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Candelabras and a personal take on being a Feldenkrais practitioner

September 22, 2013

We are in full swing with Fall lessons and I’m excited to dust off a lesson I haven’t taught in some time. The Candelabra. It’s all about coordinating the arms and the torso and the eyes and the neck, all of which when working well together, help us reach into the furthest corner of our lives and our time.

Candelabra and a personal perspective on being a Feldenkrais practitionerClasses are Wednesdays on MLK at Wellspring School, 10:45 and Fridays on Regents Drive at The Subud, both in NE Portland. You can get all the details HERE. Michael (Wesson), my co-teacher, and I are enjoying the enthusiasm our students bring to their learning.

Join us at your leisure, drop-ins welcome!!

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I’m still blogging about my experience of caring for my father, now 7 months after his stroke. You can find my latest musings about him and my relationship with him HERE. My dad and I enjoy a unique relationship. One forged from years of working together to overcome the conditioning of our respective pasts, he with his parents and me with mine (including him). I have so much respect for how, at 77 years old, he is continuing to work through his compulsions and come to a more peace-filled place in his life. If I am to be his companion on this journey, I am humbled to be so.

When I began my practice in Seattle and opened up shop with Vicki Robinson out of her home in the Fremont neighborhood, my dad was one of my first students. He had said he wanted to support me and in those early weeks of a new class, as in anyone’s new class, the numbers were low. I called him and said, “Dad, you know how you’ve said you wanted to help me get started? Well, I could use some people on the floor.” He came for six months and when the class was in full swing with plenty of students, I suggested he no longer needed to come to class. He replied that he was gaining a great deal from it and that he would continue for the time being. Weeks later, I heard him encouraging new students and sharing with them his story of learning to work less hard as a carpenter, so he could do more.

Since then, I moved to Portland and re-established my life here. I found and have been writing for many years now for Walk About Magazine. My most recent effort for them is about me and my dad (it’ll be online in a week or so). When Dad was still in the rehabilitation at the Veteran’s Center in Vancouver, we went for walks every day. We got in such a habit that when he saw me, he’d say “okay, let’s go.” I wheeled him over every sidewalk they had built. Later, I wheeled him off the campus to Burgerville and we discovered a whole new world. Portland Roasting Company coffee and sweet potato fries. He thought he’d landed in heaven.

Since I brought him home to live with me to continue his rehab, he’s made amazing progress. In fact, he’s looking forward to his upcoming move to a residential care center where they will help with the things he needs help with and he’ll have a supported living situation. For the first time since his stroke, he’s actually wondering if he can do some woodworking.

I’ll continue to give him Feldenkrais® lessons and support his continued development of a sense of self. And, you’ll find us out and about in Portland drinking in some of the awesome coffee and sights along the river. A whole new world of relating awaits both my dad and I. And, we wish you well with your elders. We get it, it’s some of the best time of a life. Unheralded, but great. Check it out, you’ll see.

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5 Comments
  1. Support across the generations. Working through compulsions. Healing. Growing. Courage. What an amazing journey you two have been on together.

  2. Kim, what a wonderful glimpse into your world. I love the shared support you and your father have. How wonderful that the Feldenkrais Method has been a part of that beautiful movement.

    I look forward to reading more of your posts.
    -Buffy

    • Thanks, Buffy. It has been an amazing process. Those who know my dad would tell you he’d make a great Feldenkrais practitioner. Certainly learning from him developed my problem-solving skills and laid the foundation for my further development via the Feldenkrais Method. And, at this stage of the game, having the thread of the Method as a commonality in his life has benefited him a great deal. We have had him to the Vital Human: Community Feldenkrais Clinic where we’ve all gained from his insights. Glad to have you stop by!

  3. Ann Eames permalink

    Kim, I feel privileged to listen in on your musings about you and your dad. This is a tender story – an on-going one that I will continue to follow. I appreciate your open heart. – Ann

    • Oh many thanks, Ann. You and Bill have been such great support, we can’t thank you enough. Tenderly is how we are headed into the next phase, after working our way through much grief and letting go after the stroke. Lots of changes for all of us.

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