We all have that little voice in our head – that voice of judgement and self-deprecation that speaks to us when we’re doing something wrong, or when we think we’re not good enough or when we can’t let go of something. I’ve been taking a Feldenkrais class every Friday this semester. “Felde-what?” you ask. I know, that was my reaction too the first time I heard of it. I’m no expert, so I highly suggest looking into this more for yourself. But from my understanding and experience with it it’s about awareness through movement – exploring and discovering how your body moves and the relationship between your joints, muscles, posture, etc. In my class we’ve gone back to some of the most basic movements we naturally did as babies, and we’ve talked about how as we grow up society and propriety and other factors have conditioned us to move in certain ways that go against those natural developments. Our body is doing four things at the same time: moving (includes speaking), feeling, thinking, and using our senses. If you change one thing you can change them all. The easiest to change is movement, and I’ve noticed a great, positive change in myself over the last twelve weeks. I’ve learned so much about myself, have been noticing things I want to change and have been feeling more and more capable of these things. I leave class not only feeling different in my body, or being in a better mood, but I’m actually seeing the world around me, noticing things I didn’t before, developing a more positive outlook, and am beginning to realize that there are options.
There are options. We give that little voice in our heads so much power. Sometimes that voice comes from others and we give it the power to change our minds, change our perspectives, change our lives in a negative way. The other day in class we were doing a lesson that was very uncomfortable for me; my whole body was tense when I knew it didn’t need to be, and I was getting so frustrated with myself because I thought I shouldn’t be having as much trouble as I was. But it’s ok. My body just wasn’t feeling equipped that day, and that’s alright. And what might be easy for me might be difficult for somebody else. We’re all different and we all operate in different ways. But one thing that’s universal is that you are capable. It’s ok to make mistakes. It’s ok to have some difficulties. You are the experience. You are the experiment; that’s what life is – experiencing and experimenting and learning and growing. If there’s something about your life that you want to change, you can change it. If there’s something about your perspective you wish was different, you can make it so. We have arms with which to pull the world close or push it away, and once we find the strength and structure of these arms, we realize that nothing is the end all be all. There’s always a choice. We often get stuck in a rut and can’t find our way out because we don’t think there’s a way, because sometimes we just accept that that’s where we’ll lie. There’s never only one way. Take the time to become aware of yourself, to learn about yourself. Take the time to care for yourself – take care of yourself. Love yourself – it’s a love affair that won’t let you down. And slowly but surely, that little voice will get softer and softer, until it becomes silent and you find that when you make mistakes and have difficulties, that you are able to say “ok”, nod your head, smile, breathe, and keep going.
Where to start? Well, that’s up to you. Keep positive company. Take time for yourself. I wouldn’t have gotten here without Feldenkrais or my wonderful, supportive instructor. It’s not for everyone, like everything else, but it’s about become aware, and I think that’s the first step to any positive change. Whatever you decide to do next, just remember, you are capable. You are never stuck.