Monday, September 04, 2006

Monday, September 4: Options and Habits

In Feldenkrais, a central idea is that we are stuck, not in our backs or our shoulders or our necks, but in our brains. We have a habit of how to do something that’s burned it’s way into a rut. We are in a rut, and the rut is causing us pain, and our solution usually is to do the rut-thing a little more vigorously.
So. We are in a habit that’s not working. We put more effort into the non-working habit, and we get: worse. Not better. What a surprise.

One solution is a novel and brilliant one: do anything else.

Another solution is to have three or four options and try out different ways of going about what was our habit.

For example?

  • Sit in our chair with our weight more on our feet than usual.

  • Sit in our chair with our weight more forward onto our pelvis than usual.

  • Sit on our chair with our weight more backward than usual.

  • Sit on our chair with our eyes looking down at the computer screen.

  • Sit at our chair with our eyes looking up to the computer screen.

  • Move our chair two inches farther back from the screen.

  • Move it two inches forward.

  • Turn our heads right and left while keeping our eyes on the screen.

  • Keep our nose pointed toward the screen and move our eyes right and left.

  • Look up with our nose and down with our eyes.

  • Look down with our nose and up with our eyes.

  • How was that?

    If we do this slowly and with curiosity, we will learn at either a conscious or a more subliminal level, how to function “better” in a chair. Here “better” can mean easier, or with less strain, or more able to move and turn and think and breathe.

    If we do this slowly and with attention, we may catch the “How do I work as a human mind/brain/feeling/thinking/moving organism?” bug. We might not only enjoy our sitting more, but ourselves and exploration in our life more.

    And all that, from just fooling around and trying out options. All we have to loose is stuckness in our habits, and we can always include the old habit as one of our new variety of options. Freedom, learning, ease: all nice possibilities when we go about things this way.

    For now.

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