By Jacqueline Rubinstein

My friend and I went on a trip last weekend to visit her grandmother in Southern Oregon. Unbeknownst to me, my friend assumed she would be able to find her grandmother’s house from memory, even though it had been 10 years since her last visit.

Sure enough, we got lost! And even worse, we were out of cell phone range, so we couldn’t call anyone to get help. We were driving up a beautiful, gravel road, and she kept saying, “Well this may be right, I am just not sure.”

When we finally saw another car, we asked them where this road was heading, and it was definitely the wrong direction. At this point, I learned my friend was not even 100% sure of the name of the street we were looking for.

So while I am enjoying the scenery ~gorgeous medicinal flowers and a strong, flowing creek~ my friend was getting more and more anxious about how we were going to reach our destination. We needed more information to find our way…

So we turn around and as luck would have it, we ran into a super sweet couple that invites us to their home to use their phone. Well these folks have pet peacocks, alpacas, chickens, and a dog -so I am in heaven! We make a phone call and get the exact address.

Our new friends draw us a little map and give us very detailed directions. We are only about 10 country miles out of our way. So we head off, retracing our steps, making the turn we missed the first go around, and reach our destination. Right into grandma’s open arms!

Well I got to thinking, and I realized this is a lot like what the Feldenkrais Method has to offer! You are heading down a road guided by “muscle-memory”, but it doesn’t feel totally comfortable. While it will get you where you need to go, it may take a lot more time and be rougher than necessary.

So why not turn around, clarify what it is you really want to be achieving -whether it’s sitting more comfortably, lifting heavy objects without pain, sleeping more soundly, or reducing your stress.

Once you know exactly where you want to get, you can acquire the right information and helpful tools, such as a deeper understanding of your own body, knowledge about efficient movement patterns, increased sensory awareness, and how to get yourself out of the habits of pain, discomfort, and stress.

Going from a vague idea of where you want to be heading to a strong, clear map to actualize your intention will feel just as good as showing up to a warm dinner and loving family after 8 hours of driving and getting lost in the countryside.

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