One incredible place in our bodies where the bones rest just under the surface is the face. It is, tellingly, also the most expressive part of the person.
The facial muscles are the most conspicuous place in the body where the muscle don’t attach to bones. They insert into each other’s fascia. That’s why the face has the most varied capacity for movement and most expression.
So when we work well on the face, we expand our expressive capacities and restore full emotional “range of motion”. We free the face and the self from the consequences of being stuck in chronic expressions.
Reading the face. Our expressions are like scripts. And just as in cursive script, the muscles of our face have a remarkable continuity…because like cursive writing they insert into each other.
So this book of the face, when we read it, tells us wonderful stories. Stories of surprise, of sadness, joy, deep thought, fury, courage, love – are told by each face of each of our clients.
And below these stories lies the deepest story – that told by the bones, which underlies the history of our expressions. The “bone smiles behind our faces when we frown” – said Richard Tillinghast poet and musician.
The bone is in prehistory the first instrument – e.g. ribcage, the first xylophone.
And it is what remains after “we” are gone.
What was your face before you were born? – is a fascinating Zen Koan.
When we deeply address the face, wiping off the residue of chronic expressions which no longer serve us, we restore the person to “their face before they were born”.
There is perhaps nothing more beautiful than that open, innocent visage, ready to see new things, eager like a child to encounter the world as it so often does for the first time.
I remember my daughter and the first time she saw a duck. We were at the beach in the early morning by Lake Michigan. Suddenly a duck swam to shore, strode onto the beach and came calmly toward us. The expression on her face upon seeing her first duck I remember to this day.
When we get back to our original face and approach this world with openness and innocence, we get to experience this world as if today were the first day.
It is the first day of the rest of our lives. And after a great session, we really know it.
They open their eyes and see the world again for the first time.
You can see it in their face.