Mind In Motion

A revolutionary approach to optimizing human ability when faced with pain, neurological disability, or the challenges of every day life.

L-O-V-3

Today is Valentine’s Day, a holiday derived from a Roman festival celebrating the coming of spring and made all the more romantic by the writing of both Chaucer and Shakespeare. 

This year, I’m feeling gobsmacked. That’s British English for astounded and utterly astonished. Yup, I’m gobsmacked and grateful. 

Upon learning that I’d been diagnosed with Stage Two HPV-related Tonsil Cancer, some of my Feldenkrais® friends and close colleagues reached out to ask how they could help. When they found out that the timing, length, and intensity of what was coming down — surgery, recovery, surgery, recovery, grueling radiation and chemotherapy, and a much longer, more demanding recovery — would challenge my financial resources to the breaking point, they spontaneously offered to do something about it. 

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A touching moment

Last Saturday morning, I took a turn teaching the daily 8:00 AM (Pacific time) An AY a day group lesson. 

To follow up on the previous Saturday’s advanced training, community gathering, and fundraiser, Kwan Wong, the organizer of this international online ATM® study project for teachers and trainees, asked me to turn the session into a special extended session, a first time ever AY a day workshop. After brainstorming the possibilities, we converged on my interest in how Moshe, especially in the earlier AY Awareness Through Movement® lessons, asked students to touch themselves while they were moving

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Another touching moment

Last Saturday afternoon, the Aikido of Berkeley dojo was wall to wall with Feldenkrais® colleagues from all of the Bay Area. More than three-quarters of whom I knew or knew quite well, quite a few of them I hadn’t seen in years or, mostly, decades. They showed up for my new workshop about developing your potential for boldness and bravery, COURAGE IS NOT THE ABSENCE OF FEAR, which Sonja Sutherland, co-chair of the Northern California and Northern Nevada region of FGNA (Feldenkrais Guild® of North America), organized to raise funds for the financial aspects of the health challenge I’m facing.

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Calling all researchers

The fields of the arts, mathematics, and natural, social and applied sciences have relevant and significant yet-to-be-made contributions to a deeper understanding and wider recognition of Moshe’s method. To reach out to and connect with potential participants in this worthwhile endeavor, the Research Working Group (RWG) of the International Feldenkrais® Federation — the umbrella group of national professional groups and guilds the world over — has created the IFF Research Working Group Questionnaire.

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The perfect complement

On Christmas day last year, I taught the morning Awareness Through Movement® lesson for the an AY a day online study group for Feldenkrais® teachers and trainees. 

Why would I volunteer to teach that morning of all mornings?

Well, it just so happened that the lesson on the schedule, DRAWING A CIRCLE WITH THE ARM ABOVE THE HEAD SIDE-SITTING, also known as Alexandar Yanai number 62, is the perfect complement to the ATM® series we gave everyone with an account on the Mind in Motion Online (MIMO) website as a 2019 holiday gift.

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1-2-1

This past Thursday, the start of radiation and chemo got postponed until the week after next. This unexpected reprieve got me thinking about one of the questions folks been asking me for a while: 

   What’s up next with the ATM® teaching academy?

A couple of years ago, I publicly declared that new Mind in Motion advanced and postgrad online programs would be about improving how we present and promote Awareness Through Movement® lessons. Rather than moving beyond Moshe’s method, my approach to contributing to the future of our work by developing an ATM Teaching Academy was — as it always has been — to begin with the basics.

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A wing and a prayer

Thankfully, the prognosis for the kind of cancer I was diagnosed with last fall, Stage II HPV-related Squamous Cell Tonsil Cancer, is good. 

Now that I’ve recovered sufficiently from surgery late November to remove the tumors — one on my left tonsil and a cancerous lymph node on the left side of my neck — I’m scheduled to start treatment next week. Depending on the results from tomorrow’s scan, I’ll be receiving radiation five days a week for the next six or seven weeks. And I’ll be getting chemo once a week. 

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Take it with you

To start off the New Year, I taught a new series of Feldenkrais® classes last weekend called, Take it with you (TIWY). This was an advanced Awareness Through Movement® workshop, designed to engage your curiosity, deepen your practice, and challenge you to become your own teacher.   

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What you take with you, Part 2

The first part of What you take with you described how Awareness Through Movement® lessons can help you develop your ability to learn as well as improve your capabilities and your coordination. It also addressed the challenge of transferring your learning from the lesson into life.

In that blog, I identified the kinds of ATM® instructions that are useful if you want to become a better learner. I went into how these learning strategies help and why they work. I wrote about the initial phase of learning to learn, which is about being able to shift the gears of attention. Then I described the following phases: recognizing the lead up to difficulty and tuning into the aspects of action you can change as they are happening.

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What you take with you

One of the great mysteries of life is how learning seems so often to slip through our fingers. For instance, after a meaningful and effective Awareness Through Movement® lesson, you get up from the mat feeling particularly wonderful. You’re lighter, taller, feel more connected, and, perhaps, that persistent discomfort, the one that’s been haunting you for longer than you care to remember, has vanished. 

Sometimes, you’re different from that moment on. More frequently, the feeling fades. Inevitably, you return to the state you started in before the lesson began. Your habit has returned. You remember that you felt different, but have no idea how to refined that feeling. You’re left lamenting the loss of learning.

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