“Movement is life. Life is a process. Improve the quality of the process and you improve the quality of life itself.” -Moshe Feldenkrais
This time of year I usually like to write about “New Year, new you” possibilities through Feldenkrais study. While I want to share that message with you for 2013, this year I’d also like to share some personal thoughts I’ve had about renewal over these last few weeks.
My wife Jen and I and our sons Henry and Ari just welcomed a new family member! Zelda Ruth Strauss-Klein was born on December 8th. We have much to be thankful for: mother and baby are both healthy, and all of us are falling in love with little Zelda. As I hold and love baby Z and think of life stretching out in front of this squirming, vital, tiny infant, I feel a renewed awareness of primary responsibilities we all have to ourselves, our families, and our communities–responsibilities to create a safe, supportive, sustaining environment in which we can grow and thrive, and discover and share our gifts.
Times of renewal have always moved me deeply. The excitement of the new year, the arrival of each new season, the beginning of a new day after much-needed rest, watching my children experience for the first time something I have enjoyed…. Whatever aspect of life it occurs in, a sense of change and renewal offers me the clarity of a fresh perspective, new opportunities and purpose, and refreshed hope for the future.
My attraction to renewal is in large part what drew me originally to the Feldenkrais Method. Thirteen years later, with each lesson I study or teach I am still as excited and humbled as I was when I first discovered Feldenkrais. I’ve learned that making time and quiet to reflect on the quality of my activities automatically improves them. I’ve learned that my sense of comfort and discomfort is meant to be a guide in life, not a side-effect of life. I’ve learned to create a safe and supportive internal environment for my own learning, where spontaneous renewal becomes possible. And I’m still thrilled by the sense of improvement and new learning each lesson offers!
So, as I hold and love our squirming, squawking, snuggling three-week-old Zelda it’s easy to remember these things we all need in order to renew ourselves: a safe, supportive, sustaining environment in which we can grow and thrive, and discover and share our gifts. It’s a natural fatherly duty to help create that for Zelda.
And it’s the purpose of Feldenkrais, a tremendous privilege, and a great joy to help create that environment for my students!
I hope you’ll continue or begin to explore Feldenkrais learning in 2013–in class, in one-to-one lessons, and even on your own.
Happy New Year!