The Other Half of My Story

When people ask, I tell them that I was a dancer, then massage therapist and then Feldenkrais teacher. It’s linear and convenient. It’s accurate. But it’s only a slice of the story.

And . . before you read on . . . .Yes, I can help you emerge from chronic pain, to become independent of shots, pills surgeries, boring rote exercise etc. I can help you move with confidence instead of fear. We can work together to help you rediscover vitality and joy that you thought were gone from your life.

That’s what most people are looking for when they come to me.

And now, here’s the other part of the story, which is the real story.

I live with ADHD.

I grew up in a time when kids could run the neighborhood and no one was paying too much attention to what we were doing.

There was plenty of freedom to exhaust my physical energy— running in the woods, roller skating, setting up lawn chairs as a steeplechase in my back yard, hours of practicing handstands, flips, walkovers, made-up dance routines. I climbed trees and played neighborhood games late into summer nights.

My neurological situation was nicely buried in the normal active lives of children back then.

I was way more active compared to most girls I knew. And I knew the importance early of being socially accepted. So, I perfected polite behavior and did well in school because I was a good memorizer.

Is ADHD a tendency I was born with and then my environment determined how that tendency expressed itself?

It’s possible the anxiety of growing up in a family feeling unprotected and exposed to unpredictable violence creates the kind of anxiety in a child that makes it hard to focus.

Whatever the contributing factors, I couldn’t quite pull it all together. At an early age, I was “messy”. I left a trail of broken commitments, loose ends, lost things, unfinished projects in my wake. And all the shame that comes with those. Especially for girls and young women who are expected to be tidy, and organized.

I tried to improve. I wish someone had known that my brain had become wired differently. Instead I grew to believe that there was something very wrong with my intelligence and my abilities.

But, I could move.

I could run. I could dance. I could jump. Movement made me feel powerful and joyous.

Why am I telling you this?

Because along the twisty turn-y road in my life, I met the Feldenkrais method. At the time, I thought it was simply the next logical step in my career.

But I got so much more.

The Feldenkrais Method gave me a practice for living in my body in a gathered way— for cultivating presence, for sensing myself in space (important since I can’t tell right from left) and unapologetically owning the space I inhabit. My disconnected whirling brain had a practice for calming itself.

I have learned to live compassionately in my body.

Not only that, since former dancers (see my original story) often spend the rest of their lives dealing with old injuries, I’ve improved my life in these ways—

I’ve eliminated my

  • Low back pain
  • Tinnitus
  • Failing knees
  • Sharp pain in my hip joints

I’ve flipped my breathing patterns from anxiety-perpetuating chest breathing to a more balanced and natural breath. This has been a huge ally in learning to manage the anxiety that affects my life.

I learned how to reduce eye strain and am re-learning healthy use of my eyes.

I have a sound education in the principles of movement to know the difference between convenient marketing jargon and healthy, efficient movement.

I’ve learned strategies to help when I have a flare-up of some kind of pain.

Most importantly, I’ve been given a practice for living without pretense, fully present in my body in this crazy world. 

All of that being said, there is nothing special about me. Feldenkrais is for everyone. You don’t need to be a Feldenkrais genius. There is no special talent required. Curiosity and an open mind are all you need to begin your road to feeling better.

Am I without challenges?

I’m still a human and being a human is complicated. The ADHD is still with me. Outside of specific focused activities (luckily, one of them is being a Feldenkrais practitioner!), it’s still hard for me to concentrate and I’m very easily overstimulated.

Living with these challenges, my Feldenkrais practice grounds me and allows me to function with joy, vitality, boundaries and compassion for myself.

If you’ve read this far, I’ll restate again . . . I can help you learn to emerge from chronic pain, to become independent of shots, pills, appointments, surgeries, boring rote exercise etc. You can move with confidence instead of fear.

And, you too may find that you’ll receive much more than you thought you were looking for.

I cannot imagine a better life than helping you get there.