual, oral tradition. I teach students some of the basics about how the body and mind relate to health and happiness or sickness and suffering. 

We practice together and collect a number of useful techniques that keep us from the drama and damage inherent in the flight or fight response. This is also called the stress response. You cannot have a sensible thought in your head while the hormones of stress are pumping, so this is a time to keep your mouth closed, to stop thinking and to  breathe deep and slow.  Except when in that state we sometimes need something more vigorous to do, to burn off the adrenaline and help the body find that place of "all is safe and well ."  I have many ways of working with breath and the physical and energetic body, ways that make you feel better. 

Jenni Levine