It was not until I started writing this that I realized how much positive and significant personal growth I have experienced thanks to working with Don & Diane St John.
Prior to working with Don and Diane I was unknowingly stuck in a “healing cycle”, exploring all kinds of self improvement opportunities and still feeling like something was wrong with me; I was desperate to feel worthy of everything, but primarily love. Love for myself.
And to be honest, at that point in time, I was not even consciously aware of the fact that I was stuck, that I did not own my worth, and that I had issues with loving myself.
My persona was one of having my ducks in a row, with a smiling face and kind words always flowing from my mouth. Of course it was different inside of my head and at home, there I had (sometimes still have) an edge that was harsh and damaging; a good indicator that I was (can be) conflicted internally.
I had determined that I wanted to live a more authentic life, that I wanted to feel more comfortable in my skin, and be able to give and receive love without it feeling difficult.
But I was wrapped up in the idea that something was wrong with me – because how could it not be when I felt so conflicted in my mind? I was not fulfilled, my body hurt, and I was resentful of much and many.
So I pretended to be happy, successful, and pleasant – but inside I was imploding.
Working with Don and Diane and exploring the internal depth that their work offers has completely shifted my paradigm for living. As I write this I am reminded of how far I have come, and how significant their work has been for me.
And to be honest, in the big picture – I have worked very little with them and for only 3 short years.
The topics below and the embodied exploration of them, initially guided by Don and Diane, and augmented with other professional insights and suggestions (and then personalized by me), have been my primary focuses over the past 3 years:
AND consciousness — we can authentically be both angry & happy, sad & content, depressed & growing, guarded & vulnerable, fluid & stuck, afraid & hopeful, in-love & and questioning, fulfilled & seeking…… We can (and should) feel all of our emotions, there are gifts to be received with all of them, and we are big enough to hold them without being destroyed by what we want to avoid.
Our childhood could have been “normal” — and we might still have experienced trauma to some extent, and trauma that is not worked through is stored in our body influencing our subconscious and conscious mind along with impacting our body tissues. Unresolved trauma intermingles with all of our daily actions, decisions, choices, and ways-of-being.
Shame = “not being met” — when Don explained to me what creates shame my inhibitions started to make sense. I was able to understand my “dark secrets” and realize the effect they have on my wholeness. I was also able to sort societies shame from my own, realizing that for too long I was carrying the weight of what was not even mine.
Vulnerability — to be able to absorb felt love moments, to be able to express emotions, desires, fears, in full, with the understanding that it is health-full, and also realizing that in order to be safe in vulnerability we have to be willing to back it up. We have to be willing to create healthy boundaries and walk away from those who abuse our vulnerability.
Eroticism — Eros is my word for 2016 because I have realized that I shackled my erotic creature years ago, and this stifled energy was expressing itself as anger, pensiveness and envy; a true pleasure squelch-er this stifled energy was. And it was creating all kinds of problems in my personal life and within my intimate relationships. And I am not just talking about sexual intimacy with my husband. Currently I am tapping into the power and grace (= potential in many forms) that lies within the erotic creature.
Fluid movement verses trapped energy — we are 70% water, we could/should move with felt ease, grace and fluidity. When our tissues are contracted due to the physiological results of stress (all forms of it, and there are many) we store trapped energy. In my body this feels like low grade pain. When this trapped energy is released we open to more of everything that is vital for our health and well-being.
How to just be an example — I reached a point in my growth journey where it felt almost unhealthy for me to have grown so considerably because I felt like those around me were not also growing, and it felt impossible to stay in relationship with them because I WANTED them to also be growing, exactly like I was. I learned from Don and Diane that I could just become comfortable in being an example of what is possible. That I could grow and just love those that I perceived as stuck. This realization for me was liberating and allowed my heart to open even more. I was also able to realize how egotistical I was being in wanting others to do as I was doing.
Spiritual connection to self and Source — while exploring Continuum Movement, I have felt my spirit in my fluid body anchored to the Divine. I am aware of what a stretch this statement sounds like. But it is true, and I am deeply grateful and in love with this re-connection.
Don and Diane are now 72 years old. When I met them a few years back I was enthralled as I watched Don writhe like a snake on a slightly padded, hard floor. His movements were almost non-human. He was so fluid in form that it captivated me instantly. And when I tried to emulate his actions I realized the depth of their work; I could not move like that, not even close, and I was 3 decades younger than him.
And so my questioning began….
What becomes possible when we unwind what keeps us bound? And what are the steps required in order to unwind our inhibitions so that we can thrive? Can we have the intimate relationships that we crave, primarily with self? Can we be so comfortable in our skin that we wear-our-heart-on-our-sleeve, encapsulated with healthy boundaries, allowing and receiving love as we are meant to?
What becomes of a society that respects and expects this from its people?
What can our relationship then be with the earth?
What happens to our planet when people reside in their wholeness, engaged with one another, the planet and the cosmos, in a living, loving, and respectful relationship?
I often say that Don and Diane’s work provides the foundation for saving the earth, one person at a time. They shy away from this statement as if it “suggests that they walk on water”.
Well, they don’t walk on water.
They are very human.
They themselves are “Growing Into Wholeness” and they very honest about it.
They don’t pretend to be something that they are not. This is what I appreciate about them the most. They are not gurus. They are humans seeking more out of life, and sharing their wisdom with anyone who is ready to feel a little awkward, uncomfortable, and curious while exploring the intelligence of the fluid body and opening to more.
In my experience this fluid place within the body is fleeting. One that requires a genuine practice that is ongoing to fully reap the benefits of it.
But I can say this – with my lackadaisical practice of exploring the fluid nature of myself, and Don and Diane’s work in full:
I am learning that it is possible to live within my integrity, my wholeness, and that in order to do so I have to look at my inhibitions, bring them into the light and allow them to transform into the gifts that they are.
And as I do this, over and over again, I notice that my internal life softens.
I hold my breath less. I carry much less chronic tension and pain. I open to others perspectives and easily voice mine. I am quicker to hear what my body is signaling to me and able respond to my needs. I no longer care to please others and yet I feel like I am more pleasant and genuine than ever before. I am cultivating a relationship with the Divine (Source) that is incredibly comforting on all fronts. And, I continually step back onto my path, as I often stray, with the intention of living life more fully.
My current longing desire is to bring my essence into my relationships within my home – more. This is the place that I feel most human (a little ragged). This is where my true nature is seen. I am often not the mother that I want to be. I rarely give to my husband freely. I create chaos with my depth. I zap joy with my irritations.
AND – I am dedicated to “Growing Into Wholeness”. So I know that I will only get closer and closer to residing in my essence, giving and receiving love (with everyone) as if it is easy to; primarily in my home.
And therefore gifting my girls with all that comes with witnessing their mother become whole.
Don and Diane’s work is about a lifestyle. And it is a journey. A life long one.