Within this reclaimed space of well-being, our actions begin to take on an element of effortlessness. Back during the Renaissance, the word sprezzatura emerged,
expressing an ability to do the difficult with an apparent lack of efforting or "trying." In sports and the arts, we admire not those who overdo their effort, but those who apply the appropriate amount of effort - at the right time. Examples that come to mind are Olympic-level figure skaters, the art of Michelangelo, or the genius-level music of groups like The Beatles or Depeche Mode, who both possessed the ability to make time stand still.
According to Moshe Feldenkrais (1904-1984), a leading educator in the field of
somatics (which deals in part with the mind/body connection), this effortlessness is interwoven with a healthy degree of self-assurance, a kind that is neither aggressive nor overly assertive. He believed that great individuals are revered not so much for their willpower and/or brainpower but for their poised reflective manner. They display serenity without solemnity, patient objectivity without compulsive seriousness.
For instance, said Feldenkrais, watch an expert woodworker as he uses a saw. He'll make special little actions with his arms and hands, but the forward and backward movements are actually initiated at the hips. His action displays not only poised
simplicity but serenity of attitude, in short, an expression into the world of internal well-being.
By calming down our body through a superior massage, I believe these spaces
become more available to us as well. If you don't achieve greater serenity of attitude from either giving or receiving the massage sequence outlined on this DVD, I sincerely apologize for wasting your time. Fortunately, I don't believe any apologies will be
Feldenkrais adds that in the opposite state, one of generalized contraction of the
musculature, we are virtually impervious to suggestion or learning. In contrast, during the state of relaxation we learn faster. Not only faster, but more completely.