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Becoming Human

By Catherine Rosasco-Mitchell, GCFP

He had me bend over the treatment table. There were at least 60 people watching. I thought, “Jeez this is embarrassing.” Then I realized, “Hey this guy is an assistant for the world famous Moshe Feldenkrais. I’m just going to go for it.” The session happened in the first year of my Feldenkrais® training. I didn’t know much about my body at the time but after this session something strange began to unfold deep inside me. “How can this Feldenkrais Practitioner, gently pushing against muscles and bones, actually open my mind to new perceptions?” It just didn’t make sense.

The practitioner seemed to lightly touch many bones at different angles. I could swear the hour was only minutes. When I got up from the table my stance was wider, more grounded but surprisingly lighter. I felt taller, and I don’t know, fuller? It was as if new places in my body became alive. There was a sense of confident, and yet humble Humble because my mind wondered, “Wow, this feels good,” but then struggled with “but who is this?”

Have you ever awakened from a dream and been surprised it was all a dream? Everyone seems to, at one time in their life, do things they don’t realize they are doing. My first hands-on Feldenkrais session pulled me out of what felt so familiar, but hidden from my awareness. This “awareness,” different than a knowing or acknowledgment, made only the present moment alive. It was an experience - not a thought - but an experience that changed my thought. Bizarre. What Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais calls “awareness” was pushing my past into the distance, as if to move a book away for aging eyes to see more clearly. My reflections of my past were at a distance, yet alive today. Familiar thoughts and feelings seem to somehow be in a different reality than my own.

“Is this real? How was I taken out of the body I was familiar with and put into such a new body? This could only happen in the movies.” But there I was, experiencing this new me, so much more comfortable, freer, and even powerful in a peaceful way.

This Feldenkrais Method® communicates to a complex synergy of “thinking” and “feeling” through my body, without a word. Something deeper opening inside me could feel what it was like to evolve. Now, twenty some years later after giving over ten thousand Feldenkrais sessions, many say similar things to me when they get up off the table such as, “Wow, if that isn’t me then who am I?” Who are we? How can our bodies rewire our minds? I wonder, are we all amazing and unique beings, becoming human, moving towards the true essences of our souls?

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