It was a great visit to LA.. The main reason I came was to see a cutting edge orthodontist at UCLA for a second opinion about my teeth. They'd spontaneously moved out of alignment a few years ago after about 20+ years of being perfectly aligned. I was prepared for more news of needing X-rays, braces, mouth guards, lots of big bills, etc. to move my teeth back and realign my jaw. But what I got instead was some counseling from a very experienced, sweet, fatherly-type orthodontist. His prescription: no orthodontics, no mouth devices (for now). Just relax my jaw, stop touching my teeth together, stop trying so hard, have more fun, and things will start to shift back into place.
Wow! Really? I was shocked. This was not at all what I expected to hear, yet it was exactly what I needed to hear! In fact, I have done a lot orthodontics and many alternative therapies in the last few years, with minimal results. It's been rather upsetting as I've been concerned about continually chipping and wearing down my teeth, as were the specialists I've worked with. So, to hear an 40+ year expert say to just let it go and basically trust that it will be okay, after so many experts have wanted to give me extensive and expensive treatment, really caught me off guard. And, yet it's so very perfect. It will require a lot of awareness for the ways I hold tension and chew my food. But I am so ready to release the stress that I carry in my jaw and ready to trust even more in the Universal support and wisdom that is always present within me, wanting to be known.
In fact, increasing awareness is exactly what I've already been focusing on in the area of speech (see last 2 blogs). So to be told to actually put my awareness into my mouth is just too ironic. In yoga, our speech (vak) is said to start in the unconscious. It then moves forward into the conscious as thought energy. Then it forms in the mind as thought words, and finally it comes out of the mouth as actual words. So it's perfect as I'm already so focused on what comes out of my mouth in that last stage of speech, and now I just need to focus on the actual muscles of my mouth/jaw and how I'm using them in those thinking and speaking stages.
As far as relaxing more and having more fun goes, well this is also just the perfect advice for me and something I've already been attending to. From my coaching work, I recognized I wanted to prioritize more time with friends and community. From my Voice Dialogue coaching, I recognized that the "Spiritual Pusher" and "Doer" parts of me tend to run the show and the parts that want to relax and play are often left behind. So I've been taking more time off and scheduling in play time with Patrick, friends and family. Summer is going to be chock full of fun!
For now, I have surrendered my plan to work with an expensive bio-aesthetic dentist and have already greatly heightened my awareness for how I chew, talk and hold my jaw. I'm excited to recognize that I can be my own healer on this journey of the mouth, and am looking forward to more inner mouth freedom! Frisbee anyone?