How to Fall In Love: More on Melting Resistance
These are notes I took for a workshop series called, “Falling in Love with Your Life.”
1. Resistance creates barriers.
We don't meet someone we are interested in romantically and say, gee, I feel a lot of resistance and effort relating to you, let's get married! If we feel resistance, we turn away. We want relationships to feel easy, elegant, rewarding, and nurturing, wth our kids, our loved ones...even with ourselves!
2. The opposite of resistance is connection.
Connection opens us to life, but we have to learn how to feel it. We do this by sensing the difference between ease and resistance, the refinement of which is a life-long discipline.
The famous quote from Picasso, “inspiration exists, but it has to find you working,” can be reworked to say, “connection exists, but it has to find you sensing.”
We need to stay connected to our own sensations so that we can stay connected to the external environment. Take washing the dishes. If we're not sensing the connection between our internal feedback and the external environment, we will drop a dish. It's the same for anything: driving a car, riding a bike, or talking to a friend. If we're not taking feedback in and adjusting our behavior to accommodate what we feel, chaos ensues in our life and our relationships.
3. Connection leads us out of chaos.
If we resist our own sensations, there's no way to be connected to others. We can tell when someone is not connected to themselves internally. We can feel the absence of it, the discord or dissonance, like when someone is mentally ill and can't make sense of their internal world.
We say a person who cannot organize their actions is spastic because their actions make no sense. When your actions are sensitive to those around you, people can relate to you. You build a bridge to others by sensing yourself internally and moving in a way that communicates it. If your movement shuts down, your communication shuts down.
Life is more harmonious when we can connect to washing dishes without breaking them, driving a car without crashing, or talking to a coworker without arguing.
4. Increasing connection allows resistance to melt.
How do we melt away resistance—the tension in the belly, the vice-gripped chest, the forced smile, the stopped breath, the curled toes, the hunched shoulders, the clenched jaw? Through allowing sensory feedback to affect us. If we can open to our sensations, we can breathe, our jaw can relax, and our belly can be soft.
Allowing sensory feedback to affect us means taking responsibility for our environment. Why is this? Because you bring awareness to your experience and create a choice in how you live your life. The main idea of the Feldenkrais Method to compare what it feels like when you feel connected and when you feel resistance. Learning happens when we begin to choose one over the other.
5. Staying connected to ourselves allows us to love. Effort takes us away from it.
What if you could navigate life by staying true to what feels comfortable, easy, and good? How do you notice when you feel confused, disoriented, and tense? What kind of feedback tells you? Pick one kind of feedback that works for you and monitor it, such as a soft belly, a relaxed jaw, or fluid, continuous breath. Check it regularly. You will be surprised how many micro-adjustments you make that add up to big change. As we make sensory discriminations, we feel more of ourselves, include more of ourselves, and acknowledge more of ourselves.
Someone once said that we listen for differences in order to feel more whole. It is this wholeness that we bring to love. The joy and effortlessness of love comes when we are not holding back, tensing, or resisting.
Connection is both lofty and simple, accessible and elusive. The only thing you have to do is notice where you feel ease and where you feel resistance. In the play of that awareness is where you live your life.
And still, after all this time, the Sun has never said to the Earth,
"You owe me."
Look what happens with love like that.
It lights up the sky.