Saturday, February 04, 2006

Saturday, Feb.4: Are You Willing to Improve?

That’s the lead on my latest leaflet, which I hand out and people barely look at. Oh well, they’ve seen lots of leaflets and to pay attention to something other than what they are habitually paying attention to is hard. The habit of staying stuck in what we are stuck in is why the question, “Are you willing to improve?” is such a good one. Because people all will say, Oh, yeah. Yes, indeed, I want to improve, but inside they are murmuring the fine print.

The fine print is this: I want to get better , but I want to stay exactly the same. I want to change and feel better, but I don’t want to do anything different. That’s the human condition. It’s funny, or sad, take your pick, but it’s the boat that keeps us stuck, stuck, stuck.

So someone is in a relationship, and it isn’t so hot, and they really want things to get better. And they really want to blame and demand that the other person changes. If the other person would just shape up, they could have a good relationship. Which is to say: they want change but they don’t want to change.

Or someone has a sore shoulder and they want it “better,” so they go to a chiropractor: fix me. Or for a message: make my feel better. Or a physical therapist: fix me. Or even most yoga classes, where they are told the “Right” way to place their shoulder in various asanas. ( If you think this heals shoulders, you don’t know all the yoga instructors with sore shoulders and backs and necks.) In Feldenkrais, the way is the way of learning: what does my shoulder have to do with my ribs, with my breathing, with my pelvis, with my neck, with my eyes? Then learning can happen and when learning happens a person can improve, and doesn’t need to be fixed over and over again.

How many chiropractors does it take to screw in a light bulb? One, but it will need a thousand adjustments.

This then is the way out: to explore within ourselves, how we are creating our sore shoulder, how we are creating our sore relationship. Then we can begin to improve. And once we begin to improve one thing, the effects are cascading, a snowballing of change, because when one habit loosens, it can begin to nudge and loosen whole other hosts of habits. This then is the glory of the Byron Katie work, you aren’t fixing yourself or the annoying people in your life, you are learning to understand, and love and laugh at, and change/free your mind from its addictions to the stories that have caused you so much misery.

This is the glory of the Feldenkrais work: you don’t fix yourself, you don’t strain or stretch, you move slowly, you come back to mindfulness, you learn how wonderful and amazing it is to be in a human body, and you begin to learn again as you did when you were young and learning to hop or crawl or speak. In other words, you are returning to the time in your life when you were a genius. Then improvement is not an effort, it’s a joy, it’s play, it’s discovery, it’s creativity. It’s wonderful, full of wonder, as we are once we let go of the fine print and really find the self in use that loves to learn and be present and improve.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home