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.
If you want to get a sense of why Feldenkrais wanted to meet Erickson you may want to take a look at Bill's free course on Ericksonian hypnosis. There are many points of overlap between Ericksonian Hypnosis and the Feldenkrais Method.
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.
Sparked by Norman Doidge's new book which speaks about the work of Moshe Feldenkrais and by the 2015 Brain Science Series created by my friend, colleague and mentor Dr. Ruth Buczynski, I have been doing a bit of online research into recent media mentions of Moshe Feldenkras and his work. I found a very insightful interview with Dr. Norman Doidge by Virginia Campbell, MD on of "The Brain Science Podcast" fame and posted it below.
Dr. Doidge and Dr. Campbell, MD speak directly about Feldenkrais and applications of his work. I took the liberty of extracting the 9-minute piece of the podcast where they were talking specifically about Moshe and his work and posted it below.
Dr. Doidge does a fantastic job talking about the method and how it works as well as embedding it within the larger history of the brain sciences. Lots of great, quotable pieces here.
Dr. Norman Doidge on Feldenkrais
The full podcast as well as a transcript of the interview that you can buy for only $1.00 can be found here on The Brain Science Podcast interview page of Dr. Doidge.
Again, for those of you who want to hear more from Norman Doidge and related thinkers I highly recommend you enroll to get notifications about the upcoming Brain Science Series.
Dr. Doidge will be talking about Feldenkrais as well as the application of neuroscience to clinical work. Many other top thinkers and researchers will be presenting, including, Dan Siegel, Pat Ogden, Stephen Porges, Rick Hanson, and Kelly McGonigal. The series is free if you attend at the scheduled time and watch or listen "live" online. You can also purchase a copy of all the materials and have a permanent record of the event including transcripts, audio and video downloads and bonus calls. Hardly a month goes by when I do not refer to the brain science series materials. They are very, very useful and practical. Here is the link again, if you want to check it out.
If you are willing to watch the video below and imagine that you are the rider - sensing, feeling, seeing and acting from his position on the bike - you will likely be able to extract some interesting and non-habitual relationships to mind, body, space and the bike itself. Give the video a minute or two because you will see that it goes far beyond "trick" riding and typical situations that you have seen before.
The Non-Habitual, Non-Habitual
"Organisms that don't move, don't have brains. Trees don't have brains, bushes don't have brains, flowers don't have brains. In fact, there are some animals that don't move during certain stages of their lives. And during those stages, they don't have brains."
"The sea squirt is an aquatic animal that inhabits oceans. During the early stage of its life cycle, the sea squirt swims around looking for a good place to attach itself permanently. Once it finds the right rock, and attaches itself to it, it doesn't need its brain anymore because it will never need to move again. So it eats (resorbs) most of its brain. After all, why waste energy on a now useless organ? Better to get a good meal out of it."
I thought you might enjoy those quotes above. They are not from Moshe Feldenkrais, though I bet that was the first person that popped into your mind. The quotes are from a webpage that I am reading and enjoying the heck out of: A primer on evolutionary psychology from Leda Cosmides & John Tooby at the University of Calfornia at Santa Barbara.
Would you be willing to listen and give me some quick feedback? It will take less than 6 minutes of your time.
I referred the Gaby and Mia's San Francisco Evening class as being in the early 70's but it was actually the late 70's...1977, I believe. cheers!