Is the beginning of the year, many people have set their New Year's resolutions, which often include breaking habits that they want to change in their lives, to make certain things differently and challenge themselves… and I was thinking that in order to be different I first have to be in peace with how I am today and honor the past that brought me here. How I am today was shaped by my personal history and life experiences. The circumstances where I was born in, the education imposed on me and also, later on, my choices and self-educating processes, all this leads to where I am today, with my strengths and my weaknesses.
An opportunity is presented to me when I pause and observe myself, and am able to choose to accept what I noticed. Whatever it is, I can choose to meet myself without judgement, without trying to ignore what I feel, or conceal it from others and, first and foremost, from myself. Even without knowing how to do better, when I see my limitations or weaknesses as opportunities, I’m already open to questioning and set on a path of self-discovery.
Recently, I found these words of Russell Delman, a senior Feldenkrais practitioner, defining - humility - as the courage to stand in one’s experience of the moment with a sense of “not knowing”. I like this reminder of Socrates’ practice, where we approach reality with the recognition of “not knowing”. The Feldenkrais method is similar to a Socratic questioning, but not with words, with images, patterns and actions instead. Our questions are put through movement, and as Socrates we are open to “not knowing”. Actually, the only condition is that we not strive to “get anything right” because, in the end, learning is not the same as life.
For learning in our classes we create the conditions to fail safely, we test and fail, we fail a lot, we fail on purpose, so that we can make distinctions and really understand why one movement is better than the other. In his book “The Elusive Obvious”, Moshe Feldenkrais says: “In order to arrive at the right movement, it is necessary to think of a better movement rather than right, the right movement has no future development.(…) The better can be improved - the right remains the limit forever.”
For 2022 I wish we all can continue to welcome experimentation and failure for juicy unlimited growth!
Thank you for your attention. I’m looking forward to seeing you in class.