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On My Mat (Anxiety Series)

May 23, 2013

Sunday, May 19, 2013 was a hugely successful day. The staff of the Vital Human: Community Feldenkrais Clinic hosted a Feldenkrais Marathon. Five Awareness Through Movement® classes in a row. Nowhere outside a Feldenkrais training or a workshop do you get the opportunity to do five lessons in a row.

Vital Human offered the Marathon as a fundraiser and I’m thrilled to announce that $1000 will be donated to The Dougy Center for Grieving Children.

I taught the first class of the Marathon and acted as host for the rest of the day, but mostly, after I was done teaching I indulged in paying attention to self-organization and contemplating where the Feldenkrais work currently fits in my life. You see, my husband and I brought my father home to live with us for the summer following his stroke in February. He learned to walk and do many self-care tasks in the rehabilitation unit and we’re hoping to help him regain even more skill.

Sunday’s special event meant I needed to leave my dad home in my husband’s care. I shouldn’t have worried one moment, but I did. I worried that my husband didn’t have as much experience with someone after a stroke or that he might miss some of the signs letting him know when it’d be better to use the wheelchair than the walker. I worried that my dad would fall. I worried that they would have problems and I gave them instructions to call me and I’d zip back home to help. Our home is less than 2 miles away from Hipbone Studio, the site of our Marathon.

I taught my class and when it was time for the second teacher, I went to lie on a mat and take part. It was during a rest that my attention wandered to my husband and my dad and I kept my phone close so I could tell if they had sent a text. They didn’t but it didn’t keep me from checking. It didn’t keep me from worrying that Dad would need something but be too shy to ask my husband for fear of bothering him.

Dad & Me May 2013About the third time I found myself worrying and checking my phone, I flashed on the memory of lying on a Feldenkrais mat years ago, a workshop my dad attended with me. I had dragged him there and he was grousing that he couldn’t hear, he couldn’t see, he couldn’t get comfortable. He was grunting and efforting and working way too hard. I worried that I shouldn’t have invited him.

On that day ten years ago, I experienced a huge aha moment. Dad’s life was his own and he was responsible for his satisfaction with it. Even now that he is dependent and unable to live alone, he is the one to interpret what his life has meant to him, just as I interpret what my life has meant to me. My worrying about whether anything was okay for him was a waste of time and energy.

I settled back on the mat with a smile at the reminder to let go of the things that aren’t mine to hold. I thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the Marathon and went home to find a couple of happy guys who were better off for me having left for a few hours in the day.

The need to remember to get back on my own mat reoccurs daily. I’m quicker to recognize those moments and quicker to step away from someone else’s mat and back onto my own.

I like my mat, it suits me perfectly.

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One Comment
  1. Perry Downes permalink

    A wonderful reminder, Kim.
    I’m so glad to hear the day went well ~ and that it was a good one for you in so many ways.
    Sending Love,
    Perry

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