Tag: self-awareness

Self-Indulgence Is Not A Dirty Word

My ballet master was incredibly demanding, which is one of the things I loved about him. After all, I don’t want to become complacent. Complacency breeds mediocrity, and in my opinion, that is a waste of human potential. He would often chastise us if we weren’t working hard enough to satisfy him and his high standards. During the middle of brutal and complicated movement patterns he would frequently scream, “Don’t be so self-indulgent!” Not only was it distracting, it was demoralizing to be called self-indulgent when you were dancing your heart out and working your butt off. Besides, the way he said it made it sound like a dirty word. In his mind, it was a dirty word. I always wondered why, and I never understood what he meant. I would have asked him, but he...

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Vitality at EVERY Stage of Life

There are many misconceptions regarding getting older, as well as a lot of confusing and misleading information. This includes the belief system that aches and pains, lack of mobility, and various diseases are a part of the “normal” aging process to be both expected and accepted. It’s simply not true. But, when we hear these messages often enough we believe and adopt them. Because what we believe is what we become, even if it goes against our inherent belief system. However, with the right mindset, it is possible to enjoy vibrant health and vitality at every stage of life. A writer friend of mine often refers to what he calls “life’s most brutal truth–we are what we think about. This is never more true than when we face becoming card carrying members of...

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A Unique Form of Movement Therapy: Feldenkrais!

There is a unique form of movement therapy that is the best kept secret known to mankind. This movement method can help you move better, feel better, get rid of pain, stress, anxiety, etc. It can even help you reverse the aging process and engage in activities you never thought you could do before. You can even learn how to stand on your head. The list goes on and on. This unique method is called Feldenkrais, and here  are a few reasons why Feldenkrais is unique from other methods. Move from your skeleton. In Feldenkrais, we focus on moving from our skeleton rather than pushing from our muscles. Because, our skeleton is what supports us, and our bones and joints are what propel us through space. Our brain and our nervous system is the command center that puts it all together for us. Our...

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Unlock Your Jaw and Heal Your Pain

A lot of people develop jaw pain, tooth pain, headaches and TMJ dysfunction. However, often times our aches and pains are a result of unnecessary tension in our muscles, or from faulty movement patterns. After a period of time, these habitual patterns can cause excruciating pain, joint dysfunction and joint destruction. Yikes! However, we can interrupt these harmful patterns by simply improving our attention and awareness. Try this simple but highly effective movement lesson based on the magic of The Feldenkrais Method®. 1) Lie on the floor on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. You may need to support your head with a folded towel. Don’t use a pillow–a pillow is too soft to provide your nervous system with the appropriate feedback (proprioception). Take a few...

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Self-Confidence Is the Best Self-Defense

Self-confidence plays a critical role in self-defense. How we stand, walk, and carry ourselves communicates to the world how we feel about ourselves. People pay more attention to our body language than we think they do. And they respond to what they see, and what they think they can get away with. This really hit home when I was teaching one of my self-defense classes for women. There were several grown women and two petite teenagers in the class. The girls were sisters, and they were adorable. One was very chatty and outgoing, and the other one was extremely quiet and reserved. They were accompanied by their grandmother, who had decided they should all take the class together. It usually takes some time for women to feel comfortable in a self-defense class, and this group was no exception....

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Breaking Up Is Hard To Do….Or Not

Before I discovered Feldenkrais, I often found myself in situations that weren’t working out for me, or doing things I didn’t want to do, just out of habit. Even if I wanted to change, I couldn’t figure out how. The most glaring example was with my best and dearest friend. We met in ballet class 25 years earlier and established an unlikely friendship. She was quiet, reserved, shy, and highly intelligent. I was loquacious, demonstrative, outgoing, and just smart enough to get by. For some reason we got along famously. However, over the years what had begun as a wonderful friendship based on mutual support, respect, and caring somehow turned into one that was demanding, controlling, and manipulative. Our social interactions left me feeling drained, depleted, and even angry....

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Feldenkrais® Training: Who’s that lady?

My Feldenkrais training was held in a beautiful old dance hall, complete with hardwood floors, huge windows, gorgeous chandeliers, and small mirrors strategically placed around the room. It was a beautiful room, and the perfect venue for our training. We often had visitors who would come to spend a day or even an entire week with us. Sometimes we only had one or two strangers in the room; other times we had a full house. Each morning the visitors were invited to stand up and introduce themselves before we proceeded with our first lesson of the day. In the middle of my third year of training, I arrived at the dance hall to an unusually crowded room. I wondered who all those people were and what they were doing there. I felt annoyed and irritated to see so many interlopers in my training....

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Neuroplasticity and getting out of that rut….

Trying to get out when you feel stuck in a rut, a habit, or a pattern that isn’t serving you well can feel pretty overwhelming. But, there is a way to gently crawl out of that rut without the risk of falling into an even deeper hole. The process is called neuroplasticity, and here are a few tips to keep in mind to help support the process. First, make small, slow changes to allow for new motor and sensory pathways to be activated. Give yourself time to integrate the changes, and don’t get discouraged if you feel like you’re not making progress. Remember, these changes are taking place deep in your nervous system in a visceral, organic way, not in a cognitive, thinking way. You can’t facilitate the process by trying harder. That actually gets in the way of your own...

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