By Jacqueline Rubinstein

When my grandfather passed away a few weeks ago, I did not expect the Feldenkrais Method to be a huge part of my grieving process. The emotions I was feeling were so big, powerful, and overwhelming. After a week with my family, returning back to Portland, I did not know what to do or how to move forward, especially with a business to run.

I immediately started working very hard, trying to compensate for the work I had missed, picking up the pieces. Pushing myself to do more, even when I couldn’t think clearly! The reality was I was depleted, heart-broken, and just beginning to process the loss of my Pop-Pop.

This is when opportunity came knocking loud and clear at my door. I got sick! And suddenly stampeding forward was no longer an option. I got the clear reminder that to really heal I needed to do that which I teach: Go slowly, reduce the unnecessary effort, make small movements, and increase my awareness and attention to myself.

Ahhhh, sweet relief. I gave myself permission to do exactly what I really needed. I nursed my cold. I grieved my loss. I mourned fully. And I let my business support me, by doing the bare minimum for a few weeks. In the end, I gained a deeper self-awareness and a clearer understanding of the power of the Feldenkrais Method.

That is why I often use the healing practices of the Feldenkrais Method on myself. I use it to ease my neck and shoulder pain. I depend on it for relief after I have done strenuous work or hurt myself. I even use it during difficult conversations to interrupt my habitual emotional patterns and empower myself to choose new ways of interacting.

Are there unexpected places in your life where slowing down, reducing the unnecessary effort, making it small, and increasing your awareness might help? I would love to hear from you about those places!

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