I mentioned in The Weekly Connector last week this connection I am seeing lately. I have had several clients undergoing major identity shifts AND they have similar physical concerns with the pelvis, S/I joints, and low back. This relationship to who we think we are, our identity, and how that affects the pelvic region. What I am seeing, is that when we are undergoing major identity changes, there is a shift that occurs in our pelvis as well.
As we are changing, there is an instability in the area. As we become more sure and certain and settled in, the pelvis also stabilizes. Unless, there is resistance to the change, dissonance, or there is a lot of upheaval in regards to the identity shift. When that happens, our pelvis reflects that as well. Now that the connection is bubbling up, I am digging into all sorts of client session notes and my own personal history and seeing lots and lots of examples of this. Let’s dig in.
Spiritual Connections to Hips and Pelvis
First, let’s look at what the hips and pelvis represent. I think of the pelvis as the house of our personal power. Physically and biomechanically, our movement starts with our pelvis. Also, we can’t ignore that the reproductive organs are housed there. Therefore, life itself starts in the pelvis. The piece that has just recently become clear is that our personal power is highly dependent upon what we think of ourselves. If we are indecisive, not sure of ourselves, or trying to be someone we aren’t, that is a recipe for pelvic instability. If we are tight and gripping to an old, outdated, or no longer true identity, hello decreased mobility and increased rigidity and stiffness.
Louise Hays’ work points us to several things when we look at issues with the hips, pelvis, and sacral areas:
- Loss of power
- Out of balance with yourself
- Holding on and old stubborn anger
- Fear of moving forward
Definitely a lot of relevance to identity struggles in those ideas listed above. I have learned to use my life and my body as reflections of each other. More importantly as something to observe and learn from. Let’s start there.
My Major Identity Shifts
I can remember the first time I actually noticed my pelvis being achy was in college. College is definitely a time of really finding yourself. Too bad I was busy learning through questionable decision making. That definitely prolonged the process. I remember I had these constant knots right by my S/I joints for years. I felt too young for an achy back.
My next huge identity shift was when I became I mother. Obviously, the body has to change a lot to accommodate growing and birthing a baby. The biggest of these changes occurs in the pelvis. That is just basic anatomy and physiology. I can’t argue with that. What I want to add to that is what comes after. After having children, my pelvis was constantly tipped, rotated, and just all around wonky. The doctors wanted to blame relaxin, the hormone, but it went on much much longer. Regular chiropractic and massage were helping me get by, but not addressing the real thing.
I realize now that the real thing was that I was struggling with my identity in motherhood. There came a point when I had read all the books, but I wasn’t sure what my identity as a mother was exactly. I definitely wasn’t my old self. Social media wasn’t an accurate portrayal. I just knew I wanted to be a good mom and to me that meant losing myself. My body was really trying to point me in the right direction, but I didn’t know it yet. Even if I did, who has time for themselves with a toddler and an infant at home?
Later, I would learn boundaries, self-care was important, and that I don’t need to be anything else than who I am already. That’s who my children came here for anyways, right? Then, almost magically, my pelvis became strong and stable as well! Over that last several years, I can see spots of smaller identity changes and pelvic instability. Short-term little bursts of learning more about who I am, stripping off the parts that aren’t mine, and the pelvis mirroring those changes.
Other Life Circumstances
Maybe you didn’t struggle to find yourself in college or motherhood. Or maybe you just didn’t go to college or didn’t have children. Here are some other examples I have seen with clients where the pelvis mirrors our life.
- Children going off to college or moving away from home
- Entering retirement
- Recovering from burnout
- Changing careers
- Moving houses
- Death of a loved one
- Changing of relationships, family roles, etc
I encourage you to take a look at any back, hip, and pelvis concerns and see if there are any other major lifestyle factors, changes, or instability that are also contributing. See the connections between those identity shifts and how the pelvis responds. This is what my Holistic Bodywork is all about. When all the usual ways of addressing your concern aren’t working, it is time to look deeper.