Why, look you there!

There’s something about teaching Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement that has me thinking a lot about how we direct people’s attention. When we tell them what to look for, the mind becomes slightly less open than when we tell them where to look.
Here, for example, Hamlet is directing his mother to look in a particular location. He’s leaving it open. He’s allowing for her to see whatever she might actually be seeing. He doesn’t start with what or who. He starts with where.

I try to do the same in teaching. I try not to tell people what to look for at first – because if they DON’T see it, they can get into a space wherein they get anxious that they’re doing it wrong. It’s a looking there first. Look you there at your heels! Then more information. See if you can sense them moving. If you can’t – no big deal. Just look around down there.

Hamlet does the same. He starts with the open question and then goes to the specifics after.

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