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Think Change is Impossible . . . Think Again!

July 10, 2013

I was reflecting on how many things have changed for me in the over 20 years since I began studying the Feldenkrais Method. I thought it would be fun to make a list.

  • My knees and feet no longer hurt when I walk long distances.
  • My shoulders and back don’t hurt constantly.
  • I can quickly regain comfort even when I’ve over-worked at cleaning, gardening, or hiking.
  • My reaction to environmental issues is very minimal. For example, if I was hot, I was upset that it was so hot. Or cold, same reaction. Now, meh, it’s all a process. Even noise, which is still my biggest irritant, is something I listen to without a big deal.
  • I live inside my body now. I inhabit the space that I take up and I’m aware of myself in any moment. All another way to say, I no longer dissociate.
  • I am adaptable and resilient, I no longer need to know what is going to happen next. At least not as much. I learned to anticipate what was going to happen next as a reaction growing up in a chaotic household. It was my way to feel in control. Now, I can roll better with the flow. Not always, but most of the time. It’s easier now.
  • I give my inner authority over to fewer people now. I used to look to others for approval and what to do next. Now, I make plans that follow what is the thing inside of me and what fits for my community and how I want to give to them.
  • My relationships are stronger,  I can see when I match with someone and when to let them go. It’s clearer how a friendship works or how it doesn’t.
  • I’m able to let go of what needs to happen. I am working on this one the most in my life right now. Letting things go, expectations go, rightness go, needing a certain thing.
  • Doing right and being good at it are also things I’ve let go. Mostly. They still grab me by the ankle and slow me down from time to time.
  • It no longer matters to me if everyone likes me. I used to need everyone to like me.
  • I now experience responses more varied than happiness and anger. I can respond with joy, sorrow, grief, thrill, curiosity, concern but calm, compassion. All to say life is no longer so black and white.
  • I used to freak out if someone was late. Today I waited for a friend who couldn’t show up because she was having her own mini-crisis. I went on about my writing and got a ton done.
  • In my past, there was always a deep need for being right. I would argue with others and stand my ground and hang in there until the last shred of the argument was mine. In many ways, this was excellent practice for me since I was a kid who used to roll over for any disagreement. But, it’s not useful to always roll over, nor is it useful to always be right. Again, with the black and white. Now, life is gray and there is no right or wrong, only how things are.
  • I embrace my entire story, not just the parts I like and the good stuff. Each of us is made of the good, the bad, and the ugly. We hold it and we carry it in whatever way we can. All that is messy and amazing, all that made up my growing up years, I now carry with grace and respect.
  • I can calm myself down. I used to have to talk my story out loud and a LOT and finally it would burn itself out. Now, I can work with my own internal sense of self and find a peaceful place without placing blame externally or internally.
  • I can make any activity that I take part in something to have fun at, physically comfortable. I know how to expand my awareness and sensory skills to use the salve of attention to soothe aching joints on a long walk or work in the yard all day.
  • I show up in relationships that matter to me. I used to run and hide, often, ducking down and avoiding the conflict. Now, I can stand in the face of anything and keep my sense of me. Sure, I still get upset and have my moments, but it takes less than a 10th of the time it used to take to let go of things.
  • The martyr part of me is dying off. A natural and easy death. It seems more obvious when I am tempted to go down the martyr trail and because of my early noticing, I can decide if that is the moment/day/week to take that trip.
  • My anxiety has been kicked in the butt. So much so that I don’t get as much done. I realize how much of my racing around being a good competent adult was my anxiety about what I should be doing. I still do many things, but with more satisfaction and savoring of the activity or project.
  • I’m still studying familial banishment, one of the other legacies left to me by my ancestors. It’s going on in my generation and it’s not very pretty. It doesn’t matter to me what it looks like, but it’s terribly heart-hurting. Sadly, the next generation of my family is now undertaking the same patterns. I don’t know if my changes will influence them, but I hope they do.

For now, that’s the list. I’m sure there are other items I could add, but it’s time to help fix dinner now. Certainly, my development and maturation have been aided by time and life events, but my responses to those events have been heavily influenced by my ability to study my own behavior and influence how I work with a given issue. Bringing attention to patterns, changing the patterns and learning to adjust to the new responses to the events are the core of The Feldenkrais Method. I learned a huge amount from all the teachers I’ve had and they taught me to be my own teacher. Moshe Feldenkrais was known to say, “I will be your last teacher.” Exactly. He knew he was teaching his students to become their own teachers, as mine have done for me.

I think it worked.

. . . 

If you find yourself with a free Friday morning, 10:45-11:45, come by the Subud House, 3185 NE Regents Drive for an Awareness Through Movement class. 

At the moment we are studying From the Ground Up and the lesson this Friday is about feet that will hold you up.  

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  1. Perry Downes permalink

    Wow, Kim.
    That is an AWESOME list ~ and so beautifully written and conveyed.
    Thank You!

  2. Nice to have you comment, Perry. As you well know, from your studies of this method, it’s a process. And, fortunately, most things are. See you soon!

  3. Heather permalink

    OH, Kim! You have written the words out of my own heart! I identify with so much of this list, and recognize the same changes you have. Way to go, Woman! Looks good on us! Blessings, Heather
    Resting at thy holy knee, my heart opens and distresses flow out, the
    darks and shadows of hidden lies and blame-filled behaviors.
    Out they pour, from layers childhood deep, shame encrusted by both
    ignorance and poisonous pedagogy.
    Who taught me to believe that what I did defined who I was, thus washing
    my often innocent acts with dirtied responsibilities and shoulder bending
    Your gentle compassion coaxes out my concerns and worst feared accounts,
    allowing grace and mercy to replace my self repugnance. My inner shift
    from shamed to sacred child softens my open heart, lifting it upon your
    holy knee.
    Heather Hannam 1/13

  4. Ellen permalink

    Hi Kim: I read your stepmother blog regularly and love how balanced and intelligent your posts are. One of those posts led me to this blog. I read with much interest your July 10 post on this site. Can you explain a bit more what familial banishment is?

    • Ellen, I don’t know if familial banishment is a common term, I’m sure it’s not. I am using it because in every generation as far back as I’ve been alive, there have been members of my family who’ve been cast out of the family. Banished. My uncle did something and my grandfather wrote him out of the will. The same grandfather disowned his own family. The pattern is common in both my mother’s family and my father’s. It seems significant enough of a pattern that it ought to have a name, so I gave it one.

  5. Ellen permalink

    Thanks Kim. I would love to read a post from you on familial banishment.

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