S3NSE: The Practice of Letting Go
You never know when one of life’s important lessons will suddenly strike. Once in a Martial Arts class, the teacher suddenly knocked me off balance. I grabbed him for support. Bad move, the harder I held on, the more incapacitated I became. After I was released, he said, “If Tom just let go. He could have walked away. The people are who are the most free, are the ones who can let go”.
I often remember this experience in my practice of Feldenkrais. Often the drive to achieve limits the effectiveness of the lesson. One Feldenkrais training segment was based around standing on your head. In the beginning, I was determined to do it even if it took all my effort and strength. Lucky, I took a few breaths and remembered the lesson of the past. Once free of the goal, I could focus on the process. By not trying to achieve, I was able to easily achieve standing on my head. You have to love the paradoxes of Feldenkrais.
Maybe from early learning disabilities, I tend to get frustrated when doing new tasks (particularly on the computer). This also occurs in Awareness through Movement lessons. The sensations and feelings of anger or confusion traps me into an undesirable state. Only by letting them go, I am able to create the space needed for new possibilities and choices. These skills work just as well out of class. I just have to remember them.
Life is a continuous process of letting go. First our childhood, then youth, jobs, friends, family until we finally let go of life itself. And if we are not quite ready to let go, maybe it is possible to loosen the grip and breathe a little.