I received the second Covid-19 vaccination in mid February. After a day of sporadic headaches and chills, tingling in my vaccinated arm and utter fatigue, I felt relieved and safer. Following a year of alternating between waves of upheaval and calm, I felt hope. In addition, more people were telling me they too were scheduled or had had their first or second dose. Built up tension began to soften.
Warmer, longer, sunnier days added to the feeling that there was light at the end of the tunnel following a year of limits on our ability to move around freely. I began to feel energy–asking, begging, to get up and go; as if there was a veil that needed to be torn down, ripped through. The veil representing masks, social distancing, fear, loss, and death. As we move forward in time, each of those is diminishing. We are turning a corner. The increasing number of people vaccinated and the loosening of pandemic ties is lining up with the coming of spring. It’s a pleasant match.
Awareness Through Movement®
Awareness Through Movement lessons ask for attentiveness. Listening to the subtleties of our internal sensations and moving slowly gives time to make changes. By decreasing effort and finding more satisfying pathways, we discover new possibilities. At the end of a lesson new sensations become obvious. But it isn’t always obvious what changed nor what to do with the change.
In listening to the experience of participants over the years, I learned that the lessons don’t always translate into everyday living.
The current series has been focusing on harnessing power through awareness and by coordinating the large muscles of the hips and pelvis. Following a winter of being indoors in a pandemic, it occurred to me that taking lessons to the rooms that we live in is a natural progression. In other words filling in the blanks.
My get up and go energy has me planning trips, Zoom celebrations (we are not out of the woods yet) and thinking ahead.
Yet, I want to be clear about what I want within the constraints that still exist and ACT in accordance with those desires.
However, that isn’t so easy. As Moshe Feldenkrais writes in The Potent Self:
Our object is to discover what it is that you really want. It is not an easy task at all, and you certainly do not know it yourself. Had you known it, there would always have been a sufficiently dominant motivation enabling you to use yourself to that effect. And if that had been the case, then this book would reveal to you nothing that you did not already take for granted, and that was also, although perhaps vaguely, obvious to you.
The most difficult cross motivations to recognize are the self assertive ones, mixed up with the recuperative ones. This is in fact the most pernicious complaint of our age in general…..
…..Recognizing our insignificance, the unimportance of what we think, do or cannot do, we find ourselves in full mastery of ourselves to the potential limit of our ability. That sort of unstable equilibrium that is abandoned in each action and recovered for the next is the essence of human maturity…..
Investing in an Awareness Through Movement lesson asks us to take time, to listen to ourselves, our ambitions, motivations, and ideas that guide us forward. We prepare. We approximate.
Balance, agility, stability, strength, and comfort. Those are qualities that we do not have to go to a gym to get. They are qualities that can be cultivated and practiced. Right here, right now.
Do you know what you want? Have you sorted through your motivations and your cross motivations?
With curiosity and intention, what can you do right now that changes the habit, the patterns that limit?
How do you add novelty? What do you do differently?
Looking with different eyes
Counter tops, sofas, doorways, beds and chairs are some of the props that can be used for improvement every day, in every room. You might be touching one right now or see one within arms reach.
You might intentionally lift your heels, balance on one leg or scan messages when you brush your teeth. Or stretch your arms overhead at your desk, giving more space for breathing and for releasing inactive tension. What about swirls through doorways? Or using your feet to clear your path?
However we relate to the space that we live or work in, we can embellish it, adding novelty where once there was habit. We can improve right in our very own homes as we plan and prepare for what the future will have to offer. We don’t have to wait for spring or an end to a pandemic, we can do it NOW!