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Reasons to be cheerful

December 5, 2009

1. Hang out with old friends:

Congratulations and heartfelt cheers to my good friend JK., who has just graduated with her psychology degree! Recently over a long lunch in which many of the world’s problems were solved – one of those lunches, and without alcohol – (yes Virginia, it is possible) she observed that depression is shaping up to be the West’s most serious health issue. In my post Feldenkrais, tango, and play. I highlighted Dr Stuart Brown’s observation that “the opposite of play isn’t work, it’s depression”. This post takes inspiration from Ian Dury and the Blockheads’ classic 1979 single ‘Reasons to be Cheerful Part 3‘: a playful list of some of the things that bring me cheer. Even making this list brings cheer.

2. Lose Control:

Stand side on to a wall, about a foot away from it. Let your arms hang loose and long by your sides, and then keeping your arm closest to the wall long, raise it sideways a little until you contact the wall beside you. Press the back of your wrist firmly and constantly against the wall (For extra whizz-bangery, stand in a doorway and do both sides at once). Keep pressing your long arm for about 90 to 120 seconds – pay attention to keeping the press consistent and firm, observe the weight through your feet, your breathing. Then, turn around 90 degrees (you’ll have your back to the wall now, or be sideways through the doorway) and observe what happens to your arm(s). Share this activity with friends and family over the festive season.

3. Sing along to this:

Apart from an irresistible toe tappin’ swing this could be the unofficial Feldenkrais anthem:

When I was a kid about half past three
My Dad said “Son, come here to me”
Said things may come, and things may go
But this is one thing you ought to know…

‘T ain’t what you do it’s the way that you do it
‘T ain’t what you do it’s the way that you do it
‘T ain’t what you do it’s the way that you do it
That’s what gets results

‘T ain’t what you do it’s the time that you do it
‘T ain’t what you do it’s the time that you do it
‘T ain’t what you do it’s the time that you do it
That’s what gets results

You can try hard
Don’t mean a thing
Take it easy, greasy!
Then your jive will swing

Oh ‘t ain’t what you do it’s the place that you do it
‘T ain’t what you do it’s the place that you do it
‘T ain’t what you do it’s the place that you do it
That’s what gets results

Applies to Tango too, methinks.

4. Look twice at everything

Flirtation at the Well

You never know what you might be missing!

5. Fail gloriously at something silly:

Brush your teeth holding the toothbrush in the other hand.

6. Comment to this post with playful things that make you cheerful!

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