I have been doing some life-changing sessions working directly with how people create their self-image. I have been on the cusp of understanding and using these processes for more twenty years. But each time I got close to the "prize," my own self-image and place in the world stopped me from taking the next step. But....finally, I have learned to change that which I thought was fixed in place and I have stepped over to the other side.....
The Relational Self-Images
I am speaking to how people unconsciously represent their "self" to themselves and to others. In contrast to what some students of Feldenkrais believe, the key factor in creating lasting change is not always the self-image. At least not the one described by Moshe Feldenkrais. People can and do spend decades of their life using Feldenkrais sessions to expand and change their motor image, sometimes called the homunculus, and what Feldenkrais considered the major part of the self-image. That is very valuable work. I have done it and continue to do so.
But it is rarely - if ever - enough. One can dramatically change and expand the motor image and still not get what one wants from life. Or even make the attempt to get what one wants. Look around the Feldenkrais community. Do you find many that have achieved the success that they themselves want for themselves? Have you? Do you see people stuck in a certain place in the Feldenkrais community - some for decades? Have you been stuck? Well, if the Feldenkrais Method is so powerful why are so many people stuck?
I do not expect most people to believe me right now, if ever. But hey, that is how it goes. I have had the experiences to prove it to myself and to a few others and more is on the way. What I have found is that most people in the various Feldenkrais communities have fixed their position in relation to others. This means that they continue to be "who they are" even if they want it to be different.
Why? It is actually very simple: People not only internally represent themselves, but they also internally represent themselves in relation to other people. Everyone carries around an image of his or herself, yes (more than one actually). These images contain but are not defined by the motor image. That is a critical point. But even more critical, people also carry around images of other key people within themselves. And how one represents one's self-image in relation to those others has a massive correlation with how one acts in the world.
Of the factors that people have under their personal control, the largest and most important factors for developing the self and life are these relational self-images. Again, without being aware of it, many practitioners have fixed their social position in society and in the Feldenkrais community. This means that continue to be "who they are" even in the midst of great changes that they have created with the work and even though they "want" it to be different.
You do not "act in accordance with your self-image" as Moshe stated. You act in accordance with your self-image(s) and relational images - those of yourself and those of others. All of which you have created internally and almost completely unconsciously. And all of which can be changed and re-arranged with the right strategy.
I realize I am writing in a largely abstract manner. More specifics will come in future posts and videos. For now, just be aware that if you have spent years trying to get a specific result with the Feldenkrais method and you have not been able to do so, it is not you that is the problem. The problem has been the strategies that you have been using. Feldenkrais can do some cool things. Some amazing things. Feldenkrais can change lives in ways that no other methods can. Yes, we can get biblical and say that sometimes Feldenkrais can "make the lame walk." But Feldenkrais cannot do everything. And some of the boldest claims put forth by some practitioners and trainers are unsupported. Emotional maturity? Economic independence? The ability to move without hesitation and preparation in any direction? There is much more to it than many people know.
More to come....