Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Enemy Game

The Enemy Game, a Sad Illusion:

On the radio just now a fellow is talking of how pleased he is that the Dixie Chicks won a batch of Grammies, and he's going on a bit about how reviled and outcast they were for speaking up against the war.

The same old story: me Good, enemy Bad. Kill enemy, of outcast enemy, or don't speak to enemy, or boycott Enemy's records.

And then yesterday I was reading in the New Yorker about a TV show which I don't watch for two reasons: one, I don't watch any television; and two, I wouldn't really go for a show that shows that increase people's tendencies to hate and think that life will be okay if we just kill enough "bad guys." This is an ancient and sad story, this idea that for good to succeed, lots of energy has to be spent focusing on, hating and killing the so-called "evil." (And yes, every once in a while Hitler comes along and has to be stopped.)

On this TV show, called 24, Kiefer Sutherland plays an anti-terrorist agent who gets to win the hour each and every week, by torturing in some cruel and illegal way the Bad Guy.

And some people love this.

Oh, well.

That's their minds. It's too bad they have a vote, but hatred sells, having an enemy to focus on always has been the way to avoid going inside and seeing what we can delight in and improve in ourselves.
Which brings us to good old Wakeup Feldenkrais.

Things come up. Habits get more and more out of touch with how we could move if we were to move in healthy and easy and efficient ways. And because of these out of tune habits, we get back aches, or carpal tunnel, or neck pain, or get persuaded to have knee or hip operations. And then we can have the enemy to defeat: the pain in the back, or neck or wrists, or hip or knee, or we can have an opportunity to discover what learning is like.

So that's the old way: back pain = enemy, and how can I destroy the enemy.

The the new way? The Wakeup Feldenkrais Way?

To see the back pain as a signal that we have gotten into habits of moving and holding ourselves that are causing a pain in our back. To see this as a great chance to relearn how to use the core muscles inside our brain,
to relearn,
to understand,
to discover,
how a back is not a "back," but 24 separate vertebrae,
and if these vertebrae
and the pelvis
and the ribs
and the eyes and feet and hips
all start to function harmoniously
the way we did when we were a kid

not only will the "enemy" of back ache go away,
but we will rise to levels of grace and movement joy
such as we haven't had since we were young,
or may never have had.

So we are "fixing a back",
we are learnign again how delightful is a life
where learning is at the center.

We get not only improvement in the area of complaint, but we start to get the idea that life is a grand experiment, and that if we explore and learn enough, there is almost no limit to what we can improve and create.

So. If you haven't tried desk trainer yet. you might want to: Give it a go, in their free trial lesson. There in five to eight minutes you can begin to rewire your own brain and experience for yourself the power of learning via movement plus awareness plus going slow in new and interesting ways.

And as you and I go about out days, let's see if we can wake up to the present, and explore different and interesting ways of going about our moving and thinking and feeling.


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