Thursday, August 31, 2006

Thursday, August 31: Present Moment, Beautiful Moment

We can come into the present to be good. Or we can come into the present because we are wising up and realizing that to be out of the present is to suffer and/ or to go numb. Or we can come into the present because we love an ongoing challenge. We can even come into the present to improve our golf game or our heart condition. We can come into the present to relax, to de-stress. We can come into the present to impress.

Whatever the reason, once we are there, it’s beautiful. Since the present leaves us free of all that nonsense where we have to compare it to something else, we are left with nothing except now.

If we start rating the now (“This is better/ worse than yesterday at this time of day.”) we have lost the present. If we start to imagine what we are going to tell others about how great it is to be Here and Now, we have lost the present.

Wow, check this out: if we start to describe this present to ourselves, we are pulling up words, which aren’t in the present, so we’ve lost it again.

No wonder it’s so beautiful in there: no ratings, no comparisons, no words, no rehearsing on how to impress others. We’re just there.

The experience, the experience of being alive in this very moment is at the core of who we are, and later we can call it beautiful or peaceful or bliss or happiness or being in love with reality. But while we are there, we just are.

Enough words about going to a sweet place of no words. Let’s go…..

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Saturday, August 26: Addictions vs. Possibilities

This is a list to help us all think of how much of our life is bound up in habit and patterns, some of which are so tight and constant that the word "addiction" is not too strong for what is going on. Read and weep. No, really, read and breathe and be present and then smile: once we see that we are in prison, we can begin to search for ways out.

Believe it or not, this site is all about getting out of that prison;

So read, think, breathe, feel, move, sense and ENJOY.

And Learn, or not, depending on .......?


Being right ........ Being happy

Being worried about future...... Being now

Being obsessed with past....... Being now

Unconscious yammering......... Conscious speaking

Lust for outer approval........... Content with inner recognition

Cars .........Feet, bikes, horses

Getting to the next thing ..........Being now

Fixing ourselves ..........Learning

Something wrong with us............ Higher level organization needed

Cooked foods .............. Raw foods

Thinking without connection......... Thinking/feeling/sensing/action as one

Pursuit of happiness .........Happiness now

Fleeing unhappiness ...........Happiness now

Blaming others ........... Finding responsibility

Identify with image........... Being ourselves

Being acceptable ........... Being ourselves

Being our worry set .......... Being ourselves

Afraid of mistakes .........Learn from everything

Better/worse than others......... Equal to others

We are our tension pattern............ Sensing our selves and relaxing

Disconnection from gravity..........., Earth Real being grounded

Making lists......... Living in the now

Friday, August 25, 2006

Friday, August 25: Don't Be Too Good: Riding a Bike

And what about riding a bike to help the old Earth out. How to do this and stay out of the Being Good trap?

• See riding our bikes as something natural, like walking and dancing.

• Love the time we spend on our bikes as time outdoors and time moving our bodies and time to go slower than the habitual rush.

• Enjoy the chance to get exercise that isn’t just going around in a circle, or even more idiotic, on a literal treadmill. When we bike to the store or the park, we are getting exercise as we get there. Feldenkrais once said that exercise was for lazy people, that people who lived vital lives got all their exercise as part of this. A good example of lazy exercisers is people who drive cars to gym and yoga and martial arts and Pilates.

• Freedom from addiction to our cars.

• Freedom from addiction to doing what everyone else does.

• Freedom from addiction to pushing too much into our days.

• A chance to move in a fun way, to be like a child again.

• A chance to explore lots of different ways to get somewhere.

• A chance to be more alive and to follow our breathing and smile outdoors.

• A chance to see, smell, hear and notice a lot more, so the getting there becomes as fun as whatever is There.

Friday, August 25: Don't Be Too Good

One of the ways we can ramp up from low functioning robot to high functioning robot is to be good. We can say “Please,” and “Thank you,” and look people in the eye when we shake their hands. We can open doors for people and let other people ahead of us in lines.

All this is good. All this is fine. If we are awake while we do this, then it is all part of a delightful game of making the world a little easier for the people around us as we go about our business of following our breathing and sensing our feet and arms and spine and noticing how our voice vibrates in our chest and throat and head as we speak. If we aren’t awake, then at least by "being good" we are less bother to other people and probably have a better life than if we always rushed in front of others and didn’t bother with the minimum of manners.

But what of those times when we want to scream at our children, or clobber our mate, and burn down the boss’s house. We have these impulses and we can clean them up later with the Byron Katie work, since these impulses always come from expecting the world to be different and more us-centric . Us-centric is the old familiar wish that the world be set up to make our life easy and wonderful and full of flattery.

Oh, well. Let's say that this isn't always the way things are.

And so, we have those "days," days when we want to slug our mate, or scream at our kids, or do something criminal at work. What do we do? Admit it to ourselves. Feel the urge and what it does to us. And then what? If we can tell our mate in a non-demanding way, a non-blaming way, that is a huge step. “I really wanted you to come with me to the blah, blah and now you are saying you won’t go, and I’m all bent out of shape about that.” If part of this statement can be something like a sense of humor about how we are bent out of shape for not getting our way, then the conversation might really go somewhere.

On the other hand, the old blame way, as in -- “You are doing it again. You always say you’ll do things and then back out. How can you do this to me?”-- and we all know what happens. Things go from bad to worse.

Funny, when we are us-centric, the talk is all about the other and how badly they are making us feel. When we wise up a little, the talk is about us, and if we are really wise, we talk about how badly we are making ourselves feel.

Another option is to visualize humorous and non-harmful aggression toward the other person. Like this: visualize throwing them into a lake, or giving them a thick creamy pie in the face, or having them magically shrink to half their normal size. None of these would really hurt the person, and to visualize acting out our aggression is to begin to get some release. (Notice here, a distinction, even in visualization, between aggression and violence.)

Another option is to humorously and non-hurtfully, act out our aggression. My favorite is to punch Marlie’s aura. I get to act out anger. The air and couple of feet from her head gets punched and we can laugh at the situation.

A final option for someone against whom you are so steamed you can’t do any of the above: write their name on a piece of paper and tape it to the bottom of your shoe and walk around that way.

The point is this: if we pretend to be ‘gooder’ than we are, we will probably either get sick, or end up blowing our stacks way too much at some totally awful time. If we take the usual route and find gossip buddies to talk about how terrible our mate is, or how terrible so and so is, we are wasting our time churning the waters and not really admitting or feeling the anger and annoyance in us.

Is it good to do this? Is this just another trap, a way to be good about being not good? Who knows. I don’t think that’s the way to think about it. I bought both my kids punching clowns when they were young. If they were angry at someone I suggested they go punch the clown. That gave them something to do with their anger and they didn’t have to stifle themselves pretending to be little angels.

Now that we are big and still not angels, we can do push ups, or get our own punching bags, or try any of the above. Then we’ve got a chance of waking up to the love of life and the love of being present that is in or near our cores and is always waiting and wanting and wishing to come bubbling to the surface when we get present and happy and peaceful again.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Thursday, August 24: Awake or Robot? Examples

We can be awake to our moments, to our breathing in and our breathing out. We can be awake to knowing what we are looking at and where our body is in space and how we are interacting, right now, with gravity. We can know what sounds we are hearing right now and be aware of the pesky thoughts that are coming up, and the voices behind those thoughts and the lure of those thoughts out of the present and into the past and into the future, and often, into misery.

Or we can be floating along in robot land.

We can be a low functioning robot, or a high functioning robot, and the later looks a lot better to the Others on whom we base so much of our life, but if these others are in robot mode, what difference does their opinion mean, really?

Let’s look at some situations and speculate on a low functioning robot, a high functioning robot and an awake person in the same situation.

BREAKFAST. A low functioning robot eats in a hurry, junk food, maybe reading the paper as they eat, or already worrying about what comes next, or yammering away on a cell phone while they eat. Even lower functioning might be yelling at their kids or complaining to their spouse already about whatever sins that froth them into their habitual churn.

A high functioning robot is perhaps eating something besides junk food and listening to NPR. Or reading their paper. They taste a little bit, say the first bite as they shovel in their food, but they too are in a rush, and don’t stop to chew each bite until it is gone before they bring in the next one. They are eating with some pleasure and a lot of attention on getting it over.

An aware person is following their breathing while they eat, and eating slow enough to taste the food from when it enters their mouth until it is liquefied and swallowed. Then they take another bite, perhaps having a breath in and out before the next food comes along. They know how they are sitting in their chair and know what they are seeing around them, and, if in conversation, actually listen to what the other person is saying and take a breath or two before they chime in with what they have to say.

We’ll start with the awake person here, since their listening and pausing to breathe is that same as mentioned just above and we can mention this, too, about awake listening: they actually hear the tone of voice and the actual style of voice of whomever they are listening to. Even if they have talked with that person many times, they actually hear the music and the strain and the timing and air use when their friend or acquaintance talks with them. They hear their own voice before and while they talk; they pay attention to whether they are saying something that is new, or is just some spiel they’ve downloaded a number of times. They pay attention to the other person while they are talking, which can be disheartening, because most people go to sleep when words are coming their way, either going into a trance or getting busy inside with their next download and chomping at the bit to interrupt and bring it on. This is a trick to being awake: others usually aren’t, and to see them trapped in the same thing they’ve said fifty times can be boring to say the least. But, as a super duper awake person, no boredom exists, because the thrill of following our own breathing and sensing our feet on the ground, and noticing where we are tense and can relax in our bodies and breathing and thinking: ah, this makes life a continuous adventure.

Low functioning robots at parties are either in a panic or in a froth or busy going into hiding with drink or food. They don’t want to be at the party and imagine that everyone is judging that they are inadequate. Or they have a series of angry outpourings they feel free to dump on anyone unfortunate enough to listen to them. Or they have their latest tale of woe, the latest victim nonsense, again for anyone who will buy into this. Often, people will trade: I tell you how awful my mate/ mother/ boss/ neighbor is and you agree on what a big victim I am, and then you tell me the same and I’ll agree what a big victim you are. Same with the angry folk: I’ll tell you how much the world sucks and you agree and you tell me your “It’s terrible” story and I’ll agree.

The high functioning robots, talk a lot, drink a lot and mingle well. They don’t have anything real to say, but they have a good time interacting and saying things that appear to be funny or smart. They enjoy the other people even though they don’t pay any real attention to them, but they know how to chatter so as to seem to them and the other as if they are connecting. They aren’t lonely. They aren’t angry. They aren’t aware. Time is being wasted in a pleasant daze. Or else they are being really high functioning robots and networking, again all down asleep to the moment.

We’ll assume a small town, easy to get around on foot and bike. The low functioning robot, rushes to the car, rushes to wherever is next; talks on the cell, curses out anyone in the way, and cuts off anyone and everyone they can.

The high functioning robot listens to the local station or NPR or some class station and goes into a nice little learning about whatever-whatever is being talked about. Or they enjoy the music. Again, though, in a trance to breathing, to sensing, to what they are seeing.

The aware person, notices hands on the steering wheel, and feel of car seat under their butt, or maybe, walking to the car, they realize they’ve got a body and would enjoy walking or riding a bike to the next place. They do this and notice what they see as they walk or bike ride, notice the breathing, notice the shape and movement in their bodies. They enjoy the air and the people they see, and know they are seeing what they are seeing, know they are hearing what they are hearing. They are alive. They are now.

A choice we all have. Always.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Tuesday, August 22: Fear of Change, Joy of Change, Feldenkrais

This is what I’d love to see: a bunch of people exploring Feldenkrais® classes and learning how to move with more ease and joy. I’d love to see them learning as well the underpinnings of Feldenkrais, which is an attitude of exploration and being present and discovery. In so much of life, including lots of things that are “good” for you, like yoga and Pilates and even the way most people go about sports, the emphasis is on “this is the way to do it.”

There is a right way.

There is a wrong way.

If you do it the right way, you will be good, or better at yoga/tennis/golf, or using your abs (the Pilates obsession) or whatever. But will you be better at life? Will you be better at learning? If you are driven, you may notch up your level of competence, and in activities like yoga, where just moving is so much better than the usual lolling around that passes for most people’s lives, you will get the hour and a half where you actually realize that it is pretty interesting to have and move and be in a body.

But you won’t really get clues that will help you go about solving a mental problem or an emotional problem, or some movement puzzle other than the move/pose/asana being taught.

So, as I’ve asked many times before: are you willing to learn?

If so, jump on aboard, come join one of the weekly outdoors classes.

OUTDOORS? OHMYGOD, isn’t that different than what I’m used to? What if a bug or a pollen grain or a bumpy piece of ground inflicts my life? Ah, isn’t that nice, to have some new impressions: breathing fresh air, laying on the real Earth, looking up into the real sky. Just to do that is worth the price of admission, and you get to learn about learning to boot.

Why does to boot, mean “in addition?” Don’t know.

Not knowing is one of life’s glories and it is how Feldenkrais lessons are set up: chances to be gently and non-stressful exposed to the unknown, which means stress. OHMYGOD, STRESS? Yes, a little stress is the price of learning.

Fear of a little stress is why people won’t hang out in the present when they start to feel bad, or people are pressuring them to “fit in,” or when their minds are starting up the inner yammer that makes them miserable.

Feeling bad? OHMYGOD. Time to eat. Drink. Drive somewhere and shop. Get on the cell phone. Get lost in the internet. Go into a funk. Jog and or exercise compulsively, as a whip to beat the funk away.

And so on.

Lots of strategies to avoid feeling bad, instead of staying present and being peaceful and happy inside the unhappiness.

What does that have to do with Feldenkrais? It is weird to many people. Simple movements that are all about inner experience and nothing about showing off or getting a sexier bod. Though you could use Feldenkrais ideas and lessons to radically improve the rate at which you learn yoga or recuperate from an accident. Again, this is scary to many, because this means: OHMYGOD, I MIGHT CHANGE.

Yes, terror upon terrors, Feldenkrais, being present, raw foods, Byron Katie work, connecting with nature: these will all lead you to transformation. If you can stand this as a wonderful delightful amazing opportunity and possibility come on in, join the party, read on.

And come to some Feldenkrais lessons.

If you’ve read this far and want a free, mini-Feldie lesson, try this :

Monday, August 21, 2006

Monday, August 21: Slowing and Breathing

We are in too much of a rush and it is killing us. And on the way to killing us, it is aging us immensely. By packing in too many things to do and then rushing from one to the other we keep ourselves in a state of stress and anxiety. We keep our attention glued to the future. We not only don’t savor the present, we don’t even know that it is existing.

Which is grim news, really, because it means we don’t even realize that we are existing.

In the present we are in a timeless state. We can’t really get too worked up unless there is real danger, a lion is approaching, the house is on fire, someone is trying to hit us. In those situations, we act. But walking down a street, we can’t do anything but walk down a street if we are in the present, because any words to compare this walk with anything else are not there. There are no words on the street, except for street signs and graffiti and things stapled to telephone poles. We are just walking down a street. There is no problem.

When there is no problem we can put our attention on reality, the step on our feet on the ground, the sounds of trees and wind and cars and people and birds and our own footsteps. We can see what we see and we don’t label it or compare it to other things we’ve seen. We just observe and experience. Life is what it is.

One breath at a time, we slow our breathing, we slow our aging, we heal ourselves and begin to get younger because we are timeless again, as we were when we were children, young and happy to be alive and the minute was sufficient unto itself.


Friday, August 18, 2006

Friday, August 18: the Importance of Happiness

We are alive. Yep, you are alive and I am alive. This is wonderful. And to know and feel and love and enjoy and like and savor this wonderfulness is to be happy. This is one of the reasons we are alive, I do believe. What do you believe?

To be happy is to be glad you are doing what you are doing. This can be all the time, even while we are doing something that we could talk ourselves into disliking while we do it, like changing the baby’s diapers, or being in a car to get somewhere we want to go. But we want to get to the beach, so we must be in the car and then, how to be happy in the car?

Breathe. Remember we are alive. Sense our bodies. Shift our bodies and our minds to be a little more comfortable. Shift our bodies and minds to try something new. Shift our pelvis forward and backward. We can even do that now, and a little bi of a chuckle might rise in us.

Go on. Shift. Tilt your pelvis, rhymes with Elvis, forward, so your belly is pushing forward a bit, push that belly out and even arch your back a little. Great. Now tilt your pelvis so you are rolling back toward your sacrum and your belly is coming in and your are folding forward and your back is going and rounding back. Great.

Do this back and forth and experiment with breathing. Breath in when your belly goes out and out when your belly goes in. Now turn it upside inside out and breathe out when you push your belly out, like grunting or some animal and breathe in (filling your chest) as your belly comes in.

That’s playing around. That’s learning. That’s part of being happy. It’s a big world and full of ways of experimenting and playing and learning. Now I’m going to go outside and sit next to the Earth and put my thumb on the Earth and chant for awhile. You may never do that, but I hope you have a way to get outside and touch the Earth with both your hands and your bare feet today (weather permitting, depending on what time of year you read this; and even in the winter, touch the Earth and a tree or two and some plants with at least your hands; at least that’s my idea of one of the ingredients to happiness.)

Happiness comes from simple things. Breathing. Moving. Aware-ing. Touching. Going outside. Breathing outside, moving outside, aware-ing outside, touching outside. And then, with a friend, touch, breathe, move, aware. Dance with your friend, some dance, any dance that is deeper and more real than the chatter with which we hide from each other. Dance a real dance, or a do a taking a walk and not yammering dance, or a knitting together or gardening together or riding a bike together dance.

Dance is life, moving is life, happiness is life, Nature is life. Being aware of this while we live it, is to be a real human, and often we forget, making it all the more sweet and wonderful when we wake back up to the moment and remember.


Thursday, August 17, 2006

Thursday, August 17: Radically Improve or just Get By?

Do you want to radically improve or just get by? Most people have most of the time, and all of us have at some times, this idea: I’d love to change, as long as I don’t really have to change anything.

Partly, this is healthy, because people are always coming along with programs that they are sure will do us a lot of good. If you’ve been around me, you know I’m more than guilty of this. I love what I’m doing, it has worked wonders for me, and I’d love it to work wonders for you. And yet, as I look around me, I see a lot of junk being offered to people, which they should reject, in my opinion. So, am I saying, take my ideas and forget about others? Sometimes, and that’s when I’ve forgotten to love what is. What’s worked wonders for me may or may not be right for you.

And this is still true: if you don’t change, you can’t change. If you want to be healthier you have to get more fresh air and real movement ( I personally don’t consider “working out” in a gym real movement) and raw foods into your life. And you’ve got to figure out how to transform stress into happiness.

Those are all real changes.

They require changing our habits and that requires changing our thinking.

This gets us to an interesting topic, for me, the topic of WHY FELDENKRAIS WORK IS DIFFERENT. Here are some of the ways.

• It’s not about patching you up so you can “get by.” If you have a sore back or sore neck, the obvious and healthy wish is to have the pain go away. In the Feldenkrais work, though you are not giving a “treatment” to “fix” your sore back or sore neck. You are given a lesson, to improve your over-all functioning.

• Feldenkrais is about learning to use yourself in an improved and more aware way so that not only will your “problem” not be there anymore, but you can more gracefully and easily and intelligently do all sorts of things in life.

•Feldenkrais is no way just about “the body,” though “the body” is what it is, because “the brain” helped us transform ourselves from more or less helpless blobs when we were babies, to at least walking and talking human beings.

• Feldenkrais, is then, a way of improving our brain, and our learning abilities and our approaches to all problems in life.

•Feldenkrais is not only, or even primarily, about “balancing” anything (energies, charkas, whatnot), not is it about reducing stress in the normal ways. Stress is enormously reduced, but part of the pathway to that, is to increase challenges to our brain and our habits and our so-called “body” so we can learn new ways of doing things. Which means: to become free.

•Feldenkrais is about freedom, in thought, feeling, action and living. Some teach this more than others. Central to how I teach Feldenkrais is the goal of coming into the present and having a mind and life that is continually improving and continually exploring.

• Feldenkrais is about expansion of possibilities.

• Feldenkrais is about discovering our potentialities and about discovering more deeply who and what we are and can be as human beings.

It’s more things, and that’s enough for now.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Wednesday, August 16: Purpose in Life

A ridiculous question if you let it bum you out because you don’t have a full proof, the giant Mom and Dad in the sky and the In crowd and all will have to approve answer.

And a nice question if you just think: what is it that I am doing and want to do well or with more of myself.

The answer might be: To Live.

The answer might be: to reforest the Sahara Desert.

The answer might be: to write the next War and Peace, but not take myself so seriously as I write it.

Who knows.

My purpose seems to be to spend time outdoors, to help people function at a more enjoyable level, to wake up to better health and awareness and help others with the same. And maybe to write the next War and Peace and not take myself so seriously. If so, this isn’t a start is it? We need people whirling into a drawing room.

Have you read W and P? Once you get past the Russian names, it’s pretty good. I especially like it that Tolstoy essentially lets himself go on rants against Napoleon and all those who thinks he’s so Great, many times he has pure chapters of rants. I like that. He wasn’t being too good or playing it too safe.

If our purpose is to live, playing it too safe and being too good will sink us all the time.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Tuesday, August 15: Three Ways, and more, of Feeling Good

Hey, let’s give equal time to feeling good, as in: Wow, isn’t it great to be alive today?

I’ve just finished my raw foods lunch, which is far lazier than most raw foods “recipes,” in that it’s my usual meal of something yummy blended in a Vita Mix, that contains some serious greens ( so called weeds; pigweed and lamb’s quarters) and serious fat/protein, with some stevia sweetener and turmeric and parsley and garlic and ginger and organic balsamic vinegar and some carrots, to flavor and spark the soaked sunflower and cashew and pumpkin seeds. Anyway, a green, tasty, rich with fat and protein back up and some things nice to munch on: apples picked today and squash picked today.

Anyway, perhaps eating all this high quality food has something to do with how easy it is to think life is wonderful, but whatever we eat, this is one way we can feel: life is great. It’s wonderful to be alive. I’m alive and that’s great. Thanks, Creation.

Okay. Then, keeping with our Feldenkrais theme of freedom is having the options to do/be something in at least three ways, what are some different ways to feel great?

A couple of them, are the “normal” ways, and they begin to unravel our happiness before our eyes. Like this: worrying how long it’s “going to last.”

Or getting afraid: “This is too good to be true.”

Or feeling guilty: “How can I feel so good, when there is so much suffering in the world?”

Or analyzing: What did I do to create this? This can be smart, in learning to be clear on how we create good states for ourselves. It can also be obsessive, in that we analyze away our happiness and don’t give ourselves time to deeply and sweetly experience it.

Then, there is always these ways of experiencing feeling good. As with feeling bad, we can add on:

Add on breathing as we feel good.

Add on going outside while we feel good.

Add on sensing our bodies and moving consciously as we feel good.

And again, copying the feeling bad approach, where we gave ourselves the fearless option of discovering how to make the feeling bad worse, we could see if we could be brave in a brand new way, and give ourselves the option to make the feeling good even better.

So, it’s life, eh: breathe and know you are now. Sense which parts of your body and mind and emotions are alive and up. Notice how they interrelate. See we can have more of ourselves involved in whatever we are doing, whether it’s feeling bad, or feeling good, or even numbing ourselves out. The same list could apply, and then, of course, by observing and experimenting, we undermine the tendency to go static, and we keep our learning alive, which is always interesting and healing and expanding, no matter how we feel or where we are, or why.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Monday, August 14: 3 Ways of Feeling Bad

Sometimes we feel bad. Our neighborhood could be being bombed. That will make the day seem hard and weary. The temperature, thanks to all our car driving and war making and chemical farming, is soaring. It’s hot outside.

Usually, though, we feel bad because we have a picture of the world and the world, big stinker that it is, doesn’t want to live up to our rules. People we live with are in bad moods, or are angry at us, or die on us. These are radically different levels of outer reality, and still, the feeling bad is in us. We miss the good moods, or we miss the nice person, or we just miss the person.

We want things to be different.

Now, a low level way of dealing with this is to get busy, or get drunk, or eat a lot, or run a lot, or work a lot. Doing a lot of push ups can get us out of a bad mood by getting our physical being in motion and making us realize that we can do something for ourselves, so maybe this isn’t such a low level way of doing it.

And even here: can we feel bad and follow our breathing and do the push ups. Which is to say: not deny the feeling bad, but stay with it and see what happens, will the push ups transform it? Maybe yes. If so, how did that happen? If not, good, how did that happen?

What is the size and shape and color of our feeling bad? Can we notice and sense and appreciate it, even as we feel bad? Where in our bodies does it hang out most? What happens to our breathing with this feeling bad shtick? And what are our thoughts?

So this is the, notice it approach.

There is the let it be and do something else approach, which I’d hinted at in the conscious push ups idea. Here we don’t do push ups. We just feel bad and breathe and notice our breathing. Neither wishing nor wanting the bad feeling to go away. Let it do its thing and we get to have an undercurrent of attention on our breathing.

There is always getting outside and breathing and walking and feeling bad, which is a shift your place, let nature be your helper, be in the present, allow moving to come into your life, and don’t push away the feeling bad.

This is more than three ways, isn’t it? Oh, well.

And then, there’s always the Byron Katie work. Judge the world, write it down, ask four questions, turn it around.

Hmm. So feeling bad is aquiver with possibilities. And then there is the old, habitual standby. Feeling bad, and then top that off with feeling sorry for ourselves and blaming others for our feeling bad. Add to that a little gossip, go find someone to agree with us that so and so is causing us to feel bad, and we can stay miserable our whole lives.
What a thrill!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Saturday, August 12: Re-inventing Ourselves

After writing yesterday’s essay, I realized that when I ride my bicycle out to pick weeds (to bring home and eat and juice; they have ten times the minerals and vitamins of normal high quality organic greens), that I usually have only two or three different ways to go. So I conjured up a way I’d never been before. It wasn’t fantastic or anything, though it did take me to an unexpected place, the lumber/hardware joint out at the edge of town where I could do a chore I hadn’t gotten “around to” for awhile because said join is out of my usual paths.

Hmm. I wonder if that’s a metaphor for the possibilities of discovering something new when we get out of our ruts.

Hmm. As I write it, this almost becomes a tautology: if you want to discover something new, do something new.

Sounds like Feldenkrais, and the elusive obvious. So much of human life is spend going over and over something that didn’t work, with perhaps greater earnestness or effort or anger or strain, and having it not work again. Witness how most yoga is done and taught. Where in there do they say: back off and experiment around and discover that this pose is about? Nowhere that I’ve found. Good teachers will encourage you to back off so as to not hurt yourself, but then they always have a “right” way to be in that pose, whether backed off or full throttle. And most of the hot shot teachers are very big on “the edge,” which means going right up to and a little beyond pain, and then having some big breakthrough.

Breakthrough into what? Into discovering that trying harder once more is the solution. Right, look at Vietnam and Iraq for the ill advisedness of wrong minded force. Or remember the last time you knew you should rest or slow down or do something with less effort and ignored that knowledge and hurt yourself.

So, I wander a bit from the re-inventing theme, or maybe I don’t. We seem to be where we often are, noticing how the principles behind the Feldie Method are good for lots and lots of things in life. One principle is less equals more. Less force, slower, with more awareness yields lots of learning. Another principle is that to really be free, we need to be able to do something in at least three ways, or to consider an action, we need to have at least three possibilities in our mind.

So, to re-invent ourselves, all we have to do is notice what we are doing, and then notice if we are doing it the way we always did it and then try something else.

This sounds clear in routes across town, and let’s up the ante, to include:
• Getting out of a chair
• Talking to another person
• Sitting at a computer
• Breathing
• Sleeping
• Eating our food
• Using or not using our car
• Being annoyed at so and so
• Eating at such and such a time
• Mind set and physical states when shopping for food
• Mind set and physical state when reading a list

And so on. Have a re-invented day.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Friday, August 11: Who was Moshe Feldenkrais?

The longer, short biography, written by Mark Reese, can be found at the Feldenkrais Guild website, I never met Feldenkrais, and I have only stories from books and people who studied with and knew him, and my own concoction and possibly fabrication from those stories.

Doesn’t matter.

He invented a system I love to learn and to use, with my own learning and development and waking to the present and with anyone else who wishes to move easier, or heal quicker, or learn faster, or even be happier.


Sure. If you start rolling around again, the way you did when you were a kid, you’ll be happier. If you start to walk with a spring in your step instead of a painful shuffle, you’ll be happier. If you can discover ways of not getting into pain that used to be a constant companion, then you’ll be happier.

None of which says much about who Moshe was, and that’s fine. To hear him talk on tapes, or to read his lectures that were spoken is to appreciate the value of wandering toward the goal, discovering along the way.

This is who he was: a discoverer. A curious person who got in a jam, and when the official way out was not acceptable ( the famous 50/50 chance of walking again if his knees were operated on way back in the days when knee operations weren’t a secondary fad to the hip replacement fad), decided to find his own way out of the jam.

He studied anatomy. He studied learning systems. His wife was a pediatrician. My story is that he studied and thought about childhood development a lot. He studied himself, and learned that not only did he need to reorganize himself physically to help his knees, but he needed to reorganize the way he’d been playing soccer, which was to go about winning with such ferocity, that harming himself was considered a normal price to pay. He learned that learning requires slowing down, and that it requires going about things in new and unknown ways.

This is almost the definition of learning: to be pushed into the unknown and make it at least slightly known. The core chunk to learning is noticing differences, but when those differences show us a world we didn’t know before, or options we hadn’t realized previously, then real, deep human learning takes place.

Moshe Feldenkrais is famous for his huge curiosity and so the study of Ericksonian hypnosis and Gurdjieff philosophy/psychology and good old fashioned Eastern acupuncture were part of his exploration, as well as all things medical and scientific about learning or movement ( there wasn’t much when he was coming up with his theories and practices).

So, he lived from 1904 to 1984. He walked from Poland to Palestine with some friends when he was young. He made his living as a laborer and went to night school. He developed an interest in Judo. He went to Paris, studied with Curie. The facts you can get from Mark’s article. He understood from observation and studying Gurdjieff that a, if not the, central human dilemma is a kind of sleep, or unawareness to our lives as we are living them, which led to an inability to change and hence an inability to actualize our dreams and deep wishes. His so-called bodywork, was really soul work, in a way, in this way: to free our minds from the idea that we have to always do and be what we've always done and who we’ve always been is the underlying aim of his work. He transformed and re-invented himself and he invites the same from us.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Thursday, August 10: Nature and Indoor-itis

Our nature is to be in this body thing, and this body thing needs to move. The is where Feldenkrais started all his examinations, with the understanding that life is movement: without movement, no sex, parents, no us; without life, no feeding, no life, no us; without movement, no fight or flight, which sounds nice when you think of the world picture, but if you just come back to sticking up for something you believe in ( hopefully something worthwhile, like the right of people to say what they think, rather than My Country Right or Wrong) and getting away from a city that is about to be swallowed up in a hurricane.

The four F’'s. And human beings evolved in the woods and the forests and on the plains and ice sheets and jungles and sea shores, but wherever it was we evolved outdoors. And we are in grave danger of losing connection with all that as we spend so much of our life indoors.

This is one reason rarely mentioned that it is so fine to ride a bicycle or walk to the next place: you have to be outdoors to do it. You aren’t in a moveable cave called a car, cut off from nature as you move from one box (house box, say) to another box (office box, or shopping box, or even meeting to protect the environment being held in another box).

We evolved in the out of doors and now it has gotten so weird that people go from their house box to their car box to drive to the gym box, where they supposedly work on getting themselves in shape. In shape for what? To look good in their bedroom box, so that first F will be a bit sprightly? Or are they huffing and puffing away in the gym box to burn off calories of the junk food they put into their mouths, or are they under fear for their health, less they have to spend time in the hospital box? What a weird way to live, so cut off from the human body, even when pretending to be “getting in shape.”

Surely the mind needs to get back into the shape of realizing how sweet and beneficial being in the real sunshine is, breathing the real air, walking with our own two legs, or moving freeing with our own two legs on a bicycle. Of course, we might have to balance on a bicycle and if we have lost our ability to balance, what are we going to do? Hunker down in front of the Television and pretend that this is living. Hobble to our car box to go to a job in an office box looking at a computer box, and forget what it is like to dance and hop and skip and swim and ride a bike?

Alas, this disconnection from nature and our destruction of the world by our car driving and our buying of stuff we don’t need and our approval of endless projects that we are hoodwinked into approving in the name of progress, this is all going hand in hand, don’t you think?

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Wednesday, August 9: Slowing and Nowing

Is nowing a word? Is it a world? Yes to the second, and hey, maybe we are on the way to making yes an answer to the first question. Nowing. Spend your days nowing along. Kind of like puttering, but not just in a garden.

I ran for City Council of the City of Sonoma, California once. My campaign was Slow down, realize you are alive now. Don’t drive so fast, and drive less. Slow down and realize you are alive now, instead of always being in a rush off to the next thing. The so-called Quality of Life in Sonoma could only be really enjoyed if we took the time to be in the moment with friends and family and nature.

Well, I didn’t win, and the message is still useful, and the blogsite tag is still

Slow down, because in a rush we forget that this breathing, walking, sitting, smiling, noticing miracle at the center of our life is us. If we are in a rush our attention is on the Next Thing, or The List, or even a generalized Anxiety about So Much to Do. When our attention is already out the door and in the car and having arrived at some meeting we are in a rush to get to, we miss our feet right now on the floor as we walk to the door, we miss our hand right now as it turns the door knob, we miss looking at the sky and feeling the fresh air, and smelling the fresh air when we open the door, we miss the sounds of the birds as we walk to the car, we miss the chance to think: do I really want to be in a big piece of metal and air pollution making? Wouldn’t I rather walk or be on a bicycle?

Of course if we are in a rush, we don’t have time to ride a bicycle or to walk. We are Important, and the more things we can cram in our day, the more proof that we are Important. Of course, this feeling of Being Important is a cover for a shallowness of a life that is not happy in the moment. Since we aren’t real, we want to be a Big Shot. Then even if we don’t know we are alive, other people seem to and that must count for something right? This is how we are trained to be robots instead of humans: outside validation and attention is what matters; the real, moment to moment sensing and breathing and noticing our lives: nah, that’s only for old people and weirdoes and babies. The rest of us need to rush around, until we fall over, or start to drink our wine, or finally go on our vacation.

Until then, life is a rush, which is to say: we aren’t really alive.

Is that how we want to live?

I don’t think so, do you?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Tuesday, August 8: Getting Away with Murder

Let’s say an unfortunate child is born with cerebral palsy. Their distraught and loving and slightly guilty parents do everything they can for the child, everything and everything for so long that the child thinks this is the world. Anytime a need arises, squawking and whining and crying noises stimulate a parent to take care of any and all desires, be it food or comfort or entertainment or feeling safe.

And then a strange moment comes. The child is lucky enough to come to a Feldenkrais practitioner and starts to learn to function on her own. And this is nice to move, but the one who is supposed to be doing all the work is Mom or Dad. It’s not her job to get herself across the room, or pick up something for herself. That’s Dad and Mom’s job, and here we have the “murder” she’s getting away with: murdering her chances to live a full and independent life because she’s used to and demands with forceful and well perfected screams and whines and tears.

What is a parent to do? Let the little dear suffer so as she learns to do things for herself?


All learning requires frustration, and this frustration of the loss of the Big People who Jump at My Every Squawk is one that will lead to an expanding and learning and more full life.

ANOTHER PERSON, THIS TIME a wife in her fifties has come up with some interesting neurological ailment. She can barely walk. She is in great pain in many places. Food is hard. Life is hard. She is bedridden more or less, except for noble and valiant efforts out into the world of doctors and helpers.

Some doctors think it’s all in her head, others think it some sort of self-immune attack, other kinds of health workers more or less try to teach her to pray and take positive attitudes, her therapist is trained by her to think that she was so abused in younger days that this is her deep lot in life.

Husband is trained to take care of her. Daughter is trained to realize that her problems are small potatoes unless she gets in a car wreck or something to up the ante, which of course she does now and then. Most of her therapists ( she has many, juggling one after the other, making sure everyone’s work can have a diluted effect) fall for her manipulations. She needs to come late, it was so hard getting out of the house. She needs to stay into their lunch hour or into their next session, because she is such a wreck, poor dear.

One, very naughty person, a Feldenkrais practitioner, say: points out to her that she’s manipulating the world all to beat hell and is so mean as to charge her for the extra ten, twenty, thirty minutes she likes to drag out her sessions. So mean he is, and she dumps him. Oh, well. Life is more peaceful.

And who is she murdering? Herself, in her fury at her condition and at the world for not having enough compassion and at her “abuser,” if such a person really existed. By now that doesn’t matter. She has mastered abusing herself, and the rest of the world, cab drivers, therapists, family members, they will get their little taste of her anger, too, though of course it is never, ever “her fault.” Oh, no. She is full of love for the whole world, even in the midst of her almost unbearable suffering.

ANOTHER PERSON, A YOUNG BOY of some slightly undiagnosable autistic tendency, has his bad moments. He tells his Mom he wants to kill himself. This sounds serious and probably is, as the message this always is: I feel terrible and want it (this terrible feeling) to go away. Somebody’s job: to teach him how to undo bad feelings so he can let them come with a healthy interest in overcoming the down moments of life.

In the meantime, Mom is terrified to do anything that he doesn’t want to do.

So, here he’s murdering Mom’s freedom and his right to be a child, since he is now in charge of the whole two person family. No friends, because that is hard. Not going outside much, because he “doesn’t feel like it.” Bored and feeling bad, what a life. Who wouldn’t want to kill themselves with no one around but a trapped and controlled Mom who won’t take charge and be a Mom and risk him learning how to deal with a little more stress on the way to the park or the garden. Mom is murdered, his chances of change are murdered, what a weird state we can create with our dis-ease, using it as a club to murder our own freedom and ability to change and murdering the chances of others around us to act honestly and freely and just tell us every once in awhile: You are such a pain in the ass. Damn I get fed up with putting up with your nonsense. Go ahead and suffer, because today you are going to put on your own socks, or go to the park, or leave your appointment on time. Who knows what might come of that?

Frightened as you are, you’ll love the discovering once you get used to a world not totally in your control.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Monday, August 7: What is the Feldenkrais Method®

Well, for starters, it’s something that some group wants you to put a ® on the first time you mention it. So, consider that done.

The Feldenkrais Method is the body of work and ideas and group and individual practices that stem from the original insights and discoveries of a man named Moshe Feldenkrais, who lived from 1904 until 1984. He walked out of what is now Poland when he was fourteen with a few friends and journeyed to Palestine. He made his way there as a laborer and a tutor as he got various degrees going to night school. He loved sports and learning and ended up in Paris, working with Frederic Joliot-Curie at the Radium Institute, while studying for his doctorate of science degree.

In Paris he met Jigaro Kano, the founder of Judo, who authorized Feldenkrais to be the first European authorized to bring Judo to Europeans. Moshe Feldenkrais liked mind stuff and body stuff and when his knees went bad on him and the doctors of the time said that an operation could have a 50% chance of leaving him crippled, he said he could flip a coin for those odds and set about discovering how to heal himself.

He applied anatomy and what he could observe in the best learners in the world: babies. He used concepts from Judo and his own discoveries and applied scientific thinking and experimentation and came up with a system that improved not only his knees but his whole level of organization. He discovered that his system could help people who'd just had a stroke, children with cerebral palsy, accident victims, as well as high level musicians and artists and athletes. He realized that the problems we have in sore backs or necks or in wanting to improve our yoga or our running, as well as many general problems of being stuck in our thinking and emotional habits and not so vigorous health, were the result of habits stuck in a lack of system wide organization and understanding.

What does that mean?

It means if you want to look behind you while you are driving a car and just move your neck, it will probably hurt your neck. If you let and encourage your ribs and spine and pelvis and eyes to join the party, you’ll turn farther and easier and won’t hurt yourself.

It also means that if you do processes like those in the July 31 essay ( Smarter, Easier Neck), where you go slow to increase awareness and learning and “DIFFERENTIATE” movements ( in that case by having the arm/shoulder go one way and your head the other and also your eyes one way and your nose/head the other), you give the brain a chance to re-remember how your body/mind is really set up. This learning is the key to improved performance.

His method is about learning and improving by less effort, less speed, more awareness and more experimentation.

His lessons can be of a group nature, and therein they are usually called Awareness Through Movement® lessons, though some places they are called Transformational Movement Lessons. His lessons can also be one on one, and there they are called either Functional Integration® or Functional Synthesis. Whatever they are called, they are lessons, not treatments, and the process is one of discovery, going inside, connecting to one’s awareness and learning and sense of self.

The private lessons can feel like heaven, and they are great for changing sore backs, or improving tennis, or recovering from accidents, or increasing health and awareness and vitality. The group lessons are often playful and allow people to experience movement in a way they haven’t felt since they were children. As in private lessons, they are great for recovery, discovering, improvement and becoming a more present person, comfortable and happy in your body.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Saturday, August 5: Who Am I? and other good/useful questions

This is a question various teachers and inquirers like to ask, and just because it can be asked doesn’t mean it’s a good question. Then again, it might be a very good question. And, just making sure we have options, seen in some ways it might be a good question and in other just one more way of torturing yourself, or trying to fit in with the pack.

Now, the pack of people who ask, “Who am I?,” at least those over thirty, are pretty rare, though this sort of existential curiosity/angst can easily strike anyone whose rut/robot has been seriously disturbed: the recently widowed, or divorced, or losing of a partner, or parent or job.

Loss, loss, loss.

The Sufis say: you are what you can take off a shipwreck. Which isn’t much.
The Who Am I? askers often follow it back further: I’m not my name, not my job, not my status, not my habits, not my thinking, not my feelings, not the skills and intellect and health or non health and curiosity I take off a shipwreck, no, I’m not any or that and so on until some vague answer appears like: energy.

Energy is what? The ability to do work, I think, in physics, which the we are all energy folks love to pretend they are drawing from. Physics is dropping pebbles from a cliff and they fall faster and faster. It’s also subatomic stuff where observers and relativity and all that jazz comes in handy. But if you hold your shoe up in front of your face and let go, chances are old fashioned physics will drop it to the ground.

Here’s were old fashioned Feldenkrais comes in handy. As long as we are in this body, and want to get in and out of chairs and can enjoy walking and dancing and love making, why not be able to do these things in a wakeful and pleasant manner?

Wakeful. What is that about? An awareness of our dancing as we dance, so we sense the location of our feet and arms and even the feet and arms of our partner. We hear the music and know we are hearing the music. Life is around us and we are in life and we know that.

Is that energy, is that nothingness, is that Who We Really Are? Is awareness energy? Maybe. Maybe not. But I can know if I’m aware, or if I’ve forgot my awareness. I can know if I’m full of thoughts or just enjoying my breathing. I can know if I’m angry or amused or both. I can notice how amazing it is to be both.

So awareness is a deep and amazing toy, or aspect, or tool, or reality, or more honestly, an amazing possibility.

Is it Who We Are? Maybe we are who we identify with in any given instant. I am now, the Writer trying to make sense, or the Writer exploring. If I follow my breathing and sense myself as I write, I am awareness. If I get lost in chatter of “Am I making any sense? Will people like this?” I have become what we usually are: a frightened robot looking for outside validation.

We can be free. We can be slaves. We can notice this. We can fail to notice this.

Thus begins an exploration, of Who Are We, hopefully in an open and happy and not too deadly serious manner. (This is one reason “enlightenment”= a red herring. The “enlightenment” purveyors are always trying to get you to try a little harder for that cheese at the end of the maze, i.e. they are pretending to offer freedom and are really just offering more slavery to the Big Cheese Chase.)

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Thursday, August 3: Feeling Bad, Feeling Good, so What?

You know, sometimes we are just a little too precious for our own good. We feel bad and it’s as if the world has ended. No, the world hasn’t ended, our good mood has. And if we demand that we instantly “snap out of it,” sometimes that might work. I’ve even written my little wise pieces on the possibilities of looking for the happiness inside the unhappiness. Which, actually, isn’t “snapping out of it.” It’s seeing a bigger picture.

Like in Feldenkrais, where we don’t see the “sore shoulder” as the end of it all, we see it as the beginning of understanding how we can operate in a more whole and holistic and functional way, so here with our emotion, we can see our “feeling bad” as a beginning to understanding all sorts of things. For example: how our thinking is compounding as well as pretty much demanding that we feel bad. Another example: how we get our attention way laid into thinking there is something “wrong” because we feel bad. Another example: checking out what is missing in our lives along with this feeling bad, as in: not good enough food, or enough sleep, or time in nature, or quiet time, or following our own breathing time.

Wow, this is getting circular, which means we may be getting close to some truths, because life is more like a spiral or a hologram, where everything impinges on everything else. So our “feeling bad” can be seen not as one more bit of evidence that we are all messed up, but as a bit of a web of forgetting the present, forgetting to follow our breathing, forgetting to sense ourselves, forgetting to relax, forgetting to do things we really like to do, forgetting to let our attention be fluid instead of fixed.

So if we feel as if we are in a “fix,” we might well be. And then what? Well, in Feldenkrais we like to look for at least three options. Feel bad about being in a fix, that could be one.

Feeling angry we are in a fix, or sad, that’s just more of the same, isn’t it, but it’s the option we often take.

A second option could be the do gooder option: think positive, try to plow down the bad feeling with the affirmation bulldozer. “I am wonderful and deserve to have a good day.”

This lately, has gotten a super model, in the DVD “The Secret,” which I’ll talk about more some other time, but for now I’ll just describe it as Norman Vincent Peale meets the Mary Kay Cosmetic/Avon ladies meets EST meets pseudo-science as per What the Bleep. Anyway: think positive and you’ll attract a million square foot house and a flashy car and a couple of trillion dollars a year income. So that’s the super Boy/Girl Scout approach to feeling bad.

And I guess I’m advocating something like curiosity and awareness and humor. See this as a joke we are playing on ourselves and go about seeing how we’ve rigged it this time to pull our own rug out from under ourselves.

A fourth option is to move. Yeah, take a walk, do some pushups, jump on a trampoline, do an Awareness through Movement lesson, do some yoga, putter in the garden, take out the trash, chop wood/ carry water.

Oh yeah, a fifth option here, the Zen option: chop wood/ carry water and be present. But, heck, if I’m present I might forget what the big deal was. Oh, well. Worse things have happened.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Wednesday, August 2: Our deep human need to connect to the Earth

In both the Feldenkrais work and the Body Talk system, there seems to be a missing element in their otherwise excellent pathways to greater health and well being. Missing is an explicit and clear recognition of our human need to connect to the Earth. This need is, to my mind, as real as our need to eat, or to loving relationship, or to moving in easy and enjoyable ways, be it walking, dancing or lovemaking. Let’s throw in our need to touch and be touch, to laugh and to learn.

Okay, those seem real human needs to me, and there’s this one: the need to get outside and connect with the Earth. To touch the Earth with our bare feet and our bare hands on an almost daily basis, and to be outdoors and at least walking or strolling under the real sky. Highly preferable, again in my opinion, is to be walking on non-cement and non-asphalt, which is to say on grass or dirt or sand or soil.

( If you are out in a garden or orchard or vineyard, a real garden or orchard or vineyard, the dirt is no longer dirt, it is soil; as I’ve said before, and will say again, the creation of and connection to soil is great for the soul.)

This making of soil idea reminds me of another human need: the need to be useful in some form or other. Useful to the Earth by getting out of our cars, useful to a friend by bringing them from self-dislike to understanding and laughter, useful to those we meet in our work in the service that we provide, this is all good and fine and wonderful, indeed.

And still, daily, we need to connect with the Earth. We need to connect with the present, the present of our breathing and our bodies and we need to connect with the Earth on which our species evolved. Without this, a life of indoors and inside the car and inside the office box, and our minds get small and our hearts start to shrivel.

This is not a pretty picture. This is not who we want to be, cut off from the big Mother, cut of from the source of our bodies and our earthiness. Without our earthiness, we become lifeless in a certain way. We are less than human if we fall prey to the over-all ethos of go, go, go and indoors, indoors, indoors, all the while never in the present moment, never really listening to the people with whom we imagine we are talking. Disconnection from now, from others, from nature. Not a pretty picture, indeed, and often, when things are getting us down, the absolute best action we can take, is to stop all the nonsense, talk and deep breath, sense ourselves and go outside for a walk or a bike ride or to putter in the garden.

This is life, slowing down, being present, connecting to the Mother. Let us not forget.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Tuesday, August 1: I'll be Happy when.....

I’ll be happy when….
I get my degree
find my soul mate
make “enough” money
have the “right:” job

In the mean time
I’m going to feel bad
and that will surely punish
the world
for not being just the way it’s supposed to be.

I’ll be happy when….
my “soul mate” remembers the way
I imagined them to be when
we first met

Meanwhile, I’ll try to fix them
by punishing them
with my anger and annoyance and
bad vibes
and oh so helpful “suggestions.”

I’ll be happy when….
the yoga class is over
the exam in over
the dinner party is over
the day is over
my work day is over
the war is over
this dis-ease is over
the President gets a brain
my opponents agree with me
I’m recognized as marvelous

And meanwhile
I’ll waste by life
my precious life
my precious hours
my precious minutes
punishing me
punishing me

when am I going to wake up
and realize that I’m
punishing me
by being unhappy