Feldenkrais spoke a great deal about movement, aggression and "survivability." As a Jew who lived through WW2 and saw most of his family destroyed by a pogrom in the Ukraine, and as a martial artist, one can see (or at least imagine) how much both violence and self-protection played a part in his life and the development of his ideas. For that reason, I am rarely surprised these days when I read a Feldenkrais quote, like the one below from Alexander Yanai 505:
Nature prepares the baby for a life of defense and attack, for everything that is necessary so it would be able to survive without the police defending him, or the army defending him, because it is not always possible to depend on those brave people who are defending him. Each person needs to know how to defend himself. The world is built like this.
I personally do not look at a baby or child and think how "nature prepares the baby for a life of defense and attack." That seems a bit extreme. Though again, I can imagine how Moshe might have looked at that way at times. Keeping in mind that Moshe never had his own children. If had been a father, would his views have been different?
Much as I have fallen in and out of love with the so-called "Feldenkrais Method" over the years, I have also fallen in and out of love with "Ericksonian Hypnosis" and "Mindfulness" and other methodologies that I have used and practiced.
That is why I am somewhat reluctantly sharing with you a free three part training on what Ron Siegel calls "the number one cause of human suffering." The ideas in the training are very valuable and cover a topic that we study: Survivability. When it comes to basic human survival, avoiding pain is often a key part of the equation, not just physical pain, but emotional pain. And the topic is understudied and less understood by many practitioners.
That is one of the reasons why I am sharing this. The training is free and valuable, but from my Feldenkrais and Ericksonian perspective a bit non-experiential at times. I hope you will consider checking it out and give me your opinion in a comment below. After watching the training series, let me know how valuable you find it. Or not. And if you think about avoidance and survivability in your work.
By the way, the training will only be available for a few days. Click to check it out now before it goes away forever.
A few days ago, I sent out an email about Irene Lyon's Nervous System Tune-Up a fast, powerful, low-cost way of putting brain science principles into practice for yourself and your clients. And though I have been following Irene's work for 10 years, I realized that many of you are new to her, so I put one of her simple but powerful exercises below for you to try out.
The video is introduction to the 8-minute session that you can do (and share with your clients, transcript included) to stop rumination, reset your focus and connect to yourself and environment.
Body Mind Environment Scan
The Session: Body And World Orientation
Though Irene calls this session "Body And World Orientation," I, Ryan, call it "De-Hypnosis" and use it to help me break out of my internet trance and connect to my body and the external world so I that I can chill out, relax and move onto the next part of my day.
If you will do the process several times over the next 24 hours or so, I guarantee it will make a positive difference in your life and mood.
Click below to play. Best with Headphones or Speakers
You can also download a copy for offline use: Basic Body/World Orientation
And here is the transcript: Download Session Transcript.
The class is a sample from Irene's 21-Day Nervous System Tune Up and something that I use everyday and reccommend highly.
If you have ever been fascinated by, or attended any of the recent "brain science in therapy" courses that have gone around, Irene's course is a simple, powerful, step-by-step program to help you put brain science principles into practice in your life and that of your clients.
The course has short guided-exercises and videos to help you:
- re-orient and relax after challenging sessions
- heal from the effects of long ago traumas
- sleep better
- and more
If you want more details, just click to check it out. Register by Friday, September 3rd to get a free group coaching call with Irene: https://ea188.isrefer.com/go/21days/RN/
Ryan C. Nagy, MA
Director, Online Psychotherapy Conferences
I have been getting some positive feedback about this podcast and I wanted to make it available to more folks, so here it is... enjoy!
Rob Cohen has a rich and varied experience with the work. He trained directly with Moshe Feldenkrais, Anat Baniel, Mia Segal and many, many others in our community.
This interview with Rob covers a great deal, including:
- the gifts of Amherst (and perhaps, some of the “curses”)
- the evolution of Feldenkrais’ training process
- why Moshe was afraid of what he knew (perhaps more of his students should be)
- Moshe’s strategy for challenging his own belief in what he knew
- a provocative idea: Did Feldenkrais change his teaching after meeting Milton H. Erickson?
- why Moshe taught almost no Functional Integration at Amherst (Did you know?)
- the importance of direct experience and templated lessons
- why we have more tools to both use and share the work that Moshe did not have.
- Moshe’s feeling of failure about what he had done (learning how to learn, he did not get people there).
- taking responsibility for the creation of our neural pathways.
Please plugin headphones or external speakers to listen to this interview.
Click to Download.
From the YouTube channel of the International Feldenkrais Federation. Very well done. Click on the bottom right to make it fullscreen....
I woke up this morning and went to my local coffee shop to figure out how to best promote my friend Bill O'Hanlon's free course on Ericksonian Hypnosis.
For those of you who have been reading my stuff for a while, you may re-member that Bill and I taught live marketing seminars together in Santa Fe, Mexico back in 2007 and 2008. And you know what? Thinking about Bill and hypnosis reminded me of the time that Moshe Feldenkrais went to meet Milton Erickson in the late 1970's.
A colleague of mine was there: Stephen Gilligan. Several years ago, I interviewed Steve about Milton and Moshe meeting and it is a rather fascinating insight into the minds of both men. As they say in the mental ward, "Never put TWO Napoleons in the same room."
When Moshe Feldenkrais met Milton Erickson.
Click below to listen or download the interview.
Download for later use
P.S. For more information about Stephen Gilligan, please check out his website: http://stephengilligan.com/ I spent several weeks at one of his "Trance Camps" in 2003 (or there abouts) and really got a lot of out it.
Those of you who have both used the work of Moshe Feldenkrais and studied his written ideas, likely know that he had some unique ideas on the concept of will power. Feldenkrais saw the use of "will power" as something that could have negative consequences. He felt it was often was used to mask an inability. That is, people often "try harder" to do something rather than spending time developing their capabilities to act and do with more skill and awareness.
This does not mean that he thought willpower was bad or useless. On the contrary, Feldenkrais had a nuanced view on the topic:
This does not mean that we should avoid everything that seems difficult and never use our will power to overcome obstacles, but that we should differentiate clearly between improvement of ability and sheer effort for its own sake. We shall do better to direct our will power to improving our ability so that in the end our actions will be carried out easily and with understanding. - Moshe Feldenkrais, Awareness Through Movement, page 57.
But here is the problem. As fascinating as those ideas are, how do we take them into domains such as eating healthily, checking email less and spending less time on Facebook, or engaged in other potentially time and life-wasting activities?
Well, in yet another scientific domain, we are finding how science is not only catching up to - but also adding to - the work of Feldenkrais. Kelly McGonigal, PhD author of , The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It, has a free interview coming up in 48 hours that will explain how most people's view of willpower can actually hinder their self-development and self-control. The session will also add to your own ability to use Feldenkrais' ideas on the subject for your own benefit and for those of you clients.
The so-called "Brain sciences" are helping us to clarify our understanding about willpower - including where it lives in the brain, how to activate it, why the brain doesn't always act in our best interest (even for use "Feldenkrais Folks") and some surprising ideas about exercise. Moshe often spoke out against exercise, taking note of the mindless and repetitive nature of it, but some of his ideas on the subject likely need to be revised.
Click the link below to register for the event so that you can view it for free. Click the link and scroll down the bottom of the page where is says "click here to watch for free at the time of broadcast. If you decide later that you want a permanent copy of the interview as well as those of other speakers in the series (including Norman Doidge) you can order a gold membership and download all the materials.