On a rainy Wednesday, tucked up in my third floor office, a client tells me she’s feeling better. Much better. She can recover from setbacks more quickly, she feels a vitality that’s been missing these past years. She’s caught herself laughing.
She wants to know if she’s fixed now. If it’s this craniosacral work that’s made the difference. Or is it random. Or the dietary changes. Or just feeling less jangled by the world.
“Hm,” I say. “What a good question.”
It is a good question. So often, when we’re sick or depressed or feeling broken in some way, we want to be fixed. We want clear lines that explain neatly how we got here and then lead us, step by step, out of the discomfort.
But English is beautiful sometimes.
Because fixed has several meanings:
We can fix as in repair or mend. Our water line, the broken coffee mug, the ear of our child’s rabbit stuffie.
But fixed is also fastened in place. As in stuck. Unmoving.
In this sense, fixed is actually a very good description of what happens when we aren’t well. Whether we’re talking about a group of muscles or a sense of despair, in very real ways recovering our health means we need to become UNfixed.
We are dynamic. Every part of us – every part – wants to move. And so our metaphors for health demand the same. What if we saw ourselves not as broken, but as stuck – fixed – in certain places, and then looked for movement? What if we supported the veins, tributaries and currents of health? Doing so might take us a little further afield, to include in our conception of health all the ways we feel in flow. What we eat, how we sleep, who we share ourselves with, what we let go.
So is my dear client “fixed” now? I’m not sure. I can say that the life she’s describing – more vital, quicker to recover – sounds a lot more buoyant. And that seems like something to celebrate.