Feldenkrais(R) , chocolate, and professional bonding

As a proud member of several different professional groups, I am fascinated by the rituals that develop among the troops. As a respiratory therapist, my colleagues and I started and ended each shift by passing around a tube of heavy duty hand cream to soothe our chapped hands. As a physical therapist, my co-workers and I would palpate each other during breaks. My dancer friends and I still prepare for class by comparing foot deformities. My fellow ninjas…well, I’m not sure about that one, because we’re either hiding, disappearing, or playing tricks on each other.

In my Feldenkrais training we bonded through chocolate. Every day, new and different types of chocolate bars would appear on the lunch table. There was one common denominator; it was always dark chocolate. I watched my classmates taste and savor their chocolate with the same reverence that I approach a glass of wine. They would linger over each piece, discuss the flavor, the cocoa content, the texture, etc. I would listen to them and smile indulgently. I really did not care for chocolate, and I especially did not like dark chocolate.

My litter mates were determined to change that. They were certain I would love it if I tried it. I disagreed. They explained the many health benefits of chocolate, including that dark chocolate had more antioxidants that blueberries. Always calorie conscious, it made more sense to go for the blueberries. They told me that dark chocolate was good for your heart, and was a mood elevator. Since my heart was fine and I didn’t need to improve my mood, I continued to resist temptation.

Finally, they wore me down. I agreed to try some, just to get them to leave me alone to my chocolate free zone. With great trepidation I broke off a tiny piece to sample. At first I wasn’t impressed, until suddenly the richness of the chocolate overwhelmed me. Every taste bud seemed to wake up and taste the chocolate. It was heavenly!

From that moment on, I was hooked. I turned into a chocolate snob. I joined the group of chocolate connoisseurs who carefully selected their chocolate. I only chose the highest cocoa content, and I sampled flavor combinations that I previously thought sounded absurd; chocolate with red chile peppers, sea salt, black pepper. The possibilities were endless. I loved them all, and I loved the ritual of passing the bar along the table to break a piece off and pass along down to the next person as a form of “Feldenkrais communion.”

I guess the point is that there are many different forms of professional bonding. Also, you never know how a Feldenkrais training is going to change you, and what new experiences lie ahead. It also made me wonder what other pleasant experiences I may be denying myself. Sometimes you just need to take a chance, and sample the richness of life. That’s what Feldenkrais does for you….the possibilities are endless!