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At yesterday's cuddle party, the clarity of the opening welcome circle hit me again. A boundaries workshop, it made me feel completely aware again of where mine were, and of feeling free to cuddle OR NOT with whoever I wanted to.

"Have you ever had someone reach out and try to squeeze your shoulder or hug you without asking, even with the very best of intentions, and then had that feel wrong? It's because, well-intentioned or not, non-consent is about taking away your voice."

I feel like I'm finding my voice again.
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"Be patient with yourself," the kinder of my friends tell me, when I wake up with the millionth sad dream and start asking for distractions and hugs.

The thing is, it takes effort to be patient. If nothing else, it's hard to recognize that for all of the ways that you integrated someone or something into your life -- building a habit -- it's always much worse breaking a habit. That's just at the behavioral level.

At the emotional level, it's exhausting, constantly monitoring your thoughts for a slip and implementing the "exercise and go change the pace" regimen.

We have a set amount of energy to start the day with. I was reading this article on self-monitoring, and how it's a finite resource. Changing things about yourself is hard because self-monitoring -- tracking your emotions and dealing with them in a healthy way -- takes energy, and we only have so much of it.

I know I sometimes say that it's not worth "wasting" energy on futile dreams that all of my logic says really don't stack up properly. But that's not the way emotions really work -- we fall into habits for our dreams, for who we love and what we love. We can't (realistically) unwalk our emotions without paying some sort of price for it; closeted emotions boil over in other ways.

So when I say silly things like, "it's not worth the emotional energy to deal with this," that's not what I mean. What I mean is, "I do not know how to deal with this/ I don't have the resources to monitor myself right now." Because it takes just as much emotional energy to not deal with something.

I think that most of the time, when dealing with healing broken dreams, we manage to get things down to a nice, calm 10% of what they were by re-working new emotional tracks -- by doing new things. And it takes emotional energy to form all of those new tracks. (Though sometimes seeing friends and doing things temporarily gives me a boost of additional energy to do all that).

That's why people say healing is a slow process -- that's why you can't just "get over it" or "roll with the punches." It's because emotions and habits are one-way streets that you can't just undo, and it takes an incredible amount of energy to carve new dreams and habits on top of them. Being patient with yourself is not a passive thing. It is far more active than having fallen in love in the first place.
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Does the idea of transactive memory mean that people who have more intimate ties with others increase their memory capacity? Could working closely with or being more positively-emotionally-entangled with others actually improve your memory?
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Something from Gladwell's The Tipping Point that is rolling around in my head is the idea that in order to remember something, it "sticks" best if it's both practical and personal. (Clearly, there are other memory factors, too: how long our attention span is, whether we repeat information, whether we receive the information in whatever visual/kinesthetic/auditory/however-we-learn-best format, etc. But for now, I'm interested in the practical-and-personal bit).

Somehow, in order to make our messages "stick," we need to format information in a way that really connects to people's lives. [livejournal.com profile] greyduck, amongst other friends, was always talking about poor memory -- having no recollection of what happened in a day, for example, or poor recollection of when to do something. But if something was important to remember, like a task, and writing it down didn't suffice, would it stick better if we tried to make up a little story about it? Would "I need to go to the post office" work better if you drew yourself a map of the post office (practical) and made up a little story about how exactly you'd interact with the postal officer (personal)? I bet it would.

Hmm. I need to think about how to format my messages in a more personal/practical way.
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It occurs to me that the thing that keeps people's attention is whether they're being entertained and finding something shiny/enjoyable. This thought comes up a lot during Chem class. Man, I used to love Chemistry in high school. I loved the explosions, the way that we know things work because of the instability of intermolecular forces, the idea that the world is held together fundamentally by electrons zipping around in crazy ways. Our teacher once had us run around in circles to show electron orbits. She used to make things blow up regularly, with pretty colors.

But my current chem class teacher doesn't demonstrate any of this -- no science experiments in class, no games, and sadly no group work: no chance to work together on the math part of things. His lessons fall short because he doesn't let the class breathe -- he lectures and doesn't use Socratic questioning, and ... I'm bored. (Tragicomedic quote from last week: "You only think he's not a bad teacher because you do all the reading from the book.")

Without play, you never get anyone's interest, and you'll never get anyone to like what you teach. All of the lessons that went really well in my classroom were ones that involved play -- short story prompts from ambiguous newspaper headlines, or acting out scenes, or playing Mad Libs to teach parts of speech, or poem writing using stuff in the room.

Playfulness is interaction without high-stakes self-consciousness. At its best, it is highly creative at drawing people in, letting them brainstorm without feeling worried about a product. It's about shared entertainment, a common goal, invoking common knowledge. It doesn't have to involve bonding, although that's important too for classroom management, but you have to be willing to have a group energy.

All of the workshops I've ever attended that have succeeded have elements of everyone playing together. If we weren't laughing, we were breathing together, fiddling with some project together, concentrating together for one short period at a time. Without that element of ... shared enjoyment, of the willingness to not be completely goal-oriented, it's actually really hard to learn or even pay attention. We are social creatures -- we take each other's cues in learning just like in any other social interaction, and it works better if we enjoy ourselves along the way.
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It is fairly widely known that we make many, many assessments of the people we meet within the first 2 seconds of meeting them. Applying this concept to romantic assessment in particular, it is clear that all of us must make some judgment as to whether someone is datable within 2 seconds of meeting them. There are only three possibilities -- "yes," "maybe," and "no."

The thing that is somewhat puzzlesome for me is that people often delay and avoid the possibility of dating because of complications in their own heads, even if they suspect that they are compatible/attracted to someone. Logically speaking, this is silly -- while rejection does sting, the reality of the fact is that if the answer from the person you're interested in was "no" to begin with, then it was always going to be "no." You were always going to be rejected; it's wired in from the first second you meet someone.

Therefore, my initial conclusion was that most of us should be asking each other out much more often than we do, in order to gain certainty, because the worst that could happen is already inevitable.

Neil pointed out that the above is a fairly deterministic outlook, and, being Neil, offered a more quantum sort of rebuttal. He argued that often, when we consider people to be worthwhile as friends, we sort of automatically stick them in the "maybe" category -- that "maybe" is not just "maybe yes" but it's also "maybe not." (He also claimed, as a corollary, that "maybe" happens more often than a true "yes.") He said that it was the hope of avoiding "maybe not" that made us act in a much more "wait and see" fashion than logic might allow (well, that, plus the pain of rejection, which does, I admit, suck pretty hard.)

"Maybe not" is also hard to reverse. If Person Y were to ask whether Person Z wanted to date them, and Person Z was having a terrible day or felt that there wasn't quite enough worldview-match in common, that the impact of Person Z telling Person Y, "You are great, but I'm not sure this would work right now" would make it really hard for Person Z to change their minds and say, "Well, I was having a terrible day before and maybe we could give it a try."

This all has merit -- and certainly the reasons for which we avoid definite commitment to either "no" or "yes" are subject to change with circumstance. But -- and this is very Myers-Briggs "N" of me -- I think we are likely to actually already know whether the "maybe" falls closer to yes or no without much true uncertainty or real possibility of changing our minds. (We might not necessarily trust our gut, and frustratingly enough, we might not communicate that in any useful direction, but we do know.) For most people, too, I think we are more likely to err towards agreeing to date if there is any true question -- most people seem pretty conservative in wanting to gather more information to prove or disprove preliminary impressions, regardless of the fact that our subconscious assessments are probably pretty accurate and hard to shake anyway. (Hand-wavyness here).

Thoughts?
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Things I am thankful for:

  • I am alive, and in good health.

  • In a world where destruction is so much easier than construction (consider how many years of of trying to heal India-Pakistan relations that a single series of terrorist events in Mumbai has destroyed), we have people who are trying, so very hard, to take the high road...

    We have Mormon queers, we have President-elect Obama, we have grassroots organizations like Amnesty, constantly writing letters to remind our officials that we don't condone "disappearing" people, or torture, or people beating on others. UNAMID soldiers continue to keep going in Darfur, despite there not being enough of them, despite poor security, despite a UN camp having been targeted only a month ago. People keep working. It is impressive.

  • I have an amazing network of friends, and an incredible husband.

Commitment

Nov. 13th, 2008 09:07 am
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Yesterday, I talked with [livejournal.com profile] entropicangel about commitment, after a conversation with [livejournal.com profile] pallasathene82 on the same topic. They are pretty much in agreement; commitment, in a relationship, is about expecting to grow together as a couple.

I blinked at this steady-eyed assessment, and snarkily commented that some people can't even be expected to "commit" to growing up as part of their daily lives; I could point to some people I dated that couldn't be bothered facing a fear of hot water, or who lived in Vermont and couldn't be bothered to go more than 30 miles away from it to go to college in Williamstown. Not that I'm naming names, of course.

To this, Neil gave me The Look. The Look translated to: "Then really, why did you date them?"

I conceded the point. When you're picking people to date -- no matter how important it is to love people as they are and accept their limitations and flaws -- it is much better for one's mental health if one dates grownups, not people who are in some way afraid to face life. People grow at their own pace, and if your significant other is still coping with much more basic fears/limitations, you're going to be stuck babysitting them when you really should be focusing on your own growth. And honestly, when you're stuck there, everyone's time gets wasted -- for the person whose growth is a little slower, they would almost certainly be learning life lessons faster if they were forced to by the bigger prods of loneliness and desperation; for the person who is stuck trying to jog someone else's growth along, they're engaging in a Sisyphusian task, and almost certainly compromising themselves somehow to do it.
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Savannah was talking about the indigenous populations of Hawaii and mildly irate that a friend of hers had questioned whether Hawaii had a native language, in her blog post the other day. I responded that both Hawaii and Alaska have fairly non-European sounding names, and that it didn't actually take much thought to realize that both Hawaii and Alaska were ergo probably Native American names. Of course they have indigenous populations and languages, even if they've been sort of thinned out/ not widely spoken. Duh.

... Then I thought about what I'd said, and realized that 17 (edited: Ry counts 25, and I am too lazy to count properly) of the 50 states have Native American, not European or Latin names. (Wikipedia page on State name etymology). That really should underline how much of our country was originally Native American, for a sense of history but then I thought: but how many Native Americans do you see wandering around now? Our indigenous population is almost extinct in almost all our states, not just in Hawaii or Alaska... which is sad.
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In the world according to Neil, I learned, the just-past-college-or-younger age group is distinctive and relatively easy to spot. This statement provoked some surprise on my part, since I'm absolutely terrible at judging ages and experiential gaps between twenty-somethings, and I didn't think to ponder about the ages of the group of people who went out to the diner with us after the contradance. (They were all under 23).

Okay, sure, there is sometimes an energy gap between our older friends and younger ones, but then again people like [livejournal.com profile] ppaladdin kick that entire "energy" differential to the curb, so I don't trust it as a good guideline.

Neil claims, though, that in college, when we're more social and less experienced with the grind of a job day-in-and-day-out, we have a more generic sort of flirtiness. The social flirting is more expansive, and people are more clearly not-yet-settled-down.

Waitaminute, I said. What about that whole gaggle of our college friends that were already practically married by their junior year in college?

Still less experience with having to pay the bills and having to worry about practicalities, Neil said. Even if they have part time jobs, they are still leaning on parents financially, and it shows. Some of the prioritization of social life versus what you can do to pay the bills shows. Unless you're in academia, and then you live on a whole different planet anyway.

Hmm. I guess that's probably true, but not something I spot so easily in a social situation. And I sort of wish I could regain the mentality Neil's talking about again.
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Matisse posted a rant today on Palin's mispronunciations of the words "nuclear" and "verbiage." While I agree that Palin is guilty of egregiously mispronouncing words, what first came to mind when I read Matisse's words was: "oh no! Don't draw attention to that!"

Why? Because it's my belief that the more attention you focus on Dubya-like malapropisms ("misunderestimate," "resignate," "vulcanize") and grammatical weirdness ("put food on your family!") the more people start to internalize those same assaults on the English language.

I have a nightmare: one day, I will open a dictionary one day and find that "nuclear" is actually alternately pronounced "nuke-you-lar."

The problem isn't actually just that mangling words makes me grumpy. (And it does. It really does). It's that when you change words, you move them away from their original meaning and conflate different shades of meaning into the definition of the word.

For example, let's take "nuclear," since that's the word that's coming around to bite us these days. When you pronounce it "nucular" rather than "nuclear, you remove the association of the word "nucleus" out from "nuclear."

Instead you've turned it into "nuke-you-lar." Subconsciously, the "nuke you" part of "nucular" sounds like an aggressive phrase. That means that when we collectively talk about "nuclear energy," we're not just talking about harnessing the energy from splitting the atom. We're associating nuclear energy with about a violent, uncontrollable force. That changes how we talk about fueling energy. Oil and coal sound much less threatening than nuke bombs -- whether or not nuclear power is a better longterm, more renewable source of energy.

Or let's take Dubya's "vulcanize." According to Dubya, racial quotas "vulcanize" (Balkanize) society. So now, instead of just talking about Balkanizing (fracturing) society, you're talking about "Vulcans" or maybe "vultures" somewhere. That means you have not just an association of the Balkans with splintered society, but also with vultures.

And you can keep doing that with other malapropisms - the changed words add their own layers of meaning. That's not so good.
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It's a weird thing, living in a 2-party country. As [livejournal.com profile] cosmicbabe says, "moderate" often means "wishy washy." I suspect that's because during election years, we tend to pick issues that really hit people's hot-emotional buttons. Everyone has an opinion on abortion and gun control and taxes, and if you try to see both sides, you're hit by waves of yelling on either side. And it takes some time to try to read multiple points of view, from different newspapers, and lots of effort, so most people lean in one direction and keep quiet when more extreme views come up.

Paul Krugman, in his op-ed today, wrote that Republicans were trying to sway the country through the politics of anger/resentment: "the other side looks down on us." That particular editorial made me cranky, because, well...

The other side does look down on you. Both sides look down on each other, in fact.

A few emails ago, I got a note from the Obama website going, "why would Republicans spend their whole night attacking ordinary people?"

That's just as irritating as when the Republicans say, "the Democrats are sexist hypocrites who claim the working class only clings to religion and guns because it's easy."

The politics of resentment is part of the way politics in this country work year-round, day-in, day-out. Two parties mean that you end up with polarizing opinions. It would be nice if there were more articulate wishy-washy people who pointed out, "well, that's sort of right, but not really."

If you only want to see an angry right or an angry left, that's what you'll get. If instead you try to focus on the moderate right and moderate left, and stay focused on issues that can actually be compromised on, you'll end up with a much happier middle. And most of America is in the middle; we're just quieter about it.
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When anxious and depressed, I often start randomly browsing. I came across this article on beta blockers, which is really interesting. Beta blockers prevent the outward signs of anxiety -- trembling hands, shaking, etc. -- and in so doing, also happen to block some of the performance anxiety or public speaking fears that many people have.

In a world where drugs are prescribed for depression and anxiety regularly, it seems that beta blockers are the next step for helping people cope. I'm generally not a fan of relying on drugs -- it's too often the case that there are side effects that are less pleasant, or they're addictive, or the pharmacist screws up your drugs, etc. -- but in this case, it seems to even the playing field for people in test-like or public-speaking-ish situations. Our current President has massive public-speaking anxiety; it's part of why he so often flubs his lines. We might even see an intelligent mind somewhere behind all that stammering if he were taking a beta blocker to calm his heartrate, suppress the trembling hands and sweating, and generally if he could be assured that any outward signs of anxiety would already be taken care of.

Recently, the prenatal-massage class I took included a hands-on test component. I hate those; it makes my touch much more nervous, and I know that the person I work on must feel it, which creates a cycle of anxiety and trembling on my part. If there had been a beta blocker around to calm me down, I would have taken it, especially given that I just got a message from the teacher of the class asking me to call her back regarding that particular section. (That makes me feel totally awful, of course. Bah. I know that I actually had the hands-on component down afterwards, but at the time, I was a wreck. Also, for the record: a continuing education class that involves testing for any purpose other than "quick mini asssessment" is utter bullshit.)

For people who have massive test anxiety, is it a good idea to give them something to calm them down? Not a valium to put them to sleep or anything, but if the dosage could be managed well, are we moving towards a world where we simply hand the drugs over to kids and tell them to self-medicate enough to manage?
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I've been thinking about judgment calls. We all make judgments that have us looking down our noses at others. When we're feeling better mannered, we pull them back in and try to soften them, or we remember that things often aren't our place to say -- but when we fail to restrain ourselves, we do a disservice to our fellows. Trying to actually be welcoming of other opinions rather than patting ourselves on the back for the instances when we sometimes are restrained is one of those interesting challenges (Christian challenges?) that very few people succeed at. But it'd be nice if we tried harder.
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A thought, w/r/t to blogs and writers and public figures everywhere: you are amazing. Nobody likes being judged, and yet published writers and movie celebrities put themselves out there, naked in the world, to share with the often-cruel, capricious and sadly stupid public. You can roll your eyes or disagree or speculate or make snarky comments and judgment calls on public figures all you want, but the thing is this: without the dialogue that they open up, how shabby are we? How introspective could we be, without dialogue and insight inspired by others?

A shoutout, to those of us who place ourselves in public: thank you.

Evolving

Feb. 27th, 2008 10:53 pm
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I had an interesting conversation with Neil about past lives, where he demanded to know why, if we had past lives, we hadn't morally evolved better. I pointed out a number of arguments, including that because morals are by nature flexible within situations and subject to interpretation, it's hard to learn an into-the-next-lifetime absolute morality. I also made some silly mathematical arguments, about how few people learn anything lastingly, and how few of those would even be reincarnated.

But at the end of that quibbling, what really sticks is this -- I think we have evolved spiritually, though it's hard to call as for "morally." We've evolved more compassion. We're a more global society, we're wealthier on average, and we're more aware of our neighbors' suffering; we don't tend to do much about it, but we *do* do little things, when we never would have before.
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Argh. Having just read this article (courtesy of Mistress Matisse) on the case for "settling" for a teammate in a marriage, I want to go and knock that woman over the head. Her argument seems to boil down to this: women should look for a husband, without looking for passion or common interest. They should look for someone who'll be a good teammate and father instead.

I'm not certain whose bright idea it was that "teammate" and "sharing common interests" had nothing to do with each other. Even if you could swallow your resentment and irritation at not liking the same friends, jokes, or events, why would you assume that your teammate would be unable to pick up on your irritation and resentment at having given up your voice? Why do you think he would bother sticking around for it?

That having been said, even if you assume that the Goal of Every Woman is to raise children and be a housewife (and, obviously, it's not), and you also assume that in this crazy world, the man that the woman "snags" is going to be The Paycheck, it seems like an awfully bum deal from both sides.

From the woman's perspective... if the man is The Paycheck rather than someone who's happy to be with you and the child and help you change diapers, you've turned yourself into a paid babysitter. One who doesn't have an opinion on what her husband does *and* one who doesn't have a life because you gave up your career and decided to be a full-time taker-over-of-your-child's-life.

From the man's perspective (the Paycheck's perspective), babysitter-wifey is at the very minimum not-exciting to be around, and you never get to see the kids because you're busy being Paycheck-boy. You might as well have a mistress on the side for exciting sex.

To be fair, this is what arranged marriages often turn into, and certainly people all over the world manage to muddle through that. They have children who dislike but hopefully respect their mothers, and who are distant from their fathers. But who said love was important at all, right? It's all about throwing out love and replacing it with obeisance. Unhappiness is livable through; being happy is overrated. Of course, there are much higher suicide rates in Asia, where we believe that crap, but I'm sure those people were probably duds anyway.

I don't understand people who've tasted happiness and independence and then choose to throw it away like it's a useless gift.

Yes, it's difficult to be a single mother when you're trying to also maintain a career. That's what friends and babysitters and grandparents are for -- so you can spread out the burden and keep loneliness at bay. But having someone who's constantly around who isn't really your lover and who doesn't love you, but loves the kid... that's lonely, too. Without friends around to cushion the blow. It's just trading in for a different sort of work.

Meanwhile, I am totally with Matisse in agreeing that the author of that article has thoroughly thrown away her chances at having someone to actually be happy with -- but not just because men would be repulsed by her (as they should be). It's because she clearly doesn't want to work for happiness.
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Susie Bright's entry today is about how flicks of women carrying their children to term (rather than aborting) are getting popular all of a sudden. Essentially, she's disturbed about how there's no one romanticizing the other side: the relief of having had an abortion (smushmortion).

I suppose it's possible to think of some hilarious scenarios -- to vie with movies like Knocked Up or Juno -- where you learn something about yourself after having had an abortion. You could play up all your faults beforehand in an amusing way, and then have the grand climax be like, "ta da! post-abortion, all is good! I've learned my lesson about not wanting kids in my life and not taking a risk with non-super-protected sex!"

... No, wait, that's really not all that amusing. In real life, I'm sure abortion -- like any other medical procedure -- can be a great relief. But it's not the stuff of Hollywood romantic comedies. It's not possible to come up with a counterpart, romanticizing abortion, because that's like romanticizing um... medicines that get rid of athelete's foot. Yes, I'm sure that after you've had the medication, you learn your lesson about wearing proper footwear in locker rooms, so you never get athlete's foot again. But that lesson is not the stuff of good stories. There's no way to draw out the lesson in storybook form.

I suppose my point is basically this: stories are not real life. Movies are not real life. Anyone who's ever watched a picture-perfect family on TV and thought they could make their own family dynamics work that way knows that. Anyone who's ever watched a horribly violent movie and compared it to their own lives knows this.

Or, to put it another way: in real life, no one is heroic and plucky. Everyone is just plodding along doing their best.

If Ms. Bright's point is that people would like to believe in heroes, and that carrying along an unplanned pregnancy is the more heroic course (therefore people will do it) ... um, well, carrying a pregnancy to term IS the more heroic route. It's the more torturous, annoying, grinding route, where you get a few more smiles from other people for it, and therefore it's the more "heroic" one. Along the lines of "heroism often gets you hurt," I'm sure some people really do want to be Lancelot, too.

However heroic, carrying an unplanned pregnancy to term is not always the wiser or smarter course, though, and it's not the more expedient one. If the complaint is that we don't value wisdom or expedience enough in Hollywood, well... okay. Duh. Want to complain that the men in romance novels don't actually exist, too?

* * *

In loosely-associated thoughts, along the lines of "wisdom that tends to get ignored": if you want to really ensure that you aren't going to get preggers and you still want to have sex, you have to use at least two forms of birth control. People do get pregnant using just condoms alone, or just the Pill alone. Yes, that could be you.

More words of wisdom that tend to get ignored: if you happen to get preggers and are in no way ready for the child financially, and don't think it's possible to take 9 months off of work to bear a child to term while hoping to give the kid away to someone else, then get an abortion. Our screwed-up healthcare and social-support system is not set up to support the adoption system, or mothers who don't have money or time to take off 9 months (and it looks bad on a resume, to boot), or any alternative between "abort" and "raise the child yourself."
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At my gym, when I'm giving out free chair massages, I've noticed some interesting things.

Firstly: it is mostly men we need as our target audience, partially because I suspect the decor at our spa doesn't match standards of other spas, and women are exposed to so much massage and luxury in the course of their daily maintenance.

Want a massage? There's a therapist at your nail salon, a hair stylist who'll massage your head, etc. Men, on the other hand, don't get their nails done or their hair styled (as much), nor is touch between men socially acceptable... and thus, when their gym offers massage, they're incredibly happy to be touched. Men tend to earn more than women, on average. They don't care as much about the decor. Therefore they should be the perfect clients...

But...it is hard to get men in to the spa. Why? This is what happens when I give a chair massage to a guy. He sighs happily, and says, "no one has ever made me feel that way before... you felt like you had four hands!" I smile, and say, "that's fantastic! I'm so glad. I hope you'll come visit me." He says, "okay, my girlfriend's birthday is coming up soon, and I'll buy her a massage."

However much we say otherwise, complaining about men earning more and women being slaves to fashion or what-have-you, women sure do seem to end up coming out okay.
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I went to a fascinating seminar by Tom Myers, the author of Anatomy Trains (he talks essentially about how our bodies are all connected by this one network of fascia, or a kind of connective tissue, and how it all ties together. End digression).

One of the women at the seminar asked about treating a patient with muscular dystrophy (a neuromuscular disease, genetically linked, where the muscles just waste away). She talked about how very afraid she was of doing something terrible to the muscle tissue; years ago, as a personal trainer, she would have tried "doing more" with the muscle and doing more serious stretching, but now, with more knowledge behind her, she was too scared to try.

Here's what Tom said: "Ah, the courage of the innocent; once you know the risks of what you do with bodywork, it's a lot harder to do them, isn't it? Anyway, it's a mistake to think that you're going to cure him, because muscular dystrophy affects your peripheral nervous system along with your muscles, but... I'd try working with the fascia and doing light stretching all along the posterior fascial line."

"You would do that?"

"Well, the thing is, you can either work conservatively, and never hurt your clients, but also never make them any better. Or you can work with courage, risk hurting your clients, but also sometimes help them get better."


And I guess that is the thing, isn't it? It's always a balance; sometimes you take risks and they fail, but if you don't keep hoping, and trying, and working with people on the things you undertake, things don't get better.

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