It’s not me

There’s this infamous sentence, most often uttered when gracefully ending a relationship, “It’s not you, it’s me.”

Thing is, that isn’t always the case.

Take what happens when I’m giving an online Feldenkrais lesson. 

The session often follows a curriculum that is neither a rigid procedure I must strictly adhere to nor a script that I am required to recite verbatim. The structure of a lesson is an outline, a kind of overall itinerary. I assess a student’s progress as it unfolds, taking note of roadblocks, detours, and dead ends. The challenges that we run into indicate blind spots and mismappings, revealing how this lesson fits what a student needs to learn. Depending on what I observe, I restate, refine, or revise the instructions accordingly. When a student is lost or struggling, rather than giving easy answers or issuing injunctions, I use the lesson to help them find their own way. 

This is the heart of Moshe’s method: that you can help yourself. Your body is made to move with ease and power. And your brain is built for learning how to make that possibility a reality. 

All that is well and good, but it doesn’t change that communicating over the internet means we are apart. While my words, sounds, and how I express them, along with the faces, gestures, and motions I make and the ways I make them, may reach you, my touch does not. 

Whatever happens in a lesson, the student does it. 

At the end of a group class or an individual session, when someone says how good they feel, how they found a way to move that doesn’t hurt — or can do something that was not possible less than an hour ago, or tells me what a good teacher I am,  I smile, look eye to eye, and say, “It’s not me. It’s you.”

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