What is health?

“In short, health is measured by the shock a person can take without his usual way of life being compromised”  Moshe Feldenkrais

Moshe Feldenkrais the founder of the Feldenkrais method for somatic movement education wrote a beautiful piece on health in 1979. His vision of health at that time was quite controversial because he focused on the possibilities and capacities in everyone to act consciously in the world and to shape life in spite of personal difficulties or challenges.

At that time – and I am not convinced that much has changed – health was seen saw as the absence of disease. This is quite a limited definition that is rather focused on how someone does not medically fit into the picture of the ideal human being? But what else is health?

“If a human being needs no medical services for years and has no complaints of pains or aches, is he or she healthy? If, on the other hand, this same person leads a dull, uninteresting life with marital difficulties that end up with suicide — is that a healthy person? And is a person who never brings his or, her work to an end one way or another, and who keeps changing his employment only to avoid his duties time and time again — is he in good health?

Obviously, health is not easy to define. It is certainly not enough to say that not asking for medical or psychiatric help is proof of health.” – Moshe Feldenkrais

We live in a culture of fear and shame. Many people are preoccupied with what is wrong or wrong with them, with their bodies, their desires, their lives, whether it is about pain, difficulties or the fear of not belonging, fear of mistakes, failure… More than 2 million people in the Netherlands alone are walking around with chronic tension and stress complaints and all their consequences. Of course we all have great challenges, sad and violent events in our lives. Life throws its curve balls. But to what extent does it deprive us of the space to feel and experience the other side of life? The joy, the pleasure, creativity, spontaneity? What is health?

A ‘billion figure Fixing industry has emerged in which people are even more confirmed in what is wrong with them and remain stuck in their malaise. Give me a pill so I can keep doing what I’ve been doing. Outside interventions that rarely result in the person in question asking himself the question ‘How are my behaviour, movements, and thinking connected to my emotional and physical well-being? People give away the responsibility for their own health and well-being. They outsource feeling better. And so the story keeps repeating itself. What is health?

The first thing we as children unlearn as we get older is learning in a playful way by exploring, discovering with trial and error. Because in this society making mistakes is synonymous with failure and failure very often has negative consequences. Do we still dare to fail, are we still allowed to learn by ourselves? How often did I come across students in my dance school who already knew they couldn’t dance before they even had taken a step, completely stuck in their beliefs about themselves and unaware of the chance they had taken away from themselves to discover something new, to broaden their horizons? What is health?

I believe the answer to what is health lies in learning about ourselves. Learning to be aware of the movement of the emotions in ourselves, our feelings, our thoughts and the way we move, A Learning with our senses and our brain. An organic way of learning that engages and invites our entire nervous system to make new connections.  The magic words for this kind of learning are playful movement.

I would like to call it Embodied Learning. Because in this ‘learning’ head and body are equal and one. I can also call it animated learning because in play, curiosity and spontaneity we meet our soul and connect with our dreams and creativity. From this Learning; we do and think in connection with our whole self and movements arise that are supported by a deep understanding of what our body and soul need to live life to the fullest and to be in our own strength, to live our dreams…

I am convinced that a caring, listening relationship with our body and a large dose of self-awareness are the keys to health, vitality and meaning. If you understand what you do and how you do it, then you can do what you want. And you can stop something, that too is an action. In other words then you create the possibility to make another movement. Movement that makes you sparkle, where dreams come to life and your energy and zest of life flow exuberantly.

“A healthy person is the one who can live his unavowed dreams fully.” -Moshe Feldenkrais

I left for Spain in 2019. It was my dream to live in the mountains, to feel more peace and sun, to live closer to nature. The first time I had this dream was in 1999… With a dart and a map of the world at hand, I expressed my wish in November 2018. “Where will I really feel at home?”. Not in Rotterdam in any case. Then I threw the dart. It landed at a point somewhere between the villages of Lanjarón and Orgiva in southern Spain, in the wonderfully beautiful Alpujarra. But I didn’t know that at the time. Of course I went to see it, several times even.

My husband still had a job back then, so moving wasn’t done overnight. Oh how that stood in my way and how scared I was that he would quit his job. Fear, dilemma; it was all there. One day I wanted to leave and the next day I clung to everything I didn’t really want anymore. Who knows, maybe I could make it fun again? The umpteenth attempt to silence that voice of my heart.

Intention is strong and so is being aware. you can’t make yourself unaware of something you are aware of. I felt very deeply what I wanted and did not want. The dream wanted to live. And with every attempt to suppress my dream I lost more energy and pleasure. On a drizzling grey day when I felt extra flat and frustrated, I told my husband with quite some emotion that if his work was not there, we would have been long gone. Oeps! A few weeks later he lost his job due to a restructuring. And so it happened that all the excuses fell one by one and only the courage to do so remained. I then learned that the plural of courage is life

In the meantime I have found a beautiful place in the beautiful Alpujarra, between the villages Orgiva and Lanjarón. Yes the dart! And I feel at home, delightful! How grateful I am to have taken the step, despite my fear of the uncertainty of a new move, to have followed my heart. After the Covid crisis I want to organize great retreats here, full of dance, creativity and movement, to guide people to be healthy and vital in life, to play.

Below is an extract from the essay by Moshe Feldenkrais in which he shares his strong vision on health:

….Even in our culture a number of us succeed in continuing their healthy life process to an old age -an age, that is, where the unhealthy are already dotty and sick-. Some of our best and healthiest men – who, by the way, may be hunchbacks or have other deformities – are the sort of people of whom we think as artists. Most artists, they cobblers or sculptors, composers or virtuosos, polish, or scientists, like good wine, are best when they are old.

The outstanding difference between such healthy people and the others is that they have found by intuition, genius, or had the luck to learn from a healthy teacher, that learning is the gift of life. A special kind of learning: that of knowing oneself. They learn to know ‘how’ they are acting and thus are able to do ‘what’ they want: the intense living of their unavowed, and sometimes declared, dreams” – Moshe Feldenkrais

If you want to read the whole essay, click here

So inside, so outside

Today I was working on a new online program to move with lightness, energy and vitality. And that brought back old memories from when I was still auditioning for dance. And the journey I made then to build a caring, respectful relationship with my body and feel the energy, life force and lightness to sparkle again.

By learning to feel and look at my body differently then, my dancing has changed and also the way I stand in my life. A renewed relationship with my body, myself actually, my dreams and my environment. What I myself find very special is that this came about by changing my way of moving. The power of movement and dance.

“Movement occupies the nervous system more than anything else because we cannot sense, feel, or think without a many-sided and elaborate series of actions initiated by the brain to maintain the body against the pull of gravity; at the same time we must know where we are and in what position. In order to know our position within the field of gravity with respect to other bodies or to change our position, we must make use of our senses, our feeling, and our power of thought.” -Moshe Feldenkrais

 

The power of connection

If there is a harmonious relation between the nervous system and the muscles, bones, organs and breathing then we experience softness, strength and mobility at the same time. All parts of the body can then regain their place in the system and perform their function efficiently and flexibly, allowing the energy to flow optimally again. There is good cooperation, support and communication between all parts of the body, the mind and heart. This is where the path to lightness, energy, creativity, connection and growth begins.The way our inner system works is similar to the way other systems work.The way our inner system works is similar to the way other systems work.  Systems are about relationships and the better the quality of a relationship the better the system works.

The body benefits from a well functioning system and our emotional self as well. When there is constant conflict between body parts we experience that as tension, stress and fatigue in our inner life and we are more quickly overwhelmed by our environment. Most people react to this by hardening and disconnecting from their bodies and their environment.

So inside, so outside

The internal relations in our body teach us about our external relations with our environment. It is not for nothing that they say ‘So inside, so outside’! I have noticed that when the different parts of myself are better attuned to each other and the energy flows optimally again, the judgements and beliefs about myself and the world around me soften and there is room for (self) compassion.

I therefore believe that our body is a mirror for our thinking and feeling. When we move, stand and sit with more physical freedom and experience more options in moving, that movement will also be reflected in our thinking and feeling. Many people then experience that mentally and emotionally they are also more playful, flexible and resilient in their lives. It is therefore easier to face the world with an open, uninhibited heart.

Conversely, restrictive thoughts and emotions that draw us in have an contracting effect on our cells. We feel our muscles tighten. The organs experience less space because of this muscle movement and can no longer do their work properly. The bones are pulled and the joints experience more strain. There is no longer a relaxed balance in standing and sitting. Many people then fix parts of their body and limit themselves in their movement possibilities. Their brain becomes more and more preoccupied with the tension and loses its flexibility, creativity, playfulness and zest for life. I myself have noticed that I push people away from me, close my heart, pull up a wall, become more upset, angry, sad, pessimistic, judgmental. This is the spiral towards stress, fatigue, overexertion, pain and maybe even bitterness and depression. But each spiral  has a reverse side.

The other spiral direction is towards lightness, energy, creativity, growth and enjoyment. I like to focus on this area where we have the opportunity to get to know our potential for ourselves and others. Moshe Feldenkrais once said that we only use 10 percent of our full potential. That’s an alarmingly low figure. It is time for us and the earth to focus on awakening our potential instead of everything that is wrong with us so that we can make a change for the better.

Therefore I am a firm advocate of these definitions of health of Moshe Feldenkrais:

Health is our capacity to act in the world despite our difficulties’ and ‘the ability to live our dreams regardless of our circumstances’.

I have noticed that becoming conscious in and through movement is a safe and beautiful entrance to self-growth. I say ‘conscious movement’ because by consciously listening to their body and the movement, many people can prevent injuries, move lighter and more easily. And also get to know and express their emotions better and give expression to who they are. And equally important to feel that movement that makes them happy, liberates them and gives them space.  If that’s what we radiate we also give other people the space to get to know themselves, to be themselves and to be allowed to enjoy who they are.

How I got home in my body

I’ve had a lot of tension in my body for a very long time without realising this. It did not surprise me afterwards that all this time I was also very perfectionistic, closed and very harsh and critical towards myself. It had become normal for me to go beyond my limits, to exhaust myself, to please, to fight against myself and to continue until the pain really became too much or that I was so exhausted that I could no longer sleep, eat, stand or sit tired and took refuge in something that could numb me.

Pain is a signal from the body that it wants to move differently, that we have something to change in our ways of thinking, feeling and doing and that we need to come home to our body. Before we experience pain, the body has already given a lot of signs like, for example, we no longer move with fluidity, have a stiff, nagging back, experience every action as too much effort, are tense, easily feel angry, weepy or cranky, are tired and over whetted.

One day, years ago, I auditioned for a dance choreography in which I really wanted to dance. Unfortunately I was rejected because my movements were too pointy and hard for what they were looking for. I was not lyrical enough in my way of moving. Years earlier, during an audition at a dance academy, I had already heard that my basic muscle tone was too high, and they doubted whether my body would have the pliability to move in 1000-and-1 possibilities.

This time I saw lyrical movement as something I could learn to make my own. On my journey to regain fluidity and softness in my moves I discovered the Feldenkrais method. By consciously looking for small, slow and soft movements I discovered how tense and cramped my whole body actually was and how exhausted, empty, depressed and over-stimulated I actually felt.

And I discovered that there was another way. Already after a few lessons I noticed that I moved softer, did not grind in my sleep anymore, slept better, felt more relaxed in my back and shoulders. I felt lighter and lighter during the training to Feldenkrais transformational movement coach. People told me I had a softer look in my eyes and more color in my face. That my smile had become full bodied and that I was more open and relaxed towards my environment.

The internal relations in our body teach us about our external relations with our environment.

Gradually I not only developed more flow and lyricism in my movements, I also got more energy, stood firmer on my legs, and felt calmer and peaceful in my body. I was no longer so afraid to do something wrong, I played again and felt my inner sparkling and twinkling again. I noticed that I began to form a different image of myself, in which there was the space, freedom and respect to enjoy myself and my body. I really noticed how much I had changed because my immediate environment reacted differently to me than before. Relationships changed in a direction which was connected with respect to our boundaries

I see movement as a powerful entrance to transform old physical, mental and emotional patterns, beliefs and habits and to build a new, loving, caring relationship with ourselves. I believe that a loving and compassionate relationship with our body is necessary to be able to be loving towards our environment and still maintain our boundaries. Boundaries which are sometimes so subtle that we can only feel them clearly and respect them when we can really rest deep in our body and be at home with her. Our senses then work so much more refined than when we are stressed and disconnected to ourselves.

How many misunderstandings and heart-hurt can we avoid if we learn to feel, know and express ourselves and our needs more clearly? How much vitality and energy can we regain if we no longer ignore our body but respect it in our actions? Imagine the lightness and fluidity in your movement when you move your body’s way.

Join me in my online program ‘Move with lightness, energy and vitality’

Become your own medicine for pain, tension & fatigue in the back

Have you been experiencing tension, pain or a tired feeling in your back for a long time when standing, sitting, lying or moving in any other way?

It is possible that your nervous system once developed a pattern of your muscles which now causes too much tension in your back.

Because the back and usually other parts of the body (such as your pelvis, shoulders, etc.) cannot move freely due to the tension, they loose their natural flexibility, resilience and agility and become stiff. They are actually overburdened and put under tension all the time, which makes them exhausted and vulnerable to injuries.The body then communicates that it wants to move differently by signals such as fatigue and pain.

Many people then assume that the abdominal muscles need to become stronger or that the back muscles need to be stretched in order to solve their back problems. However, the one-sided excessive tightening of the abdominal muscles and excessive stretching of the back muscles usually exacerbate the problem.
I believe that you have to learn to move differently. And that goes beyond stretching and strength training. It is about re-training your nervous system and becoming aware of and reviewing your movement and emotional habits as well as your self-image.

In my online program “a happy back,  a happy you’ I help you to discover a new way of moving that feels good for your back and gives you reborn vitality in your daily life. Not by strength or stretch exercises but by feeling, listening and looking at the collaboration between the muscles that have the bending as their main task and the muscles that have the bending as their main task to help us to stand up ‘straight’ and all parts of the body that are also involved such as your skeleton and organs. You will learn how to educate your nervous system in such a way that you have a relaxed, agile back and enjoy moving through your life.

The body as orchestra

I think an orchestra playing a symphony is a nice metaphor for how all our body parts have a relationship. In the orchestra there are a number of sections of instruments that have something in common with each other (such as the muscles, organ systems or the skeleton. Within these, each instrument has its own character and function as does each muscle, joint, organ; each cell has its own function within a larger whole. Together, all these instruments with their tone and music make the symphony by supporting, amplifying, lifting each other and giving space and ground to each other. And because all musicians cannot possibly keep an eye on each other all the time, there is the conductor.

The conductor guards and directs this process by tuning in to what is happening and keeping an eye on the total sound picture. In the body the nervous system is like the conductor. If the conductor does not have the complete picture or does not listen carefully to the instruments in the orchestra and the surroundings or has a black out, then the symphony will most likely sound bad or it will become chaos and stressful in the orchestra and everyone will play at the same time and interchangeably, so that no single instrument will come into its own.

In the same way, the nervous system can develop an image of the body and its surroundings through all kinds of past experiences – and especially fearful experiences – which is no longer in tune with reality nor accurate. If the nervous system then controls muscles with opposite functions all at the same time with the message to tighten, chaos and tension will arise in the movement symphony and the participants of the body orchestra – the other muscles, organs, bones, joints, etc- will stress out;. Especially the muscles have a tendency of overshadow each other and do not give each other the space to function properly.

The body communicates this as pain, tension and fatigue and makes us feel emotionally extinguished and quickly stimulated. Our mind can’t think as flexible and resilient under that pressure and starts to produce negative thoughts. And the muscles react to this and so we end up in a vicious circle where not feeling well, thinking and moving keep each other going. The nervous system sees no other possibility at that moment than to play the same programme again like a needle stuck in the groove of a record.

In my online programme ‘a happy back,  a happy you’ you’ll learn:

– How to enter into a dialogue with your nervous system and how you yourself can help your nervous system to get an accurate picture of your body and its environment now.

– You will discover how your body parts can move together in such a way that they support each other, strengthen each other and give each other space.  In addition, in this series you will investigate how your body can move from the support of your natural environment.

– You will learn how you can teach your nervous system how to make the muscles move in such a way that they support each other, strengthen each other and give each other space.

 

Life as art

My first Feldenkrais experience

“Please lie down on the table.”

A moment before G. watched me walk and make some simple dance moves. I have pain in my hips and a high tension in my body that seems to have been there for centuries. It has been looked at so many times, I am close to despair.

With my clothes on, I lie down on my side.

She curls her hands over my ribs.

I feel myself rolling languidly, a miniscule movement in my right hip. My vertebrae follow – one by one – forwards, backwards and sideways…I turn, I twist… I think of the domino effect: where one falling stone sets all the other stones in motion.

My breath flows into places I’ve never been with my attention before. I sink deep into my body. My muscles soft and heavy. The table moulds willingly around my bones.

I sigh from my toes… Time stands still…

“Was I asleep? “

“Mmmh you were away for a while” a funny wink in her voice.

I turn on my other side. My sore hip… Her hands move me slowly and clearly. I wait for the familiar pain but no… This new sensation makes me laugh… “Aaahh” .. years of tension slipping out of my body.

Her hands play, she makes my bones dance… “Oohhh”… my head rocking gently.

Forgotten is my pain. My hips roll happily in all directions… Like a flowing, sensual dance.
I thought I was supple but… WOW!This feels so flexible and free…

After this divine session I walk, I dance like I have wings, I feel loose, I swing! What a pleasure to move again, without tension, without pain.

(From ‘my first Feldenkrais experience’, Pingel)

Three sessions later and the pain in my hips was completely gone. I was back to dance tango on my high heels and yoga felt great again. I was so impressed with the Feldenkrais method that I signed up for the next training to become a Feldenkrais somatic movement coach.

Now 15 years later I give both online and hands-on sessions and online group lessons. And I continue to marvel at the power of this method: How subtle movements transform lives at the level of the nervous system and the brain and enable people to live their lives to their fullest potential.

Would you like to experience a session as well?

 

What is Acces Consciousness?

Did you know that there are 32 points on your head that contain all the ideas, thoughts, beliefs, emotions and considerations that you have stored (in all your lives)?

Touching these points lightly removes the electrical charge from thoughts, emotions and fixed experiences. This process works like a major cleaning or declutter of the brain like if you ‘clean up’ a hard disk of a computer.

A BAR session can be beneficial for countless physical and mental aspects such as fears and phobias, physical (pain) complaints. It strengthens the immune system and much more…

photo: Wendy van Slooten

Access Bars ™ has already helped thousands of people on various issues such as: sleep, health and weight, limited beliefsystems, sex and relationships, anxiety, desire, stress and so much more.

In the worst case, you will feel as if you have just had a great massage. In the best case scenario, your entire life can turn into something bigger with total ease.

What relationship do you have with your body? What if your body can do much more for you if you allow it into your consciousness? If you change your relationship with your body, you change your relationship with everything else in your life.

An Access Body process is aimed – through the hands – to start a conversation with your body and support her in a self-healing process. This is done by tapping into the universal energy and ‘turning it on’ in places in the body. This process helps the body generate itself. It also helps you to be in more connection and awareness with your body.

I work with the Bar’s and the body process MTVSS, the tool of choice. It helps rid the body of almost everything that does not function or does not function well. It can have a major effect on the immune system and joints.

This morning I received a wonderful complete MTVSS treatment from Pingel Braat; How did I get so lucky? Pingel gives this body process with great attention to detail and with a lot of softness. I and my body want more of that. All energy lanes flow again.

Lineke Mourits
Would you like to have your bars run again? You can book a session with me here

2 offerings that will help you feel home in your body

Last year I moved to Spain. I let go of my practise, my clients and everything that had been familiar to me while living in Rotterdam for over 20 years. That was one of the most challenging things I have ever done in my life. I felt like a flower that pulled her roots out of the soil. Transitioning from my old big city life to living in the ‘campo’ in the quiet mountains of the Alpujarra was a shock to my nervous system. And yes the soil in Rotterdam was not fertile enough anymore for me to flower. But was the soil here in the South of Spain?

In any case, I had to fertilize the soil with my sparkling manure before I could make my roots grow firmly here. And that was exactly what I hadn’t found a good recipe for so far. I felt pretty thrown off my legs in the first half year. And that’s where I ran into the Chakradance training. The promise that I would ground firmly in my own body and reconnect with my own deep wisdom made me choose this journey. And that was more than worth it! I now stand firm in my own sparkle dung. I feel relaxed in my body: Present and Alive. I wish that for you too.

I still do the wonderful meditations and dance-explorations to balance my basic chakra on a weekly basis. And also in this turbulent corona time it has helped me to stay attuned to my body and feel safe in her. I love to share this beautiful practise with you!

Below are the links to the free gift-pack and E-course ‘Reboot your Base Chakra’. In the video above I tell more about it!

Get your free giftpack: www.move-into-joy.nl/chakradance-giftpack

And/or sign up for the 10-day Online course: www.move-into-joy.nl/chakradance-ecourse/

How do you feel about your body?

I would like to invite you to reflect with me on our relationship with our body.

In our western society, the body is often approached as if it is something mechanical. In my opinion, Western society is very ‘mind’ oriented. When I look at other cultures I also find ways of experiencing the body as a very intimate, sensuous place to live in or a temple, And I find that in many older and indigenous cultures the body is experienced as a place that holds the wisdom about life, about human experience and connects us with a bigger experience than just that of ourself.

I am very touched by this quote of Gene Gendlin

“ Your physically felt body is in fact part of a gigantic system of here and other places, now and other times, you and other people. In fact the whole universe. This sense of being bodily alive in a vast system is the body as it is felt from inside“ -Gene Gendlin

I feel that there is a lot that we don’t grasp yet about the amount of wisdom that our body holds for us and its impact on us.  I do know that for our health and well being, moving through life, consciously living in our bodies, will help us move better, feel better, and become better care keepers for earth. And there is so much more…

In the last years, I have been contemplating how spirituality can be a part of our sensuous life. How I can weave a somatic approach with a spiritual approach.

Just think about it… We have a trillion cells that store all our experiences, connect us with our environment, with earth, with life-force, with all other living beings on planet earth, with the moon, the stars… And although we may not be aware of all their influences on our daily life, I feel our body has this awareness. She is constant dialogue with this giant environment that she is part of, belongs too, breathes with. And where our minds are often puzzled about the essence of life, of our being, our body knows from sensing life itself and spirit breathing through her.

In the video above I share some more reflections.

So how do you feel about your body?

 

The miracle is you!

Today I like to share a poem & song that one of my colleagues was posting on facebook some time ago. It is called ‘The miracle is you’.

Yesterday I followed a morning session by coach Els van Laecke. She shared a practise of self-celebration for all the little moments when our light begins to stutter. Celebrating the magic of your body is one way to ignite your sparkle and move into joy instantly. And your body will be so grateful.

Especially in these moments that you forget to pay attention to your body and it is sending you unpleasant signals. In the old days I could feel very frustrated about my body and disconnect even more. I noticed that to show compassion for my body in these moments and remember the miracle she is, helps me to act much more in attunement with my body. And that adds to a happy body and a happy me dancing life together in co-creation…

Later the same day I followed a webinar with coach Oscar van Rooij. Guess what! He guided us through a meditation to… SELF CELEBRATE. So today I consciously like to celebrate my body, your body and the body of life itself.. And this poem of Kute Blackson is a wonderful tribute to our bodies:

You were born with over 150 trillion cells,
more than all the stars in the Milky Way.
You know how to kill germs, digest and talk all at the same time.
Your heart beats 101,000 times per day.
During your life, it will beat 300 million times.
Each day you take 23,000 breaths.
Your blood travels 60,000 miles per day on its journey through your body.
You blink at least 15,000 times per day.
If all your DNA were stretched out, it would reach the moon 6,000 times.
Your bones are four times stronger than concrete.
Your eyes can distinguish up to 1 million colors.
Your lungs inhale over 2 million liters of air daily.
When you touch anything, a message is sent to your brain at 124 miles per hour.
The length of your blood vessels would circle the globe 2 1/2 times.
You have the ability to distinguish over 10,000 different smells.

The Miracle is You.
So listen to the music deep inside of you.

There are universes dancing inside your body.
There are sunsets shining in your heart.
There are symphonies playing in your toes.

There is a full moon beaming in your belly button.
There is a gentle rain that falls from your eyes.
There is an army of love in every step.

The Miracle is You.

So if you have such a moment of ‘de-sparkling’, just listen to this song ‘Miracle’. Below you find the link to Youtube.I wish you a sparkling home coming into your body!

The Miracle is You by Kute Blackson – from the song ‘Miracle’
https://youtu.be/bYgl_z05bqY

Act in spite of fear

Looking at this picture that I found on facebook 3 years ago, I am most touched by the words ‘Act in spite of fear’. I feel that I and with me many others have firm struggles with overcoming the fear that is holding us back from following our heart. Fear of not being good enough, not being safe in ourselves, not belonging, falling or failing, being visible or invisible, being rejected, fear for our own potential or living a meaningless life, never really doing what we deep in ourselves dreamt of doing… and so on.

Two years ago, when facing the fear that was holding me back from choosing to step out of the cozy prison I had created for myself, I met very old emotional pain that asked for my attention.  I learnt that dealing with fear is not only mindset. I believe there is strong emotional habits behind our mindset, that are responsible for many of our thinking-patterns and beliefs now. Emotional patterns deeply hidden in our cells, creating unconscious self- sabotaging beliefs. They were formed when we were still little ones that did not have the words yet to express nor the social knowledge to understand what was going on in our lives.

These emotional habits are so firmly ingrained in our physical structure -our posture, our way of walking and our way of moving through life-, that they have become like our signature. Fairly often it is not as simple as letting go of the beliefs they bring to mind. We have become attached to them for better or worse as the struggle with them has become a purpose in it self. We’re not aware that we’re holding on to them by choosing to control, fight them, push them away, refuse to own them. That we are actually avoiding the even bigger fear of not knowing and not being in control. But isn’t it in the unknowing that our dreams will unfold themselves?

I believe these beliefs and the emotional patterns that form their root, can only be addressed, brought up and transformed in close collaboration with the body. I learnt that the body expresses the emotions that we tend to push away through tension and pain in our body tissue, our muscles, joints and organs, causing an overwhelmed nervous system, fatigue, depression and ultimately disease. I am talking about psycho-somatic issues in the tissues that most doctors have no answer for but ‘learn to live with them’. Mystery pain and tension that has no name nor a cause in most of the classic medical books.

On my own journey I learnt to dare to not know and stop controlling the fear. Staying present with the fear in heart and mind amidst the emotional overwhelm is challenging but not impossible. And actually stepping into action in spite of fear brought to surface my most hidden gifts and talents. I learnt to feel and see beyond the physical pain and feel the emotional story behind a posture or physical movement pattern like f.e. walking. In short I learnt to walk my talk.

When making choices that were more aligned with who I am, I felt clearly how highly tense, sore tissues started to soften over time. I learnt to relieve habits of stress by listening to my body’s impulses. My organs got back their motility and mobility and improved function. My immune system is still growing stronger every day. Even to the point were some old food intolerances disappeared. After 30 years of chronic fatigue, I am now less tired and I awake and productive all day.

And as I continue following and trusting the voice of my body whether she talks about food, movement, emotions, thoughts, memories or pain I get to know what my soul craves for. Like a shadow guide, I explore the hidden emotions behind the physical pain, the constrained movement, the tiredness and the unhealthy patterns that I created over time. And as I go there, sad emotions and sheer fear come to surface like little monsters. Except when connecting with them, they seem more like little children feeling very lost in the dark. In my opinion the work is about bringing these little ones home as they carry with them so many of our soul’s gifts and talents. Steadily I am finding ground in my body. And the more I breathe with her in moments of fear, the more she softens, opens and stops holding on to it.

I dare say that choosing the life you wish for in spite of fear, is a powerful way to dismantle that same fear. It starts with reclaiming your dream step by step: addressing and unravelling old emotional habits and reframe old childhood belief-systems while embracing new chosen life experiences. Refinding our ground in the body releases anxiety and overwhelm. Remembering the body as our earth-home creates the peacefulness and safety from inside that is so needed to move along unknown paths.
When I set out to fulfill my dream and find my truth, I never dreamed of finding so much potential for healing and growth by owning my fear and stop controlling it..

I learned to trust, listen and validate my own instinctual and intuitive wisdom and act upon that wisdom. What a difference does that make! I feel there is calmness in ones own wise words when one speaks them to oneself. There is peace underneath the fear when one allows the body to move with it. To trust that there is silence in the eye of the storm that overwhelms the nervous system and that this silence comes with strength and insight to face the inner storms and showers of rain yet to come.

I believe we can only change mindset when we change the full setting; mind, body, nervous system and soul. I feel they are all interconnected and can’t be separated in the processes of learning and healing. The tool needed for change is to become self aware in sensing, feeling, thinking and action, owning every aspect of this including the consequences of our choices and actions. In understanding why you are where you are, you will know  which way to walk and how to choose your path.

So if you also feel that your comfort zone is a safe prison, it might be time to reconsider if you want to stay there. Why not take the first small step out of your comfort zone… In spite of fear!

I just started to teach a series of online dutch Feldenkrais classes to help you find ground in your body and get ready for new choice and action. If you are interested in english Feldenkrais lessons just drop me a line and I will schedule them.