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.


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