don’t be so sure


A couple of years ago I did a Rolfing series with the wonderful Lisa Biow here in Sacramento.

The 10 sessions are broken up roughly by parts of the body. When we got to the session on the lower leg and foot, I gave her my typical pre-massage spiel about a knot on my lower shin:

Ya, there’s this spot here on my leg… I don’t like it to be touched… I think it’s some old scar tissue from a fall when I was a kid… it’s always been there… did I mention I don’t like it to be touched… so you’ll just want to work around it.

Lisa nodded, Uh-huh, ok, and replied, very respectfully, Just to let you know, I’ll be getting in there.

And she did. She worked that knot around, despite my moaning, until it was almost gone.

When she was finished she asked if I wanted to feel it. What had felt like half a good-sized grape was now more like a lima bean.

And the strangest feeling came over me:

Who am I now?

Who am I without this knot on my leg? Who am I without this story about this knot on my leg?

It’s all about perspective

Finding out that a story you’ve told yourself about yourself — or better yet, a story someone else has told you about yourself — isn’t true is completely disorienting.

And when two people’s stories collide, the potential for bewilderment increases exponentially.

It’s like having a conversation with another person about a piece of art… and finding out that they’ve been looking at a different piece of art.

Or getting directions from your house to the grocery store… and finding out that the directions are for another town.

Completely disorienting.

The sages say…

Don’t be so sure. Don’t be so quick to pound your stake in the ground.

Don’t make an identity around a knot on your leg.

Absolutes are stifling. There’s no room for discovery, evolution or the change we know is inevitable and essential.

I mean, is anything certain?



Certainty undermines one’s power, and turns happiness
into a long shot. Certainty confines.

Dears, there is nothing in your life that will
not change – especially your ideas of God.

Look what the insanity of righteous knowledge can do:
crusade and maim thousands
in wanting to convert that which
is already gold
into gold.

Certainty can become an illness
that creates hate and

God once said to Tuka,

“Even I am ever changing –
I am ever beyond

what I may have once put my seal upon,
may no longer be
the greatest

~ Tukaram


8 Responses to “don’t be so sure”

  1. 1 jacqueline July 13, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    I wrote about this the other day – I think we get stuck in our stories. They limit us in ways we may not even see.

  2. 2 jesse k. July 13, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    Precisely what I needed to read today. Thank you thank you.

  3. 3 Tami - Teacher Goes Back to School July 13, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    I loved this theme for class on the shoulders. I’ve been carry my bum shoulder story around for a long time and having the freedom to let it go (even temporarily) let me work in there with a lot more comfort. Was it the curiosity or the lack of story?

  4. 4 Cyndra July 14, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    So true and so profound. Thank you.

  5. 5 Tracy July 19, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    “Don’t make an identity around a knot on your leg.”…this is such a great metaphor for how much we attach to even small things in the body–a scar, a pain. etc. Sometimes I think out mental stories do us more harm than the reason we go the scar in the first place. We wound ourselves with our minds and don’t even realize it. A very thoughtful piece here today, Michelle. :o) Oh, my the way, I’m writing from a new place, Prana Light, and soon closing my old blog Pink Purl.

  6. 6 Deborah July 21, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    With your repeated references to stories, curious … have you done the Landmark Education thing?

  1. 1 The hardest thing | my seed house Trackback on July 15, 2011 at 6:03 pm

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