Josie is poised, unmoving, as she focuses her gaze. Her intention is clear. She moves through the grass like a slow motion film, periodically freezing, one paw in the air. Then in a blur of fur, she runs, leaps and the unfortunate vole that I couldn’t even see is history. Cats don’t struggle with self- esteem issues, they don’t get stressed about their childhoods as they pursue their dreams. Every move is economical, efficient and precise. If they fail, they walk away, lick themselves for a couple of moments and then take a nap. No criticism, no excuses.
One of the joys and challenges of being human is that every experience is recorded in the body: movement patterns, posture and tensions become both allies and obstacles as we reach for our goals in life. Sometimes it’s as hard to recognize what Moshe Feldenkrais called parasitic habits, those interfering patterns we develop over our lifetimes, as it is to see the back of our heads.
Every once in a while we observe special people: a super athlete, a confident business person, a loving teacher, who seem to embody grace in their movement and a clarity in how they realize their intentions. They will often tell you they are just “going with the flow.” Feldenkrais suggested that there should always be three ways to look at any obstacle or challenge. Michael Jordan once said, “Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” Three choices! Awareness Through Movement