Photo by Michelle Ava – Atticus Bhava and I, playing a Feldenkrais pretzel game…
unpolished thoughts 3/9/2019
It’s my birthday, so I decided to give myself a present.
Today, for the first time, I offered a new class I’ve been thinking about for a while. I’m calling it ¡Reimagine DC!
The class will allow me to teach directly from my own personal experience of the Feldenkrais Method.
This practice of self-knowing through the vehicle of experimental movement has helped me to clarify and strengthen my internal creative voice, making it safer for me to project it outwards into the ever-changing world.
When I first encountered the work of Moshe Feldenkrais, I immediately connected his contribution to other bold, creative spirits that had already deeply impacted my life, in particular, the musician Anthony Braxton and my grandfather, David Dellinger, a lifelong peace activist.
I was living through a dark and difficult time, having lost my connection to the people and pursuits who fueled my creativity and sense of self-worth in past years. The work I was doing and my marriage both held no opportunity for future growth.
Like Braxton, I had spent many years dedicating myself to music and, like my grandfather, I had spent many years dedicating myself to politics. But now I was doing neither of these things.
It was the desire to return to the realm of music, to experience again the aliveness that I had known through making sound that led me to an essential realization:
I had to begin to learn about my body – how to take care of it better, and strengthen it in order to accomplish the dreams I wasn’t willing to let go of.
I had no idea what else was needed improve my life, but I was sure that if my body’s capabilities were more aligned with my intentions, this would put me on the right path.
I turned out to be right about that.
Seven years later, I am a Feldenkrais practitioner and beginning to taste again the power I knew as a teenage athlete, and a creative musician and social activist in my twenties and early thirties.
Along the road, I experienced many signal moments – like doing my first ever backflip on a trampoline – that further awakened the confidence that my body can still nurture my spirit’s desire for adventure.
I have also made new connections with a community of creative people who love movement and understand that their bodies are instruments to bring beauty into the world.
These are the folks who my new class is designed for.
I want to open a doorway into the creative world of the Feldenkrais Method that isn’t labelled “eliminate back pain now,” “reduce stress,” or “breathe better” – even though these are all important benefits of the Awareness Through Movement lessons I will be offering in each class.
Rather, my vision for ¡Reimagine DC! is to use offer challenging and adventurous Feldenkrais processes that students can use like magic mirrors that reflect back an enhanced image of their creative superpowers.
The Feldenkrais work will be further supplemented by discussion, experiments, and games designed to invite further inventive movement play and new thinking about the challenges and joys of living a creative life.
Finally, my hope is to eventually create a space where participants might bring in their own original projects as raw material to be worked over and renewed through the process of deep listening, experimentation, and supportive group interaction.
Today’s class was fairly informal.
I explored a classic Awareness Through Movement lesson called “Pillows & Swings”* along with a couple fellow members of the ¡DC Movement Research!, a collaborative crew of local movement adventurers.
[* I also taught this lesson recently online – click here if you’d like to give it a try!]
Today’s class was not only about the feet, the ankles, the hips, and the spine. It was also about being present, about the leap from the 9-to-5 world to the freedom and challenge of being an entrepreneur, and the transformative feeling that comes with doing something you’ve never done before.
Until it makes sense to rent a venue and offer this class on a regular basis, ¡Reimagine DC! events will be scheduled individually and held in my home where space limits restrict the number of participants.
But my intention is for this offering to grow.
If you’d like to join in, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll keep you in the loop!
If you’d love to be part of a class like this, but you don’t live in DC, you might love my 2019 online program, ¡Reimagine Yourself! which starts March 25.
This program is about constructing a movement practice to rewrite the story of how you move through the world.
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*New subscribers also receive a series of welcome emails which include two free full-length Feldenkrais audio lessons.*
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