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This blog is about---You! Each and every post is about you. Use it to challenge your usual patterns, as a tool for self-discovery, to stimulate your thinking, to learn about yourself and to answer your questions about others.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Easy Way

Last night my Feldenkrais teacher instructed us to "...find the easiest way to do the movement."  Pose the question to your own body:  Is there an easier way that I can do this?
The highest level of this approach to life is the famous line from  Joseph Campbell:               "Follow your bliss."
Possibly the in-between of these two pieces of advice and the most doable is to try to accomplish, in as pleasant a way as possible, as many of the things you must as possible.
Example:  The other day I had a big load of work to do and then had appointments at my office.  It was a beautiful Spring day.  So I loaded up my laptop, all my work and then my camera went into the bag too.  I took the back road to the Peet's Coffee & Tea shop in Pinole.  As I went, I stopped along the way, parked for a minute on the side of that quiet road, and snapped a few pictures of the peaceful green hills.  When I got to Peet's, I got a nice espresso drink and did my work there.  When it was time, I went on to my office.  So I made a demanding morning into a time that contained, for me, some pleasure.
   What is the easiest way?  What is the most pleasurable way?  Which way will involve the least effort?  Questions asked to help guide us to use our bodies in a more efficient and healthy manner, struck me as rather more profound than just that.  What if we made it a habit to ask our self that question?  Here's a challenge:  See if you can accomplish, in a week, all that you usually would but in an easier fashion.  Find a way to do everything while making it less taxing.
   A common example is having a problem and worrying over it.  Isn't just having the problem enough??  How about disciplining yourself to focus on solving the problem and forbidding the worry part from being involved.
   A colleague once told me a story of a last-minute change in plans, imposed by another and completely unexpected, which robbed him of something he had been very much looking forward to.  After hearing the news, he hung up the phone and said to himself:  I am going to allow myself to be disappointed about this for 15 minutes.  After that, I will go on with my day.
An interesting idea I thought when I heard it---would take some self-discipline it seemed.  But!  It would be a lot easier and would afford the opportunity for other pleasures that day as well as leave room for him to 'follow his bliss' if he could.
   Getting tense in traffic has no effect on the amount of traffic there is, so, how can you relax yourself in that situation?  Make it more pleasant.
   Maybe you made a mistake with a friend, forgot a lunch date, stood them up!  Ohhh, terrible!  Well, really, does it have to be?  Maybe that person made the best of it.  And perhaps there's a way you can make up for it.  Mental self-punishment won't reverse time.  Make it easier:  Apologize a.s.a.p. and then demonstrate your real regret with something that shows that person they are, indeed, important to you.  End of story.
   Okay, enough of my examples, do you have some to share?

   Or, at least (if it's easier...!) tell us, if you decide to institute a practice of asking yourself the questions, how it goes.


  1. Paula, What a great idea!!! I am going to try it and get back to you at another time!!! Thanks!! Monica Silva

  2. I'll be very interested to know what happens. Be sure to let me know! Paula