Sunday, February 28, 2010

Braving Conflict

F.Scott Fitzgerald declared that the test of first rate intelligence is being able to hold two contrary ideas in the mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.

Having read that heroism can be redefined for our age as the ability to tolerate paradox, to embrace seemingly opposite forces without rejecting on or the other just for the sheer relief of it and to understand that life is game played between two paradoxical goalposts.Winning is good and so is losing, courage and fear.One does not cancel out the other. Both are true. They may sit on the opposite sides of the table but beneath it their legs are entwined.

A similar heroic quality of intelligence is required in the face of a calling, which flings often opposing energies into our lives. One part of us wants to go on and the other wants to hide. This must have been Joannie Rochelle's truth as last week upon hearing the news of her mother, best friend and team mate passing away.

One part of Joannie must have wanted to continue with her calling to skate in the Olympics while the other wanted to run like hell.The opposing forces occupy a space, like an ecotone, a transition ZONE between two parts of us (two communities) like forest and grassland or river and desert. They compete. They also exchange. They swap information.  Ecotones have tremendous biological diversity and resilience.Throughout this entire week Joannie Rochelle displayed tremedous courage and resilience.

Psychologist Robert Johnson speaks of the ground between conflicting forces as a holy place. The struggle to hold paradox is ultimately a religious experience (Zone) in the sense that the re-ligare means to re-join, to bind together, opposites, to restore them to each other. Heresy, he says is giving domination to one principle over others. "When the unstoppable bullet hits the impenetrable wall" he writes in his book Transformation, "we find the religious experience. It is preciously here that one will grow. Conflict to paradox to revelation: This is the divine progression."

Tonight Joannie Rochelle carries the Canadian flag for the closing of the 2010 Olympics. Tonight one door closes for Joannie and another opens.Without a doubt Joannie is being transformed. Job well done Joannie and life's work well done Theresa ... may you rest in peace.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Joannie Owned her Zone

Joannie Owned her Zone
            On Thursday night Joannie stepped out  onto the ice and entered the Zone. Having just experienced a major shock through the loss of her mom Joannie went on to do what many could not have done under the same circumstances.Joannie entered and stayed in the Zone. 

           There have been many terms used to describe The Zone, that place or state that exists beyond ordinary human perception, in both religious and secular languages.  The late religious historian Ioan Couliano spoke of the “fourth dimension,” a term also used by quantum physicists and metaphysicists; New Age pop icon Carlos Castaneda calls it non-ordinary reality; psychologists refer to Altered States of Consciousness (ASC) or Out-of-Body Experiences (OBE); and popular culture simply calls it a “parallel reality.”  Each in their own way is describing the same thing, and in this first segment we look to these other disciplines for clues as to the nature of The Zone.

          In my book I intersperse my exploration of The Zone with anecdotes from athletes.  Soccer genius Pele, in his autobiography, My Life and the Beautiful Game, recalls the day he experienced “a strange calmness” unlike anything he had ever experienced before.  “It was a type of euphoria.”  Basketball Hall-of-Famer Bill Russell, in Memoirs of an Opinionated Man, speaks of that “mystical feeling” when a game “became more than a physical or mental game, and it would be was almost as if we were playing in slow motion.”  Then there are the tales of long-distance runners who recall the disturbing ability to see inside their own bodies, or the equally strange sensation of “tipping,” rising into the air as they run. 

Interestingly, athletes’ encounters with the extraordinary have parallels in ecstatic experience.  Tipping is similar to what the Catholic Church calls “ecstatic walking”; the sensation of seeing your insides is one of the eight powers referred to in the yoga sutras; and altered perceptions of time are associated with many forms of meditation and shamanic journeying, as is a heightened sense of well-being.  On a more popular level, many of us are familiar with the image of a yogi walking across burning coals, impervious to the pain, or tales of human paranormal phenomenon such as ESP or premonitions.

But in a culture where ecstatic experience has been marginalized, athletes have been robbed of a context within which to identify, understand, and place these extraordinary moments. I truly hope that after watching the athletes at the 2010 Olympics especially Joannie that will have started to change NOW.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I literally controlled the ice that night. Jumping with uncanny ease, I seemed to jump to heights never reached before and with full turns of 3 rotations. I made the jumps that were destined for the late - night sports highlight reel. It was the Olympic figure skating championships and I was to bring home the gold for our team and our country, no one could take our team to victory but me. As I skated to the curtain I felt as though the world was watching. I would place my name in ice rink greatness. I felt as though I touched the “ Zone”… no that’s wrong…I owned the “ZONE”.

 It was short lived to be sure. My first blade stroke  past the curtain and the sound of my name being announced would label “ my victory” as merely a fluke, a slight brush with greatness. Desperately trying to recount the days routine, what did I eat?…how much sleep did I get the night before?…what was I wearing?…seemingly nothing would return me to that place and time, on a night I was capable of feats mere mortals could only watch and witness.

Since that day I can remember a handful of occasion where the feeling returned, be it ever so brief and rare. Not all were sports related. It appeared to be non selective occurring maybe at a business presentation, community function, or at a time of crisis. The feeling of complete comprehension, and total control of my destiny and surroundings…a focus or drive unmatched by those around me. It’s a resource that I can’t seem to tap at will. Is it always within me?…do I somehow trigger it’s surfacing by an event or an emotion? Is it mental, physical, or perhaps genetic?
 All I know is that I want it BACK!

 I know it exists…I must learn about it…study its nature…find out if I CAN APPLY IT TO EVERY DAY EXPERIENCES…my return to …  “ the ZONE”  

Prior to this major event my MOM died. I was 14. My mom was 41.

My years as a teenager left me wondering if in any way my mom's death created a shift in my identity.It was on the night of that actual performance my quest began.  Was there any connection to why for so long I could not connect into the Zone. 

After many years of studying the mind/body connection in 1995 I found the answer and reconnected to the ZONE. 

 Last night I wanted more than anything to be able to watch Joannie skate. However, I was on board a flight with malfunctioning TV screens. Nothing by coincidence. Throughout the flight I kept sending her love and empowering thoughts of strength and encouragement.  Late last night I got to watch the replay brilliantly covered by CTV in Canada.Watching her skate I could feel her mothers' presence, guiding her, their connection lending Joannie the strength to jump, to spin, to complete what they as a team had started so many years ago.

My heart aches  knowing what she has yet to go through by now being a motherless daughter but I also know that this is part of her personal journey.

During her short program Joannie was able to stay in the Zone. All her logical levels lined up.  I pray her identity does not shift before her performance on Thursday so we all get to experience the true meaning of Owning the Zone  


CTV Olympic Coverage

Thank you CTV for doing such an amazing job representing our amazing country Canada and our fabulous athletes during the OLYMPICS in Vancouver. I am proud to have been an athlete in Canada and at one time worked for CTV in Toronto.
Curtain Call on Thursday ...

Sunday, February 21, 2010


It was a skating rehearsal at a rink on the outskirts of our town.. A skating club for anyone who could lace up skates, stand up or was a wanna be Peggy Fleming. I was 6 years old and every morning I would walk alone under the dark not yet morning prairie sky to step into the place that was really my home - the ice rink ... Every day I would skip supper in favor of my tights, gloves and my Wilson blades. Crowds? Sure they were there, mostly Mothers, friends, fellow hockey companions waiting for ice time, they would line up behind the appropriate glass or sit on wooden benches.. My fellow skaters looked just like me , hungry for one more jump that completed with full rotation, one more spin that didn’t make you throw up after eating those “these aren’t moms’ fries” and the teenage desire for Mr. Perfect to be waiting to walk you home through the -40 + winter crystal clear night. At any given time we all had dreams of being overlooked by the Ice Capades…boy!…what could have been.
Talent wise I was pretty “Shirley average”, strong on desire, short on power for lift off in jumps. With a jumping average of not always completing full rotations I was no threat to the opposing skaters that fought hard for fully rotated landing rights. This would be like other winters get ready for the show rehearsal nights for me … or was it?

During warm up I remember a strange feeling coming over me … unexplainable in words a euphoria like I had never felt before. Everything around me seemed so clear. It was like I was listening to every conversation but could hear nothing. From that moment on I felt as though I knew what was about to happen…

next  ... “CURTAIN CALL”

Sunday, February 14, 2010

“An Athlete is an Artist who wants to bring the JOY of their FEELINGS through the ACTIVITY of their BODY.”© Colli Christante

There is a wonderful paradox in Buddhism about losing yourself in order to find yourself. Enlightenment can only be reached when one surrenders the ego to a higher power, surrenders individual goals to the greater good. One can play on the word “goals” here, for the new trend in coaching is to encourage athletes to do exactly the same as a monk. Phil Jackson works from the premise that “When a player surrenders his self-interest for the greater good, his fullest gifts as an athlete are manifested...When players are totally focused on the team goal, their efforts can create chain reactions...Selflessness is the soul of teamwork.” It’s what makes the difference, Jackson argues, between an unsuccessful team with many talented players who cling to individual glory, and a successful team with average players who don’t.
This need to lose oneself in the game in order to win it also works in solo competitions. As Dr. Gio Valiante, a Rollins College psychology professor who works with pro golfers, states, “Someone who plays to impress others or prove something will have too many external thoughts to truly focus. The player who plays to learn, improve and excel is fully involved in the process and its details. That’s a player who can get into the zone and be more fulfilled.”
Today at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics we witnessed the display of  grace and graciousness of  Alexandre Bilodeau an athlete who truly Owns the Zone.

Congratulations to Alexandre Bilodeau for winning Canada's first Gold on home land! / Félicitations à Alexandre Bilodeau pour avoir gagné la première médaille d'or du Canada à la maison!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Future of Sport

The Future of Sport

          I am working on a documentary and writing a book about sport where I begin by taking my audience on a journey to the ancient world where athletic contests were offerings to the gods – and in some cases, notably the Mayas, it was the athletes themselves who were the offerings!  Sport was more than entertainment, an afternoon at the ball game, it was an individual and group religious experience.  Sport had divine purpose whether as a rite to win celestial favor, to placate an angry deity, or to honor departed heroes.

          Michael Novak, author of The Joy of Sports, insists this purpose still exists today:  “...sports flow outward from a deep natural impulse that is radically religious:  an impulse of freedom, respect for ritual limits, a zest for symbolic meaning, and a longing for perfection.”

          Furthermore, Novak and others argue this function of sport is eternal whether we acknowledge this or not.  Writes Andrew Cooper, “Sports satisfy our deep hunger to connect with a realm of mythic see the transpersonal forces that work within and upon human nature enacted in dramatic form, and to experience the social cohesion that these forms make possible.  Whether or not we so name them, these are religious functions.”

          Sport’s spiritual function works on both the level of the athlete and the audience; in fact, each is often dependent on the other.  A winning performance by an athlete can stir a crowd into exhilaration, and they, in turn, can compel an athlete to new heights.  A few years ago a B.C. Lions ad campaign “Cheering works” alludeded to the popular notion of “home team advantage” whereby athletes are inspired by positive audience reaction and collective enthusiasm.  Perhaps it’s not an accident, then, that the word “enthusiasm” comes from the Greek, meaning “to be inspired or possessed by a god.”

          This religious aspect of sport, however, has once again been sublimated by a secular culture:  “Our society so thoroughly secularizes sport that we can barely recognize, let alone express, what it makes us feel,” laments Cooper.  Recognition of the sacred has been reduced to popular idioms such as “team worship,” “sports icon” and, yes, “The Zone.”

          Owning the Zone, traces the secularization of sport and asks the question, Did we go wrong and, if so, where?  The implications of this question are far-reaching for they threaten to touch upon the malaise that is modern sport.  Contract disputes and players’ strikes, diva behaviour among star athletes, crass commercialization, soaring ticket prices that make professional sports inaccessible to much of the masses, these and other problems might be attributed to some extent to the loss of sport’s sacred place.

          We also ask the question, What does the secularization of sport mean for athletes and what implications, if any, does it have on their ability to enter The Zone?


Monday, February 8, 2010

History of Kinesiology

Dr George Goodheart, an American chiropractor, is the acknowledged founder of kinesiology. In 1964 he used the model of muscle testing to evaluate what he was doing chiropractically.

Dr Goodheart found that muscles which could not ‘lock’, or maintain position against pressure, could be ‘tonified’, or locked, by stimulating certain points on the body.

These correction points include Chapman's Neurolymphatic Reflex points, Bennett's Neurovascular Reflex points and Spinal Reflex technique. 

Goodheart also explored the subtle energy pathways or meridians, and found these too were affected by energetic imbalances. These were also incorporated into kinesiology.

As interest in muscle testing grew Dr Goodheart brought together a group of practitioners who were interested in developing this further and the International College of Applied Kinesiology (ICAK) was formed.

As part of the foundation of expanding the application of muscle testing the team took on board work done by Bennet and Chapman with regard to the lymphatic and vascular systems. They also looked at the subtle energy system as used within acupuncture.

Dr John Thie, one of the original members of the team led by Dr Goodheart recognised the need to educate the public in many of the self-help techniques within AK and developed an educational program that became known as Touch For Health (TFH). TFH is now taught and used throughout the world.

In 1977, Dr Bruce Dewe was introduced to Applied Kinesiology through a chiropractor in California. He became a Touch for Health Instructor in 1977 and a member of the International College of Applied Kinesiology in 1981. DR Dewe created a series of workshops which over time evolved into the PKP Certification Programme™. Bruce became chairman of the TFH International Faculty and helped set up the International Kinesiology College, Zürich of which he was the first President.

In 1999 he and his wife Joan founded the International College of Professional Kinesiology Practice to introduce an internationally recognised Diploma in Kinesiology.
And the rest, as they say, is history!


·         “ICPKP Database Mode Books”
ICPKP Basic Kinesiology Programme
Dewe, Dr Bruce MD and Joan MA

·         Gladwell, Malcolm (2000).
The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference.
Boston: Little, Brown

·         Brennan, Barbara
Bantam Books

·         Ken Keyes Jr.

                        The Hundredth Monkey

Devorss & Co (Txp); 2nd edition (June 1984)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Selected to Showcase by Vancouver Whitecaps

I am proud of the five Soccer Quest girl players from Nelson BC., who were selected to be in the Vancouver Whitecaps showcase March 6-8 in Vancouver BC Canada. Feels wonderful to have trained these girls in Becoming Masters through my Inner-Fitness program read article. Much more to come for these young ladies.

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Etheric Body

The etheric body is the term given to the layer of energy or chi surronuding the physical body. As Barbara Brennan notes in the "Hands of Light". The etheric body governs the health of the physical body. "When the etheric body's energies are balanced and vital the physical functions on a state of perfect health. When the etheric body contains energies that are sluggish, disease and ill health develop in the individual.

Health can then be viewed as the maintenance of the dynamic energy field which is flowing, and strong, giving it the capacity for regeneration. The physical body is the first line of defence and regeneration.A much-studied example of the etheric body is the concept of phantom limb pain, where someone who has lost a limb still experiences the pain or the sensation of the missing limb. This is because the etheric limb is actually still there. Another example of the etheric body is the phantom leaf effect, where a Kirlian photograph of a leaf is cut in half still displays the image of the energy field of the complete, uncut leaf. Kirlian in Krasnodar in Ukraine.

We are constantly dealing with stressors from a range of sources. Stressors create energetic blockages in our etheric bodies. When the energy of subtle fields is depleted by stressors a breakdown of the physical body occurs and disease results. When the subtle fields are energised, they strengthen the physical body.

Vibrational modalities like kinesiology, reiki, homeopathy and acupuncture all provide ways to redress and rebalance the body’s subtle energy system. They all incorporate techniques specifically aimed at restoring the energy in the etheric body. Kinesiology techniques for balancing the etheric body include: sound balances, colour balances, massaging neuro-emotional points, meridian tracing, flushing and walking, plus many more.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Surrogate Testing

Surrogate testing is a method kinesiologists use when someone can’t physically participate in the session or when a part of the body isn’t able to function like it should. When testing on a surrogate person permission must first be sought from the person being balanced. The client being balanced then touches the surrogate person whilst the surrogate is tested to find out where the client’s chi blockages are. The client then receives the corrections, not the surrogate. Using a surrogate structure or part of the body simply involves asking the body’s permission for that structure to surrogate. For example the right anterior deltoid muscle could surrogate for a broken left arm.

My first experience of surrogate testing proved beyond a doubt that this particular modality was phenomenal. I watched as my friend’s (who was surrogating for me) testing arm - normally quite vague for her yes/no responses – started acting as my own, giving very defined yes/no responses as my own arm normally does. A person can be tested even if they’re not physically in the room! (Permission must be given of course.) This experience for me was evidence enough of the power of what I was learning.