Reaching Into the Universe

Identity & the jaw bone

Jaw BoneToday I experienced one of the ways in which the jaw bone, or mandible, is connected to identity. As I walked in the neighborhood, I watched the feelings around a small experience that conflicted with my identity land in my jaw.

As Hugh Milne writes in The Heart of Listening, the mandible "is the bone most associated with the individual's sense of who he is. Since the head itself is the very totem of selfhood, all cranial bones are associated with identity, but the mandible personifies it."

How much jaw tension, teeth grinding, TMJ, and headache is about affronts to our identity, dissonances between sense of self and the world around us, or bound up in the oppression felt by many minority groups?


Class: The Magic of Touch

Come to my class, you'll like it!

Details and ticket purchase are at

Magic of Touch flyer


Recommended events: April 2010

Events CalendarLots of neat stuff going on in April!

Green Festival Spring
April 10th & 11th
San Francisco, CA

Previously yearly, now the Green Festival is a biannual event in SF! The speakers at this festival are absolutely top notch. Totally inspiring and educational.

Psychedelic Science Conference
April 15th–18th
San Jose, CA

The largest conference of its kind, with world-famous presenters (Dr. Andrew Weil, Alex Grey, Erowid, Ralph Metzner, more) and an entire track dedicated to ayahuasca.

Seeding Gift Culture
April 15th–18th
Philo, CA

A retreat with Charles Eisenstein, author of The Ascent of Humanity. This looks choice. Are you ready to start telling a new story about yourself and the world? A sustainable story full of life? This looks like the place to start, or strengthen, a truly better world for yourself and your children's children.

Integral Anatomy Class
April 17th
San Francisco, CA

A one day intensive with Gil Hedley, creator of Integral Anatomy.

Earth Day 2010: Creating a Healthy Future—Where Do We Go From Here?
April 21st
Berkeley, CA

Do not miss this. This is your chance to see the preview video for Four Years. Go. the exciting new ad campaign that Pachamama Alliance is helping to spearhead.

World Change Conference
April 24th–May 2nd
Berkeley, CA

Looking at the lineup of teachers (Joanna Macy, John Kinyon, Starhawk, Kevin Danaher, more), one immediately sees that this conference means business. Organized by my amazing friend Slav of Common Circle Education.

The Feminine Fire: Power and Leadership with Sobonfu Some
April 30th
San Francisco, CA

Sobonfu was in a video we watched in Pediatric Craniosacral class. She was delightful; I'd love to see her speak in person. Her work involves ritual, community, welcoming children into the world, and more.


From Greek tragedy to personal loss: a resource for coping, healing, and growth

GriefAn astute reader pointed me to this PBS news hour story on the cathartic medicinal value of Greek tragedy applied to war vets.

Reminds me of the techniques I use to help people with PTSD, one being Tapas Acupressure Technique.


Pediatric Craniosacral Therapy class, day 2

baby massagePowerful class today. Highlights and thoughts include:

  • Watching Benjamin Shield work on two babies
  • Why do craniosacral therapy on kids?
  • Why do pediatric craniosacral therapy on adults?
  • In which I receive a new neck!
  • Improv rears its head
  • Reflections of a bodywork geek


Pediatric Craniosacral Therapy class, day 1

Baby RabahToday was the first day of Pediatric Craniosacral Therapy class (newborn through age 2) with Benjamin Shield and it was inspiring!

Imagine catching and resolving issues so early, issues that could otherwise affect someone into adulthood, possibly for the rest of their life. Depending on the root cause, cranio can help with conditions ranging from sensory integration issues to birth trauma to colic. I want craniosacral available for every newborn!


A beautiful craniosacral experience

Skull Side ViewBodywork offers many gifts, to both the giver and receiver. Recently I was gifted with an absolutely beautiful experience combining trigger point work and craniosacral therapy.

It started with one finger finding a crucial trigger point, hidden deep in the neck close to the vertebrae. His fascia had eventually led me right to it, and as I connected to it, pressing into the point, he groaned and said, “That’s the spot I was trying to find myself.”


Holiday sustainability: the 3 considerations for getting more with less

The holiday season traditionally presents some particular challenges to sustainability, in the three key areas of life: personal, interpersonal, and environmental. What are these challenges and how can we gracefully sidestep them in order to get more of what we want: a happier, more peaceful, and meaningful ending to the year?


How to set your own price for massage therapy

Earlier in the year I began offering a special kind of discount to existing clients, people they referred, and folks I met networking. The structure of the discount is "pay what you can" for a particular service (craniosacral therapy). I found that few people took me up on it, and eventually I learned why: most people have no idea how to choose their own price for a good or service.

This is not surprising, considering that almost all purchases are structured in a different way: seller tells you the fee, then you decide if you want to buy or not at that price. To invite someone into a completely different structure—you tell the seller your payment, and she trusts you to truly pay what you can—places most folks way out of their comfort zone.

Helping people through their discomfort and toward their own authentic payment amount turns out to be very simple. The three step process is explained later in this article.