If At First You Don’t Succeed…
“Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp
Or what’s a heaven for?” Robert Browning
How can I realize my dreams without trying? Feldenkrais often exhorted his students, “Try not to try!” This paradox, that we can get what we want without trying can baffle us. The late Dennis Leri, one of Feldenkrais’ original students, once said that we needed to get rid of the “stench of striving.” After I shared this quote, my students abbreviated it to SOS. Someone would inevitably mutter it whenever they encountered challenge or confusion in a lesson. I’ve come to believe that when we “try” we include all the baggage of our lives: fear of failure, anxiety and compulsion into the effort. No wonder it stinks!
If instead, I could trust that I am going toward my intention in the most organized and functional way, then perhaps, my Holy Grail will just land in my lap. Worth a “try.”
There are many wonderful reaching lessons that offer a new look at our goals. This is one of my favorites.