Goethe said it best when he indicated, "Whatever you think you can do or dream you can do, begin it. Commitment has boldness, power and magic in it. That the moment one commits oneself, then providence moves also."

This wisdom is as fitting today as when first proclaimed. The truth of the above statement, however, also has implications on the visceral, nerve and physiological level, as well as in worldly, family, career or similar endeavors.

Too often, in the medical model as well in the minds of many contemporary healers and therapists, the physical malady or mental and emotional discomfort are to be gotten rid of, released or otherwise dispatched so as not to trouble the person seeking their help. Such models, even the releasing model, are often based on the assumption that such maladies are of no use and are to be eliminated. The wiser healer looks for the meaning in the pain or condition, and seeks to unravel what the problem is trying to tell the person about their lives that they may not be willing to see. This approach I like better but it still usually omits one key element, that being the element of Commitment.

In my experience, when one is not only commited, but is acting on their commitments, they seem to be in better spirits and usually in better physical health. Clearly, such a person is usually more self posessed, has higher self esteem as a result of being true to their dreams and their bodies are not burdened with trying to deal with stess hrmones, tension and other unwanted symptoms of not living an authentic life.

Indeed, on the cellular and molecular level, the immune system works better, the blood flows better and the mind is sharper and more creative when one is in alignment with their true purpose and moving along that path. I believe the human organism is wired on all levels to respond affirmatively to the attempt to carry out deeply held and authentic commitments.

Our real commitments are sometimes out of our conscious awareness but with enough observation, we often see people creating things in their lives that ultimately serve them, even illness. With enough effort given to discernment of motive and intention, one can usually see that a deeply held or even thwarted commitment is usually at the bottom of the creation.

In the past, I would seek to find the unintegrated trauma to the person's system, and through breath, movement, energetic, manual therapies and emotional expression as well as cognitive restructuring, work to bring it to awareness, release it, and encourage a more healthy, self affirming goal, philosophy or life direction. Although useful, often this approach stopped at the releasing and integration phase and did not embrace "what next". and what do I really want my life to be about.

Nowdays, I still use bodywork, movement, family therapy, individual therapy, imagery, energy work and other modalities to bring healing but I hold these tools in a different context, a different paradigm if you will. Now I see that it is important to give clients an opportunity to experience and act on their commitments on an awareness, movement, expression and behavioral level. Not only has this orientation transformed how and what I offer my clients, but it also helps clients to source the essence of their power as co-creators with God. If they allow themselves to listen to what inspires them, they will usually find the true nature of their comitments.

All true commitments, the kind that inspire, come from God, from spirit or from our higher power. Good ideas, even brilliant ideas can be useful, but they cannot inspire us. Inspiration may speak to us through something as simple as seeing the face of an innocent child, the playfulness of a puppy, or the beauty of a warm summer night. The point is, disease and health conditions have a very hard time coexisting in an environment of inspiration, or the concurrent healthy metabolism and physiology that accompany inspiration and genuine commitment. Said another way, when we are aligned with our deepest commitments, our spirits do not protest and create health or other crisis to get our attention.

Now, instead of working to help health conditions, I prefer to focus on "How do you want to live your life?" "Who do you want to be?" "How do you want to conduct yourself?" "How do you want to move in your body?" "What is already moving in your body that wants full expression and acceptance?" These questions focus on our creativity and most of all that which inspires and energizes us. All of these are doorways to the commitments we hold most dear but might need a little nudging to embrace.

Ron Petit, M.S., M.A.
Certified Advanced Rolfer
Professional Counselor
July 2003

Afton Alternative Associates
Box 723, Lakeland, MN 55043
651-436-5003 or 651-436-3845

Sunlife, 204 E. Linn, Marshalltown, IA 50158

Author's Bio: 

Ron holds a master's degree in Rehabilitation from The University of Wisconsin-Stout and a masters degree in Counseling from The University of Iowa. He is a Certified Advanced Rolfer and has trained with Richard Olney, Joseph Zinker and colleagues of the late Ida P Rolf. He has worked in Alternative Health for 29 years and practices in Afton, Minnesota and Marshalltown, Iowa.