Monday, August 16, 2010

What's supposed to happen

Donna, the feldenkrais practitioner, suggest that I think about the times when I speed up, what is my pattern then? Chest up, pelvis forward, chin up, jaw locked, eyes into my head, shallow breathing. Something like that. Any one part and stimulate the rest, that’s what she thinks. Like now, I just noticed that yes, my eyes were going up into my head, breathing stopped, chest up. With feldenkrais the key is the awareness, once you notice what you’re doing then you can stop. You don’t tell yourself to stop, actually you do it more, that’s the idea, and then your body learns.

So lately I’ve started to think that I do that whenever I eat, eyes up into my head, and Donna asked if it was something about not wanting to allow myself pleasure, a pattern from when I was anorexic as a kid.but no -- that’s not what anorexia was about for me. It was about taking control of my body back from my parents. And actually, it was pleasurable not to eat, that’s when I had the most energy. Then I would eat something, and I would crash.

And yes, every meal at the dinner table was just tension and rage, a fight for them to keep control, of course I stopped breathing. I don’t know if I ever breathed fully, the first 18 years of my life. But it’s interesting now, to see that this pattern of my eyes into my head, it’s very similar with either stress or pleasure. When I’m really relaxed, it seems to happen. When I’m allergic to something. When I’m tired. When I’m thinking.

And I stop breathing when I’m writing, when I’m editing, when I’m in a hurry, when I’m enjoying a conversation, when I’m intellectually stimulated, when I’m angry, when I’m stressed out, when I’m doing my hair. It’s not the exact same response, but it’s similar -- what does this mean? I don’t want to get too neurotic about it, because then that gives me more pain, and what I’m trying to do is get to a place of less pain, right? The key is just to notice, to notice and not try to change anything. Like when I’m washing the dishes, and I notice that I tuck my whole body in -- I used to press everything forward against the counter, which is kind of the reverse, what exactly are my eyes doing? I’m not sure. That’s another hard thing, because once I start thinking about it, then I think my eyes are always kind of doing that, but there are different levels and I can’t quite feel them yet.

Oh, right -- when I smile at someone on the street I think I do that too, because suddenly I don’t see them. And, when I sit on the fire escape in the sun, that pleasurable feeling. Eyes closed, into my head, right?

On the elevator, I tuck my body in, head back and up. Walking on the street, there are two ways that my eyes go back -- down, when I walk slow; up, when I walk faster. Somehow this starts to be fun, the awareness, even when I get confused and I can’t figure anything out and I have a headache, okay stop, stop paying attention. And then I’m kind of smiling -- it’s Sunday, so there isn’t as much pollution and I can walk further even though I thought I was more exhausted than usual.

But here I am thinking again, eyes go back. Isn’t that what’s supposed to happen? I have no idea.

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