It’s like Learning to Dance.
Learning well being?
I’ve been interested in different kinds of movement, theatre, dance and music as long as I can remember and always enjoyed the playfulness and humor in it. That I end up dealing with well being and health in some way is funny for me. I am mainly working 1:1 with people and I’m using touch as well as description and breathing – and I’m dealing with pain and fear – such important issues that I used to see as very serious. But since I learned with the Grinberg Method, I actually perceive this in a different way.
I often find myself trying to explain my work by differentiating it from other techniques. Or I get asked to compare it to a specific one like Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais, Body-SDS or the likes.
Living in a society with lots of alternative treatments, it also seems to be the first thing that comes to mind, that I’m doing some kind of “alternative treatment” like mindfulness, holistic treatment, healing, therapy, coaching, mind-body-soul-work… And yes, the people I work with usually come, because they want to create changes in their lives and are often in pain or stress that is limiting their everyday lives or they don’t have as much energy as they would like.
But the difference I see between my work with the Grinberg Method and many other “alternative treatments” is how very practical it is. My aim is to give people practical, physical tools to deal with difficult situations or pain, in order to enjoy life and be able to be in it with more pleasure and energy.
I’d like to say that my work is like learning to dance.
I love to dance. And in the past years, I got more and more into dancing a specific dance called Lindy Hop. I have taken classes with different teachers, where I learned basic steps, the rhythm, postures and moves. In the classes I get feedback on how I can improve my dance – sometimes detailed (take a smaller step with your left foot), sometimes more general (keep your own balance). In order to become a good follow and be able to dance smoothly with my partner, I had to cross some personal borders, for example to let myself be led by another person instead of predicting the next movement and making the move on my own (I like to be independent and control what is happening, which can lead to tension when I’m not…). I also had to let go of a resistance to participating in a world of traditional gender roles (which are much less strict than in other dances, but that’s not the point of this article), if I wanted to be a follower and become really good, so that the dancing could become pleasurable.
The essence of a good dance teacher for me, is someone who isn’t trying to make me a copy of themselves, but they give me inspiration and share their experience in how they trained, how they got where they are and what they pay attention to in their dancing.
They show me a move, I try it. Or I come with a move that I would like to know how to do and struggle with. They show me, where I do something that doesn’t make the move work. I try. And I decide if this is a move, I want to be able to do and train after class or not. They’re teaching me, how I can get better at dancing, from their experience of learning to become a better dancer. Anything else is their personal opinion and way of living. They aren’t offering me remedies that will make me a dancer or short-cuts that work if only I understand or believe it. It is also clear that there isn’t a right way, but that a lot of how it looks like in the end is personal taste.
Another thing I enjoy is that I don’t have to understand why I’m a „control-freak“ for learning to dance better. I do have to stop being controlling in the same way and it’s not enough to understand it. Even when I have understood that I don’t have to control, I still have to practice with my body, how to do it. This is very concrete and physical and it makes sense that, if I want to become better, I will continuously practice. Sometimes it’s a move, sometimes it’s how I hold one very specific area of my body (like my solar plexus, which I recently re-discovered in a great workshop with Trisha Sewell).
The more you train, the better you get – as simple as that. And not only training home alone with your mirror and yourself. No… Out! On the social dancefloor, with other people around! Sometimes it will go fast and be fun, sometimes it will be frustratingly slow, sometimes you suddenly are able to do something and have no idea how. In which speed and form this learning happens will differ from person to person, but it certainly comes by practicing. Basically what the dance teachers are doing is showing me, what I can pay attention to and by trying it out I see if it works for me or not.
Even though it has elements of a therapy because I go beyond my borders and deal with fear on a certain level, I get a work out and more energy this wouldn’t fall in the category of alternative treatment, but actually what it is: It’s learning to dance. And it’s pleasurable.
So, what I’m trying to do and focus on in my work, is introducing Well-Being as a sort of dance that you can learn. We all have our own ways, so It is quite individual and you won’t find many videos online explaining your moves (but you can start training some of the basic “steps” with three free audio-exercises). The good thing is, that you can practice it anywhere you are, while you’re doing other things (also while dancing!).
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