The FP Weekly Class

Pain, Pleasure, and Feldenkrais:

Navigating the space between stimulus and response

Nick Strauss-Klein led all dates

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Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our happiness.

– attributed to Viktor Frankl (but not)

I often say that one of our goals in Feldenkrais study is to restore pain and pleasure to the roles they evolved for. Sensations, both pleasant and unpleasant, arise on their own as our nervous system is stimulated by external and internal events. In the space before we act there’s usually an opportunity to interpret our sensations with wisdom, and to make skillful choices, but often our educational and cultural training have corrupted this internal messaging system by confusing us about the purpose of these signals.

We’ve may have been taught to ignore sensations, since most of us have been rewarded many times for “toughing it out” through pain. And we may have  been accused of “wasting time” if we linger in a pleasant moment.

In April and May The FP Weekly Classes focused on learning to relate more simply to our pains and pleasures, to restore them to their natural roles as behavior modifiers. We learned to listen more closely to our moment-to-moment sensations, interpret them with equanimity, and respond kindly and intelligently so that our movements in the very next moment can be more satisfying, nourishing, and even pleasurable – in lessons and in life!

As we learned to more skillfully navigate this space between stimulus and response, between our sensations and action, we developed strategies that can help when we’re in situations of short-term pain, chronic pain, emotional pain, anxiety, or stress.

Because it feels good to function well, the payoff for becoming more present and responsive to our sensations are those delightful spontaneous “Feldenkrais moments” when we feel new ease, skill, and creativity seep from our lessons into regular life.

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See you on the mat!



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