My mom and I went to live with him at the field camp in the Himalayan foothills of Srinagar. The houses, as you can imagine, were pretty bare bones with a rough, handmade clay floor and a thatched roof.
So guess what that meant for me? Friction was defining my life!
The friction and the bruising of my knees against the floor meant that I didn’t crawl for the longest time. My mom was starting to get concerned if I was ever going to walk.
For my first birthday, my parents took me to visit our family in the hometown of Ajmer. In a matter of a few days, I crawled (briefly) and started walking!! Wohooo, right?!!! NO!
Clearly, I had learned to roll over, get on my knees and was ready to move about for a while. But because of the constraint of the floor, I didn’t have as much freedom to practice, to continually refine and innovate in mobilizing myself to go places.
It was only after my Feldenkrais training that I could relate my pain in adulthood, to the movement patterns I had developed in the first year of my life.
It was as if my training had handed me a magnifying glass to zoom into those places, where I clearly had some glitches and work on resolving them. In the last few years, I have done the same for my clients.
I have been able to shine the light on patterns that are hidden and get in the way. Together we use our discoveries to create more freedom in the body. When you feel that freedom in your body, there isn’t a doubt that you will feel more freedom in your life!
No matter how many times I’ve done it, I continue to be enchanted by the power of specificity – of getting to know oneself so specifically that it becomes the vehicle of creating the kind of change we want.
As babies, we depend on our environment for our survival. And sometimes the environment has constraints like I did. Sometimes, we’ve had to do things at the pace our parents wanted for us.
Maybe you didn’t have a rough, clay floor. But is it possible, that you did tummy time before your spine was ready to support your head?
Is it possible that your parents held your hands to practice standing and walking before your pelvis and back was ready to bear your body weight?
Or maybe you found yourself in a walker or a bouncy?
What pain are you dealing with now, that you wish you didn’t have? What is that nagging discomfort that keeps coming back in spite of all the stretching, exercising and chiropractic adjustments you’ve been through.
I know what you’re wondering! Here I am, connecting your pain with something that happened a long time ago! Right?! The truth is that you continue to deploy, quite reliably, what you learned wayyyy back then.
Why? Because that’s how you learned to walk. It worked and so you repeated it, reinforced it till you knew it in your bones. It was good enough, until it wasn't!
It is also possible that life happened and you forgot that smooth and efficient way of moving. You compensated and maybe adapted to your injuries and life circumstances. Those compensations worked well until they didn’t.
Bottom-line is - the first movements we make as a baby are some of the most powerful and most impactful things we do in our life!
You can’t be a baby again but you can leverage the power of those first movements to solve the riddle of your current situation, like you never have! You can bring back your curiosity and full attention to relearn those profound and complex movements of rolling, reaching, crawling, squatting, standing, walking.
And if you gave yourself the gift of doing just that, your body and you will never be the same again! To have that experience as an adult is TRANSFORMATIONAL!
Because really, these are the same functions you do today, you just do them in more adult activities like loading the dishwasher, gardening, bicycling, reaching for the coffee mug, running. And honestly, as adults, we’ve learned to do it the hard way.
Are you ready to find smooth and easy over difficult and full of strain?
Come, join me for my weekly fall series on First Movements for Lifelong Development. We will meet for 8 classes, Starting Thursday, Sept 12, 10:30am – noon.
Are you ready to take it on? What will get in the way? How will you move past it because you know, someplace deeper, that you have wanted this all along? You always knew there was more intelligence to healing than repetition and dependence. Would you rather pursue that this fall? :)