Studying the Feldenkrais Method has challenged me to consider my own relationship with body awareness, how my version of body awareness does and doesn't help me.
I've always felt very connected to my body. I have a strong tactile sense, and it seems that when I understand anything for the first time, it is first an understanding through my body.
Most of my life, I've intentionally gone after experiences that further this connection, that let me explore deeper into my own internal experience.
What I hadn't realized until recently is that I have a very limited way that I go about furthering that experience.
As much as possible, I have learned to shut out the rest of the world. I close my eyes. I cut off as many ways of perceiving external information as I can. I focus inward.
And if I don't do that?
Distraction. A sense of the world being tilted upside down. I bump into things. I startle easily. I can't remember things.
Maybe, on some level, it has always been about comfort, about finding some space of safety within myself.
Maybe it has been about feeling like I'm good at something, and wanting to be even better at it.
The reason doesn't end up mattering all that much.
Now, I'm pushing myself to keep my eyes open. Or, at the very least, be aware of whether my eyes are open or closed.
I'm practicing toward a more flexible body awareness, one that can be both internally and externally present, that can feel connected to my body without being stuck in it.
Most days, it's still disorienting. And even a little bit scary.
But in tiny increments, things are shifting. As difficult as it can be, there is also something very satisfying about an ability to change.