On Awareness

An excerpt from the “Authentic Movement” section of The Creative Fire: 10 Weeks to Emotional and Creative Fitness

By Dr. Bob Beare


The spiritual aspects of authentic movement are important as well. The hamster-in-a-cage and monkey-mind that our busy lives can create for us are the results of unacknowledged distress in our bodies. It is understandable that we would try to hide these perceived weaknesses in order to survive, and most of us are not willing to look within unless an injury or great loss forces us to do so. We continue to do what we have always done until our emotional and/or spiritual posture collapses, or until the fear of stasis becomes greater than the fear of change.

It’s like the parable of the turtle that was stuck in a wagon wheel rut. He yells to a passing rabbit to help him out of his predicament. The rabbit attempts to pull the turtle out of the dried mud, but is unable. He agrees to run twenty miles and get some of his rabbit colleagues to return to help the turtle. When they arrive the next day, exhausted, they see the turtle lounging under a tree reading Travel & Leisure magazine. The rabbit says, “I thought you were stuck. We ran all night to pull you out. What happened?” The turtle replies, “I heard a wagon coming.”

For most of us human beings, change comes only when the wagons approach or when the water gets close to a boil. Dance as a healing art invites us toward a deeper understanding of our core, which might feel broken or flawed. Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais believed that we could restore ourselves simply by developing more self-awareness. “Through awareness we can learn to move with astonishing lightness and freedom – at almost any age – and thereby improve our living circumstances, not only physically ... but emotionally, intellectually and spiritually.” A regular practice of authentic movement is one effective way to slow down the mind, and this can allow us to listen to a deeper friend beneath the surface, one who can lead us toward a sustainable and invigorating wholeness.


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