Thursday, January 18, 2007

Feldenkrais and Love

Can I pull this off, to talk about Feldenkrais and love? I mean, isn’t Feldenkrais about moving with more ease, and getting out of pain, and transcending cerebral palsy, and moving to new levels of excellence in sports and yoga? Sure, it’s about that, and the reason it “works” is that it’s not “trying” to fix anyone, and this sounds strangely like love.

When we first meet someone, and they are different than us, if we “fall in love,” we are fascinated with their quirks and their difference from us. Later, when we fall back into our grouchy sleepwalking, then we’ll try to “fix” their quirks, which is to say, make them more like us. So, appreciating someone just as they are is part of love.

In Feldenkrais, we start with helping a person discover how it is that they are set up in their inner connections and their image of who they are, and what’s available to them. We work on expanding what’s available, not by “fixing” anything, but by playing with alternatives and variations. This playfulness, if remembered and kept in the foreground, makes a Feldenkrais lesson like falling in love, falling in love with the possibilities of being that are new and fresh and easy and natural (which might not then be new, but old, back in our childhood days, ways of moving and connecting and experimenting).

In love and in Feldenkrais rightly done, we are in a state of freshness. This leads me to calling my work WakeUp Feldenkrais, waking up to the moment and the moment’s possibilities. This is a state where we “don’t know.”

Falling in love, is falling, the old falls away, we love and are enthralled by the new, and it is a giddy and unknown world.

To be truly present is likewise a state of free fall. We are here, but without all the safe words and maps from back then. Then doesn’t count. We are only experience, without the usual underpinnings.

In a good Feldenkrais lesson, we aren’t “fixing” a shoulder, we are helping a shoulder become a shoulder again as a brain/ body / whole self/ person rediscovers and falls in love with all the possibilities and connections in being a being with a brain and movement and learning and awareness. The shoulder heals as almost an afterthought.

This could be vague mush, and many descriptions of “love” sound just so. Too vague. Too rhapsodical. And yet, we have most of us been there, falling in love with a person, or a piece of music or an orchid or a redwood or a rose or a sunset. The experience is everything, is new, is beyond needing to be judged, and we feel opened to a much bigger self, a Self that is fine without words to describe and pin it down. We are.

This is the state of a good Feldenkrais lesson, too, we simply are.

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