Monday, March 20, 2006

Monday, March 20: Rain

Today it’s raining. Again. This is good. Rain is water and we are mainly water and anyway, I have a bunch of indoor work to do today, so the rain makes it less difficult to stay inside. What a world, with an outside that is so beautiful and a world organized so that so much of our life has to take place indoors. Sooner or later I’ll have my Feldenkrais table set up in an outdoor patio area and have a shaded lawn or deck on which to do the roll around movements and then I can set up these amazing conditions for people to learn and change their lives without having to come indoors.

Sooner or later. Who knows? Today it is raining and that’s what is. I can complain, or love it, and the later feels better.

Feldenkrais as change work, in the guise of movement work, this is something I’ve come to understand more and more. This works a lot of ways, but mainly two that I understand as of now. One, that movement is core of what being a living organism is about and so to improve movement is to improve the entire quality of our lives. And two, that when we are young and our brain is at the best it will ever be, our task, the brain’s task, is to understand and organize our floppy blob bodies so we can roll over and sit up and crawl and eventually stand and walk. At the same time, the brain is figuring out the tongue and sounds and what these words things are that are all around us.

In the group lessons, very different than most movement classes, the movement is not modeled for the students. Verbal instructions are given: move your right arm forward while bringing your right leg back and rotating your head to the left. This activates a part of our brain that was acutely aware when we were first learning about language, as well as the part of our brain that has all along been acutely aware of our bodies. All along the brain, our brain has been keeping track of the left knee and right elbow, but we have forgotten about this. To start to move the two with awareness, is to begin to return to the stages of learning where everything was new for us, everything a discovery.

The goal of this work is discovery of a larger and more complete sense of our self, not just as someone who moves, but as someone who has intention and curiosity and awareness and the ability to learn what feels good, what feels easy, what feels useful, what feels powerful, what feels whole, what feels as if it opens up future possibilities. To call the Feldenkrais work “bodywork” is like calling what a violinist does, “finger work” and ‘wrist work,” or what an architect does “pencil work” and “AutoCAD work.” It’s crazy.

This work is about waking up our whole self, finding what is useful to a richer and more full life and reactivating the genius in us that we were when we where a baby. Cool, eh?


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