Swimming in the Pool of Love and How Feldenkrais is Changing my Life
I love diving into swimming pools. It doesn’t even have to be summer. I’ll go in winter, fully dressed, if given the opportunity. It’s so glorious to be standing on dry ground and then to be in a whole other world just because you decided to jump.
I started a new screenplay with my writing partner this weekend. It’s a story we have been talking about on and off ever since the day we met almost ten years ago. It took this long for it to be time, for us both to be ready to jump into this new world. My body is on fire with ideas. Beginning a new project is like falling in love, like the best first date.
It’s hard sometimes to start a new project when your body feels beat down, old, like all it wants to do is nap. I have found that when I work with people who want to write books, a big part of the work is fueling their sense of self-love, getting them to believe that they were put on the planet to create, that it is their job to show up and be themselves more than it is their job to make everyone around them happy. It’s about loving life so much you have to create something as a form of prayer or song or thank-you card or as proof that you were even here, that you witnessed life happening, that you loved it enough to take notes.
Last week I posted a picture of my need tag that said I needed to know I was loved. People wrote to me on Facebook and told me they loved me. Some of these people I had never met. I felt surrounded by water, suspended in the holding place of generosity and wild freedom. Friends and strangers were telling me they loved me. And I loved, I love, them.
My body eats love. My cells open and my breath goes down into the lower part of my lungs, practically all the way to my feet. I get high on oxygen. I feel invincible. I want to do whatever I can to make life better for others. Strength fuels generosity.
I have spent many hours this week doing Feldenkrais exercises. I took my first Feldenkrais workshop recently at the yoga studio I go to, and my body shifted: my arms and legs swung more freely when I went for a walk the next day and I felt more joy. I have continued to feel more and more joyful the more I go on Youtube and do one Feldenkrais video after the other.
The movements are generally tiny. Imagine yourself lying on the floor, moving your head one inch to the right and one inch to the left. Do you think you can do that? Then welcome to Feldenkrais, where movements help rewire your brain, your nervous system, your body, your sense of self in the world.
I downloaded a series of exercises for about $45 on the eyes and I’ll share the link with you so you can get it and we can talk about it: (https://www.feldenkraisresources.com/Seeing-Clearly-David-Webber-p/3813.htm) . There are eight audio lessons and each one is about an hour long. I started them on Friday and am now on lesson six.
The most significant things I have done in my life as an adopted person were to have a child, go to New York to write my book, and now these exercises.
When you are in utero, you open your eyes and blink in the second trimester. What if my cranial nerves were created in trauma? What if when I was born and the first thing I saw was my birth mother disappearing, my cranial nerves were affected? What if this is why my eyes hurt so often? What if this is why I have had migraines for years?
I don’t know exactly what is happening, but these exercises are teaching me to really feel my eyes and my body, and more often then not they feel like food, like a warm bath. Sometimes they hurt my eyes the way exercises do when your body is exhausted. All weekend I have been full of joy and I have also been like a bell that got rung, hard. I have sobbed a number of times. I got a migraine. I walked around like I was someone I had never met. My body feels like I just crawled out of layers of tight skin.
I am going to finish the exercises this week and then I am going to do them again. I want to know what my entire body will feel like when my eyes are relaxed. After one lesson the teacher had us get up off the floor to see how the bottoms of our feet felt on the ground, and for the first time in my life I realized I felt planted. My feet and half of my calves felt like they were under ground. It was such a wild feeling. I burst into tears.
I’m going to Martha’s Vineyard later this week to write. I went there while I was writing You Don’t Look Adopted and I am amazed I get to go again and be with some of the wonderful writers I was with last time. I have been living hand to mouth for the two years since I wrote my book, but now I have enough money to leave town and write. I feel really good. Strong. Full of curiosity. I made it through this tough time: through realizing just how hurt I was, through writing about adoption, through struggling making almost no money in one of the most expensive areas in the country.
I am learning ways to inhabit my body, to make it my home. I am learning that I can keep myself safe. That I am my own home. That people love me, truly, for me, and I love them for who they are.
Community has been key for me. People have been there for me again and again and again. Love matters. We take care of each other. We lift each other up so we can go on.
So thank you.
Photo by Susan Stojanovich: http://susansportraits.com