Thanks to school closures, we had to press pause on some things. What I didn't realize is that pressing pause on some 'important things' would open a whole new door of reflection on what's really important?
We've had a whole immersion of family time! My son and I were up early one morning. As I sat by the window gazing at the winter wonderland outside, my son brought me the SnowWhite book to read to him.
So we were reading 'Snow-white' and I wondered to myself, "Whats up with this Queen? Why is she so obsessed with being the 'fairest of all'? She literally depends on it for her survival! In our version of the book, she dies at the end because she couldn't bear not being the fairest.
It got me thinking. What is it that I am so attached to that it defines my existence? What is it that is critical for my survival, mostly in my head? What are my deeply ingrained belief systems that are running my daily behaviors?
I remembered my days in the college hostel. I was so attached to the idea of showering before heading out that on days I got up late and had just 5 minutes to get my breakfast before the cafeteria closed, I would go hungry because it would take me longer than 5 minutes to shower and make it in time.
Now you could dismiss this as a silly idiosyncrasy or perhaps a good habit taken too far. As I continued to ponder about why this was so important to me, I remembered how being prim and proper was a big part of my growing up.
As much as I am grateful for the good habits and values I have inherited, somewhere along in my life, the good habit turned into a belief system about some kind of perfection that began to deplete my sense of caring for myself.
Because I had to be a certain way for the world, I would go all the way to host the perfect dinner or birthday party for my child that it didn't matter if my own back hurt like hell at the end of it. This was also the same belief that led me to vacuum the house two weeks after I gave birth to my daughter.
You can see that I took to this behavior like a fish to water. After all, my mom, known to be the best hostess and someone I looked up to as a strong woman had demonstrated it scores of times. The bar was so high, I wasn't going to beat my sweet mom even in my dreams, but I was going to give it all I got.
Thats was the right thing to do! And the funny thing is I was doing it without even being aware that that was driving my daily behaviors.
And here's the real kicker when it comes to relationships. When it was beyond my own capacity to live up to this perfection, I would recruit my husband, Anshul to fulfill my promise of perfection to the world. And that raises another question, Do I love Anshul more than the world? What is the world even comprised of?
But of course, I love him more than anyone else. So then there another opportunity here isn't it?
The opportunity to examine my thoughts and beliefs. To have my thought and behavior be consistent with the beliefs that matter most to me.
So, what's REALLY IMPORTANT to you? Is that driving your everyday behavior? Or are you being run by some deep, deep, subconscious belief way back from your history? Your childhood, your teenage years?
Was it something that someone said to you, and you have taken it upon yourself to live up to or to defy beyond limits? Is this consistent with whats really important to you or are you running cross-motivations?
In Feldenkrais lessons, we study cross-motivations in the context of movement. A simple example would be that I want to lift my hand and bring it to the computer but I am doing everything else in my body to make my hand heavier and sink instead of lifting. One obvious of this consequence could be that my shoulder or arm hurts.
When we take the time to examine these cross-motivations in the context of a movement lesson, we come to know ourselves deeply. We know how our movement habits are tied to our deeply held beliefs. We can see what was hidden in plain sight. As an example, we can see how our habit of extending in our spine is related to how we had to confront our life circumstances so that we would be ok.
We can examine these habits and underlying beliefs and if they are causing us much pain, we can let go off them in safety. We can be unhinged and available to respond.
We can move in any direction without hesitation! That is Moshe Feldenkrais's definition of biological fitness.