Yesterday, I took the ferry from Prince Rupert to Port Hardy.
For those who have fortunate enough to have made the trip, you know that it is a long, languid and lovely 14 hr ride through spectacular seascapes, pods of jumping dolphins and cresting whales. If you're lucky enough to get a good seat amidst the flock of German tourists on the ferry, its also a wonderful time for reflection, reading and writing. I was able to get a little bit of all of these predicatable ferry experiences, and... a little bit more.
To my great blessing, this little bit more consisted of some fabulous chiropractic advice. Yes, you read right. A chance meeting with a couple traveling by motorcycle, a message therapist and a chiropractor, led to a fascinating conversation.
What exactly determines our postures? We delved into the fascinating relationship between one's belief system, personality, and life experiences and the way that they manifest themselves in our bodies. They shared fabulous examples of how modesty can lead to slouching, how repressive beliefs lead to stiffness in symbolic body areas and how life experiences be stored as pain and tension.
Perhaps the most interesting, was how beliefs and values sculpt our posture. Excessive modesty, for example, can lead a tall person to slouch down to lower him or herself down to the level of others. Such "bowing down in humility" is an act symbolically ingrained in Judeo-Christian religion. It is part of the belief package. They spoke of how our society's beliefs and rituals are constantly pulling people's postures downwards.
Such posturing comes with its energetic liabilities. The couple spoke eloquently about how stooped spines depress the flow of energy through the nervous system, effect our moods, personalities and inevitably our health and longevity. In the light of their enthusiasm it was all quite lucid.
Posture and personality are so intimately linked it is hard to figure out which comes first. As I move forward on my cycling journey, let go of my attachments in Smithers, and embrace the unknown and my new artistic focus, it is my personality that I can feel straightening out and standing taller. Through this splendid encounter, my body is getting its chance to catch up and adjust accordingly. Or perhaps it the posture change that has started it all!
Regardless, it feels good! This morning I practiced walking my new evolving posture around my campsite-- if anyone in their RV was watching they would have had an entertaining show!