patience in the process

by thankfeldenkrais

With a practitioner in high demand,
Throughout the year we may have long stints without sessions,
Sometimes three or four weeks at a time.

And it’s safe to say,
I start to go crazy.

I lose my Feldenkrais hat in a strong gust of follow-mainstream-practice-paranoia.

I stop seeing the potential of the movements,
And more notably what they have the possibility of leading into.

I start to worry I’m not doing enough,
Inline with the traditional approach to CP,
And if it’s detrimental to Isaac.

And I start to compare every child I see,
I google kids from all over the world,
Kids doing better than Isaac,
Kids having surgeries,
Kids in therasuits,
Kids being stretched,
Kids in wraps, splints, cast,
Kids at specialty clinics,
Kids having stem cell therapy,
And it’s full-blown panic attacks for all that we do not do.

And the overwriting fear of lost ability creeps in as the weeks without Feldenkrais roll by.

The reality is,
That sometimes after a week off Isaac has lost his legs,
Spaghetting along in his walker,
With very little reference to the ground,
Weight distribution gone completely awry,
And seemingly unaware of his lower limbs,
Or is in such fierce extension his arms forget how to reach,
While other times after four weeks his stepping action is crystal clear,
And his roll-to-sit-up on the therapy table the best we’ve ever seen.

And I do see just how powerful my fear response still is,
And my subliminal unrelenting pursuit for the conclusive answer,
The cure,
Ever present.

But instead of finding it,
I meet many sleepless nights,
Until I am again reminded of the windy road we travel,
No straight stretch of path on the map,
But of the importance of those bends and turns,
And where they take us,
Of the compromises Isaac’s system is under,
How much it takes in order to do something well,
The sheer focus that must ensue,
And often at the detriment of all else,
In order to learn.

But then how with ease,
It can eventually unfold.

And then other skills can begin to return.

Never more prevalent has the impact to his system been,
Than now,
As his desire for speech really drives him,
Bringing along for the ride however,
A tenseness,
Jaw clenching,
Stiff neck,
Pigeoning chest,
And a dramatic increase in saliva production,
As he squeezes with desperate trying.

A clear knock to his physicality.

To release the chest,
Free the neck and head,
Arms soft for reaching,
We will see a roll-on-effect,
Of more head movement,
Better balance,
Freer jaw,
And clearer speech.
(Dribbling-relief still a mythical unicorn which if captured would also dramatically help speech).

But we have to allow him time to reorganise an over-loaded system,
In the midst of great growth.

And I again see how AWOL my thought patterns had gone,
In looking for answers again in a stale model,
That focuses its efforts on the problem area,
Rather than seeing them as the flow-on-effects of what needs to be learned to open passage to the root or several roots of the problem,
The inhibiting factors,
Preventing ever finding the answer they’re looking for,
Because they’re always looking in the wrong place.

With sessions back up and running,
I lose my crazy,
And settle back into a saner version of myself,
As we start doing seemingly simple yet vital things,
To calm Isaac’s system (and mine!) down again,
Lying length-ways on a roller under the spine,
To balance and calm the body,
With no effort.

Head cannot throw back,
Shoulders can’t squeeze,
Arms can rest forward,
Feet casually on the ground,
With a chin to chest,
The back of the neck can be long,
The jaw can be soft.


The by sitting on a stool with resting feet,
To find the ability to come forward once more from the pelvis,
While everything else remains at rest,
To just exist there,
With ease,
So nothing has to work too hard,
And speech can be found.

It’s about rolling forward over bolsters,
Allowing the head to hang,
Rather than squeezing to hold it upright all the time,
Anchoring back to side sitting through a purposeful head turn,
And curling chest.

It all breaks the bias patterns,
Of over-efforting,
To find the ability to be free,
So all the components at play in speech,
Or in coming to stand,
Or reaching,
Are available.

Whatever the task,
Having options to choose a way for it to be possible.

There are so many factors at play in movement no matter how grand or small,
And no one understands that better than the Feldenkrais Method.


Like a broken record,
I must remember the importance of the journey,
Not simply the thrill of the destination.

Because we fundamentally seek longevity for Isaac,
Growth without limitations,
Allowing the often painstakingly slow puzzle pieces to find each other,
And so once more I must find patience in the process.

For now at least anyway,
Until something else washes in,
Catching me in the tide of what-ifs,
Leaving me in a tizz of uncertainty.