How Feldenkrais Principles Created a Writing Success*
Tuesday, August 9, 2016
by: Illona Fried

Section: Community News

“When you know what you are doing then you can do what you want” - Moshe Feldenkrais
When I entered my Feldenkrais training, I was a blocked writer. While I blogged regularly, my posts mostly reached a loyal few. I was too anxious and conflicted to actively seek out other outlets and opportunities or sustain longer-term projects. Discipline and dedication, while necessary, were not sufficient. I had an unarticulated wish that the Feldenkrais Method would, somehow, free me from my particular set of cross motivations or at least release them enough so I could express myself authentically with greater ease. As many of you know, I’ve written extensively about my experiences in the training, partly to cultivate new writing pathways. The positive response and support from this community has emboldened me to take more risks with self-expression.
Earlier this summer I began to feel helpless and fearful about the upcoming presidential election. I wondered if I could use my creative writing skills to relieve my angst and perhaps reach others. While watching a live video of Ivanka Trump introducing her father at the Republican National Convention, I was struck by her palpable love for a man many neither understand nor like.
That was my Feldenkrais “aha” moment: viewing the proceedings from that angle gave me something easy to relate to, a point of entry. I could put myself in similar, but less prominent, shoes given my own loyalty to a man who at times alienated people with blunt language and a cantankerous temperament and had a reputation for crazy hair.
With that connection established, I dropped into my center and began drafting a heart-to-heart letter to Ms. Trump, trying to find as many points of similarity as I could in our stories. The Feldenkrais training, with its emphasis on using nonjudgmental language to describe movement, helped me refine several drafts to move towards clarity and remove almost every trace of ego. The training also allowed me to keep returning to the text, again and again, with patience and care rather than urgency, until I felt satisfied. Despite my eagerness to send it out into the world, I let the words rest for a day, much as we do during or after a lesson.
I posted this letter on my blog on Tuesday, August 2. The overwhelming response made me realize that I both wanted and needed to share it on a larger platform. But where? Most media outlets won’t take material that has been published already, even if on obscure blogs. The next day I summoned and embodied the Feldenkrais ideal of potent action, devoid of parasitic movement, and without hesitation I e-mailed Arianna Huffington directly and asked her if she’d publish it. In less than 30 minutes I received a warm, positive response from her with instructions on how to proceed.
In his pamphlet “Learn to Learn,” Moshe Feldenkrais wrote, “We do not say at the start what the final stage will be”. Over the weekend, a few days after being published in the political section, my letter appeared on the front page of The Huffington Post. It’s been shared more than two thousand times, brought thousands of visitors to my blog and, from the response I’ve received, it’s touched many hearts and moved many souls. You can read it here.
Ilona Fried blogs about the Feldenkrais Method and other awareness practices at

* The views in this article are the author's views and do not represent the views of the Feldenkrais Guild.
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