Monday, July 28, 2014

Learning as a game of variation, Why Not?

From my Special Needs Children Blog

And lots of fun ideas for any parent, any relationship, any life.

Waking up is fun, if we let it be.


We can change our lives. And the Chinese said it a long , long time ago: the journey of a thousand miles starts with one step.

With your child, what little variation can you create on something they already like and enjoy doing?

How can you, today and every day, make learning and play a big part of your interaction?

And remember:
Learning is not the memorization of facts, how far the Earth is from the Sun, say, though kids are often gaga about facts.

Learning is what?

Learning is the perception of a difference that makes a difference. That we didn't know about before the learning took place.

It's crazy fun how many possibilities:
A kid sucks their thumb.
Great, How about sucking the first, second, ring and little finger, one at a time?
And the fingers on the other hand.

A child is whining.
Can you whine in a higher pitch, a lower pitch, a staccato pattern?

Time of bedtime story.
Rest at the end of several sentences,
or a page,
and let's make up a little different story.

Or let's look at the pictures upside down.

How many ways are there to hold a spoon?

Can a piece of lettuce be a spoon?

How many things can be a spoon?

You get the idea:
Learning and play and imagination and getting out of the box, of how we thought about things before: this is a daily game.

You can play with your child.

You can play with your habits.

How many different ways can you sit, and shape your back and neck and ideas and breathe as you read this?

Can you write about this after,
with one hand and then another.

Can you draw a picture that you wouldn't normally "waste" time doing as the post reading "game?"

What is it you'd like to learn, and how many new and delightful ways could you go about that?
email me, if you want, with ideas and results.


Thursday, July 24, 2014

When is the best time to be mindful?

Ah, yes,
when is the best time to be mindful?

well, how about:
when things suck

because when things suck
the non mindful
(= mindless)
way of responding is going
to be some old conditioning
some junk that got us
into the jam in the first place

slow down
notice reality

notice you're stuck
notice you're alive
notice your breathing, gravity, light, sound,
a lot

and then make a choice

so that's one place

how about this:

if things are going really great,
that's a time to be mindful

to brighten it even more

to see and feel and notice
how it's working
so you could recreate it

to be awake and aware enough
to find ways to extend and share it

so the good times are a good time to be mindful

what about the so so times
the kind of floating along

you know that's a time to be mindful

are we numb

are we on automatic

are we doing things the way we always did

no pain, yeah that's nice,
but no thrill

and could being awake and aware of the
allow us to jack up the so so to a really great

who know?

try it and see


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Love and a Broken Heart

You've heard it before:

Tis better to have loved and lost,
Never to have loved at all.

Whatch think?

In my case, it wasn't a choice.
I loved.
I lost.

Sometimes the broken heart hurt like hell.
Sometimes it just hurt.

Recently, it was gentle, there was a breaking
underneath it all a love
for the parted one.

She had her ideas,
her wounds
her reasons,
some understood,
some not
( by both her and me,
the human heart is mysterious...
you know that)

She came
We loved
There were grand moments
There were spectacular moments

She left

Who is to say
that that
is not wonderful, too

This can't be explained in words,
and bittersweet is not what I'm talking about

and wistfulness
are closer

the closest I can come
is that a couple of weeks ago
I got caught out in a torrential rain
on my bike
and soon,
I was as soaked as you could possibly get
and then it
was just
"what the hell,
bring it on"

pure joy

broken heart:
bring it on

there is a love in there,

a deep and sweet love

I hope your next heartbreak is
has some of these same flavors

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Movement, Love, Mindfulness, day 1--- wake up breathing

move the ribs and you will
wake up breathing

go slowly
breath is in no hurry

on the pelvis
attached to the spine
attached to the ribs

more ease
more awakened breathing
more pleasure
more life


lie on your back, on a comfortable floor or a bed or some grass, sand
you figure that out

1. Move your head
gently side to side

feeling what happens in your neck
feeling the difference in feeling in moving the two ways
feeling yourself slow down
pay attention

do this many times

1.b. Rest
Just sense yourself

2. Move your feet,
side to side
like windshield

and here again,
feel the movement,
feel differences side to side
feel yourself paying attention

2.b. rest

3. Now,
in various combinations,
either move the feet and the head the same way,
or opposite ways

take lots of time to explore and enjoy this

3.b. rest

4. take your hands to the opposite armpit
and very very gently move your ribs right and left

feel the movement in the front
back of your ribs
feel the movement in your neck and pelvis

go slower

4.b. rest

5. Create this interesting combination:
head and feet to the left
as ribs go to the right,

head and feet to the right
as ribs go to the left

sense yourself



there is lots more involving the pelvis
call for a lesson over the phone,
or go find a nearby Feldenkrais® or
Anat Baniel Method practitioner

and this is a start

ease and
improvement in your breathing from this

Monday, July 14, 2014

anxiety, and undoing anxiety

we get anxious sometimes
we want to get smaller
( hide)

curl up in a ball,
clench everything together,

pull in, in,
as if returning to the fetal
curled up

we hunch over,
we pull our bellies in
chin down,
clench jaw

all that stuff

we stop breathing

it's not a good feeling after a
short time,

but, what is there to do?

I teach a three level response to

and let's just play here
with the body path to
transforming this:

here's the deal:

start by making it worse:

pull in tighter,

crunch way way in,
tighten everything you can,
hold your breath
and then go the other way,


don't make the unfurling better,
though it might feel better

sense them both:
the curling in
and the opening up

and what does that mean:

here we go,
a movement lesson:

Sit in a chair,
forward, so your back is not leaning back

curl forward
which means,

lower your chin toward your belly
roll your pelvis back and tuck your tailbone under you
slump your sternum

pull in your belly
tighten your jaw, your eyes, your fists,

pull your fists in tight,
toward your belly
tighten your asshole

get all crunched

and stay there a bit

sense this shape,
this feeling

go the other way,

let your belly loose and forward
arch your back
raise your sternum

lift your head a little ( not too much)
relax your jaw and fingers

let your hands raise up over your head
let your arms widen a little
let your mouth open a bit
twist a little to the left one time, and then
after crunching again,
twist a little to the right

don't get fast

go slowly

at the most expanded,
hang out there
and sense what that is like

go back and forth through eight or ten crunches

and get more and more into feeling the transition both ways
and feeling deeply the end point

experience your breathing

enjoy the differences

enjoy the shift in your mood


Thursday, July 10, 2014

pulse pulse

life is joy
even when we are tired
even when we don't get our way
even when we are supposed to say it sucks

it doesn't
it lives

we live
and even when we are tired
love is in every pulse of
our blood

I'm too tried to write any more
pulse pulse
breathe breathe
gravity gravity
light light
sound sound

so much
so much

so many gifts

pulse pulse
love love

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Hello, God, this is God saying Hi

a cashier at Whole Foods
was reading a book while waiting
for someone
to arrive

I thought is charming
and asked about the book

Hermetic philosophy

Lay a ;piece of wisdom on me, please
I asked

He thumbs through,
excited and a little on the spot

He says that everything is God
mumble, mumble

and that's plenty for me

I stick out my hand
"Let's shake."

He does.

"Hi, God. My name is God,
pleased to meet you."

It takes a moment,
then he lights up,
"Yeah that's it."

We chat a bit more and then when I leave
I say,
"So long , God."
he says,
"See ya, God."

A nice way to start the day, gentle
reader, aka

Friday, July 04, 2014

Posture, STress release, balance

Anxiety is crunching in
holding your breath
tightening into a ball, into the fetal position

shitty posture is usually
a lot of the same

let's have some fun

for starters: take off your socks

the beginning refrain,
to test as we go along:

bend your knees and
easily reach down toward the floor
do NOT stretch or effort,
see how far you go with great comfort

stand up, and then...

stand next to a chair,
or in a doorway

use the door jamb or chair, if you need to

stand on your left leg ( if you are right handed,
otherwise, reverse)

with the help of your right hand, bring your right knee toward your chest

do this a number of times,
at least ten

this way
[ slowly
each time different, slightly
looking for the pleasure each time
sensing down to the foot on the floor, and all the vertebrae of your spine, and your breath
smiling, a little or a lot
aware of what you are seeing also

i.e. awake
happy & 
( this is the how to do the movement chorus--
for each movement I will now insert
[movement chorus]   )


by putting your foot down,
standing comfortably and
noticing any changes

try the bending again:
bend your knees and
easily reach down toward the floor
do NOT stretch or effort,
see how far you go with great comfort

2.  set up as before, holding the right knee toward the chest
and now
bend your chest forward to touch, or almost touch your knee,

when your chest is as close as it can get,
straighten your back, bringing your knee along if you can

then go back and forth:
knee close and upright
knee close and bending forward

[ movement chorus]

[[ rest chorus:
be relaxed,
maybe even walk around
feel your height in standing

bend your knees and
easily reach down toward the floor
do NOT stretch or effort,
see how far you go with great comfort]]

that's the rest chorus

3. stand in the doorway or next to the chair again:
knee toward the chest
holding your ankle
bringing the foot back
pushing your belly out
arching your back
looking up
and breathing is fully

[movement chorus...
do it at least 10 times]

[[ rest chorus]]

4. Do all the above with the opposite hand


like this:

on your left foot
right hand on chair or door jamb
( it's good to let go sometimes and play
with balance,
do the whole thing without help--
advanced form,
no help,
eyes closed.


stand on your left foot
right hand helping with balance if need be

hold your right knee with your left hand
and bring it toward your chest

and then
bring your knee back, so you can catch your
right foot behind you with your left hand
and make this arch,
as above,
belly forward
breathing in,
eye up a bit
feeling the arch and lengthening in your spine

[ movement chorus]

[[rest chorus]]

5 etc
you can switch to the other side,
I'd recommend not switching for awhile and taking a walk
slightly lopsided, just to feel the learning.

do recall that all the [[rest choruses]] including trying
out again bending easily to the floor

and happy

later, more on the pursuit of happiness

Thursday, July 03, 2014

the pursuit of happiness

looking for happiness:

is that the pursuit we want?


so, what IS the pursuit of happiness?

think of it like this:

the pursuit of tennis
the pursuit of meditation
the pursuit of playing bridge

the pastime
the calling
the practice

the practice of happiness

and how do you practice being happy?

stop being unhappy

how do you stop being unhappy?

be free

and how do you be free?

one answer is to stop thinking

or at least thinking that Reality is wrong

and another answer is.....

what do you think?

seems like a good topic for tomorrow,
being Independence day and all that


Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Deep listening

This is for when you really want to get to
the juice of the two of you

Give yourself about 40 minutes
get the timer

take 5 minute turns, and as the talking progresses
go up to 6 and 7 minutes

take your time

go slow

say the truth:
I don't know what to say
I want to impress you

this is what I heard you say
this is what I feel you feeling
this is what I guess you want
this is what I want

this is how I feel in my body when I talk
this is what this reminds me of

I wish you could see this about me

And any
anything that comes up

don't talk

eye contact
follow your breathing and the talker's
feel your heart
feel into their feelings

listen for what they are trying to say

notice your defenses,
notice what you want to jump in with

shut up

don't prepare what to say

don't work on remembering what they said

just listen,
look in the eyes
hear the tone
hear their heart
hear their body
hear their life


when the timer goes off
rest a little
both in silence
before the other talks

talk about what you feel in the present
talk about what you felt in your body when the other was talking
talk about what you feel in your body when you say "hard" things to say

admit this a lot:
"This is hard to say, and...."
then say it

be honored when your partner says hard stuff to say
that means they trust you

hear why it's hard
hear their courage





Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Love as small doses of pleasurable connection, medicine for soul, heart and body

I set out on June 2 to write a blog a day
of great use in the world I am interesting in helping people create

the world of

Love and Sex Before Dinner

If you go to that blog, you'll find a daily offering,
but somehow I don't feel like it's a coherent whole

And that's good

Failure is the path to success
and Happiness is one of the few indicators
that we are on the right path

And so today,
I'm going to start over in a way,

and see what a post every day in July will be like,
with a strict alternation between love and sex
which really means,
talk and touch

except that it's not really going to be that,
because it's going to be about freedom and happiness
and so

the rotation is going to be
talk and touch day
talk day
touch day

I reference you to this much of the interview in Sun Magazine,
to which I'd highly highly recommend that you all subscribe:


In that interview this is revealed from Frederickson's research:

“a lack of positivity resonance is, in fact, more damaging to your health than smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol excessively, or being obese.”

this is good news

IF we have positivity resonance in our lives

Which means:

small moments of pleasurable connection with another person,
in person

face to face

( not necessarily bodily pleasure, but more like a happy wish to smile and enjoyment of another's company)

And touch helps this.

Not sexual touch today,
just touch touch

And today's game is this:

in the framework of talking 3 minutes at a time,
with a timer

and not interrupting when the other is talking

and being present to your breathing and
to the reality
you are going to die
this other person is going to die
pay attention to yourself and them
your breathing and their breathing

then you talk for 3 minutes

each person has 3 turns

18 minutes

a couple that can do this can

a couple that doesn't
it won't be as wonderful
may well be a mess

and touch?

hold hands
while doing this

that's all


do this every day
for ten days
or email
how this went

email to the right