One of the most valuable lessons I learned from my Feldenkrais Training is that what we tell ourselves really does matter. Our mind (our brain and our nervous system) is constantly listening and processing the information that it receives. What we tell ourselves is what we believe. And what we believe is what we become.
This became quite obvious during ballet class a few days ago when I listened to several of my barre buddies beat themselves down with negative self-talk. Our teacher had just given us a challenging and complex combination. A group of dancers stood around discussing their limitations, their short comings, their injuries, the reasons why they wouldn’t be able to do the combination and what would happen when they tried.
It was fascinating to see all of their dire predictions come true once the music started. It was a stark contrast to the group who quietly watched the teacher, marking the movements with their hands and in their imagination. They moved through the combination with an ease and grace that looked effortless. It wasn’t because they had more talent or technique. It was because they believed in themselves and invested all of their focus and attention on what they could do, rather than what they thought they couldn’t do. Yes….it is that simple.
I must confess, I used to engage in deprecating, negative self-talk myself. I wasn’t only good at it, I was a master at it, and I took it to a high art form. However, this self-defeating practice began to change once I began my Feldenkrais Training. The change was slow and subtle, but it was there. I felt happier, healthier, and more energetic. I even felt younger, and I discovered that I liked myself more. I became my own best friend instead of my own worst enemy. And I learned that life was a lot more fun than it used to be. What a gift!
What we believe is what we become. Be careful what you tell yourself, because your nervous system is always listening. Your mind does matter. And it will believe what you say. Be gentle with yourself, and give yourself positive messages. Soon it will become automatic, and effortless. And you may be surprised how good you’ll feel, and what you can accomplish. The possibilities are endless!