The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is…
“We do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”
Said a different Famous President than the one in the title line. Well, I’m not a Famous Cold War President. (Don’t get me wrong — I could get at least ten votes in a Presidential Campaign….)
In Awareness Through Movement®, we might say that we do these strange movements not because they’re hard, but precisely because they’re strange to us. I love Awareness Through Movement and honestly believe that it can be pursued as a form of “enlightenment practice.” (Wait, Russ is using the foofy words — is he feeling well?) I don’t think that’s for all the myriad benefits that one can gain using the Feldenkrais Method®, but because of the nature of the Method itself.
In class, we have something like the following:
- You’re invited to do something with your body, usually something a bit unusual.
- You’re not shown how to do it, but reminded to take care of yourself while you do.
- You try to do it, while having your attention brought to various parts of the process.
- Somehow a miracle occurs, and like magic, you learn. And then your life gets easier.
A class led by Russ Mitchell (not pictured) learns about themselves in the upright position.
Most of the time when people refer to group classes, they focus on Step Four, Where Students Become Awesome(tm). But what if we took it right off the top, instead?
How many times have you been confronted with some action or activity and had a reaction that can be summarized as “Oh, I can’t do that?” Our habits of mind fall into a rut, and anything outside of that becomes threatening to our self-image. I’m no stranger to that. Pushing 50, I’m keenly aware that I don’t relate to technology the same way that my child does.
What would your life be like, on the other hand, if, when presented with some new and unexpected or novel activity (whether that’s calculus, painting, surfing, home repair…insert list here), we were able to try doing new things in a state of complete emotional ease, without hint of strain or anxiety? What if we could entertain new ideas (or old ones!) without being imprisoned by the ideas, skills, and habits that we currently say our “ours,” but which can be our prison just as easily as they can be our capacity?
I am not after flexible bodies; I am after flexible minds. — Moshe Feldenkrais
To begin with, the Internet would be a much more pleasant place.
In Awareness Through Movement classes, we are, literally, learning how to pay attention to ourselves, and thus take better care of ourselves in order that we can happily outgrow ourselves, and become the kinds of people who can embrace every opportunity we desire, rather than recoiling in inner turmoil at the (very real) terror of living better lives in a better world, because the price tag of learning how to do that is more than we know how to pay.
In Awareness Through Movement, we aren’t just getting more relaxed or limber. We’re not even just “learning how to learn.” We’re learning how to learn easily, so that when we’re confronted by the ever-changing, ever-accelerating world, the price of curiosity is something we can pay out of our emotional pocket-change. Opportunities and responsibilities move to feeling more like “fun and adventure,” and less like “stresses, strains, and burdens.”
Who would you like to be, if this were you? Who could you become?
Would you like to find out?
If your answer is “Yes, join us for classes. Choose yours here.