So now, the next question presents itself: How do we define well-being? I believe we make a good start toward a working definition in the video, but for now let's suggest that a starting point for this state is freedom from any
lingering sense of insecurity: that despite our best efforts to believe otherwise, we begin to
accept deep down that "Hey, wait a minute, the hammer is not about to drop on my head." Once we get that there's no hammer, we feel a bit safer to be here now, a prerequisite for creativity and effective living.
The hammer is not about to drop

No hammer

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.

A similar point has been made by
another writer in the field of bodywork, Marion Rosen (born 1914). When
tension is removed, she says, we can actually improve our thinking ability (Rosen Method Bodywork, 2003). And according to bodywork pioneer Ida Rolf (1896-1979), mentioned a couple times in the video, when we're overly tense we actually solidify our mental attitude into "biological concrete." (The video also mentions Fathers Peter Campbell and Edwin McMahon of Colorado. In their 1985 book Bio-Spirituality, they
argue likewise: that stress, however you wish to define it, siphons away our capacity for accurate judgment.)
Ida Rolf

Ida Rolf

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