Yesterday, I saw a groundhog actually dive into his burrow. The hole in the ground was on the side of the road where I have walked for years about three times a week. I think I know this road; every tree, the rusty, abandoned trailer with the vinyl siding flapping in the wind, the tiny bungalow with fourteen cats. (I once counted.)
But in all those years, I’ve never seen the groundhog’s hole, even though it is quite well established. Just off the road. I might have stumbled into it on a careless day, it’s that close.
It reminded me of my relationship to myself. After all, I’ve lived in this body for sixty- three years. By now I should know every inch, see every habit, understand every reaction. Instead, I’m constantly surprised to discover new “holes on the side of the road.” Or as Moshe Feldenkrais put it, I miss “the elusive obvious.”
Feldenkrais lessons offer me a view into parts of the road I didn’t even know existed. Habits, be they physical, mental or emotional (yes, emotional reactions and thought patterns can certainly be habitual) are revealed through allowing the time and attention to observe myself in movement. After all, the body is the mind, and the mind is the body. Where else would it be?