What are my viewers actually interested in?

So- this morning I sat down in my daily coffee shop routine and was thinking, “I wonder what my readers think about my recent articles about body awareness?” and immediately thereafter I had the glorious question, “I wonder what my viewers are actually interested in?” hm-emoji 🤔

In thought I might pop Colin or Simon a message, but then I thought I might just pop ChatGPT a message instead. So I dropped a couple of dozen Youtube comments into ChatGPT, “Please have a look at these video comments and tell me what people are interested in the most.”

I think there’s already a deep, unsurmountable divide between humans and ChatGPT when it comes to reading skills, reading speed, and writing skills. So, that’s still me Alfons writing. ChatGPT wouldn’t bother with existential philosophy and critique.

Here’s what ChatGPT answered, in less than a second:

Based on the provided video comments, it seems that people are primarily interested in the following aspects:

  1. Appreciation for the instructor: Many comments express gratitude and admiration for the instructor, praising their teaching style, sense of humor, and presentation skills.
  2. Positive effects and personal experiences: Several comments mention specific benefits or improvements experienced as a result of the lessons, such as relief from pain, relaxation, improved mobility, and heightened body awareness.
  3. Specific questions and requests for guidance: Some comments seek advice and clarification on certain exercises or techniques, requesting further suggestions or explanations from the instructor.
  4. Engagement and preference for longer or shorter videos: A few comments express differing opinions on video length, with some preferring longer videos for deeper exploration and others appreciating shorter versions.
  5. Sharing personal stories and connections: Several comments share personal anecdotes, experiences, and connections made with the instructor, demonstrating the impact of the lessons on their lives.
  6. Compliments and gratitude: Numerous comments express appreciation and praise for the lessons, the instructor’s positive attitude, and the effectiveness of the exercises.

Overall, people are interested in the instructor’s teaching style, the benefits and personal experiences gained from the lessons, and seeking further guidance and clarification on specific exercises.

Writing a title for my blog post

Writing helps to solve problems in thinking. Writing allows for time to think; to think things over. It allows to see things from a grander perspective and inspires clarity. What is it that I really want to say?

On the other hand, loosely quoting John Taylor Gatto, “not a paragraph survives when I come to edit my writings 6 months later.” Erkenntnis (feminine noun; insight, cognition, realisation, the tree of knowledge) seems to be ever changing.

Alfons: What could be fitting titles for my blog post?

ChatGPT: Possible titles for the blog post could be:

  1. “The Power of Body Awareness: Lessons in Movement and Self-Perception”
  2. “Enhancing Mind-Body Connection: Lessons for Body Awareness and Comfort”
  3. “Discovering Ease and Coordination: Lessons in Body Awareness and Movement” [..] {7 more titles…}

(still ChatGPT writing:) These titles capture the essence of the blog post, focusing on the concepts of body awareness, lessons inspired by Moshé Feldenkrais, and the benefits of improved movement and comfort.

Alfons: How does it change the meaning when I change “The Power of Body Awareness: Lessons in Movement and Self-Perception” to “The Power of Body Awareness: Lessons in Movement with Self-Perception”

ChatGPT: Changing the title from “The Power of Body Awareness: Lessons in Movement and Self-Perception” to “The Power of Body Awareness: Lessons in Movement with Self-Perception” subtly shifts the emphasis and meaning of the title.

The original title suggests that the lessons explore both movement and self-perception as interconnected aspects of body awareness. It implies that through these lessons, individuals can enhance their understanding of their bodies, their movements, and how they perceive themselves in relation to their movement abilities.

On the other hand, the modified title places more emphasis on the act of movement itself and its connection to self-perception. It suggests that the lessons primarily focus on movement and utilize self-perception as a tool or lens through which individuals can better engage with and understand their movements.

Both titles convey the importance of body awareness and its impact on movement and self-perception. The modified title highlights the integral role of movement in the process of self-perception, while the original title presents movement and self-perception as two closely intertwined aspects of body awareness.

Alfons: A good explanation which highlights the distinction. I was able to see what I want to say more clearly and work that title even further into this direction: “The Power of Body Awareness: Lessons in Self-Perception with Movement.” What is your comment?

ChatGPT: “The Power of Body Awareness: Lessons in Self-Perception with Movement” is an intriguing title that places a strong emphasis on self-perception and its relationship with movement. It suggests that the lessons not only involve movement but also focus on how individuals perceive themselves in the context of their movements.

By placing “Self-Perception” before “Movement” in the title, it suggests that self-perception is a primary focus and lens through which individuals engage with and explore their movements. This title implies that the lessons aim to deepen self-awareness, promote self-reflection, and enhance the understanding of oneself through the medium of movement.

Overall, the modified title effectively conveys the idea that body awareness and self-perception are interconnected, and that the lessons offer a unique approach to exploring and improving both aspects through the power of movement. It captures the essence of the article by highlighting the transformative potential of body awareness in relation to self-perception.

Alfons: Exactly! Thank you for your feedback and help

ChatGPT: You’re welcome! I’m glad I could help. If you have any more questions or need further assistance, feel free to ask. Good luck with your article!

The Power of Body Awareness: Lessons in Self-Perception with Movement

How can we use movement to improve things like mindfulness, body awareness, and self-perception? What are we even talking about here?

I’m thinking of recent movement trends that may have emanated from modern, functional Pilates and movement classes, western-knowledge updated Yoga classes, mindfulness meets soft-acrobatics classes… which all talk about awareness, exploration and improved well-being. I’m thinking of lessons in Somatics and somatic education, and lessons by last-century Somatics genius Moshé Feldenkrais specifically. What makes for a good lesson? What has to be inside such a lesson?

To start a conversation, to define what we’re even talking about, such a lesson may be comprised of the following, for example, but not limited to…

  • movements,
  • coordination exercises,
  • pauses,
  • sensory cues, and
  • storytelling

to improve…

  • body awareness and
  • promote ease and comfort in movement.

Body Awareness

In this context, “body awareness” refers to the ability to consciously perceive and have a deep understanding of one’s body and its movements. It involves developing a heightened sense of proprioception. Proprioception is the awareness of the position, orientation, and movement of the body and its various parts in space.

Body awareness includes being attuned to sensations, tensions, and patterns of movement within the body. It involves recognizing and discerning the quality and range of motion in different body parts, as well as the relationships and connections between them. By cultivating body awareness, individuals can become more mindful of their posture, alignment, and movement habits. A good lesson facilitates improvements in these areas and allows for consciously perceiving adjustments that improve overall well-being and movement efficiency.

In many lessons of Moshé Feldenkrais (or any lesson created in a similar spirit) body awareness is a fundamental aspect of the practice. Through gentle and exploratory movements, individuals develop a deeper understanding of their bodies, discover new possibilities for movement, and refine their kinesthetic sense. Body awareness allows individuals to move with greater ease, flexibility, and coordination, and it can also enhance self-awareness and self-expression.

The emphasis of these lessons is on performing the movements in a

  • gentle,
  • comfortable, and
  • pleasant manner,
  • without exerting excessive force or pressure on the body.

The immediate goals and improvements that can be perceived during or after such a lesson touch upon

  • flexibility,
  • balance,
  • ease,
  • coordination,
  • physical and emotional comfort,
  • while reducing unnecessary tension or effort.

But wait there’s more

There are many more goals and improvements that transcend the physical body and touch on psyche and composure. Of course there are broad, long-term goals of physical improvements, but there’s also goals and improvements that extend far beyond the mere physical. A discussion thereof shall be topic of another blog post. Good things need time, thoughts need to settle and develop. We need to see what sticks, what grows, and what we still need to catch.

What makes for a good lesson?

Movement is life. But in which way, which mental state, can movement be performed? For example:

  1. Moving the body to perform a task.
  2. Moving the body to explore oneself and one’s movements.

This could be a sliding scale. On one side already learned, canned (boxed and shipped) habitual movements, like scratching the head or putting one foot in front of the other while walking. Maybe most of our every day habitual conversations and speaking patterns could be on that side too. On the other side I would put this: moving without performing any specific task other than deepening the awareness of ourselves and our (spatial) relation to the environment.

When brushing your teeth, doing the dishes, playing tennis, putting on socks, doing Yoga, lifting weights in the gym, exploring Feldenkrais lessons, where would you position the slider on my Zombie-Hyperawareness-Scale?

When engaging in movement exploration in somatic education, we are encouraged to direct our attention to the sensations, qualities, and nuances of our movements in the present moment. We could call that “Mindful Movement” lessons, of which there certainly are many different types, schools, teachers and qualities.

But what is a good lesson? What is a movement (and movement sequence, and a movement quality) that leads to all the great benefits listed in today’s blog post?

This is my contribution for today, this question: What makes for a good lesson? 

It’s a question you can ask yourself while engaging in lessons of various types, schools and teachers. It’s a question I’ve already asked myself probably tens of thousands of times.

I finish today’s blog post with some clippings and pickings of a conversation I had with ChatGPT about Mindfulness, Feldenkrais, and other somatic education practices. It’s a list of some of the things and benefits I would look for in and after a good lesson. Here’s ChatGPT’s writing:

In somatic education practices, the emphasis on present-moment awareness during movement exploration serves several purposes:

  1. Sensory Perception: By paying close attention to the sensory feedback of movement, individuals can deepen their awareness of how their body moves, the quality of movement, and any subtle shifts or patterns within their own kinesthetic experience.
  2. Non-Judgmental Observation: Present-moment awareness in movement exploration encourages non-judgmental observation of the body’s responses, sensations, and limitations. It allows individuals to witness their movement patterns and habits without evaluating or imposing preconceived notions.
  3. Refinement and Learning: Through heightened present-moment awareness, individuals can refine their movement patterns and explore new possibilities. By noticing subtle changes and variations in movement, they can learn to move with greater efficiency, ease, and adaptability.

Alfons: What are the real life benefits of “Sensory Perception, individuals can deepen their awareness of how their body moves, the quality of movement, and any subtle shifts or patterns within their own kinesthetic experience” ?

ChatGPT: Deepening sensory perception and awareness of one’s body movement can have several real-life benefits. Here are some of the potential advantages:

  1. Improved Body Awareness: Developing a heightened sensory perception allows individuals to become more attuned to their body’s signals, sensations, and movements. This increased awareness can help detect early signs of discomfort, tension, or imbalances, enabling timely adjustments and preventive measures.
  2. Enhanced Movement Efficiency: By deepening their awareness of movement quality, individuals can refine their motor patterns and optimize movement efficiency. They become more conscious of unnecessary tension, inefficient habits, or compensatory movements, allowing for smoother and more coordinated actions.
  3. Injury Prevention: Sensory perception enables individuals to notice subtle shifts, imbalances, or potential risks during movement. This awareness can aid in identifying movement patterns that may contribute to strain, overuse, or injury. By making adjustments based on sensory feedback, individuals can reduce the likelihood of injuries and promote safer movement practices.
  4. Pain Management: Heightened sensory perception can provide valuable information about how movements affect the body, including areas of discomfort or pain. By recognizing the impact of certain movements on pain levels, individuals can make more informed choices, modify movement strategies, and find ways to reduce pain or discomfort.
  5. Movement Confidence and Skill Development: Increased sensory awareness fosters a sense of agency and control over one’s movements. It allows individuals to refine their movement skills, explore new possibilities, and develop a greater range of movement options. This increased confidence can positively impact activities such as sports, dance, or performing arts.
  6. Emotional Regulation: Sensory perception is not limited to physical sensations but also includes the emotions and psychological states that arise during movement. By deepening their awareness of these internal experiences, individuals can develop a better understanding of the mind-body connection and cultivate strategies for emotional regulation and stress management.
  7. Mindfulness and Presence: Sensory perception and movement awareness are integral components of mindfulness practices. By engaging in mindful movement and being fully present in the sensory experience of each movement, individuals can cultivate a deeper sense of mindfulness and connection with the present moment.

These benefits can extend beyond specific movement practices and have a positive impact on daily life.

Writing a course outline

It seems like… it’s about time… for me to pick up some pace in designing a course, or training program. Words. So many words to think and to write about. I look around:

The Orff method teaches music in four stages: imitation, exploration, improvisation, and composition.

Says some website about music learning. It continues:

The Suzuki Method is modelled after a child’s innate ability to learn their native language. The basic principles of language acquisition are applied to music learning.

Art. Music. Language. We learn to make sense of movement first. As babies we learn to read movements and body language first. We learn to read faces before we learn to make sense of words and sentences. We learn to make faces before we learn to speak our first words in our first language.

Movement imitation, exploration, improvisation, and composition, it all intertwines. But it seems like that we indeed learn movement first. And then put movements together to do things… like grabbing, holding, drinking, reaching, babbling, speaking, singing, crawling, sitting… a million things after that, a million things that intermingle.

Module 1. Insert title here