A note from Erin November 1 2023
Hello, kindred being,
Would you like to join me for 30 minutes of spacious, unburdened intimacy with yourself and this precious, temporary body?
I’m offering a free class today, 11 am MT, on the theme of Embodying Sustainability. If you can’t join me live, feel free to sign up for the recording.
Imagine having an energy auditor come to your home to examine the efficiency and sustainability of your energy usage.
Your old fridge, your uninsulated hot-water pipes, your old windows – they may be wasting a lot of energy. Once you know, you can make smarter choices. The kinds of somatic investigations we engage in invite you to do a similar energy audit with your movement habits. (The upgrades to your own moving body only cost you awareness, presence, curiosity, and a willingness to learn. Otherwise they’re free!)
Are you working harder than you need to be? Are you clenching your shoulders and jaw to “help” you do a movement that is in fact not helped by those exhausting actions at all? Are you squeezing your butt when you bend over and so overtaxing your lower back? Are you walking in a way that is wearing out your knee joints?
When you learn to weed out what Moshe Feldenkrais called “parasitic actions” – those habits that drain your energy rather than support you in what you’re trying to do – your movement and your life become more coherent. No longer working against yourself, you become more free to actualize your intentions in a streamlined and sustainable way. And your joints can last longer too!
This is such an important skill to learn. While the movement lesson I’ll be sharing today works with an important somatic theme, the greater harvest is found in learning how to learn in this way from your own moving body throughout your daily life. Finding less effort and more ease when washing the dishes, lifting heavy items, reaching for an object, working at the computer, or walking up stairs – what a gift!
The Feldenkrais approach offers such an optimistic view of aging. Though our bodies are changing day to day, we can always learn and improve a sense of graceful ease, eliminating habits of overwork and self-aggression, and find our activities becoming easier and more graceful – provided we have not lost the orientation to learn in this way. I’m so deeply grateful for this learning and practice in my own life. It’s not about being perfect but being present. It’s the difference that makes a difference.
May your own embodied presence be an ever-open doorway to feeling at home, to experiencing deep belonging and the felt beauty of this precious, temporary aliveness. Hope to see you on the floor!
From my heart,
p.s. The photo above is from my friend Tiffany Sankary who is hosting Why Feldenkrais through her beautiful online classroom at Movement & Creativity. (Thanks Tiffany!)
p.p.s. Carl and I host embodied meditation every weekday morning. (You’re warmly invited to join us anytime.) When times get dark, violent, and overwhelming, my gratitude for this practice only deepens. I regularly upload recordings of the meditations to our Patreon page and today I posted the Radiant Heart meditation we did Monday morning as open to all, for free, whether or not you support our Patreon. If you would benefit from 20 minutes of quiet and stillness, sitting for peace with a radiant heart of compassion, feel free to click here to access the meditation. May it be of benefit.
p.p.p.s. Here is a prayer written by Lama Rod Owens and posted on Instagram many years ago. It’s one I love and return to often.
“Here is what my prayer sounds like right now: I evoke all those beings and sources of refuge who have ever loved me to come sit with me because it is now that I feel most alone. I evoke the Blessed Mother, the Sacred Father, Spirits of Light, the essence of wisdom, my teachers and elders, the communities who have always caught me when I have fallen, the ancestors who have never stopped holding me, the sacred earth who helps me to stand, silence which wraps me in the space to be with my heart, and I call upon my own innate compassion. To all those I have evoked, I offer my grief and what seems like my perpetual mourning in this body. I offer my fear, my numbness, and I offer my inability to dream beyond my shutting down. Most of all, I offer my fatigue. I am tired. Today precious earth let me lie upon you and remind me of my body and my heart. I want many things but I need only one thing now – to give up what I cannot hold to you. I pray that I evolve past my belief that my pain is mine alone to carry. To my sources of refuge whom have been evoked, you have taught me over and over again that this is not the truth. You have taught me over and over again that it is not my pain, but our pain. You remind me that my worship of isolation is not conducive to my liberation. I want to be free and so I offer what I struggle to hold to you right now knowing that you are only here to share this heaviness with and to love me. I am afraid of the world. I am afraid of people. I am afraid of what I must do to survive in the world. Even these fears, I offer to my sources of refuge. Today my precious sources of refuge, in your love, offer me rest. In your love, never abandon me. In your love, haunt all others who feel lonely and tired. Please continue to haunt me in this life, in death, and into all my lives to come until one day I become a source of refuge for other beings. Yet it is also my prayer to become a source of refuge for beings right now in this life. Pease continue to take care of me so I may take care of others. May I and all others in this realm and beyond be blessed forever. These are my prayers right now.”