Recently my personal healing journey returned me to the study of the Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement practice. This gentle practice frequently asks the student this beautiful question, “What is my felt sense of the quality of this movement?” The clear purpose of the Feldenkrais method is a more relaxed and a more connected neuro-somatic system. When we are able to explore ourselves and the quality of our movement in this way we begin to deepen our intuitive sense of the quality of not only somatic movement, but also our lived experiences.
This morning’s walk offered me a potent insight into real life application of the Feldenrkrais quality exploration. I am a daily list maker because like many women, I wake up in the morning with ~400 tasks available to me. In years past, I would spend my days fruitlessly attempting to do all the things. I spent most days resentful and exhausted and frankly, I was miserable to be around. Over the years, I have deconstructed some of the cultural and personal stories that landed me in that awful wrung out way of being. With my Clarity of Boundaries, I can now compassionately limit myself daily to what my body/emotional reserve tanks are capable on any given day. And, this morning another piece of the puzzle landed. I was walking the dog and making my Tuesday list mentally. I have habitually likely done this for years. Today however I heard the internal machinations of my busy mind come to a screeching halt because I asked myself this question:
What quality of movement would I like to cultivate today?
As a yoga teacher, I always invite students to set an intention prior to moving on the mat. The Feldenkrais question is a slightly different lens in that the question isn’t what I want to bring to my yoga mat. The question is specifically what quality do I want to bring to the my movement or in my case the doing of this list of stuff that needs to be done. I am a householder. I do not live in a quiet monastery. Yet, I find I often have vast access to Zen moments if I can slow down enough to allow them to arrive.
The final beauty I have for you is this great fact. Today I didn’t immediately know/have the answer to my question. But like a Zen koan, sometimes a question is simply enough to drop us more deeply into the moment of our lives.
What quality of movement would you like to cultivate today?
May these words serve our hearts and minds,