Don’t take any static from your habits!

People often ask me how it is that habits become the thing we do, before we do the thing we want.

Static charges prepare us for pain
Once you know you’re going to get zapped, you prepare for the pain long before you reach the object you know you need to touch!

If you’ve ever lived in a place where it’s cold and dry in the winter, you may be familiar with what happens when you put on your coat and shoes, walk across your carpet, then go outside to get into your car. The first day when it’s that cold, you aren’t ready for the jolt that runs through your entire being as you touch the key to the door and all that collected energy gets discharged in a giant static shock!

The next day, you get zapped again.

By the third day, and for all succeeding days, you approach the car with key leading the charge at the end of your out-stretched arm, so that the electricity will “happen” as far away from you as possible!

As time goes on, your shoulders draw up around your ears, your legs tense, you feet grip the ground more seriously and your head sinks into your rib cage — all in the futile attempt to stop what you know is unavoidable.

Eventually, you don’t bother waiting for contact with the big metal object… you start getting ready for the whack as you walk down the steps to the street. Then Spring comes, and one day, you prepare but you don’t get zapped.

See how it works? You PREPARE whether you need to or not. That’s the habit. You do it because you do it. Not because you need to or want to, but because you DO.

The beauty is that you can stop doing it if you can become aware of it… that’s where Feldenkrais comes in. Our stock in trade is to help people figure out how to change what they’re doing so that they’re in control of their own lives, and that means you can live with the static, or without it– doesn’t matter, because the static isn’t in charge any more.

5 thoughts on “Don’t take any static from your habits!”

  1. Hi Allison! I realize I’m not really sure what you do. I would be interested based on this post to learn more about Feldenkrais – it sounds like a very beneficial technique. And I look forward to learning more about your profession as well. Thank you.

    Sharon Hiebing
    Follow Your Dream Compass

  2. Our bodies are amazingly respondent to predictors, based on past experience, hence, curling inward when the cold hits. It’s also true for those who have gone through abuse or trauma and are carrying ptsd — bodies react to perceived threats. Tone of voice, a car backfiring or a seemingly cruel look, for some will cause very real physical reactions.
    I’m curious to learn more about what you do, Allison. must investigate your site more thoroughly.
    Thanks for the interesting post.
    Heidi & Atticus
    “commentary to give you paws…”

  3. Training which allows you to overcome reflexive and conditioned response is extremely useful! After 2 years in a wheelchair the mere thought of walking and the fear of pain it caused was debilitating beyond measure.

    Likening it to a static charge is very clever, for me my issues were emphasized by fear based spasms (and still is on occasion with coughs, sneezes and vomiting), finding a way to avoid the spasms allowed me to learn to walk again.

    Being able to eliminate excess effort allowing you to move more freely and easily is beyond price.

    I’m sure you didn’t expect a reference but…

    Great analogy.

    Laine D
    Aspire to Inspire

  4. Thanks for your comments. I have to admit that you’ve stumbled onto a site that’s mainly for practitioners, but I will try soon to give you some more concrete information about what I do.
    Meanwhile, I’m learning something significant from you about blogging, and I want you to know how much I appreciate the time you’ve taken to leave comments — I can’t tell you how much you’ve given me to think about.

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