Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Helping or hindering?

I am concerned for my Dad. He is going to enjoy his 74th birthday in a couple of weeks. As a robust younger man, he ran his own car mechanic workshop, grew his own vegetables, fixed everything from plumbing to furniture, cooked and cleaned with verve, and played tennis with enthusiasm. My Dad seemed to be able to handle anything.

Lately this has not been the case. He is cranky, chronically sleepy, argumentative and forgetful. I am worried he is showing signs of dementia but he has been recently cleared by his doctor of this. What has been diagnosed is diminished hearing, high blood pressure and sleep apnea. He is over weight and prone to tripping, often falling to his knees. His reflexes and comprehension have slowed causing him to lose his temper in his frustration to cover his embarrassment or misunderstanding. My Dad seems suddenly old.

My Mum is always chiding and scolding him and he responds with resentment and words of blame directed mainly at her. Mum swings from total self sacrifice to weeping fury. I am often called upon to make peace, sort out Dad's paperwork and find a solution to the latest problem. Even though my help is appreciated I have a feeling there is more that I can do but what is it?

I heard a woman telling the story of her father's experience with dementia. She found that when she engaged her father to help another person, he seemed to regain his self respect and sense of value. He was less difficult to manage even though his level of dementia remained the same. This started me thinking about whether I was truly helping my Dad or was I hindering him?

It is easy to undermine, emasculate, devalue another human being with just a few words. The tongue can cut to the heart. My own heart aches to think I have inflicted unintentional paper cuts to my Dad's current state of mind with a few curt remarks, impatience or being smart arsed.

From this moment I intend to engage my Dad to help me. If I can give him purpose and value, the time and space to contribute in any way he can, to show him true thankfulness for his generosity, to listen and to talk to him without criticism, maybe just maybe I can lead back to the land of the living versus sliding into the empty spaces of his mind.

I love and treasure my Dad. 

I am going to make his life sweet.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Micro mobility caresses from the inside

I occasionally attended Dave Wardman's stretch class. He is going through a gentle phase, taking great care with the quality of the movement versus focusing on the aquisition of flexibility. 

There is great value to reducing movements to tiny ranges of motion. Contrary to what you may think, your awareness expands as you focus on the quality of the how you move, where you feel the sensation and what emotions may be revealed. A bonus in my opinion.

When I am practicing a movement, polishing off the clumsy corners, the smooth curve of the arcs and spirals I create with my arms, my legs, my head tilts, my spine give me much pleasure. Pretending I am undulating like sea-grass, flowing with water, discharges accumulated tension. 

Micro mobility practice is caressing from inside the body.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Greg Norman's work ethic is tops!

Australian Story on Greg Norman Part 1
Monday 2 September

GREG NORMAN: "I was never an arrogant player or person, I’m never, I don’t have a whole lot of ego. Actually I can’t tolerate people with egos, so I know I don’t have an ego. But at the same time I was very confident about how I could play the game of golf. There wasn’t a shot I didn’t think I could play because there wasn’t a shot I didn’t really practice."

That last sentence rang through my mind! What made Greg Norman such a fabulous golfer was more than self belief, talent and good luck, it was sheer hard work. If I really want to create my dreams and goals I was going to have to practice the very things I didn't like to do. 

I am adept at hiding my weaknesses but in the last 3 months I have been facing my fears and dabbling at turning my weaknesses into skills. So far I have not died from embarrassment or failure. Instead I have shocked myself into actually enjoying the process of getting a tiny bit more proficient with each practice. There is nothing wrong with being fallible or imperfect. I stopped comparing myself to others. I only have this moment to live, truly live!

Mastery, craftsmanship, the spirit of the artisan, is where I would like to take stretching and moving, and this will take a mountain of practice to embody. To make movements fluid, agile and elegant takes more practice, and more practice and more practice.