When I was growing up in the 1970-80s, I used to watch educational children shows like Sesame Street and another one called The Electric Company. One particular part stood out for me, I still remember it till this day. It was called "The Adventures of Letterman." It was about a superhero and a villain. The villain, Spellbinder, would take an alphabet (or 2 sometimes) away from a word or change it with another and this would cause havoc; like in the film in the link, where the villain changes the letter "L" in "Light" with "N" to make "Night," causing all the people to live in darkness. Then came Letterman to the rescue by putting back the alphabet and everything was well again. I loved this sketch, still do for a particular reason; it was not only super entertaining as a child but it taught me how reality could be changed with just one alphabet.
I find words magical; worlds and beings get created just by stringing words together. I wasn't a super avid reader as a child but I loved fairy tales and the fantasy genre already then. My family hardly had any fantasy novels, mostly just children's adventure novels, which didn't really interest me much. So I spent a lot of time re-reading the fairy tale books that we had. At some point when I went off to university and could afford my own books, I read and re-read the classic, the ultimate of the fantasy genre - "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy and "The Hobbit." Obviously, when the Harry Potter series came out I was in line to get the books as they got released. I read them and re-read them, did selected readings by just opening the book wherever the page opened and read on, just to get my mind off from my Chinese Medical studies. There was a period in my life where I could answer any questions about Harry Potter's magical world in detail and I knew almost all the spells that the magical world of Potter could cast. I have found that I learn so much about our own world, new ideas form in my mind and I acquire a better understanding of things in our reality by reading fantasy.
But I realize that it's not just fantasy novels that make magical worlds; our ability to create sound with our mouths, vibrates through our bodies and the bodies, including the ears of the listener and our surroundings are magical too. This vibration creates resonance and something deep within us and our environment reacts. Thus, the beginnings of communication. Humans didn't stop there but also began to put hand to an object, to communicate to many others, whether in the present or in the future, by writing. A few scratchings on the wall, a few strokes with a feather with ink on paper, to transfer our thoughts onto another medium, and thousands of years later, other humans understand or are trying to understand its meaning. This is magical! Yet we take it for granted and brand it, "normal."
Since I started movement training at 5, I have heard the voices of my teachers reverberating through my body and translating this into movement almost all my life. As I myself became a teacher-coach of movement and Chinese Medicine practitioner, I recognized what power I have in my voice to create an impression in an individual. I realized over the years, when I heard movement teachers use words like, "tighten your muscles," "squeeze your butt" or "flatten your belly," that I was developing an awareness of what NOT to say. I treat so many people for tight muscles, who are often unable to move their abdomens freely as they breathe and have pain in their butt. I came to a realization that I have the power to help others change this with the influence of my words, among other things. I have learned to choose my words carefully. I ask students/patients to "activate their muscle" rather than tighten them. I ask them for what I want or need, not what I don't want, and I observe the changes. For me, words are like the casting of a magical spell; a reality created by the words. As the saying goes, "Be careful what you wish for, it may just come through."
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