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Reflection: Lines & Boundaries

August 4, 2014

Last week, I taught a #Feldenkrais class in which students were lying on the floor and imagining rolling an iron ball from the right heel up the very center of the leg to the back and across to the left shoulder and on up to the outstretched left hand. The ball was heavy and the imagining slow. Then, I led them through the imaginary rolling of the heavy ball from the left heel up to the right hand and back and forth. This simple lesson of them picturing the rolling ball and tracking it’s location left students with a heightened awareness of the way they moved through the room.

Every Feldenkrais lesson includes perceiving and working with location in space. Repeatedly, you work on honing the skill of tracking your ability to sense yourself, no matter which lesson engages you. The bigger life lesson is that, no matter what, you’ll be able to reference your self and your limbs, also known as your 5-lines. Last week’s lesson with it’s diagonals was no different. 

Then today, I met with Nancy Thurston, of Big Topics at Midnight, for some writing time. We began with a timed free write, which means we began with a starter sentence and wrote without censoring or editing for about five minutes. Nancy and I have long focused our conversations on big issues like respect, remaining in tough conversations, and practicing good boundary-setting. In fact, we’re developing a class we’ll be facilitating soon about staying in conversation when the topics get heated. 

When Nancy suggested “I draw the line” as our starter sentence, I gulped, knowing it would be interesting. Life has been challenging of late and I’ve been practicing letting go of being the caregiver for everyone else, a recurring theme in my maturation as a human.

Here’s what poured forth in my writing.

I Draw the Line

“I draw the line” scares the shit out of me. To lay it down. There. Right there. Bold. Visible. Clear and concise.

I draw the line means I’m separate. Divided from other. And, for this fusion-focused Two on the Enneagram, drawing a line is terrifying.

In so many areas of life, the boundaries are clear as clear can be. In a couple of areas, I’ve come to a cliff and there’s no going forward. Drawing a line will give me a haven, define a space to stretch, flow, breath, and expand. Space free from the being pushed about, space away from critique.

Rügen - chalk cliff at the peninsula Jasmund

Rügen – chalk cliff at the peninsula Jasmund (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, I inhale. Take a deep breath. Sense my sits bones. Replenish my flagging spirit. Get focused. Then, with smooth and sure moves, I take up a giant piece of chalk and trace around myself. Larger than a hoola hoop, at least as big as the merry-go-round on the second grade playground, a circle designed to distinguish me and my personal space, separate from everyone else.

Chalk, because the rain can wash it away and it’ll be good practice to redraw the line. Chalk, because I will want to change the color. Chalk, because I should have picked some up in second grade and claimed my space.

I don’t need to jump or fall or be pushed off the cliff. I’ll stay where I am, not retreating or advancing or resisting. Just here, inside the chalk circle that reminds me of the lessons.


Class Updates:

The dates of August 6 (Wednesday) and August 8 (Friday) are the last summer Feldenkrais classes. Friday’s 10:45am Feldenkrais class resumes on September 5 at the Subud House. 

  1. Yehudah permalink

    Lovely, Kim. See you in September when I plan to resume!

  2. What odd timing! I just revisited this same lesson tonight, via a recording from my Feldenkrais training program. I am also learning to draw lines in my life and set boundaries. It’s scary, but the alternative is even more frightening.

    • Ilona, definitely, not drawing boundaries is scary. And, who really gets taught how to set them and keep them healthy. It’s a beautiful process and I’m loving it as much as anything I’ve learned.

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