“Freedom is just another word for nothin’ left to lose.”
Me and Bobby McGee
How do you define freedom? Is it the place where you live? The ability to vote? The right to do whatever you want whenever you want to do it? Or is it something within you? Do you have the freedom to break free of the chains of the past to live better now?
Like philosopher, GI Gurdjieff, Moshe Feldenkrais believed many people were not free. Habitual behaviors locked them into robotic patterns. To be human, Feldenkrais wrote, one had to be able to create at least three different choices. His method provides an experience that teaches how to do this process. Each lesson is an opportunity of creating and differentiating choices of movements. How does this translate to the task of living?
Life has many challenges. How do we react to them? Do we automatically act without thinking? Compulsively repeat certain behaviors? Like life, Feldenkrais lessons also present challenges. These lessons, however, are presented in a safe and controlled environment.
There are confusing and frustrating moments during a lesson. When you are not sure what to do. Your normal movement patterns do not work and you get stuck. This is a potential moment for new learning. Principles are imbedded in the Feldenkrais Method to help make learning easier and more effective. Try this easy movement:
Lie on your back with your feet standing. Turn your head to one side and then the other. What side is easier?
Continue to turn your head to the easier side. But slow down the movement and do half the movement. What makes this side easier? Is it the way you breathe? Where you look? The direction your head rolls on the floor?
Now turn your head to the other side. What makes it different? Have you learned anything from the other side that will help make turning in this direction easier?
Believe it or not, but you just used at least five different principles. You may learn more about these principles and more during S3NSE’s free online Zoom lessons. No one has the freedom to control everything to their own desires. But everyone is free to choose how they respond to any event. To be more human, remember to stop, take a breath, consider your options and then move on.