I read a great quote last week that I wanted to share with you:
“You grow up, mature, stop looking for people to give you validation. It’s got to come from within”
Appropriately for the last weeks of football fever, these are the thoughts of Raheem Sterling, one of the England football team, one of the world’s top athletes.
It resonated with me a lot. He’s talking about what I would call “internal authority”, an ability to listen to ourselves, and bring into being what we want to see in the world. A viewpoint that sees that our individual way of thinking, or being, is as equally important as anyone else’s. That we need to weigh up other people’s opinions before deciding if they fit us or not, judge what information is appropriate to bring in or leave outside of us.
This is just as true for an athlete or musician, performing in front of others, as someone fielding advice from well-meaning friends and family.
It’s what we do in a Feldenkrais lesson: listen inwards, adapt the requests to fit ourselves (moving in a way that we feel comfortable and pleasant, rather than anyone else’s idea of how we should move). As we sense ourselves moving, and resting we improve our skills of interoception (listening to our inside sensations, emotions and thoughts) and proprioception (sensing ourself in relation to the outside world), and with that, there is clear scientific evidence that it helps us manage our environment, improve self esteem, and self regulate no matter what is happening around us. As we get clearer about ourselves, we realise that each self-discovery is also about self empowerment. Taking our agency, our ability to act, and learn and adapt as the consequences occur.
Moshe Feldenkrais thought that “a healthy person was someone who could live his unavowed dreams”. Our own dreams certainly come from deep within, I doubt many of our dreams are realised without our inner thoughts being felt to be something to listen to. And in Feldenkrais’ opinion we are mature when our ability to learn, to adapt, or “our capacity to form new responses, or learn, has reached its ultimate perfection. “
So what would you do, if you weren’t worried about what other people thought? What cloaks of personality or action would you wear, if you made only what you thought a priority? Which ones would be easiest to try out? (I like the idea of cloaks, you can put them on, or take them off at will.)
What dreams do you have that you keep tucked away out of sight, that perhaps you could unfurl a corner of, and think about starting?
If something resonated with you, or you have an opinion you’d like to share, do email me a reply, I’m always pleased to hear from you.
I’m running a reduced timetable whilst the weather is good, and we’re allowed out again!
There’s still time to sign up for our WellMusician Feldenkrais for Musicians this weekend (the 17th-18th July).
If you can’t make the whole time, that’s fine, you can catch up via video after the event.
We chose the title ‘Ready to Raise the Curtain’ as many of us will be able to get back to performing soon but, without having had the opportunity for a while, whilst we may be excited, it is perhaps with a sense of trepidation. We’ll be looking at getting back on stage the Feldenkrais way: Improving stage presence, dialling down anxiety; finding ease and avoiding injury as we return to performing live.
We will explore how the teleceptors (the sensory organs in the head) organise the balance of the head, open out our peripheral vision and impact our breathing and general sense of well-being. We have chosen lessons which work with the organisation of the head, neck, face, eyes, palate, nose, tongue, and jaw, integrating them into the whole system.
The two days will be a mixture of Awareness Through Movement lessons, presentations, practical explorations and discussions. These lessons promise to offer a rich experience for all musicians and include working with the sucking reflex, the nose, nasal passages and soft palate, movements of the eyes, head and pelvis, before widening the experience to the whole self. The presentations will look at the anatomy of the extraordinary sphenoid bone and non-verbal communication on stage.
There’s one more StringMoves workshop this Summer, the 8th of August:
We’ll be working on
- finding greater ease in the hands
- Discovering the connections between the hands and the shoulders
- Using your skeleton to support
You’ll go away with
- Experience of feeling different
- Tools for continuing learning
- Access to the recordings so you can come back to the ones that were most useful.
Sign up here:
NB. Photo credit: Stars at Night: Greg Radozy @Unsplash