Feldenkrais: Making the Impossible, Possible

Is the impossible possible for you or me this year?

What if it is?  Perhaps not by some fairy tale version of magic wands (although I do enjoy those myths and find them a very important part of health and healing). Instead, what if this change is brewed through a recipe of time, play, persistence, faith…doing small things differently and non-attachment?

Recently, I expanded my own idea of personal possibilities by finding (once again) capacities on the physical level I had never before considered. The changes started with a small inner smile, a kind of optimistic hunger to try something previously unconsidered, and from there have slowly expanded.

Of course, my primary influence in such expansions is the Feldenkrais Method®, which at this point is reliably embedded into my life. At times, my own development takes big jumps–seemingly out of nowhere–but it is the result of that magic brew: time + play + persistence + faith + doing small things differently + non-attachment.

The sheer joy of feeling the impossible become possible in small incremental steps creates even more joy and enthusiasm for the journey that leads to…hmmm… who knows where? Feldenkrais has helped me immeasurably along the way.

As context, I offer that I am not a ballet dancer. Nor am I an athlete. I am on most levels a very average person who has continued to grow despite (or perhaps because of) childhood challenges. Whatever my or your apparent capabilities are, we all hold in common… dreams.

Perhaps better said, held in common are undreamable dreams. These are the dreams we cannot dream because we have never felt even the nascent potential within. Given this, I will adjust my above statements about myself. I am not a ballet dancer, yet. Or an athlete, yet.  🙂

I believe that our undreamable dreams need only the smallest amount of nurturing. Soon an inner smile develops and from there the magic of the impossible becoming possible unfolds.

Many people watched this video linked in our last newsletter.

She without arm, he without leg – Hand in Hand

Performed by Ma Li and Zhai Xiaowei, it is a truly moving performance. If you watch and read the story behind this video, you will have faith that you can go where you have not yet gone.

Be inspired about the possibilities through this woman and this man…

My colleague, Susan Glassmeyer, was so moved by what she saw that she did some research into the dancers’ beginnings. Following Susan’s investigate lead, in this issue we offer excerpts of these two dancers’ stories from a blog.

About the dancers, Ma Li and Zhai Xiaowei

“The girl (Ma Li) was a beautiful promising professional ballerina when she lost her right arm in a car accident in 1996. She was only 19. Her handsome boyfriend walked away from her.

“She tried to kill herself only to be saved by her parents. Her love for her parents gave her the strength to live. She learned how to live her life independently…

“…In 2002, a handsome 20-year-old young man (Li Tao) madly fell in love with her. She ran away from him for fear of being hurt again. After she disappeared in Beijing, Tao searched for her up and down despite his parents’ strong objection and ridicule. He finally found her dancing in a bar… They have never been separated since…

“In September 2005, she ran into a 21-year-old young man (Zhai Xiaowei). He was being trained to be a cyclist for the national Special Olympics. He had never danced before. He climbed on a tractor when he was 4 years old and fell off it and lost his left leg…

“…He initially didn’t understand how he could “dance,” so Li invited him to see her performing “Hand in Hand” with another male actor. He felt that he saw a perfect soul dancing on the stage and agreed to give it a try…”

Click here to see more of the story.

Do you have your own impossible becoming possible story? Is there yet more to happen in your life? I’m betting there is.

(Archive blog post from December, 2007)

About the Author


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Cynthia is a certified Feldenkrais practitioner, a Senior Trainer in Movement Intelligence, and a co-creator of Integral Human Gait theory. By day, she helps children and adults find easier ways to navigate life challenges and thrive. By night, she is dreaming up new options for how we can all become more fully human through awareness, curiosity, elegance and action.

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