Movement as Metaphor
Monday, December 3, 2018
by: Seth Dellinger, GCFP

Section: Art of Living

If you are a human being, you have a deep natural wellspring of creativity that is your greatest resource for vitality.

I can’t think of anything that will universally improve all aspects of your life more than increasing your understanding of how to tap into this power than the Feldenkrais Method®.

My own experience as a practitioner of the Feldenkrais Method, a transformative somatic movement practice, has taught me that creativity is one of the central components of the experience of being human.

I think of creativity as the ultimate gift of being alive, the ability to recognize the elements of any moment that can be reimagined and reorganized to create a new experience – and the courage to do so.

When you attend Awareness Through Movement® lessons, which involve moving while giving high-quality attention to the unfolding process of each moment, this is precisely what you are practicing. Each sensation, each thought, and each emotion that arises as you move provides a potential lever to new discoveries.

When you learn how to take that process into more aspects of your life, a clearer connection to your creativity is the result.

You may have already heard that the Feldenkrais Method is good for you if you have aches and pains of various kinds. While I agree with that idea, I think it promotes an unfortunately narrow understanding of what this practice is all about.

The Feldenkrais Method is most fundamentally about rediscovering your inherent creativity and learning to apply and embody it in each moment.

Your creativity is your most potent tool for diminishing your aches and pains!

...So if you are recovering from surgery, suffering from exhaustion or depression, or feeling stuck in traumatic memories or current dysfunctional relationships, I recommend that you try the Feldenkrais Method – because when you face those kinds of challenges, that’s when you’ll need your creativity the most!

Practicing the Feldenkrais Method can help you open creative channels and, subsequently, open doors you might have thought were permanently locked. It can make it possible for you to feel things you never thought you would feel, and do things you never thought you would do.

I have never been comfortable with telling people that the main benefits of the classes I offer are increased flexibility, improved balance, and easier movement – some of the features most commonly associated with this work.

While I have certainly witnessed time and again how people receive those physical benefits by taking a class or receiving an individual Functional Integration session, what I’ve come to see over time is that the much deeper reward of this practice comes when we begin to understand how that kind of transformation is achieved.

learn to tap more deeply into your natural human creativity

Here’s (some of) what you can expect to gain if you practice the Feldenkrais Method:

A higher level of sensitivity to the signals of your body and your environment, consequently increasing your capacity to recognize and manipulate the subtle elements of what is present at any moment to make very large differences in the quality of your experience.

A deeper experience of sensuality, naturally flowing from your newfound sensitivity, which creates the opportunity to make peace with your body and give it the respect and care you deserve. This transforms not only your sexual nature but your enjoyment of all your senses.

The ability to reimagine any situation in multiple ways to create variations, solve problems and invite endless possibilities. Over time, developing this skill will boost your confidence because you will be less likely to go into paralysis when you feel “stuck.”

Greater autonomy beginning with the permission to constructively redefine your definition of competence to discover more sustainable pathways for learning – rather than being demoralized continuously by other people’s definitions of “success” and “failure.”

More comfort with being uncomfortable, a skill that creates the possibility for you to safely discover and test your limitations and assumptions, thereby gaining access to interesting people and experiences that live on the other side of your imagined limitations.

A deeper understanding of how you connect to the outside world, an awareness that lays the basis for recognizing the ways you wear a mask to hide your true self, and eventually moving beyond that habit to make meaningful social connections that will further nourish your growth.

A greater talent for improvisation makes it possible for you to more confidently, authentically, and spontaneously express your truths – whether in the midst of creative performance or simply within the rhythms of your everyday experience.

The permission to be playful so you can revisit the magical experience of childhood when nothing was impossible, and bring that inspiration back into your adult life (a change that, among other benefits, will help you deepen your relationships to the children you love).

Growing recognition of your habits and blind spots sometimes sobering, but always the basis for understanding how to create more choice in your life, and to clarify where you need to place your attention and efforts to increase your overall potential.

A tangible experience of transformation in your body and in your life as a whole, when you understand how the creative process of intentional improvisation can be applied to any area of your interest – not just “movement.”

The movement of our bodies is a metaphor for everything else in our being.

Movement cannot be separated from our perceptions, thoughts, and emotions – it is simply more visible and available to work with.

If you follow this creative path to the end, ultimately you will realize that you are the sole author of your own story. And if you come to that place, you realize that you don’t have to write any other story than exactly the one you want to live.

When that happens, your entire experience of life shifts and you gain access to creativity on a whole new level.

Seth Dellinger, GCFP, discovered the Feldenkrais Method in 2012, and immediately recognized the contributions of Moshe Feldenkrais as congruent with his own life discoveries in his previous two decades as a musical and political radical. He teaches that strategically improvising with movement as metaphor opens doors in all realms of life. Find out more at
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Comments (1)
Beverley Anne Jansen GCFP
12/15/2018 3:07:03 AM
Seth, would you permit me to share your article ‘Movement as metaphor’ with my friends and clients? It’s the most comprehensive, succinct and clearly understandable description of the ‘life, the universe and everythingness’ of the Method I’ve ever read. It’s accurate. Stirring writing!
I am a Feldenkrais practitioner in private practice in Brisbane, Australia since 2000.

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