Monday, June 8, 2015

Working with the Whole Person



When I was 55 I took a weekend workshop in the Feldenkrais Method.®
I knew and loved this work. It had helped me with back and shoulder issues for years and I always recommended it go someone who had a movement issue.
I thought it was great stuff.

AND, after the weekend workshop I realized: THIS COULD BE ABOUT ME!! I  felt and moved as if I were ten years old again.

This was an invitation to a four year training, which I enhanced with a doubled up first year of training with a man who combined Zen and Feldenkrais.
Then I discovered Anat Baniel, whom I think has advanced what is already one of the most amazing systems on the planet.
Another 4 years.

So 9 years of training and I know this:
I am so lucky to WORK WITH THE WHOLE HUMAN, NOT THE PROBLEM.

A high level musician or a special needs child come in.
They have a brain.
They can learn.
A rock can’t learn, a tree can’t learn, a car can’t learn.

Many “body work” systems treat the person as a car, with a wheel or carburetor that needs to be fixed.

In the Anat Baniel and the Feldenkrais system, we are working with a whole person, whose brain and hence whose life can change.

The change happens a number of ways, and a simple version is the change comes from using these three essentials of radical listening:
Deep presence
Non-habitual options
Connection


So, an autistic boy who answered “Not Quite” to every question was not fixed, by being told his answer was wrong or nonsensical.
I looked at him in presence, connected with him by touch, and played with non habitual wordings.
How about
Not not quite
Not quite quite
Not not quite quite quite

At first he was confused. Then delighted. He started to hear what he was saying and realizing that there were other choices in the world.


And a child with a tight/ spastic fist, from cerebral palsy.

To fix, would be the pry the finger loose and massage or something.
This is nice, but, not any use to the brain.

But, slowly playing with a little little movement in the thumb and then the pinkie and going slow enough the child can feel the difference.
Moving the whole hand in a way that connects to the back and elbow and shoulder.
Moving the hand in many patterns, many options, all with tons of presence and searching for opening up connection in the child’s brain between that hand and other parts of the body…

This is transformation for the whole person.

Works just the same with the highly skilled fingers of the best violin player or pianist in the world.

Cheers

Chris

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Mindful or Mindless Marriage.... ah, the miracle of life


WAKING UP IN LOVE

You can fall in love and not be awake. You are swept off your feet for deep seated and/or idiotic reasons.
Doesn’t matter. You head turns off its dominance for awhile and you fall.
And then your get together.

And then you have the choice, be mindful or mindless in your love.
Mindful seems a lot of trouble, except that it’s so fun, because you are present at each moment to new possibilities, to doing something different than your programming says to do, or different than either of you are expecting.

Mindless, as in not being present, as in not being mindful, is the default mode of human life, and if you have met Ms. Right, or Mr Right, it seems like you’re going to get away with drifting along on your good luck, except for a minor detail.

It won’t work unless you both have perfect parents.

If you both have perfect parents, then when things get stressful you can go to the mindless automatic solution you saw with your parents ( which, not so strangely, will be either mindfulness or something close: like humor, like listening, like putting the other first, like hugging and taking a breather, like… Who knows? Perfect parents must have a lot of cool ways of dealing with trouble.
I’ve never met anyone with perfect parents, but if it’s you, let me know what they did).

And then, the rest of us.
With imperfect parents, who had less than ideal ways of relating to each other when stress came down, if we are mindless then we are on automatic.
If we are on automatic we are going to go for our programming.
If they weren’t so good, these programs, usually something like putting the other down, not listening, get defensive, getting offensive, drinking, avoidance, having affairs, overeating…. Whatever they did not so well, if we are mindless, we have to drift back into copying their mode.

Which sucked for them, whether they stuck it out or not.

Aside: sticking it out has it’s advantages, and without real month by month mindful growth, it’s taking each other for granted, avoiding each other and going about somewhat robot lives, fighting a lot, various drug and or sexual escapes, all the above shenanigans.

So it’s a two way deal:
Be mindful.
That things aren’t going so well.
That stress is up.
That there are solutions out there.
That these solutions are to be had outside of the conditioned pathway.
( If you are in a couple and reading this and want to have a pile of non conditioned and amazing ways to break through to a new level, call, or email RIGHT NOW)

And what would being mindful look like.

Ah, lots of ways, and this is, since it can be done in almost all circumstances, talking or not, is the best I have found.

1 sensing entire right leg all toes to hip joint

2 adding on ( keep sensing leg)
Entire right arm
All fingers to shoulder 

3 adding on
Entire left arm
Shoulder to all fingers 

4 adding on ( keep sensing other three)
Entire left leg hip joint to all toes

5 adding on
Spine sensing pelvis to head

6 repeat and deepen 
All six

Then other way
7
Left leg toes to hip

8 add on
Left arm fingers to shoulder 

9 add on
Right arm shoulder to fingers

10 add on
Right leg hip to all toes

11 add on
Spine from pelvis to head

12 
Everything 

13 back to right side first

Do things in multiples of 12

Breathing 
One breath each as driving say

Balance
On left foot
Swing right foot back from floor to behind
36 times
Sensing the count as above

Then other way

Balance too two

Stand on left foot
Hold right knee both hands
Pull to chest on outbreath

Do 24 or 36 times

Then other way

This will bring presence in a real embodied way

For 
tension 

"Coming home " to now

Increasing attention

Getting free of thought and outside triggers

Slowing down 

Real balance & strength 

Alright: go to it.
With a mate or not, being mindful in our bodies is fun, wonderful, useful and reminds us of the most important thing in the world:
Which is?

You tell me.

Cheers,

Chris

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Waking up to the moment... at home, work, in love, life, ease or strihe



Slightly before the Power of Now came out and it was suddenly cool to be in the moment, I am leading a small workshop on being present in the hills above Sonoma.

People are given the simple assignment of talking a half hour walk, alone, and hanging out in the present and seeing what that was like.

What it was like was great.

Everyone came back rip roaring excited about the peacefulness and the intense moment by moment vitality of their bodies walking through the woods with their minds mainly focused on being present.

All was well.

We parted.

I was pleased, and then I realized an odd thing, thinking back on the sharing about their walks, a noticing I'd had while they were talking but kept submerged.

They hadn't been present when they were busy, happy and excited to share about their walk in the present.

Perhaps even more shocking: I hadn't been that present either.

Ah, shit... What do we have here?

Well... reading these words. writing these words... are we present in this now, now.

Maybe yes.

Maybe no.

It's a trick, it's a veil, it's a huge dilemma: how to be using words, which are never in the present, to describe anything, first of all, and then to be present while we are in word land.

There is a reason why most meditation retreats are silent.

Talking almost always equals going back to sleep.

There is a way out of this, specific to talking and being present, but for now, let me just introduce a game, and you can try it, if you want, while you are talking.

And walking.

And riding a car, driving a car, riding a bike, eating, or even reading and writing.

AND,
while you are talking to someone.
And listening to someone.

On the phone.
In person.

It's "hard," but its a way out of the ongoing sleep of most of humanity, most of the time.

So, maybe it's worth a try.

Goes like this;;

Ten fingers

Ten toes

Belly

Eyes

Ears

Nose


And that's the attention game. The being present game. While eating or reading or talking or walking or dancing or making love, or writing, or working:'

Put attention on all ten fingers, and both arms. Sense their entirety, from shoulders to fingers tips.

Put attention on all ten toes, as a reminder to add in both legs, sensing all, the flesh, the bones, tendons, nerves, flesh, blood, all of it, from hip joint to the tippy tip of all ten toes.

That's a lot.

Belly and Nose are the two ends of breathing. The joy of this being alive thing. Now, now, now, we can feel the air that is keeping us alive, feel the air itself coming into our nose, feel the belly expanding as the diaphragm pushes down to make more room in our lungs.

Feel it all.
Breathing in.
Breathing out.

And the belly is near the tan tien, the center of our body, two inches in and one down, or something. Doesn't matter.

Just sense your middle and sense your spine along with the two arms and two legs.

Arms, legs, spine, breathing, fingers, toes, air in and out the nose.

And now,
eyes: what light is coming in?

What do you see?

Now.

Ears.
What sound is coming in?

Now


and that could keep you pretty damn present in case you want to be while yammering, or thinking about being present or talking about being present or talking about your deep wishes or talking about your trivial complaints.

Can you have all that now now nowness:

ten fingers

ten toes

belly

eyes

ears

Nose?


----try it.

You've nothing to lose but the misery of believing your thinking or someone else's.
Cheers

Chris


Monday, September 15, 2014

May You BE happy



When they measure various heavy duty meditators, yes yes
their brains are calmer, happier and more coherent

All that sitting is silence
and the present
and "letting" it be,
when the chatter comes through,
that's gotta pay off,
right?

And...
They discover that the "loving kindness" meditation,
Brings the biggest and deepest and happiest changes
to the  brain

w
hich is nice

The heart brain"
we all know that somehow that's THE important thing in life

And this loving kindness mediation is saying:

May you be safe
May you be happy
May you be healthy
May you live with ease


About people you like, don't like,
hate, don't know, know,
Yourself

Just the good vibe of wishing well

It's kind of soothing when I do it

How about for you?


Tomorrow:
A couple's game:

I wish this for me
I wish this for you
I wish this for us

You may try it ahead of time
if you wish
Cheers
Chris

Monday, September 8, 2014

Being Now: a practical exercise


Anat Baniel, working with a high performing harpist, 
whose tone improved dramatically 
with just 30 minutes of "work," which wasn't work, 
it was brain rewiring, 
to upgrade the whole nervous system.
 The harpist had no "issues." 
She just was curious about what "better" could be. 
She found out. 

See Become More Amazing dot com, if you are curious
what "better"
could be


This essay was originally for 

Life is Yes, and can Get Better and Better and Better,
the all and everything blog

For special needs parents,
it offers up an extremely useful and versatile  "game"
that can keep us sane,
when the demands of special needs parenting seem to
be driving us a little cuckoo.

Cheers,
Chris

If I had ten dollars for every person who waxed enthusiastic about The Power of Now,  while being lost from the Now, I'd be fairly close to rich.

It's so easy to yammer about.

And then:
How do we wake up to the Now?

Ah, yes.

Well, I'm going to try a game: which is to play for 108 days with this central dilemma of human life.

In a separate journal, there will be daily longer essays which will become a book.

But for my friends, and my own accountability, I'll put something up here each day.

A sort of ahead of time New Year's Resolution.

A September 8,, my sister's birthday, resolution. Why not have that be the beginning of a new adventure and a new book?

So today, let's play with this stark reality.

These words you see on the screen, are not "real," not "here and now," except as black squiggles of certain shapes you've been taught to decode.

Look at the screen: it's mainly background, white for most people.

Do we "see" the white?

Do we see the shapes between the letter shapes?

And how to stay present when we are in word land, reading, writing, or -- hardest of all-- talking?

Lot's of ways.

And today's game is this, if you want to play:  sense your right leg as a full time back up of attention.

All the right toes.

All the rest of the bones, the muscles, the tendons, the knee, the blood.
The thigh.

The sense of that leg and where it is in relation to the other leg, to your body, to gravity.

All the toes up to the hip socket.

Just sense it while you read these words, while you think and feel whatever you think and feel as this game is presented to you, as you mull:  "Really? One more thing to do?"

Well, it's your here and now.

Sensing the body was recommended by the Buddha as the most effective way to be present, and he's a pretty good recommender, if that's a word.

And even if it is a word, it's just squiggles on a background, and then you have your right leg, real as can be, with you all day and night, Buddha or no Buddha, Facebook or no Facebook. Internet, indoors, outdoors, at job or not at job, with people or alone.

You.
Are
The center of your experience.

Experiencing a big simple chunk of you,,, your right leg, is a fun was to experience / realize that reality.

Play that game, if you wish.

Tomorrow, another.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Become More Amazing, for all levels



Being alive is amazing, right?

And then, within that, we all have our amazing talents, quirks, and inclinations. We are all amazing.

And just as perfect as we are, we can get even better. If we want.

Sometimes riding the contentment of exactly who we are is just what we need to do.

Sometimes these words ring true:  Life is Yes, and can get Better and Better and Better.

I work with high performance musicians who don't mind going to higher and higher levels of ease, learning and performance.

I also work with children who have either cerebral palsy, or autism. They are amazing. They can become more amazing.

This is what is amazing about them, and why they can make so much progress with the Anat Baniel Method. They can learn.

Many other systems teach them, but those systems teach them that they are failures, by over and over giving them tasks they can fail at.

However,  a sensitive Anat Baniel practitioner, by moving in ways that are slow and clear, and creating small differences that the child can feel and notice, creates actual rewiring of the brain.

Learning is the noticing of differences that make a difference.
A slight new movement of the hand, in awareness, in learning, is vastly more important than being sat up because that's what the child is "supposed" to be doing at a certain age.

A child that can feel the difference between a little finger and a thumb, between a shoulder moving this way, and moving that, between the arm moving with connection to their back, or moving without connection, is a child on the way to learning the vast array of distinctions that allow functioning to happen.

Training and learning.
Training vs learning.

This is a big subject.

Even "regular" kids are so much better off if the parents and the teachers are setting up conditions about learning.

And relationships, ah. how much time to we waste trying to train our partners, when what we really want is love and connection.

And how does that happen?
Learning what that other person is really like, how they are different from every other person in the world.

Including us.

What a thought?
What a joy.

Alright. Have a good evening.
Chris


Monday, August 11, 2014

The Anat Baniel Method: Possibility vs Limitation

The Anat Baniel method uses Brain Plasticity,
and the incredibly
wise
kind
and effective
philosophy of only working with a child, exactly where that child is at

And always working for a small
but real change
in the brain

Which means a new perception
of
a
new difference


And when children are shown small differences,
that they can feel,
they learn

And when they learn,
small step
by small step

miracles happen

One step at a time

And this all adds
up

Into huge breakthroughs.

Here's a six minute video, with various parents and their special needs children,
telling the benefits that they found for their children.

As Anat explains an overview.

The most potent remark is that of a mother who says, essentially:
"Going to the neurologist, is going to the office of limitation.
Coming to the Anat Baniel method, is coming to the home of possibilities."

Come to the home of possibilities,
for
you
and your children


Monday, July 28, 2014

INDEX OF POSTINGS, most recent at the top,105 so far

Put cursor on the title and click to go to any previous posting

JUNE 2015
105. June 9, Working with the Whole Person not "Fixing"

SEPTEMBER 2014

104. September 15: May you BE happy

103. September 8: The glories of Now. A very simple and powerful start to freedom, another word for being present

AUGUST 2014
102 . August 25:  Become More Amazing== parents , kids, high performers, regular folk, we can all become more amazing

JULY 2014

101. July 28: Slow, Small Variations... making all the difference in the world

JUNE 2014

100. June 30: BEYOND LIMITATIONS, chapter 13, the last, of Kids Beyond Limits 

99.. June 23: AWARENESS, last essential, chapter 12, of the fantastic book, kids beyond limits

98. June 16: Imagination, essential 8, chapter 11 of Kids Beyond Limits

97. June 9: The Learning Switch, essential 7, chapter 10, Kids Beyond Limits

96. June 2: Flexible Goals, Chapter 9, essential 6, Kids Beyond Limits

94. May 22, Thursday, Sad news, somethings OT andPT undermines real leaning. Darn


APRIL 2014

83. April 28: Monday, Chapter 4:  Movement with Attention, Essential One

82. April 25, Friday: Stimming, one

81. April 23: Wednesday: Put the toys up high

80. April 21, Monday, Chapter 3:  Your child's amazing Brain ( the perception of differences as the road to freedom, yours and the child's)

79. April 14, Monday: Chapter 2: Connecting Not Fixing ("If he could, he would; if she could, she would.")

78. April 7, Monday: Rereading Anat's Book, Chapter One in Kids Beyond Limits ( and the forward by Michael Merzenich, neuroscientist)

MARCH 2014

77. March 17: Your Child, Your Intuition, Your Lives

76. March 11: Who Wants to Change? The inner world of your child

JANUARY 2014

75.   January 27: Monday : Why Lessons Close together are easier/ better for the Child

74.   January 20, Monday: The Cruelty of "Tummy Time"

NOVEMBER 2013:

73. November 18: Why have a lesson, To the Special Needs Child in us all

OCTOBER 2013

72. October 1: The "hardest lesson"

DECEMBER 2012


71. December 21: Everyday is a new world for our children, and us, if we but wake to the moment
70. December 10, Play for the Brain, Play for the Love of Life and Your Child

NOVEMBER 2012


69. November 26: Variations on a Theme

68. November 12: Every Monday is new, and it's about you, too

OCTOBER 2012

67. October 2: Grounding, for the parent, and it'll help with all children and your ongoing stress reducation SEPTEMBER 2012

66. September 24: Mindfulness and Childrearing, especially in the wonderful angry moments.

AUGUST 2012

65. August 24: new rates in September

64. August 24: 3 ways to deal with a "heel not touching the floor": cut, force, use the brain

63. August 13: SLOW is gold: Pages 90-92 in Anat's Book

62. August 9: The small pieces that can lead to big changes

JUNE 2012
56. June 25: Learning and loving from "mistakes"


55. June 18: Love in motion, e-motion, life


54. June 12: Autism and 7 steps for parents of children "on the spectrum"


53. June 4, Monday: Returning Phone calls

MAY 2012

52. May 29, Tuesday, like a Monday after holiday: a Movement lesson for back neck and brain, go slowly and have pleasure and learning

51,. May 21, Monday: Thumb and little finger: learning, learning, learning, always learning

50. May 14, Monday: Enthusiasm, mirror neurons, excited for now and what's next

49. May 8, Tuesday (sorry, day late): Get lots of lessons, for the brain to feed happily, and the child to change "naturally"




APRIL 2012




48. April 30: Obvious and forgotten: Don't try to get the child to do what the child can't do

47. April 23: Kids Beyond Limits with the help of APPRECIATION

46. April 16: Brains love to learn

45 April 9: Variation, Essential Three, yum, yum, food for the brain, ours and our childrens'

44. April 3: You are what you eat ate

43. April 2, Monday: Going deeper on the Norman Doidge quote: pushing a child to "ape" milestone, vs waking up her brain



MARCH 2012

42.March 27: Two great quotes, one from Norman Dodge, one from Anat Baniel

41. March 27: Anat's New Book is Out, and is Great

40. March 19: Raising Money for ABM lessons and ALL other expenses

FEBRUARY 2012

39. February 6: Actions and Learning, for you and your child

JANUARY 2012

38. January 11: A video on the GAPS diet and the Body Ecology Diet for
special needs children, especially those on the spectrum.


DECEMBER 2011

37. December 5: Piggybacking on Evolution



NOVEMBER 2011


37. November 7: The Fundamental Unit of Intelligence


OCTOBER 2011
35. October 31: Special Needs Children: Separate Website now

34. October 25: time and the children and the computer bandit

33. October 17: wrists and ankles and learning, ho ho

32. October 10: Touching for learning: delicacy, direction, differentiation, feeling back into yourself; good stuff, but way slow down stuff


31. October 3: Learning vs pushing the child around 

SEPTEMBER 2011

30/ September 26: Parents will be required to take the lessons when working with me

29. September 19: Language and learning: sounds and speach, the key: perception of differences

28. SEPT 12: A great essential, and a short posting: enthusiasm

27. Sept 6: The Third Essential: Subtlety: the power of the little that is noticed



AUGUST 2011


26. August 29: Patience as one key to love, joy, and peace. And Learning.


25. August 22: Transformation is a big deal


24. August 15: Now the thumb and the pinkie: don't force their hand


23. August 9: Toes and feet and learning up and down


22. August 1: What of the OT/ PT that comes for "free?" 
MAY 2011

13. May 30:  If the child knew our "thinking/ intentions"

12. May 23: Helping Bi-Polar by tuning the brain into the present moment

11. May 16… Rolling to Sit to Organize The Whole Person




10. May 9: Meditation as a Gift for you and your Child

9. May 1:
Intelligence is the perception of differences, no matter how "small"


April 2011


8. April 25: Crawling as Action, not Problem


7, April 18: Suggestions for Autism and Fragile X,


6. April 17: Two more hints for Autism, Horses and My book


5. April 11:  Variation and Learning, not "fixing" in Action with Harper


4. April 4: A slow and gentle lesson for children with "hand in mouth" habit/ wiring, CDKL5 and plenty of others

March 2011


3. March 28: Connection Not Fixing: A central idea for the  ABM work with children, and how to help ourselves and others "change," even though they/ we are "already perfect."


2. March 21: Possibilities for Parents: including a hint/ suggestion for parents to discover in themselves a variety of ways to roll from their back to their front side, and from their front side to their back


1. March 14: 5 Lessons in 2 Days and she's a new girl, 
cerebral palsy, brain trauma at birth, learning is always waiting

Small, slow, variation



We can change our lives. And the Chinese said it a long , long time ago: the journey of a thousand miles starts with one step.

With your child, what little variation can you create on something they already like and enjoy doing?

How can you, today and every day, make learning and play a big part of your interaction?

And remember:
Learning is not the memorization of facts, how far the Earth is from the Sun, say, though kids are often gaga about facts.

Learning is what?

Learning is the perception of a difference that makes a difference. That we didn't know about before the learning took place.

It's crazy fun how many possibilities:
A kid sucks their thumb.
Great, How about sucking the first, second, ring and little finger, one at a time?
And the fingers on the other hand.

A child is whining.
Great.
Can you whine in a higher pitch, a lower pitch, a staccato pattern?

Time of bedtime story.
Great.
Rest at the end of several sentences,
or a page,
and let's make up a little different story.

Or let's look at the pictures upside down.

Food:
How many ways are there to hold a spoon?

Can a piece of lettuce be a spoon?

How many things can be a spoon?

You get the idea:
Learning and play and imagination and getting out of the box, of how we thought about things before: this is a daily game.

You can play with your child.

You can play with your habits.

How many different ways can you sit, and shape your back and neck and ideas and breathe as you read this?

Can you write about this after,
with one hand and then another.

Can you draw a picture that you wouldn't normally "waste" time doing as the post reading "game?"

What is it you'd like to learn, and how many new and delightful ways could you go about that?
email me, if you want, with ideas and results.
chriselms@vom.com

Cheers,
Chris

Monday, June 30, 2014

Last chapter, 13, BEYOND LIMITATIONS, end of the book, Kids Beyond Limits

Beyond Limitations:

What a nice title to a last chapter.

And we read it,
and then what?

go hang with your child and look
wait
watch

what do you see?
limitations
or
possibilities

in your own skills as a parent
what do you see?

limitations or
possibilities?


in your own challenges in life other than parenting
what
do
you see:

limitations
or
possibilities?

Anat rounds out her book by returning to Elizabeth,
who it was discovered in her late teens, had been born
missing a third of her cerebellum

the doctor's diagnoses her as profoundly retarded
and only suited for insitutionalization

she is now in her thirties
married
with children
and her own business
and two master's degrees
and can move fluidly,
and speak well

the changes were small

but they were taken

and since it's about a brain
learning to be a better brain,
no matter what was missing,
the parts of her brain that were there,
filled in,
and she could live an exceptional life

not just a normal life
but an exceptional life

so,
it's what we do next
and
next
and next

stay in the present
remember the essentials
look for the possibilities

have fun
discovering
how to
increase your child's
having fun
discovering

that's a win win,
eh?

Monday, June 23, 2014

AWARE, AWARING, AWARENESS, essential nine, chapter 13

Awareness

I can be aware of my fingers and my breathing and the sounds of cars and keyboard and my house as I type this

I can just be focused on the words

you can be taking in the words, and aware of the computer and how far you are from it and whether you are breathing in or out, or pausing between


kids you are aware are present to their own being,
as an actual choice making and noticing part of the world


awareness is hard to write about

Anat does a fair job,

but her best suggestion is  to practice

so,
as I write,
as you read,
as you listen to  and interact with your child

we can practice
being present

present
to
ourselves as alive right now

present to our child
as
alive right now

present to our
ideas about what we want
to happen with our child


noticing without a demand that it be different

noticing without judging,

it's freedom.
...

and
her best hint:

for whom do we want this to happen

do we want our child
to wake up
be happy
learn
have a fun interaction
with us

or do we want a certain performance to allay our worry?


And to notice
without judging

that's key to mindfulness which is another way of talking about what Anat's talking about


she also has a useful bit about kids in their tantrum,
or their anger:

they don't know what they are doing


right,
and adults, too, when emotional,
it's usually just a floodgate opening and no one is really home

this is human life:

we can be home to the moment
or
not

including this one

enjoy the game

enjoy the practice

your love life

with child
with self
with life
with mate

will all flourish in
the
now

Monday, June 16, 2014

Imagination, essential 8, chapter 11 in Anat Baniel's book, Kids Beyond Limits

In this chapter, Anat has a great story about Ari,
a young autistic boy who endlessly repeated a certain video.

Without it, he became anxious.
With it, he'd go through it word by word. Totally locked in to a set outpouring of words.

She loosened up his body
and got him in touch, a bit at a time, with how his body could
function as a coordinated whole

then she interrupted the video

first panic.

and he's keep reciting and get out of synch

then he got how to get back in synch
how he could listen for where the story had resumed
instead of his old let it loose as one spewing habit

then, Anat and he played with imagining the Little Train of the video might do something else

he caught on

he discovered that story was something that could come from his brain

he discovered how to create something new, in his brain,
 a new and playful combination of story ideas

finally, they began to stop the video at random places and make up alternatives

he could IMAGINE NOW,
A world that came from his concoction

....
later, she mentions a study about divergent thinking
the ability to come up with a bunch of ways to use a
clothes pin,
or do something different

98% of children 3-5 ranks as genius

this goes down and down,
until only 2% of adults

....
conclusion:
we aren't imagining enough..


....
imaginary free throws,
imaginary piano practice:

they work

.....
daydreams:
good for you

this is contrary to the work, study, get ahead,
nose to the grindstone approach

and on the other side
we have
Einstein,
saying that
Imagination is everything

.....
Anat mentions a study of hotel room cleaners
one group was told their work helped their health
one groups was told nothing

after 4 weeks the first group had actual improvement in blood pressure, weight and than kind
of thing

the mind is powerful
imagination can harness this

.....

for any child, special needs or not,
the ability to distinguish made up worlds
and the "real" world outside of them,
is part of the game of growing up,
and an opening to endless discovery
and creativity

the key
is to help, to go along with,
to acknowledge your child's daydreaming

when they space out
give them some time

and then ask and listen into where they
went
help make it more a game

make up stories together

spend some time co-daydreaming
a fantasy and perhaps filling it in with imaginary music and movement

and then
hey
start some real movement

a great Gestalt exercise
is to let your imagination go to ......
whatever it wants

say a beach on Hawaii

and then use that as a hint:
I need/ want more body relaxation right now
how can I get it

....

and your child's dreams
in the sense of their big wish for their life
listen
listen
listen
that's what love is

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Insomnia

The trick with insomnia is this:

Don't fight it

Don't think about it...

Don't worry...

Easier to say than to do,
and
this is your chance to learn to meditate
whether you want to or not

...

this is the secret:
finding something soft and eyes closed
that is more interesting than thinking

a lot more interesting

and guess what:

movement with attention
that is slow
and had variation
and is soft
and had breaks/ rests/ pauses

suits that requirement completely

...
so
here's a good one,
and it helps with necks, backs and shoulders, too.


lie on your side,
in bed
eyes closed,
knees bent comfortably and one hand on top of the other
with your arms straight
in front of you

do things and then rest

1. take your top arm forward ( the direction your nose is pointing is forward)
so that your top hand goes past your bottom hand
do this very slowly

keep this top arm straight and bring the hand and arm back, so the fingers begin to come
up on your lower wrist

go back and forth and feel the movement in your shoulder
and your back

rest

2.
Do all the above and add on breathing
either way:
breathe in as you go forward and out as you come back
or
breathe out as you go forward and breathe in as you come back

do this slowly
about ten times,
seeing if you can feel something new and different and pleasant
in your body each time you do this

rest

3. Do all the above
and start opening your hand like a flower as you roll forward
and bringing all your fingers together like an octopus all legs touching as you come back
go
slow
go
really really slow

feel
the fingers
feel
your breathing
feel your ribs rolling
feel
you shoulder blade moving
feel
the
vertebrae in your spine moving

feel
the pleasure in
feeling/ sensing yourself

at least ten times rest

after those four ,
lie on your back and rest
and imagine the whole sequence in your mind
as you feel rather than do it in your body

then do it again,
but add on:

be aware of your neck
feel how it rolls a little one way and the other

do all four steps
one by one,
nice long rests,
and have your neck as part of this

after those four,
take a big rest


if you want more complicated versions,
come take lessons
or call
and we'll arrange verbal lessons if you aren't in Austin..

but keep doing this
as you get more and more happy
and soft with
fingers
spine
neck
shoulder
ribs
breathing

take lots of rests

do it a bunch on one side
so slowly than you can imagine,
almost like it's sleep movement

take lots of rests

you might fall asleep

that's okay

you might keep enjoying this
and
radically improving your spine neck shoulder and brain and fingers

that's okay, too

smile while you do this
sense your toes
and send happiness to them,
and let them send
happiness to you

good,
cheers
chris