Updated: Jan 20
What is the Feldenkrais take on the American election? Well, there isn't one because Feldenkrais is not a political practice but of course, I have a view, as do you...and the events of the last week have made me reflect on some of the deeper learning that I have been exposed to over the years in the Feldenkrais Method.
It pinged out at me while reading a good article by the dependable Yanis Varoukafis. You can access it HERE>
The basic tenet of the article is that while it is a GOOD THING that Trump lost the election (and you can insert all of your own reasons for that at leisure) but that there is some danger in blindly accepting that a return to the Democratic party's policies of the past is necessarily a good thing. In particular, Varoufakis refers to the kind of cosy relationship that the Democrats had with the banks which has, in turn, created some of the poverty experienced by many of those who see Trump as a solution. It is a sobering read. There are, of course, even more sobering thoughts now, as Trump refuses to accept the result, but I can feel that forming the basis of my next blog!!
In brief, Varoufakis is saying that it is easy to go back to what we thought we knew, but in reality, was not as good and helpful as it might have seemed.
This is a central idea of the Feldenkrais Method. Let me explain..
A penny dropped for me a few years back when I was reading Moshe Feldenkrais' "The Case of Nora", the only case-study he wrote, and a must for those of you who would like to understand the flexibility of his thinking. It was the realisation that when we seek to cure or heal often we assume that we need to get back to how things were before. It is a very human instinct.
But it is faulty.
In fact, it is often the conditions that prevailed before the accident, before the stroke, before the depression, that are in some ways the environment which fostered the catastrophe itself.
Seeking automatically to get back to normal may well be the last thing you need to do if you want to get better.
Many of my clients realise quite quicky that I am not going to magically cure them (although that does kind of happen sometimes!) but that I can steer them towards a new way of thinking about themselves and the environment that they inhabit. This, in turn, helps their nervous system to adapt to patterns of movement which are more conducive to good health and clearer thinking.
Of course, even as I write that I realise that what I am suggesting is that healing yourself is a long and complex process; it is. But it is a process that can be filled with many moments of joy and realisation that you can be truly different, going forward, to how you thought you were.
This is why I am so captured by Yanis Yaroufakis' article. It presents this transition in American political life, which I am sure, so many across the world are understandably fascinated by, in its tricky complexity rather than the easy simplistic flag-waving that is, of course, inevitable.
In this case, I am sure that a degree of "normalcy" is desired in the White House; good manners, respect for others' points of view, and not lying too obviously. We will get that with Biden/Harris. But to return to where we or the American people were before is clearly a disaster. Things are constantly moving. Demographics are shifting; consciousness is growing in a way that has to be dealt with (on both sides of the political divide).
As Moshe Feldenkrais himself said, "Life without movement is unthinkable". I hope that the new administration will look to how all the people are moving and in which direction. If the new administration does not pay some heed, as Yaroufakis has it to the pain of those who lost out in the 2008 global banking crimes, as well as their more progressive constituency then we can expect another Trump or maybe simply Trump himself to come back.
If you would like to find out more about the Feldenkrais Method and how its strategies then can I suggest that you get a copy of The Case of Nora; it is a beautiful account of the ways in which problems have to be solved with patience and cunning.
And in a more homespun way, simply get to know me. You can, a subscriber, have at least one 15 minute Zoom chat with me to discuss how a "sense of movement" can improve your life. If you already know what you want to work on then you can simply a book a one-to-one hour-long session with me HERE
And if you have chronic shoulder pain, please check out my new Shoulder Protocol; it WORKS!
See you soon!