Going Through the Motions

For some reason, I haven’t felt much like writing today. I got up and cranked out my 750 Words over coffee, and that was all I could manage. Errands, clients, and continuing my office reorg took up the rest of the day, and my available mental bandwidth. The prompt for today from Post a Day didn’t thrill me, so here I am, right before bed, writing about not writing.

In the Feldenkrais Method, we teach the advantages of self recognition: to recognize when one is using too much force, or being led by misplaced ambition, or acting without attention. Sometimes you come out ahead by resting, and starting again refreshed. That is what it feels like I should do tonight.

My mother had a vivid expression that she would use to describe someone who was acting without understanding, commitment, or energy. She would say they were “just going through the motions.” Clearly, just going through the motions was a bad thing, or a poor substitute for the real thing, whatever that was. However, I now have a different perspective.

In a Feldenkrais class, you learn something about yourself by going through the motions. The movements don’t have to meet any standard of excellence other than your own comfort and enjoyment in them. Going through the motions, listening deeply and feeling subtle distinctions, free from ambition, performance, or importance, brings amazing sensations of lightness and overall improvement. And so, sometimes just going through the motions will yield a surprising result.

Going through the motions of writing tonight has resulted in a piece of writing: something I very much wanted to produce, but had struggled with all day. There you go.

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