Ne Cessez Jamais De Progresser
Never stop growing
“A violinist, an actor, a writer, or whoever, who is not aware of the importance of awareness of the way one directs oneself in acting or functioning in life will stop growing the moment he achieves what he considers to be the right way of doing. Some pianists of genius when practicing are always aware of their playing and discover an alternative to the habitual. Improvement of talented people comes through their awareness of themselves in action. Their talent arises from their freedom to choose their modes of action.” Moshe Feldenkrais “The Elusive Obvious”
On the surface of things it would make sense to strive for the ‘right way’ to do something but Moshe was keenly aware that this attitude gets in the way of growth. Once you consider a skill to be learnt then … it’s over, you’re done, you’re cooked! But when you can find an endless fascination in how you are doing the thing … then that thing can grow and change.
It’s not always about developing awesome talent in a particular field, changing the small ordinary ways that we go about our lives can make a big difference to our mental and physical wellbeing. Sometimes it’s enough just to realise that change is possible. There can be a profound significance in the realisation that we can continue to choose new and different ways to act. That realisation is only possible when we bring our awareness to bear on our actions, to notice what we are doing and see how things could be different.
You don’t need to be a violin player to benefit from discovering ‘an alternative to the habitual’!