A note from Erin:
One of the powerful aspects of my professional Feldenkrais training was learning this truth: I have to be at least as tuned into myself as I am to my client if I am to be of benefit.
Often I need to have 50% or more of my attention on my own comfort, ease, connectedness in my interactions with others.
It was a huge learning for me, because, like so many people in our culture, I had grown up practicing what one of my teachers called “self-deletion.” That meant that if I was paying attention to someone else (or the computer, or a task at hand, or fill in the blank…) I was not paying very much attention to myself in an embodied way.
Do you ever do this?
If you’re caring for someone else, do you set your own well being aside?
If you’re working on a task, do you consider how you’re feeling as you do it, you just “get ‘er done?”
If there’s a life-situation that demands a lot of your attention, do you “self-delete?”
Luckily we can learn to do something different. It continues to be a profound learning for me.
Self-deletion can mature into self-respect.
Self-respect can mature into self-care.
Self-care can mature into care for the world.
How amazing to learn that I do my best work in the world when I am embodied, when I am deeply connected with myself and my own living experience, moment to moment.
And not only when I am aware and embodied, but when I am oriented toward ease, pleasure, efficiency, even grace. Taking care of not only my bodily comfort, but my inner life as well, offering “hello sweetheart” to all the tender and difficult feelings that might arise.
Can I invite you to do an experiment? If the invitation resonates and seems helpful, try it!
In your day today, I invite you to join me and practice, as often as you can remember, having at least as much awareness on yourself as you do on whatever you’re attending to “outside yourself.”
It’s not a focused attention I’m inviting – not a trying, striving kind of attention.
But an easy, open inclusive attention – which can be gently oriented toward wellbeing for you and your world.
Here’s a great question that can sponsor the experiment:
How much pleasure and satisfaction do you dare to wish for in what you do?
When I ask this, it’s not some abstract concept of pleasure and satisfaction.
It’s as simple, direct and real as how comfortable can you dare to be while you read this?
Can you notice how hard you grip the steering wheel, or how effortlessly you might grasp a pen when writing?
When you interact with another person, can you attend to your own physical comfort as well as the conversation? Your breathing? Can you include the other and the interaction as well as your own inner-life and your feeling response and care for it all?
How might you make time for little shifts that increase your energy and enjoyment through the day? Your sense of connectedness with your self?
Ease and satisfaction can be sought (and found) in so many places, if we give our care to the moment, and realize it needn’t be a big project, but can be as simple as a tiny shift right now.
As that great saying goes, “If you take care of the minutes, the years take care of themselves.”
For me it’s a truly fruitful ongoing learning edge. I hope you enjoy the experiment!
Love yourself. Then forget it. Then, love the world.
P.P.S. We’ve just added some details for one of the few workshops we’ll be doing in 2015. Mark your calendar for: