Thursday, June 28, 2007

Letter to a Wonderful Parent of a Special Needs Child

As you know, you are already a wonderful parent. You adore Your child. We watch him and encourage him and delight in him and enjoy him and take care of him and talk to him and listen to him and love him to bits. And he is worth all this and you know it and he knows it. So, obviously, you will keep being this way.

You also have a wonderful ability to focus on what he is doing well and what he is learning and skip the trap of “what’s missing.” What’s missing is just another way of saying: lots of opportunity to learn, but that is the case for all of us. As Feldenkrais said, We are all handicapped. We all have limitations. And the fun is, not beating ourselves up about those, but taking all the time in the world to slow down and learn the next wonderful thing we are going to learn.

Along these lines, buy the Anat Baniel DVD on backs, and CD on Necks, and do one of the movement lessons every day. Maybe the first time through, do each lesson for two days, but keep doing them, over and over and over. Each time you will learn something you didn’t yet know. Every time I do them, after years of doing them, I learn something more.

Here are some hints to keep the learning alive:
What is your pelvis doing?
What is your lower back doing?
What is your spine doing?
How are you breathing?
What are your ribs doing?
What is the relationship between your head and your pelvis?
How is your breathing going?

If you can go slowly, and gently and be aware of all those seven things, you will always learn, you’ll have a meditation on being now, and you’ll continuously improve the quality of your own thinking, being and moving.

As for Your child: when he is sleepy, and not so full of frisk and vigor, say before nap and before night sleep, do, gently, gently, slowly, slowly, any pieces of any of the lessons with his body. Any movements that you know feel really nice and connecting and interesting and pleasurably to you, gently guide him through. No doing it right. No efforting. Just the pleasure of moving and having different areas waking up to each other. Go slow, and feel in yourself how the movement might be feeling in him. If you come to a tense or tight or restricted zone, where he doesn’t move as well as you might, do less. Go slower. Just hint at it.

All will be fine. Touching is good.

I will make a couple of diet recommendations. I have years of study in this, but no certification and anything, and some proof in my own health and whatnot. Follow or not as your intuition and good sense recommend.

I’d suggest getting off pasteurized dairy. Since we are lucky enough to have two stores selling raw organic milk, get that. Yogurt can easily be made from that milk. Get quart jars, put about an inch of yogurt that you already have in the bottom, add the raw milk, stir and sit in a sunny window. Within a day, you’ll have new yogurt and will never have to buy it again. Kefir (Sonoma Market carries a raw brand as Qeffir, right next to the raw milk, though often sold out) is even healthier than yogurt and made in the same way: add raw milk to an inch of the past stuff and it makes itself.

Warning: these all feed tooth decay, as doing all the other sweets. So do the tooth brushing thing and maybe even teach him how to swish out his mouth with water. On the sweet subject. You are already sugar free, which is great. Honey is fine in small doses, but sweet from inside fruits and sweet veggies is best.

Hardest possibility: drift away from flour products, cookies, pasta and even bread ( gasp, and again, go slow and as fits what feels really right for you). Go for whole cooked grains of rice or wheat or oats and barley or whatever. Not as convenient. Way out of normal, and maybe check Sally Fallow and Nourishing Traditions out to get some encouragement if you want to edge toward this.

The ideas behind all the Feldenkrais and Anat Baniel work are fantastic. My (here we are) site has many, many essays which can help you, as does Anat’s at Even here: go slow, integrate, take it in, make it true and real and pleasurably for you.

If you stay fine and learning and growing, Your child can’t help but keep improving. Keep noticing and delighting in his small changes and don’t get hooked into what other people think. This is the greatest slavery in human existence anyway. What other people think is their business, and we make ourselves miserable when we believe what they think and feel has anything to do with us. See, and Byron Katie’s work to get emotional freedom.

For now though, if anyone ever again asks, “What’s wrong with your child?” answer back: What’s wrong with you?

Because in looking at the deficits instead of the possibilities that’s what’s wrong with the questioner (or us, when we go to that mode). Your child has a lifetimes of delightful learning ahead of him. So do you. So do I.


Monday, June 18, 2007

One 11 minute "cure" for depression.

I'm writing a book of 21 short "cures" for depression,
shifts out of the funk
and into some other state.
I'll post one of them occasionally,
and beyond that, you get to wait
and buy the book,
or come to me
(or call)
for private sessions
that will involve a number of modalities,
including Feldenkrais, the work of Byron Katie,
connection to Nature, Gestalt Therapy, and more.

This is the second 11 minute “cure” for depression, or distraction, or worry, or anxiety. Or, the second ongoing and wonderful meditation you can add to your life. You will learn more about yourself, how to be at ease, how to be present and how to shift your state by participating in this practice. Practicing what? Being alive, and having awareness and trying/ learning new things.

As before, use a timer, and sit on a firm chair or a stool. This time, if at all possible, sit outside in such a place that when you look up you will see the sky or some sheltering tree above you.

1). Sit comfortably at the front edge of your stool or chair. Click on the timer. For the first one minute either accentuate any bad feelings you have, or if you are feeling fine, dredge up something to feel bad about and go through the usual ways of making ourselves feel bad: Have a bunch of words in your head that go over and over about how something “should” or “shouldn’t” be different. Tense even more any tightness in your chest or jaw or belly. Notice any constriction in your breathing and make that worse. THEN STOP THESE AND SHIFT TO MOVING.

2). Fine. Now begin, as in #1 to look up and down. Do this now as a progression, adding on more and more of yourself in your awareness.
• Look up and down with your eyes.
• Notice and allow your chin to go up and down.
• Begin to arch your spine as you look up, and fold forward your spin as you look down.
• Let your belly come out and air come in as you look up. Let your belly come in and breathe out as you look and fold down.
• Allow your pelvis to rock to the back of the Sitz (sit) bones as you fold forward and look down, and allow your pelvis to rock to the front of the Sitz bones as you arch your spine and look up.
• Sense your feet on the ground as you do all this.

3) Keep doing all of the above, and see if you can hold them all in your awareness as well as the world that you are seeing as you look up and slowly look down and slowly look up.

4) Take breaks now and then. Just sit calmly, upright and follow your breathing and maybe even close your eyes. Then go back to the up down meditation.

5) Put your hands in prayer position, palm to palm, fingers to fingers. As you look up allow both hands to come first to face level, and then easily and slowly a bit higher each time, if this is comfortable. If it is not comfortable, imagine your hands coming higher and higher.
As your head and eyes come down, let your hands in this prayer position rotate so that they point to the ground. You can try variations on how far you’d like to go with your hands: just to your lap, between your knees, down toward the floor/ ground, and all the way to the floor. How far doesn’t matter, and what is enjoyable and useful is the your hands are in the up down rhythm of your spine and breathing and eyes and head and neck.

6) This can be tiring physically, and mentally, so take lots of non-movement breaks, but not breaks from an attitude of wishing continuous awareness of your breathing and your spine and your feet on the ground. (Breath and gravity, the everywhere all the time available meditation.)

7) If you want to add to this, then as you bring your prayer hands up, let them come once a little to the right as your spine rotates and arches in the going up, and then the other time let them go to the left as you come up.

8) As before, sometimes when everything is moving to look up, let your eyes look down toward your chin, and when everything is moving to look down (folding forward, nose and hands toward the ground, belly in) let your eyes look up as if trying to see your forehead.

9) Take breaks after you engage in the eye and nose separation. And then go back and feel more aware of your eyes when they easily and gently lead the movement. Sometimes you might want to just arch and fold without the hands, and then go back to using the hands. It’s your ten minutes. Keep them pleasant and interesting and full of gentle awareness.

10). When the timer says that ten minutes are up. Sit for awhile with your eyes closed. Enjoy that feeling.

11) Then, to come to standing, fold forward over your knees so your weight comes to your feet, lift your butt off the chair or stool and come to standing. Then take an easy and pleasant walk in as nice and as natural a place as you can get to on foot from where you are right now.


Sensitive Strength


Waking up to now.
Embracing Change.
Learning to learn.
Loving to move, improve and transform.


"To make the impossible, possible;
to make the possible, easy;
to make the easy, elegant."
Moshe Feldenkrais.


Mondays until June 18
at the
around the corner from the Post Office

Monday June 25
skipping July 2, and then
from July 8 on into August,
at the Field of Dreams,
shady area between upper and lower levels,
(bring a mat or blanket if you don't
want to lie on the grass)
12:30-1:10 PM
Bring a Mat or Blanket
Dressed Comfortably
Be Enthusiastic about Learning, Feeling Better
and Expanding your sense of Enjoyment

until June 20
(west of W 5th, on bike path,
or on Linda St. just west of W 5th)
10-10:45 PM

Then August 8 on in Olsen
Park at 9 AM.

Cost: sliding scale : $10-20
Seniors (65+) sliding scale: $5-20.
First class: $5-10.

For amazing and transformative
and gentle
one on one lessons,
Functional Integration®
Individual Lessons

Friday, June 01, 2007

What this work is, what it isn't, glories to all.

baby apples
Baby apples. Nature on the Way to becoming even more of
what it was meant to be.
Is this happening in your life?


What this isn’t.

This isn’t body work.

A massage is sweet and nice and will bring a return to ease and a contentment and relaxation. But it will not help you organize to a higher level so that you will stop doing whatever the pattern is that got you into the aches and pains in the first place.

Feldenkrais lessons will, because they focus on the core muscle, the one between the ears, called the brain, the most amazing creation in the universe, an instrument capable of going against the laws of thermodynamics, the law that things proceed toward less and less order. The brain creates order, makes sense of the random chaos of the world. The brain is how we come to crawl, and sit and stand and talk and skip and jump.

Forgotten how to skip?

Don’t feel so free and happy in the back and breathing and neck anymore? If you want to upgrade your whole nervous system, then Feldenkrais lesson, either the group lessons called Awareness Through Movement®, or the one on one lessons called Functional Integration will help. Hugely. Amazingly. Almost miraculously. Miraculously.

This holds for a host of issues. See: The Glories of Feldenkrais.

Feldenkrais is not about fixing or balancing. Your energy will be more balanced, but as a result of your functioning at a higher level. A baby on the way to crawling is not into balancing energy, she is into expanding her understanding of who she is and what she can do in the world.

This works for people who have had strokes, people with balance issues, people who have had accidents, people in pain, people who are great at something and want to get better. In sports, or yoga, or teaching of some activity. Golf. Running. Basketball.

This is a way of turning the clock back, because we are tapping into how we were, discoverers and creators and experimenters, when we were young geniuses and our pleasure and goal in life was learning, real learning, not book learning, not learning what someone else told us to learn, but what came up from inside our wish to live.

And what is Wake Up Feldenkrais?

The Work of Byron Katie teaches ways out of emotional suffering that are as effective and easy as the Feldenkrais work is at getting us out of physical suffering. And like the Feldenkrais Way, the work of Byron Katie is about coming to a wholeness, coming the a realization of how amazing we are, it is about learning and change and transformation.

I consider this work an extremely valuable adjunct to the Feldenkrais work, a way of clearing out the stories and beliefs that keep us from being all we can be.

And I find that when I am in the present and am connected to Nature, that this too helps me be a full and happy and amazing person, a possibility for each and every one of us.

This is my hope for those who get involved in Wake Up Feldenkrais. To wake up to the moment. To wake the nature. To wake to health. To wake to happiness. To wake to improvement and delight in expanding our joy and our capabilities and the depth and breadth of our lives.

Ciao for now,